Showing posts from April, 2019

My XYL is Now a Ham! - KN4UGX

Years ago when my XYL and I were dating, I was playing with CB and Ham radio.  We had a radio station in our home and I had a radio in my car.  With a little convincing, she would actually talk to me on the CB radio on my way to and from work.  When I got pretty active in Ham radio, upgraded my license, and became active with ARES and the Lanierland Amateur Radio Club she actually started to entertain the idea of getting her Ham license.  She's been around radio alot.  She hangs out in the shack with me, she listens when we are mobile, and she even attends some of the club events.  However, she declared that IF she ever got her license it would just be to shut me up.

Truth be told, I had given up. I wasn't even asking her anymore.  She told me that she was going to get her license soon, but she didn't have time to study because she's been so busy.  I didn't put any pressure on her.  Hall County ARES and the Gainesville Middle School Amateur Radio Club put on a HAM …

Worked Mongolia (high power FT8) - JT1BV

I had a little free time so I went in the shack and went QSX on 17m FT8.  I saw Egypt again, but only briefly and was unable to make contact.  I saw Kuwait which I worked before on phone but not on FT8 and after a few calls was able to work them.  I then moved over to 20m FT8.  There, I saw a couple stations in Mongolia!  They were coming in very strong and I was confident I would be able to work them with ease.  I was very wrong!

I tried calling both stations in Mongolia.  I was using my 3 element Mosley Yagi to make sure I had the best chance of working them.  I was very surprised to not get an answer from either station.  In fact, they seemed to call CQ pretty often and not work many stations at all.  I figured that they must have been running an amplifier or some antenna condition that was causing their signal to be much stronger to than they were able to receive.

With this thought, I decided to try my amplifier on low power.  I made sure everything was set so that I would put out…

Running My First Net

I've been licensed for ham radio since 2001.  Over the years, I've heard many Net's conducted on the radio.  The once Net that I am most familiar with is the Lanierland Amateur Radio Club's Wednesday Night Net.  I've heard Mike-N4HGO calling that net for years. He's always calm and collected.  He has a very natural soothing voice and easily glides through the check-ins, announcements, swap shop, and the ragchew.

At a club meeting we discussed that Mike should get a break.  We asked for volunteers to run it once a month and I volunteered for April.  I was supposed to run it last week, but it fell on Spring Break and we were on a camping trip.  So the next Wednesday (4/24) it was my turn!

I talk on the radio fairly often.  I know most of the people that check into the Nets.  I've met most of them in person.  I speak at our club meetings and I often feel like I can talk to anyone.  So why was I nervous?  Early Wednesday, I started to realize that I was going …

Worked Macedonia - Z36W

I haven't spent much time in the shack lately. I've been missing HF radio pretty bad.  I decided to get in the shack after work and play radio for a bit.  I don't consider myself a serious DXer, however I do have a tendency to always check FT8 and the DX cluster for new ones before doing anything else.  Lately the conditions have been less than desirable.  I struggled on Easter Sunday for 1.5 hours trying to work Indonesia on both FT8 and phone with no success.  To me, it seems that the conditions are favorable only one way. I can hear or decode some good DX, but I haven't been able to make contact.

Anyway, I was decoding Egypt on 20m FT8! I called many times. I called on his frequency.  I called on split.  I called off frequency while he was working someone else.  I replied to his CQ call.  I never got a response from him.  While I was on the chase, I did see Z36W in Macedonia decode in deep purple (which is a new country).

I tried giving Z36W a call, but couldn't…

Worked Niue - E6AF

Sometime after 20m seemed to be closing down and getting quiet, I was enjoying a local ragchew on 80m phone.  I saw someone spot E6AF in Niue on the DX cluster.  As I often do when I see a unrecognized entity, I tuned over to see if I could hear him.  To my surprise, I was able to copy the station just fine.  The S meter barely moved, but the noise floor was so low that it was still arm chair copy.  I called only twice and was able to get a reply!  It's always a joy to get such an easy reply from a new entity.  I returned to my group on 80m and let them know of the DX.  A couple of the guys tuned over and worked Niue also.

Niue is an island country in the South Pacific Ocean, 1,500 miles northeast of New Zealand, east of Tonga, south of Samoa, and west of the Cook Islands. Niue's land area is about 101 square miles.  The island is commonly referred to as "The Rock", which comes from the traditional name "Rock of Polynesia". Niue is one of the world's la…

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