NOTE ON MY AUGUST 2017 QST ARTICLE ON PAGE 73-74: Because of a slight mixup between the QST editors and me, there are a couple errors in the third paragraph from the end. It should read as follows with the corrections in red:
"I've also worked all continents, all states, and 91 DX entities with QRPp (1 W, down to as little as 50 mW). I could have even more DX, but I often don't think of dropping my power from 5 W until after I've worked someone I could have easily worked with QRPp. I had a QRPp streak of 447 days from May 1, 2010 through July 21, 2011, all of which were initiated with QRPp - not starting at 5 W, then lowering power."
Thu Jul 20 2017 8:38PM - Spent quite a bit of time today prepping logs from our NAQCC sprint for the cross-checking. Every sprint I try to make the process more efficient, and I am succeeding in that. Still there are some who mess up the process by sending logs in some non-standard format and that really slows down the process. Fortunately the percentage of malformed logs has been steadily decreasing. There are still some little log glitches that need to be manually corrected by me before the cross-check Excel software will handle them correctly.
We're almost to our standard 100+ logs once again. I think at the moment it's 97 logs with a lot of time to go over the 100 mark. Only 6 times since we first cracked the 100 log barrier in April 2010 have we failed to reach 100, and 5 of those times we just missed by 3, 3, 2, 8, 4 logs with another one missed by 13 logs. It's been 88 sprints now since that April 2010 one. I think that speaks volumes about the quality of our club members.
I had a good sprint last night and I did stick it out for the full two hours despite what I said in the last diary entry. I wound up with 39 QSOs and so far only one person has reported more (40) in the 97 logs I've looked at so far.
Many of you mention the DX streak when you email or oherwise contact me. It's alive and well for another day at 1,604 days after working Nelson NP4LW a short while ago on 20 meters. The bands seem to have recovered nicely from the big geomagnetic storm of a couple days ago. I found it interesting to have heard two Israel stations this evening, one on 20 and one on 30 or maybe the same one on both bands. I didn't catch the suffix of the 30M station. -30-
Wed Jul 19 2017 8:07PM - Just a few minutes now till our NAQCC sprint. I don't know if I'll do the full two hours or not. It's awful hot in my shack and I'm getting less tolerant of heat as I get older and older. I may just get in long enough to get a few QSOs so I can continue my record of never missing one of our sprints.
DX came at 0000Z thanks to David XE1XR on 20 meters, so that is not a worry for another 23+ hours now.
Out ot walk Roscoe now before the sprint. Later. -30-
Tue Jul 18 2017 4:47PM - Our parkpedition went off without a hitch today. The only negative was somewhat poor propagation especially on 30 and 20 meters. 40 was pretty good at the start but it declined as time went by. Signal reports started out being 579-599 and gradually dropped to 449-569 in the third hour. All in all we made 42 QSOs in the following 16 states:
CT GA IL IN KS MA ME MI MS NH NJ NC OH VA VT WI
The day started with me walking Roscoe and grabbing a bite of breakfast. Then my neighbor, Roscoe's owner Bruce drove me to the park where I was setting up my equipment when Don K3RLL arrived. When he and I were set up and operating, Jody K3JZD arrived. Don and Jody hadn't seen each other in person for a while so they chatted for a while about their motorcycles and other things. We stayed active for a couple hours when things really slowed down. Don shut down and headed home, and Jody and I shut down not too long after that. I invited Jody to visit my shack at home since he had never seen it before. So we waited for Bruce to come and pick me up. Jody followed us home. I gave him the nickel tour of my antenna 'victory garden' and my shack sans rig since I hadn't unpacked it. Soon it was time for Jody to depart. Now let's close with some pictures of our outing.
It was a beautiful day with a clear blue sky as shown here. It was pretty comfortable in the pavilion - not too hot or cold, and not much humidity:
Usually antenna pictures don't show up too well against the background of trees, but my jumper inverted vee stands out pretty well in this picture:
Here's a view of my Jackite pole and mount as I saw it from my operating position:
A wide angle view of my antenna, our pavilion, and Don and Jody's motorcycles:
My setup of KX3, PX3, Battery, Phones, Key, and UTC Clock:
The two other partners in crime. That's Jody K3JZD at left and Don K3RLL at right:
And that wraps up another parkpedition, but not before we say thanks to all of you who took time out of your day to work us and make our trip worthwhile. -30-
Mon Jul 17 2017 7:55PM - Disregard the rest of this entry after this paragraph. It is no longer true as of 5 minutes ago. I'm going to leave it here though since I spent quite a bit of time writing it about an hour ago. At 2350Z I heard my friend Alex HC2AO not too strong on 30 meters just signing off with someone. I heard him say he was running 10 watts. Well, Alex has to be one of the best ops in the world who also apparently has a great location down there in Ecuador. I believe he is a Russian who emigrated to there. Anyway to make a long story short, a single call to him after he sent dit dit resulted in K3WWP John 579 579 and the DX streak lives at 1,600 days despite what I wrote below. We even chatted a couple minutes. THANK YOU Alex. Whew!
On February 28, 2013 I didn't work any DX. On July 17, 2017 I didn't work any DX. However on every day in between those 2 dates I did work some DX. That was 1,599 straight days of DX, but now it's over and I have to decide where to go from here. Of course the big streak is still going strong and (knock on wood) should continue pretty much despite conditions. Something the DX streak couldn't handle. The severe geomagnetic storminess that persisted pretty much for at least 24 hours saw to that. I took notes along the way today figuring this had a good chance of being a day without DX. Here is what I found in my periodic checks today on mainly 20, 17, and 15 meters - mostly 20.
0000Z - Bands devoid of DX
0300Z - Same
1300Z - Bands just about totally dead
1430Z - Only KW7D (weak) working K1DXA (about S6) heard plus one unID S7 station around 14056 (CHN?)
1600Z - Few stronger USA stations, but no DX. KW7D normally strong still very weak
1730Z - K1DXA + two other USA stations, still no DX heard.
1930Z - A few strong USA stations, but no DX heard.
2000Z - W1AW booming on 17 and 20. A few other strong USA stations, but only DX was PV8ADI who usually is well over S9 anytime I hear him. This time he was S3 right down at or just slightly above my local noise level. He was working some Europeans, but wasn't hearing a couple USA stations calling him. I never bothered to try him.
2100Z - Things continue the same - PV8ADI the only DX heard and still only S3-4 at best.
2200Z - Still the same except YW450ARV takes the place of PV8ADI at about the same weak signal level.
2230Z - S57V about S5 on 30 meters, but not hearing me and QRT not long after I found him.
Despite the streak ending, I think I have proven that on at least 99% of days, DX can be worked with a simple setup like mine consisting of QRP/CW/simple mostly indoor antennas. Actually 1,599 of 1,600 days is 99.9375%. I'll be updating my DX streaks page over the next week or so as time permits.
