Saturday, July 29, 2017

Cheer could be worse!

Yeah...things don't look too great for HF right now....

Was on Facebook a bit ago and a local ham, new to the hobby, hit me up on chat and asked me why his antenna wasn't working.  He described a perfectly deployed 20m dipole up about 30 feet. He couldn't hear anything and no one was answering his CQ's.  So I check the bands...and found this.  Oh boy.  I think I'll cook some hot dogs on the grill and go watch my grass grow. Maybe later tonight things will improve. 

On another note, another newer ham to the area has been bitten by the QRP CW bug hard,  Michael W9ODX has been using a borrowed MJF 9040 at 5 watts to make contacts.  He lives in a HOA restricted area so his operating has had to be on the move...UNTIL NOW. 

Check out his blog and see how a determined ham overcame the obstacles of the HOA.  Great job Mike! 

That's it for now....getting ready for a weenie roast so we're making baked beans...delicious tasty BBQ baked beans...Mmmmmm.  599 fo sho


Best 73! 

Sunday, July 9, 2017

Got those Post Field Day blues...

Hi there, it's me again, I know it's been awhile since the last update, I have switched jobs, and have been too busy here lately to get on the air much.  Here's the latest report from KB9BVN and the search for HW8 WAS! 

The bad news is I have not increased my number of states in over a month now.  I am seemingly stuck at 30.  I have not been able to get my Eagle One installed in the back yard, so I am still operating off the attic dipole for 40m.   I had a fantastic Field Day and I hope you all did too. 

Field Day this year was with the Hoosier QRP Group.  Ivin W9ILF was kind enought to invite us to his home and we operated from there.  He lives in Morgan County on a few acres, so we set up two operating positions.  At the controls were Marty N9SE (CW), Michael W9ODX (CW and SSB),  Ivin W9ILF (CW and Cello), and yours truly operating the grill and some CW on 20m and 40m.  Our rigs were from Elecraft, W9SE brought his KX3, and W9ILF brought his K2 out of the basement and into the sunlight.  Antennas were a pair of OCF dipoles up about 30-35 feet aimed in opposite directions. 

Dan N8IE, the trustee of the Flying Pigs QRP Club International, loaned us the club call sign, so we operated the entire time as W8PIG.  We also kept everything at 5 watts or less, yes, 5w SSB and 5w CW.  The SSB guys were cracking up over our call sign but I honestly think it helped us get noticed. I stayed until about 8PM on Saturday night, and Marty, Michael and Ivin worked the night shift.  The die hard CW operators were Ivin and Marty and they worked all night and until the close of the event on Sunday. 

Marty had us using N1MM logger in networked mode, and it was pretty slick.   When the smoke cleared, we had made 309 CW contacts, and about 90 SSB contacts...using only battery and solar power and 5 watts.  We would like to thank every station that worked us, you did a great job of pulling us out of the noise.   It was glorious!  Not to mention we feasted on burgers, hot dogs, bratwurst and pizza!  We're already planning our menus for next year. 

On another front, I will be teaching a Basic Intro class on the Raspberry Pi SBC on August 10th at the Aviation Institute of Maintenance on the west side of Indy.  I have really been trying to incorporate a Pi or two in my ham shack but I am running into QRN issues with the little 2.5A 5v power supplies.  Unless I can find a way to quiet the thing down, I may have to scrap the idea.  It wipes out my HW8 on all bands.  (Not sure if it is the PS or the CPU causing noise...when it's off it's quiet)

The Indianapolis Hamfest was this weekend, and I was working as a VE with the Naptown Amateur Radio Group.  We tested 18 people, and gave 24 2 hours.  It was hectic but a lot of fun. One guy drove all the way up from Kentucky to take his Extra and he passed with flying colors.  

For now that's about until next time...

72 es OO de KB9BVN
Flying Pig -57