Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Went to Kansas tonight!

Got on the air at about 7PM local time (23:00Z) and started listening around and was very happy to hear more signals tonight than I have heard in a week or two.  I heard John K0JVX calling CQ around 7050 Khz and I threw him a few replies before he finally heard me.  Band conditions were noisy with lots of QRN and QSB going on but he's a 73 year old ham with 60 years experience.  He pulled me up out of the bottom like he was pulling a big catfish out of the Mississippi River.  John was running 80w from a Ten Tec Omni D and a dipole.  

Ten Tec Omni D - a great rig! 
I gave him an honest 599 and he gave me a 339 with QSB and QRN.  We traded info and the QSO lasted about 6 minutes.  It was great to make a contact again with the HW8 and my attic dipole.   80w vs 2w and we got the job done, THANKS JOHN!  John lives in Olathe Kansas, not a new state for this year but a good QSO nevertheless.

Also on Saturday this weekend I was able to get out on the back patio with my new Alex Loop.  Did not make any contacts during the day but I had a great time.

KB9BVN with K2 and Alex Loop


Until next time! 

73 de KB9BVN


Wednesday, August 9, 2017

Alex Loop has Landed

Got home from work today and found the Alex Loop I bought from my friend Jay AJ4AY sitting in my office.  So of course I shoved my dinner down my throat and headed out to the back patio with the new antenna and assorted goodies. 

I got it put together pretty quickly...not to self: YOU NEED TO MAKE A STAND FOR IT



Anyway...hooked the batteries up to the K2 and then connected the antenna, and like magic I was hearing stations from 40m to 12m (10m was dead).  That got me excited so back into the house for my Parkwood Paddles. 



I managed to work AC4FZ down in North Carolina on 10.120 Mhz (30m) he was very loud but he could barely hear me...and I was running  five whole watts.  Regardless, I did a happy dance and logged my RST of 229 and moved around. 


All in all I am happy with the small loop antenna.  I will finish the stand for it tomorrow and drag my SWR meter out with me to make sure I have optimal output.  The tuning cap is very sharp on getting locked in...most bands I had about 15 Khz of wiggle room before needing to slightly re-tune. 

WX for this weekend is looking good, and I can see me and the loop heading to the park on Saturday afternoon.  Thanks Jay! 

Tomorrow night I have to teach a class on the Raspberry Pi SBC.  So no radio. 

Best 73 de KB9BVN

Friday, August 4, 2017

40m is Working Tonight!

It has been a long dry spell around here for QSOs lately. I have just been too busy to get on the air and when I do the band is in pretty bad shape.  The poor little HW-8 and it's two watts have not been really successful lately.

My friend Mike W9ODX over at the "Adventures in CW" blog has been having success with his rain gutter antenna and waiting to get on the 40m band until after 9PM, and he's been making a lot of contacts. 

So tonight I took his advice and I waited until about 10PM EDT and fired up the HW-8 on about 7120 Khz and started calling CQ, I think I sent my CQ's out about 4 maybe 5 times, when I was answered by Gary K9NSS over in Marion Illinois, about 210 miles from here.  Interesting to note that in 1982 F4 tornadoes hit the city and caused extensive damage killing 10 and sending over 200 to the hospital.  Marion is located in the deep southern tip of Illinois.  Gary was running his Icom 765 at 75 watts and we traded 599 RST reports. 

Here's the city in 1910, thanks to Wikipedia. 


It was really great to QSO again!   I just bought a Alex Loop and I am anxious to try it with the HW-8 from my back patio.  Stay tuned! 

Best 73 de KB9BVN