I have mixed emotions about it ending. I'm sad of course as it was a lot of fun on most days. In another way I'm glad because of late with the decline in the sunspot cycle some days it took up a good bit of my time to find and work the DX.
Will I try to pick up the streak again. Probably not, but I'll still continue to chase DX as it is my most favorite activity. I might even work more DX now even though it won't be every day. I often would pass up some DX if I had already worked my DX for that day, hoping maybe I'll run into the passed up DX on another day for the streak. Now if I hear someone I want to work, the streak won't enter into consideration of whether I work that someone or not right now.
Don't forget to look for us from the park tomorrow probably between 1330 and 1700Z on 7041, 10117, and/or 14061. I'll be on 40 meters. We'll be using the NAQCC club call N3AQC. It may be rough if conditions are like they were today, but we'll be there plugging away. -30-
Sun Jul 16 2017 9:13PM - Conditions this evening are as bad as I've seen them in several years. Not a sign of any DX and it even took 51 minutes to get my regular streak QSO when I found my friend down in GA, Bob AK4JA and got him right away. Before that many CQs yielded nothing and calls to a few other stations got no response. So the big streak is secured. Now it will be another day like Saturday probably when I spent a lot of time trying to work some DX. Hopefully I will get some because that would be day # 1,600 in the DX streak. I'd hate it to end - period, but especially not at 1,599. Always nice to get that round number.
Otherwise today I worked on a couple projects I put aside some time ago and never finished. First I have wanted for some time now to see how many World capitals I have worked. You know like Paris France, Berlin Germany, and so forth. So I juggled my Microsoft Access log a bit and made a spreadsheet in Microsoft Excel and came up with 102 World capitals worked. There are still some that need tweaking a bit and I may find a couple more, but not right away.
Then I've been curious to know how many prefixes that I have all 10 numbers for. That is for example DL0 DL1 DL2 DL3 DL4 DL5 DL6 DL7 DL8 DL9 would be DL complete. Again with Access and Excel it was easy, and I found 68 of them from 6Y to YT. 40 from the USA and 28 from DX countries. I just love working with stats like that.
OK, I'm going to send out our parkpedition promo on the NAQCC email list now. So if you're a member and have given us your email address, you should either have gotten it or will shortly depending on when you read this. -30-
Sat Jul 15 2017 8:33PM - Sigh of relief! For a while this evening it looked like a repeat of last night and today. Last night I couldn't get any DX and that held true through most of today - until 2016Z. It was really getting frustrating today. There were just no strong enough DX signals to work. I called a good many who were "below the Maginot Line" as it were. I mean S4 to S5 at the very best. None of them were hearing me. But around 2000Z the path to Europe gradually got better on 20 and signals started coming up to S6 and S7, but with deep QSB. Still no one was hearing me and I was thinking of what to say in the obituary to my DX streak. Finally I got WWP? from HG17OW, but someone butted in whose call was nothing like WWP. HG17OW worked him but stuck with me and a couple QSOs later, he heard the K3 and sent K3. I sent K3WWP a couple times and he put the two together into K3WWP and the DX streak reached 1598 days. Oh, a nice new prefix in HG17 also.
This evening started the same as last night with no workable DX until I found AM825TL which putting 2 and 2 together is EA8TL using a special prefix. Now EA8TL is a great op and one I can count on most times to work me easily. It wasn't all that easy this evening, but he pieced my call together and finally it was "John K3WWP tnx 599" and instead of 20 hours and 16 minutes, this time it took only 26 minutes to get my DX. Wonder what the 25 in 825 is for. Let's see if I can find out. Yep, it's the 25th anniversary of Federacion Digital EA. Anyway another nice prefix added to my collection.
The nice comments on the QST article continue to come in. I've taken time to acknowledge each one personally. In case I missed anyone, consider this my thanks to you. I appreciate it very much.
The weather continues to look good for our parkpedition on Tuesday. Don K3RLL, Jody K3JZD, and I will be operating from morning till early afternoon. They say they will arrive at the park around 10AM (1400Z). I may get there a little before that. I hope to operate 40 meters so I can check out my jumper dipole on that band. I made a few adjustments to it and I'd like to give it a good try. Of course I'll be using my Jackite pole with my homebrew pole mount for the antenna. We'll hang out around our usual frequencies of 7041, 10117, and 14061. More details in tomorrow's diary and in an email to the NAQCC email list tomorrow evening or Monday. -30-
Fri Jul 14 2017 9:15PM - A lot of comments about the QST article still coming in via email or in the guestbook. I'm happy that a lot of them say the article is very encouraging for QRP/CW operators. That's what I wanted it to be.
Looks like this may be only the second or third time in several weeks now that I won't be getting my DX streak QSO in the evening. There just wasn't much at all in the way of DX to be heard that was strong enough to work. One was HC2AO whom I've worked so many times, I just didn't want to work him again. Another was XE1RK who was busy rag chewing, then he faded out or otherwise disappeared. Same with XE2V. So hopefully I can get someone in the morning or afternoon if not later tonight. Let's see if there are any good DX contests this weekend. Nope, so that won't help.
I haven't mentioned my garden lately. Things have really started to grow now. Even my VERY slow Siberian tomatoes now have flowers on them. My pole beans are climbing nicely. I harvested a couple dozen more bush beans today. I'll soon have some peas to pick. The SLOW peppers are accelerating their growth now, but no flowers yet. My other tomatoes have tomatoes some of which are approaching 2 inches in diameter. My daylillies are going through their regular July flowering frenzy. That's the garden in a nutshell (peapod?). -30-
Thu Jul 13 2017 7:18PM - Another day with not a lot going on. Outside was again like a sauna although periodic breezes made it bearable. In somewhat of a switch from the normal "climate" here, the past few weekends have been pretty nice as should be the upcoming one. Usually it's the other way around with poor weather weekends. Although being retired, it doesn't really matter to me.
More importantly it looks like the first few days of the coming week will be nice. We're planning a parkpedition for Tuesday the 18th. It will be a little unusual in a way. Don K3RLL and Jody K3JZD will be riding to the Kittanning Community Park on their motorcycles. So that left me scrambling for a way to get me and my equipment up there. Fortunately Roscoes's owner Bruce said he'd be glad to ride me up there since I do so much to help him and Roscoe. So barring some unexpected weather or other happening, we're set for Tuesday. I'll have more details in the next 4 diary entries.
I received my print edition of QST today, and after a brief check of my article, I loaned it to Bruce who seems to be getting more and more interested in my ham doings. I've gotten a couple more nice comments about the article from those who also received the print copy now. Thanks.
About a half hour now till my daily trek upstairs to my shack for my streak(s) QSO(s). Last evening was quicky from a nice prefix YW450ARV on 30 meters. Took just a couple calls to get him in the log. -30-
Wed Jul 12 2017 1:50PM - Being outside today is like being in a sauna. So after a trip to the PO to mail our special NAQCC FD prize to the drawing winner, and a walk with Roscoe, I'm going to sit here at the computer in front of my fan for a while now.
This will be a good opportunity to share some (2 in particular) comments I've received about the QST article. I wish I could share them all, but that would take up too much of my somewhat meager Internet bandwidth, especially on the Windstream server.
According to this from Jim W4QO, those in the know about QRP understood the paragraph in question even without me having to post a correction on the web site here.
Jim emailed, "John, Congrats on the great article. I just smiled when I read about your QRPp efforts in QST. Pretty much knew it was QRP unless QRPp made sense in context! hi hi"
Now here's the one I mentioned from Bob K9OSC. I think it accurately and eloquently states exactly the reasons behind the article and my web site as well.
Bob emailed, "Hi John: I downloaded the August QST and immediately read your fine article. My congratulations on doing such a nice job and relating to others what QRP is all about and some of the success you have had with it over the years. Hopefully, some hams will at least give it a try and then stick with it. We would certainly welcome them into both the club and other QRP activities that are becoming much more dominant these days.
I can only consider that articles such as yours points them in the direction of QRP and how successful and encouraging that kind of operation is. Those of us who operate QRP much of the time and who participate with SOTA stations and run two way QRP contacts realize the immense satisfaction that comes with every contact.
Having such an article published in a national journal that has overseas members as well only widens the scope of QRP activity and celebrates your success which serves QRP as a method of CW operating extremely well and shows what can be done with very little.
Thanks for your major contribution. I for one sincerely appreciate it."
When I asked Bob for permission to quote the emai here in the diary, he responded with another great couple of paragraphs here:
"Of course, John. The comments I provided I firmly believe and to the extent possible QRP is a very important aspect of amateur radio to emphasize to help provide a firm future for on-air behavior and operation. Your extensive emphasis and daily example of on-air operation serves amateur [radio] extremely well and is a high mark for all of us to try to reach.
We need to be disciplined, respectful and restrained in our operations. Power, huge antennas and the like can make most anyone successful but it isn't a responsible or ethical way to pursue a true amateur radio methodology. That is exactly why I made the comments on your article that I did.
Again, thank you for your continuing efforts on behalf of us all. 72, Bob - K9OSC"
Thank you Bob, for being so perceptive as to the purpose of the article and my web site. As the saying goes, you've hit the nail on the head.
For those who don't know, it wasn't even my idea to write the article in the first place. Steve WB8IMY from the ARRL found out about my streak(s) and asked me if I'd be willing to write an article for QST about it (them). Seeing the possibility of being able to expose a large number of hams to just what CW and QRP with simple antennas can do, I immediately agreed to do so. Now the rest is history, I guess.
PS to yesterday's entry. HI3T is a new call for HI3TEJ. His QRZ bio is very interesting and explains the switch very well. -30-
Tue Jul 11 2017 8:34PM - Kind of a quiet day today with not much going on so I did some work arranging my .mp3 music collection. It was nice to listen to some of the songs I haven't had time to listen to for a while now. I still miss the Terry Lee show since he passed away about 4 years ago now. I still have quite a collection of the music (for young lovers) that he used to play on his show many years ago on WMCK/WIXZ in McKeesport, PA and recently on the Internet.
My DX streak took very little time this evening when I worked HI3T (wonder if that's a new "vanity" call for HI3TEJ? - I'll have to look later) at 0002Z on 30 meters.
Don K3RLL, Jody K3JZD, and I are trying to put together a parkpedition maybe sometime from the 17th to the 20th. They both have some time constraints, so I'm letting them decide on a date and time since I don't have any constraints here (that I know of, anyway). -30-
Mon Jul 10 2017 5:03PM - I've been busy today answering feedback about my QST article along with my usual Monday chores like laundry, putting out the garbage, in addition to walking Roscoe in between and ahead of some heavy rain showers.
I'll take this opportunity to thank all of you for the positive feedback on the article. I may or may not have time to personally thank you, but I'll try.
I especially thank Bob K9OSC for his email that wonderfully summarizes my reasons for writing the article and well as the reason for this web site. I'm going to ask his permission to quote it here in the diary.
I'm also taking time while it rains to work on the Jackite pole mount project pictures, what there are of them.
This first one shows the cradle in which the long box that holds the pole will pivot. The green fence post will be pounded into the ground and the unit will be fastened to it with bolts and wing nuts, one of which is shown here.
The next picture shows the hole being drilled in the long box through which the dowel will pass to act as the pivot to raise the unit after it is set up on the ground. If you look back at the first picture you'll see the hole in the cradle through which the dowel will also pass.
Here we are getting ready to pass the dowel through the holes and then check to be sure the pivot works as it should.
After all the work we did on it, here is the finished project resting on one of my living room chairs.
I know that's not much of a description of the building process but building the project got in the way of documenting it blow by blow. If it sounds like something you might want to try building, let me know, and I'll try to give you more info. -30-
Sun Jul 09 2017 8:43PM - Another evening when my DX streak QSO came just after 0000Z. Tonight it was N2OO/VP9 on 30 meters. When Mike worked him on 30 when he was here, I told Mike I'd pass on working him then and save him for my DX streak. That worked out perfectly, and I didn't have to decide whether or not I wanted to work him so soon again. I did pass on PJ2ND just before that because I had worked him on 30 just a couple nights ago.
I enjoy watching woodworking projects on the Internet - Tommy Mac, The Wood Whisperer, Izzy Swan, and the like. I kind of envy them for the neat way they put videos or stills of their projects together. When Mike and I do a project, we seem to get absorbed in it and forget about the documentation along the way. That happened again with the Jackite pole mount. I looked at the 8 pictures we did take and I can't really assemble them into a step by step show. So I'm passing on that again. I still may try to do something. Perhaps combine pictures from my assembly a few months ago with our project a couple days ago. I guess to do it right we need to have a separate photographer or video camera operator like the guys who make the woodworking shows do.
The QST article gave a nice boost to the number of visitors to my site. And that was just the on-line QST. It will be interesting to see what happens when the print version is received.
Tom W3TLN emailed today and said our Skyview friend Bob WC3O also has an article in the August QST. I haven't checked that out yet, but I will.
I hope that everyone who comes to my site via the article will read the corrected paragraph at the top of this diary page or near the top of my main page. The corrections make things clearer and less confusing. -30-
Sat Jul 08 2017 8:45PM - Thanks to all of you who commented on the QST article. I was especially delighted by some comments that the article gave them encouragement from reading what I have done with a very simple QRP/CW setup. Although I use such a minimal setup by choice, they live in a place that has antenna restrictions and are now going to try to see what they can do with their situation. I'm sure they'll do well if they just keep in mind that they are not going to get a pileup everytime they call CQ or work that rare DX with just a single call. As you know, I don't do that here. It does take some persistence and maybe more importantly a belief that you can succeed and succeed quite well with a simple setup.
Of course with the IARU contest in full swing this evening, getting my DX QSO was easy, although I did have to try 3 or 4 other stations before I hooked up with GR2HQ at 0002Z on 20 meters. I think that may be a new prefix also.
I was busy with other things today, mainly working outside around the house and in my garden so I didn't get to work on the pictures from our antenna mount project yesterday. BTW I had my first harvest from the garden today. I picked 19 bush beans and will eat them either later tonight or tomorrow. My home-started tomatoes and peppers are finally starting to grow. Some of both have just about doubled in size during the past several days. I especially want the Siberian tomatoes to develop so I can collect some seeds to keep the variety going. I have a lot of little green tomatoes on the plants I bought from the nursery. They'll probably be ready for picking the first part of August. -30-
Fri Jul 07 2017 8:52PM - Mike and I had a long great day today. More about that later, but first:
The digital issue of the August QST has been posted on the ARRL site, and it contains my streak article right on page 73 like the preview copy I was sent a couple weeks ago. There is one important correction to the article which I sent to ARRL, but it wasn't changed the way I wanted it. The third paragraph from the end talks about QRPp. However they omitted the small p at the end of QRP. So if you read that paragraph, mentally change QRP to QRPp. I think that would clear up the meaning of that paragraph. I'll go over the rest of the article later for any other corrections that need to be made.
Here's a quick synopsis of Mike's visit today. More details in a future entry and/or in the August NAQCC newsletter. Mike arrived around 10:30AM. We chatted for a while, then got to the major project of the day - building a Jackite pole mount like mine for Mike. It took about five hours total, and we're still scared that everything went so smoothly. Usualy we have some glitches in our projects, but not today. Well, except for one - our pencil kept hiding from us, often in plain sight. You had to be here to really appreciate that. We took several pictures along the way, but I'm not going to post them right now. After that, it was off to Wendy's for a combo lunch/dinner. On the way home we stopped at Walmart for a bungee cord to finish off the project. Then back home where Mike filled out his 13 Colonies Award application on-line, printed it out and will mail it along with mine that I printed out yesterday. Then up to my shack for some DXing. Mike worked N2OO/VP9 on 30, XE1XR on 20, KP4/AD4Z on 20, CG3AT on 20, and J68GD. Somewhere in the middle 0000Z arrived so Mike paused to let me get my DX streak QSO which I did by working XE1XR on 20. Now mike is sitting in a chair across the room getting ready for a run up north. End of another great day with Mike. -30-
Thu Jul 06 2017 8:38PM - It worked. The reverse jinx I put on myself 'complaining' about not being able to get VA, I mean. Not long after I went to the shack for a final check for K2B, there he was nice and fairly loud on 40 meters at 0247Z. After he finished with the station he was working, I called and easily broke his small pileup. So with the exception of GB13COL I've worked all the 13 Colonies related stations - K2A through K2M and WM3PEN. I made out my application for the certificate on line last night and will send it off soon.
My DX was quick and easy tonight - PJ2ND on 30 meters at 0008Z. So now I can fully enjoy the day tomorrow with Mike without worrying about getting my DX streak station.
It was a slow day here today since I didn't have to waste time looking for K2B and there wasn't much else going on either. I did a little yard and house work, visited the Ol' Station Marketplace and found a nice pruning tool for a buck, did some other shopping, and then the rains came.
So I thought I'd do something I've been putting off for some time now. I wanted to make a record of all my portable operations and I did so. I still have to decide just what I mean by portable. I'm not counting the times I operated from my apartment in Pittsburgh since that was a permanent location for a while. I'm undecided about the time I operated the CQWW DX test from my cousin's QTH. I'll think about that one for a while. There are a couple other operations I'm not sure if I'll count or not. Basically though I've counted all the Community Park ops, the USS Requin ops, the Butler hamfest ops, the Skyview ops and other such ops.
Using the above criteria gives me 59 portable operations from 1967 (1 op) to 2017 (actually none between 1967 and 2008). By far the most successful ones were the Field Day ops with the following total QSOs 2013 at Garretts Run (WY3H's QTH) - 257, 2014 my front porch - 213, 2015 Chicora 253, 2016 Chicora 382, 2017 my front porch 381. All those were with other ops (WY3H, KC2EGL, WB3FAE, K3RLL) but the QSO numbers are just the contacts I made personally.
The 2013 NAQCC Anniversary op at Kittanning Community Park gave me 60 QSOs for the best non-FD total. The Skeeter Hunt ops were also good with 30 to 57 QSOs for 4 of them from 2013-2016.
The total QSOs for the 59 ops is 2,357 or an average of a shade under 40 per op. That's actually very biased by the FD ops. I'll have to refigure sometime and eliminate the FD totals.
I plan to do a little more analysis later, and also to look it over with Mike tomorrow as he was on virtually all of the ops with me (all but 15 at a quick glance).
OK, that's it. Time now to go out in the light rain and get my weather readings. -30-
Wed Jul 05 2017 8:23PM - It looks more and more like I am going to have to settle for 12 Colonies. Again this evening I heard the wispy little signal from K2B who was working a big pileup. All the other 12 Colonies stations were just booming in here the past couple days. In fact at one time K2I from NJ was so strong it caused my KX3 to shut off the preamp automatically. I've never seen that happen before and in fact had forgotten about the feature and it took me by surprise when it happened. I guess the 13 Colonies organizers just could not find a VA op with a big signal like the other Colonies. I'll keep trying though. If I could get a lull in his pileup and his signal is above my noise, I know I can work him.
DX took a while tonight. K2B QRT at 0000Z, so before I went for DX I wanted to solidify my regular streak for another day and worked K2K easily although there were a good many seconds delay before he came back to me, then another several seconds delay before he came back with QSL TU. Maybe he was recording and playing back my sigs for copy. I don't know. Anyway, then I went looking for DX and found CU3AK on 20, but repeated calls to him yielded no response at all. So I moved on and found YU7XX booming in on 40 meters. I fairly easily worked him with a few repeats to get my call right. Nick is an Aussie operating from Serbia.
I got my request for N3A for the 2018 Field Day approved today, so Mike and I and hopefully other WPA Chapter members can use that short call for our NAQCC club entry. That should be fun. I hope we can also get a better site than my front porch for next year, although we have no complaints about our 491 QSOs from 62 sections we made that way this year. -30-
Tue Jul 04 2017 4:20PM - After I wrote last night's diary entry, I worked K2F on 80 meters still leaving VA to be worked to finish the 13 Colonies. I heard K2B, but so far down in my noise that I wouldn't have been able to tell if he answered me or not, especially with the huge pileup chasing him.
I just received Mike's log and pictures from our parkpedition, so let me compile a report here in real time.
We had a total of 14 QSOs on 40, 14 on 30, and 8 on 20 for a grand total of 36 all told. They were from the following 14 states: AL DE GA IL MD ME MS NC NH NJ NY PA SC VA and one province: ON
Special mention to a few stations: K1IEE worked all four of our ops - Mike and Don on 40, me on 30, and Tom on 20. Dick is always very supportive of all our NAQCC operations.
K2K, a 13 Colonies station in NH worked us on all three bands. N3IOD in DE was another three bander, as was WA2FBN in NY.
It often happens with our portable operations, that we get a rush of activity in the first hour and then there is a sudden drop after that. This one was no exception. On 40 the 1500Z hour yielded 9 QSOs, 1600Z 4, 1700Z 1. On 30 it was 13, 1. On 20 it was 7, 1. Overall 29, 6, 1. I don't really understand why that happens. Do our members give up if they can't work us in that first hour possibly because of all the competition? Do they figure propagation is no good if they don't hear us then, and don't bother to check later to see if conditions change as they often do? Or is it something else.
At any rate, the four of us had a good time handling the traffic the first hour, then kibbitzing when things slowed down. When I let Don take my seat for some 30 meters work, I took about a mile and a half walk on one of the trails in the park. Actually the one that counted for our NPOTA activation last August - the North Country Trail NPOTA TR04. I got to thinking it sure would be nice if Moraine were closer to Kittanning so I could explore all the trails there.
With activity pretty much non-existant by 1PM (1700Z), we decided to tear down and head home. Or in the case of Mike and I, to Ponderosa, then home.
I was very pleased with the operation of my Jackite homebrew mount. Setting up went as smooth as silk except for some minor re-positioning of the tent pegs at the inverted vee ends. I have a tweak for that the next time. I figured how far from the mount the tent pegs need to be for a symmetrical setup at a good center angle for the vee. I cut a string to that length and now it's just a matter of stretching the string and setting the pegs. We'll see how that works at the next parkpedition. The hinge-up mount definitely eliminates the problem of the wires and coax getting tangled during raising. Mike and Don had that problem with Mike's antenna and lost some time because of it. Mike's going to make a visit here probably on Friday to build a copy of my mount for future use.
I think that concludes the summary. Now let's see the pictures Mike sent. I haven't looked at them myself yet and wasn't really aware of what he was taking while we were there.
I guess with our activity and kibbitzing, there wasn't much time for pictures. I only see two here in Mike's email. The left below shows Tom operating. At right me (background) and Don operating. Anyway looks like we were all busy when they were taken, and that was good.
I wish we'd gotten a picture of Mike as well, but that's often the fate of the photographer - getting left out of the pictures. We'll remedy that the next time.
After stuffing ourselves at Ponderosa, Mike and I came back here to chase some 13 Colonies stations and DX. I was only interested in K2F MD and K2B VA, so I let Mike man the controls for the most part to see what he could find. He got a couple of DX stations (CT and 9A) and I think 3 of the Colonies stations. That concluded our fun day.
Time for my hourly (or so) check of the bands to try to find VA to complete the 13 Colonies stations. Except for GB13COL, that is. I doubt I'll get that one. -30-
Mon Jul 03 2017 8:56PM - A great time was had by all on the Moraine State Parkpedition today. Details to follow in tomorrow's diary entry when I compile logs from our four ops and edit some pictures.
Where have all the 13 Colonies stations gone? Mike and I heard very little activity today. Must be on some of those other (ugh) modes, and not the best mode of all - CW. Mike did get a couple colonies station and some DX here today when we got back from the parkpedition. However I looked in vain for my last two colonies of MD and VA. I did get a quick DX QSO just after 0000Z for the streak when I easily worked LY5W on 30 meters despite him being only about S4 to S5.
OK, time for the 9PM weather readings now. Don't forget to tune in tomorrow for the parkpedition story and pictures. -30-
Sun Jul 02 2017 8:23PM - With this busy weekend I cheated a bit on my DX streak and worked the same station on the same band I worked last night - CX2DK. BTW last night wasn't my first QSO with him as I alluded to. I've worked him 4 times altogether now.
We are going to attempt our parkpedition to Moraine State Park tomorrow despite a chance of rain. We'll try to be on the air by 11AM or 1500Z. We'll have 3 ops so we'll be on or about 7041, 10117, and 14061 the whole time. We'll use N3AQC. The forecast for tomorrow has been remarkably consistent ever since last night. Here's the one from the NWS: "A chance of showers, with thunderstorms also possible after noon. Partly sunny, with a high near 81. Calm wind becoming west 5 to 9 mph in the morning. Chance of precipitation is 40%. New rainfall amounts of less than a tenth of an inch, except higher amounts possible in thunderstorms" Hopefully it will be one of many inaccurate ones (in a good way).
I spent a good deal of time today chasing down the 13 Colonies stations. Once I found them, they were generally easy to work. Most took just a single call or two. One was tough though - K2I in NJ, but I finally broke his huge pileup. He had by far the strongest signal and I think the biggest pileup of all I heard. Then there was K2F in MD on 20. He never heard any of my several dozen tries to work him despite him peaking S8-9 at times. On the other hand I worked K2A in NY easily on 20 meters. As they say, go figure! Anyway I need only MD and VA for a clean sweep of the colonies. I've also worked WM3PEN. I don't know if I'll get GB13COL or not as EU hasn't been too strong anywhere so far this weekend. It's really an enjoyable event no matter what. I wish I'd gotten started before last year which was the first year I got serious about it. -30-
Sat Jul 01 2017 8:28PM - Good thing we postponed our parkpedition. We had a brief but intense downpour today just about at the time we would have been setting up. Some nearby lightning strikes also. There's still a conflicting outlook for Monday's weather. Some sources say partly sunny, others say chance of showers/TS just about the time of our planned operation. We should know more one way or the other by late tomorrow sometime.
I got a lot done today. Did my banking run this morning. Did a lot of grass pulling from my brick sidewalk. Took a couple good walks besided the banking walk. All the other normal daily things contributed to filling up my day nicely.
Another quick DX QSO this evening from a station I have never worked before - CX2DK on 30 meters at 0002Z. Then found and worked a couple of the 13 Colonies stations on 40 meters. K2H MA and K2C RI. And that brings us to right now and typing this entry. -30-
Fri Jun 30 2017 8:10PM - Here we are in a new month again (UTC time anyway). That means a lot of end of month / first of month chores to get done. I think I've covered most of them already except for doing my June weather records and making a run to the bank tomorrow morning. I just finished writing out my sheet for the NAQCC July challenge which deals with words associated with Old Glory. I've got 4 of the 85 letters already from my DX streak QSO XE2I. It was nice again to get a quick DX QSO right after 0000Z. I figured I'd use the RAC contest for my DX, but there was XE2I calling CQ on the low end of 20 not in the contest so I worked him. I was second in line after he worked another station so it was an easy QSO unlike the last time I worked him when I had to repeat my call several times. Tonight only twice.
Earlier today I uploaded all my June QSOs to LoTW and eQSL. I made 120 QSOs in June - about half in our two NAQCC sprints. With the nice weather plus a lot of other things to do, I haven't really been all that active beyond getting my streak QSO(s) and working on our NAQCC challenges.
Speaking of other things to do, we took Roscoe to the vet this morning for his annual checkup and shots. Both Bruce and I had the time wrong and we arrived late and had to wait in line for maybe 45 minutes or so. Roscoe didn't care much for that, but when we finally did get to see the vet, he was pretty well behaved. Then on the way home he got a treat - an ice cream cone. I don't think I've ever eaten a cone as fast as he did today.
So now after a busy day, there's not much left to do. I think I'll play some computer games till it's time to take Roscoe out for his last walk of the day.
There are conflicting weather reports for Monday when we plan to do our Moraine State Park parkpedition. It's either going to be mostly sunny or scattered showers/TS depending on which forecast you believe. I prefer the Penn State reports most of the time and they are one of the ones this time with a good report. So we'll wait and see. I'll have more info in the diary as Monday gets nearer. -30-
Thu Jun 29 2017 8:26PM - It wasn't easy tonight nor a few other June days/nights, but the DX streak made it through another month. It really is getting harder and harder to keep it going though. I called a few stations this evening whom I normally work easily, but with conditions slipping away each day, they are just not hearing me. The best I did this evening was get a WW? from S57V on 30. That is until I found 4V1G just starting up on 30 and got him although it took about six sendings of my call before he got it. Fortunately he hadn't developed the expected pileup yet. I imagine he will as that's not too common a prefix. Not sure if I have it or not. Let's see. Actually I do from 4V1JR back in 2015 on 15.
Since I wrote my FD story for yesterday's diary entry, I didn't get a chance to write about Mike's visit. Of course it started with a pizza. After that we discussed our upcoming Moraine State Park parkpedition which originally was scheduled for Saturday July 1. However the weather outlook wasn't good, so we checked with Tom WB3FAE and the three of us decided it would be better to do it on Monday the 3rd. Next up was submitting our FD report to ARRL. We had a couple head-scratching moments, but finally figured everything out and submitted the summary sheet via the Internet form, and our supporting documentation of our dupe sheet via email.
At least tomorrow no worries about the DX streak, and with the RAC contest Saturday, that (knock on wood) should be an easy day for DX since that contest has really gained world wide popularity over the past several years and it's an everyone work everyone contest.
So I don't have to think about DX as we take Roscoe to the vet in the morning for his annual checkup and shots, followed probably by an ice cream cone treat for him.
Almost forgot, my regular streak QSO was a special event station - K1T for Adopt a Cat Month. -30-
Wed Jun 28 2017 8:32AM - OK, let's get with the promised FD report today.
For the past two years we had a great location in nearby Chicora, PA provided by Tom WB3FAE. However that property was sold, and we couldn't find any other place that satisfied our requirements of having someplace where we could stay overnight without having to tear down at night and set up again in the morning. So we fell back on a plan we had for 2014 that worked, but not as well as 2015/16. That is operating from my front porch.
Mike had to work on Saturday, and our porch setup could only accomodate two operators, so I would have to go it alone till Mike arrived early Saturday evening. I tested things out on Wednesday to make sure everything would work, and it did as I made 29 QSOs in our NAQCC mW sprint that evening. I tore things down again until Saturday morning.
Our setup consisted of our KX3s and PX3s run from batteries with our laptops for logging. Our antennas were Mike's portable jumper dipole and a temporary modification of my random wire. That qualified us for a 2B operation.
We decided to split up the bands so we'd each have one active band at all times. For me, it was 40 meters which would be good for the whole 24 hours. For Mike 20 meters for daytime and 80 meters for nighttime. Then I would clean up on 15, 10, and 6. That plan worked well with one exception. Mike's 80 meters setup did not work well for some reason we will try to figure out some time.
I set as a goal making 100 QSOs before Mike arrived, and I made it by reaching 112, mostly on 40 including 12 on 15 and 1 on 10. 15 and 10 were not all that good on Saturday, but had a big surprise for us on Sunday.
After a pause for pizza with Mike, I returned to the key and he set up his operating position which included both his rig and antenna. That took a little time, and I see from his log he got his first QSO at 6:32PM or 2232Z when he worked VE5MX. 20 meters remained good until we both decided to quit for the night around 0345Z.
One of our early goals was to break our record of 288 QSOs we made the last time we did our porchpedition FD in 2014. When we bedded down for the night, we were at 250 so that looked like a lead pipe cinch, and it was. We started up in the morning just before 1100Z and reached 288 at 1215Z when I worked AA3CS on 40, and 289 when I worked W3SK on 40 and Mike worked WB0RUR on 20. Our next goal was reaching 400, and we also made that one at 1541Z when Mike worked K3NG on 20. Onward and upward. Although we doubted we could reach 500 since it was getting harder and harder to find new stations to work, we set that as our next goal. Well, we came close, but not quite at 491.
We were very pleased with that total which was in the neighborhood of doubling our results from 2014 despite Mike having to miss some prime time Saturday afternoon and his problem with 80 meters that evening.
A rough but pretty accurate count shows we worked a total of 62 ARRL sections. We worked 44 states, missing AK HI ID MT ND WY. We worked 5 VE Provinces - AB NS ON QC SK. Both Caribbean sections were worked - KP4 KP2
I mentioned a 15/10 meters surprise on Sunday. Both bands were open just like back in the sunspot maximum days. Maybe even better because skip was very short on both bands. I worked states on both bands I haven't worked there in quite some time including PA (15) and most of the adjacent states including NY (15, 10) NJ (15) MD (15, 10) OH (15). All but DE and WV. The MD on 10 is a story by itself.
I need two states on 10 for WAS there. I told Mike I'd be watching for MD and DE on that band and work them with my own call instead of N3AQC if I found them. OK, so I found MD but I was so excited I forgot and worked them with N3AQC. When I heard MD again (the same station AH6AW), it dawned on me what I'd done and I uttered a loud expletive. I tried again with my own call, but that was just a couple minutes before quitting time at 1800Z and he QRT before I could get him. I told Mike later at least MD wasn't the last state I needed or I would have been even more upset. Still needing DE in addition to MD lessened my anger.
All in all, I got a surprising 96 QSOs on 15 and 39 more on 10. Most QSOs were easy ones with the great propagation. I don't know what it was, perhaps some kind of Sporadic E, but I didn't hear a thing when I checked 6 meters.
I mentioned to Mike that I thought it might be a good idea to get N3A for next year's FD. There were a lot of 1x1 calls in FD this year, and on top of that a lot of folks who use CW maybe once a year for FD were having trouble with the Q and or C in N3AQC. I got a lot of N3A? or some N3AYC, etc. So last night I applied for N3A and am awaiting confirmation.
Now let's close with some pictures:
Above K3WWP's table setup and one end of his random wire.
Above KC2EGL's table setup and one end of his dipole antenna. That's Roscoe looking out the window.
At sunset we were facing right into the bright sun, hence this pillowcase acting to shield us. -30-
Tue Jun 27 2017 Well, yet another busy day with a lot of NAQCC work discussing some ideas about this and that with Paul. So the FD report is delayed another day. In fact I think I'll just make one report and use it both here in the diary and for the July NAQCC newsletter. That will save me some work.
Another quick and easy DX QSO this evening. I worked HI/SP5Y on a new band - 20M after getting him on 17M in that hectic day on Monday. It was a little easier, but still took several calls to get him tonight.
I'm gathering my stuff up for the parkpedition to Moraine State Park on Saturday, but the weather doesn't still look too good and we may have to postpone it. Mike will be visiting tomorrow evening and we'll talk about it more then. Tom checked it out with the park rangers today and it looks like just about any day and time will be good for that particular area of the park where we did our NPOTA/Skeeter Hunt operation last year. -30-
Mon Jun 26 2017 - This was another of those SR-SS busy days with the regular Monday chores, plus organizing some (not all) of our FD data and some shopping and garden work. So the FD report here in the diary gets put off another day.
Also I spent a lot of time trying for my DX today. All stations were quite weak at S2-S3 and not hearing me calling at all. There were a couple of stronger ones, but they QRT not long after I found them. A couple I called and called with no answer (PV8ADI, S500R). I also called HI/SP5Y on 17 many times with no response. However at 2104Z I went back to 17 to try some more, and out of the blue he came back to my first call then even though he wasn't much stronger than before.
In contrast, I got two quick DX QSOs, one on 20 (XE1ZW) and one on 30 (HK1MW) right after 0000Z this evening. That 30 meters QSO was my 30th on 30 this month, so I'm going to apply for another NAQCC 30-30 award. -30-
Sun Jun 25 2017 7:43PM - After operating about 17-18 hours of the 24 hours of Field Day, I'm pretty drained this evening. I'll just have a brief report of our FD here, and more in coming days.
As I emailed to our fellow NAQCC WPA Chapter members a little while ago:
"How did you do in FD everyone? I know some of you couldn't participate, but we'd like to know how those who could, fared.
Mike KC2EGL and I (K3WWP) operated portable from my front porch as a 2B entry. The weather was gorgeous and the bands were as well. 15 and 10 were surprising. They sounded like 40 at times on Sunday with very short skip. It's been some years since I worked states adjacent to PA on those two bands.
Here's a breakdown by band of our QSOs
80 - 3
40 - 246
20 - 107
15 - 96
10 - 39
Total 491 - just missed our goal of 500, but shattered the 288 the last time we operated from my porch in 2014
We totaled 44 states, 5 provinces, 2 DX
We missed KL7, KH6, ID, MT, ND, WY
We had a lot of fun." -30-
Sat Jun 24 2017 10:07AM - Getting close! Just under 4 hours now till the start of our FD operation. So I'll get the diary entry done now to save time for FD later in the day.
Somewhat appropriately we received a certificate in the mail today for another portable operation we did last year - The Skeeter Hunt. Here is a scan of it:
The operation also counted for a NPOTA activation for the trail that passes through Moraine State Park near Butler, PA. Ops were me, KC2EGL, and WB3FAE.
OK, now off to get something to eat and a little more FD preparation. -30-
Fri Jun 23 2017 8:59PM - In the battle of Canada vs. Cindy, so far at my QTH anyway Canada is the clear winner. The Canadian cold front pushed the remnants of Cindy south of Kittanning. Not by much, but enough that we missed the really bad weather that struck south of Armstrong Co. All we got here so far is about a half inch of rain. We might get a little more tonight, but I don't think very much. Then it should be very nice both Saturday and Sunday. To be continued in a couple minutes after I get my 9PM weather info.
Actually it was 0.32 inches of rain today so we made out even better than I estimated.
DX was rough this evening and I feared I may have trouble getting it and have to try to get it before FD tomorrow. I heard several good DX signals, but two were HC2AO and XE2I whom I just worked in the past couple days. Another XE I kept losing out to other stations. There was an HP engaging in very QRS rag chews. So on and on it went. I had heard YV5LAY in something called the BOC contest on 40 meters. I didn't know if I could work him or not. Finally I looked on the WA7BNM contest calendar and found BOC was an everyone work everyone contest so back to the shack. I called and it took a couple of repeats, but we exchanged the contest info and I had my streak QSO. Another Whew!! day. HI
I'm really looking forward to FD tomorrow. Mainly because I'll be doing it with Mike and it's always a lot of fun doing a multi-op contest. Usually when I look forward to a contest I don't do all that well. Hopefully that won't happen this weekend. -30-
Thu Jun 22 2017 10:24AM - OK, let me elaborate a bit more on yesterday's entry. After I took Roscoe out for his morning walk, I set up my FD station on my front porch to check everything out. After putting up the card table and adding the folding chair, I set up the rest of the things I would need for FD. Of course the KX3/PX3 combo with my big gel cell battery to power them through the power pole connectors. My Bencher paddle which is my choice for portable use. Headphones, paper log, pen. Earlier I ran an extension wire down from my attic random wire through a Pomona connector to the KX3. I later added a short ground stake just to see if it would make any difference. It didn't. The KX3 tuned the random wire to 1.1:1 or better on 80 through 10. I didn't try 160 or 60, but it will probably tune them as well. It was nice to have the new second set of ATU settings added in the last firmware update. I used the second set, and now I don't have to retune everything when I take the rig back indoors.
After setting up, I tuned around the bands. There wasn't much activity around that time of day (1600Z or so). I tried some CQs on various bands with no answers. Finally I answered W2SSX on 40 meters and had my first QSO. He gave me a 549 and he was about 579. Next it was KW7D on 20 meters. I was surprised to get a 589 from him and a solid few minutes QSO. I've worked Paul before and I know he gives accurate reports so I was pleased with that. I worked a couple more stations and then I decided I would operate our NAQCC mW sprint with the FD setup.
When evening came, I set up outside around 0000Z and thought I'd try to get my DX streak QSO before the sprint. It didn't take too long to work P43R on 30 meters to take care of that.
I had figured I'd just operate the first hour since I was just curious to get some more info on how the setup was performing. Also it would be time to take Roscoe out and also have some birthday cake with Roscoe's owner Bruce.
Instead of starting with CQs as I usually do, I did some S&P work instead. I tried K4BAI on 20, but lost out to other callers. I went to 40 and worked WB1GYZ who was a good S7. There wasn't much more on 40, so it was back to 20 where this time I did get John K4BAI. He was the only 20M station I was hearing. It always perplexes me how other stations can work 10, 15, 20 or so stations on 20 when I can only hear one or two. Yet I can easily work DX all around the world there.
Next it was back to 40 where things picked up after working 4 S&P stations including Don K3RLL in nearby New Bethlehem, and I decided to switch to CQ. That resulted in a great run of stations from 0101Z to 0130Z when I had planned to quit. I couldn't resist staying around with the stream of answers I was getting and I stayed till my last QSO at 0151Z. I wound up with 29 QSOs, the third highest total for me in one of our mW sprints. I should have stayed till 0230Z. Oh well. My SPC total of 18 matched my best in a mW sprint. Overall very surprising and very satisfying results. I'm sure now I have a good setup for FD. -30-
Wed Jun 21 2017 11:34PM - A fun, busy, crazy day. I played a lot with our front porch setup we'll be using for field day. I even entered our NAQCC mW sprint with that setup. I had no idea I'd do so well. I logged on paper, and now have a mess of QSOs to convert to electronic format for posting my log and getting the QSOs into my computer log. All of that is on the schedule for tomorrow though. It's too late now to do anything but close this diary entry. Tune in tomorrow for more. -30-
Tue Jun 20 2017 8:53PM - A not too busy day today for a change. We took Roscoe to the vet for a toenail trim and to pick up some heartworm and flea/tick medication. Just preventative medication. Then a trip to the post office to send out one of our NAQCC prizes. Not really much more other than the usual time-passing things.
A quick DX QSO this evening from one of the regular standbys, XE1XR. Then a couple rag chews on 30 meters to get me closer to the NAQCC 30-30 award this month. I need 3 more QSOs on 30 to make it to 30.
Not a lot scheduled for tomorrow either. I think I may check out our FD setup on my front porch. I added the extension for my random wire to get it down to the porch and charged up my battery. So I'm pretty much ready for a test. I'll be going solo on Saturday until Mike arrives around 6PM after his workday. -30-
Mon Jun 19 2017 2:05PM - OK, I'm pretty much caught up on things right now. Let me get to the story of the USS Requin subpedition yesterday. It actually was one of our smoothest subpeditions to date. Only one little "bug" to deal with. I'll get to that in a bit. Conditions weren't the best with rapid deep QSB making copy rough. That plus the usual noise from visitors to the sub. We didn't mind that at all though. It was very interesting interacting with the visitors, many of whom were knowledgeable about submarines and other naval things, having served in the Navy. Also folks immediately recognized what we doing as using Morse Code. A couple seemed to be interested in learning more about it. We gladly explained and sent their names in Morse a letter at a time.
Mike arrived around 8:00AM, and after I took Roscoe out and we chatted a bit, we set off for Pittsburgh. Except for one very minor loop around some construction, we didn't get lost at all and arrived at the sub parking lot in only around 50 minutes or so. The Carnegie Science Center which is in control of the sub is being enlarged to about twice its current size and we had to take a little longer walk than usual from the lot to the sub. We waited for about 10 minutes or so till the gates to the sub walkway were opened. The host and hostess there told us Art was in the middle of the sub somewhere. We found him easily, chatted a bit and set up our operating position with Mike's KX3 and PX3 connected to the sub's tuner and antenna. For a change the auto tuner worked flawlessly and we actually got started a few minutes before our scheduled start time. We started on 40 and found signals quite weak there. It was a struggle making QSOs, but we did. I took the first 30 minutes on 40, and then Mike went to 30. The signals were much stronger there although there were very few of them. It finally dawned on me to check to see if perhaps the preamp on the KX3 was turned off on 40. Mike paused in his operation and we quickly checked 40. Yep, the preamp was indeed off. We turned it on and the noise and signals immediately came up. So apologies to anyone who called during that first stint on 40 from 1400-1430Z that we were unable to hear.
From then on we made several QSOs on 40 and 20. 30 was very unoccupied and I think our total there was only 2 QSOs that Mike made. All in all we wound up with 27 QSOs despite very poor overall conditions. Those we were working would fade in and out rapidly and they told us we were doing the same at their end. I don't have a total, but I would say we worked around a dozen states or so. All in all it was another fun experience operating from the Requin. Thanks to Art WA3BKD for letting us do so, helping us out, and just being a great guy in general.
Mike took a couple videos, one of the exterior of the sub, and one of me operating. They are too big for my Windstream server, but here are links to them on my k3wwp.com server.
We left the sub around 1745Z. We stopped at Chili's on the way home. When we got here, we did a bit of thinking and preliminary setting up some things for this weekend's Field Day. Unable to find a good location, we decided to operate from my front porch as we did three years ago. We'll use the N3AQC call and be a 2E entry. More later in the week.
Mike played our favorite hidden object games on the computer while we awaited the end of the rain. Then he headed home.
Much later in the day I worked L20F on 40 meters for my DX streak QSO.
Today I finished sprint log cross-checking and did my laundry. I don't know just what I'll do between now and 0000Z. -30-
Sun Jun 18 2017 9:11PM - A very busy day with the Requin subpedition, closing out the sprint page, and other things. So I'm just going to make this a short entry. Tomorrow I'll talk more about the subpedition and the things that Mike and I did after coming back here. Mike took a couple nice videos of the Requin and of me operating. They are pretty large. I'll figure out a way to display them, probably only on my k3wwp.com server. Also about some preparations we did for field day next weekend. So as they say, be sure to tune in tomorrow. -30-
Sat Jun 17 2017 4:46PM - An interesting day to say the least. The Pest Control man came this morning and took care of my bee problem. I'm now guaranteed to be honey bee free for one year. That's a good thing. Although I do lose some potential help with pollinating my flower and vegetable plants.
I received my first mailing from the QSL buro in a while today. There were 18 cards in it representing maybe 30 or so QSOs. Several new prefixes were there including DK65DARC, DM6V, LZ1043PMU, IO1T, LZ71ZZ, PZ50X, EH0P, UF2F. Also included was my first SWL card in a long time from OK1-3453. Most of the cards were from folks wanting my card for whatever reason. I haven't sent an outgoing QSL mailing to the ARRL buro in some time. I'll have to get caught up with that and then I'll get some incoming QSLs more often.
I think today was the closest call yet for my DX streak. I checked the bands just about every hour on the hour and found virtually nothing in the way of DX. L20F on 17 was actually the only DX station I was hearing for most of the day, and he was only S2-3 and not hearing me at all. Then in the 20Z hour, the most frustrating thing of all. The streak almost ended in a very unhappy way. I found PJ7/KK9N on 18, called him, got a partial call response from him, but he could never get my call completely right as I agonized. After a dozen or so tries, he moved on to someone else. What a way to end, I thought. I know I was being heard, but not well enough for a legit QSO. I didn't give up on him though. I kept trying off and on for maybe a half hour or so. He never heard me again...until finally at 2032 it was U3? I figured my K sounded like a U with the QSB and QRN, and knowing calls starting with U3 are very rare, I sent my call a couple more times and finally got K3WWP? I sent R a few times, he responded with my RST, I sent his RST and breathed a huge sigh of relief as day 1,570 of DX went in the log. Whew! I can't handle too many more of those kind of days.
Well, I hope to work you from the Requin tomorrow. Or if not me, I hope you work Mike on one of his shifts. -30-