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Diary

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Don't forget to cast your vote in the monthly poll here after reading the diary. A new poll posted the 15th of each month.



Sunday, June (25 &) 26, 2016 7:04 PM - Yes, for the first time in ages there was no diary entry for yesterday because of a day occupied almost fully with FD.

The three of us (me, Mike, and Tom) had a real ball over the weekend. First rough count shows 614 QSOs bettering our 562 of last year despite not having 10 meters (dead) and having very little on 15 meters (almost dead most of the time). 40 and 20 were the workhorse bands with 80 and 15 adding a small share to the final total. Another rough count shows we lacked NV, KL7, KH6 for a Worked All States.

As was the case last year, Tom and his wife were great hosts and caterers making sure we didn't lack comfort or food. In fact I gained a few pounds over the weekend that I'll have to work off now. So a great big thanks to Tom and Debbie again.

We took a lot of pictures and after they are selected and edited, I'll have some here in the diary and also in the July NAQCC newsletter.

Right now I'm going to cut this short as my brain is tired from some 17-18 hours at the key. -30-



Friday, June 24, 2016 8:58 PM - That big sigh of relief you may have heard at 0046Z this evening was from me after CO6DE answered my call on 40 meters. So that takes care of the first of two very rough days for the DX streak with my participation in FD over the weekend. Hopefully I can get my DX between 1900 and 2400Z Sunday after we wrap up FD.

Yet another busy day today with cutting my grass, working in my and Ange's gardens, getting in some good walking since I will be sitting a lot over the weekend at the FD site.

Time now to get my temperature readings. It was a mid-80s day today with a lot of sunshine. Looks to be the same for FD. Much better than the deluge we endured for 2015 FD. Only problem this year may be a bit of heat as it is supposed to be around 90 on Sunday. -30-



Thursday, June 23, 2016 8:45 PM - Another full busy day. I guess you could call it an in-between day. Mike was here for FD setup and a couple other projects. We had to work in-between some heavy rain showers and also in-between my taking care of Roscoe since Bruce was away most of the day also.

We managed to get everything done though without getting wet and without neglecting Roscoe. Shortly after Mike arrived and I walked Roscoe for the first time and gave him his breakfast, we headed west to Chicora to set up at Tom WB3FAE's big yard behind his house. Actually his mother-in-law's house, but that's another story not for here and now. We first set up Mike's big tent. That went smoothly with no glitches and took maybe 20-30 minutes. Next it was Mike's antenna. He recently bought a new mast for his inverted vee and this was the first time to use it. That setup went smoothly as well with some adjusting of the ends of the vee. So it was on to my antenna. Tom loaned me a mast for my inverted vee, and Mike and I set that up pretty smoothly as well. Just as we finished the rains came. Oh, Tom had to work today so he couldn't help us.

We were going to check out Moraine Park near Butler after our setup, but with the rain and the fact that neither Mike nor I knew much about the park whereas Tom does, we decided to wait till Sunday after FD when Tom could accompany us. We are going to try to activate the park, or actually a trail that runs through the park, as a NPOTA for the Skeeter Hunt in August.

Instead we came back home driving through a heavy rain just about all the way from Chicora to Kittanning. It did stop at Kittanning though. So I took Roscoe out for his second walk. Next we took off down to Best Buy in the Pittsburgh Mills so I could return an item. Mike had to get something at Lowe's which is right next to Best Buy. Again we ran into some heavy rain as we got near the Mills, but after a couple minutes wait in the car till it stopped, we got our business done and headed home. We arrived home just as Bruce and his brother were also arriving. We chatted with Bruce for a while, then basically just fooled around for an hour or two till Mike had to head home since he has to work tomorrow. We tried working some DX especially A45XR and EA6/EI6DX. Actually Mike tried since I didn't really need them. However we just weren't being heard at all by them or a couple other stations.

This evening my DX came fairly easily although it took about a half hour during which I had a rag chew with VE3LFN for my regular streak QSO. I found excellent op Gio IK2DAD on 30 meters, and after a handful of repeats for him to get my call correct, my DX QSO was in the books. Gio has either excellent ears or a great receiving location or probably both since even though he is rather weak (559 tonight), he copies me and most important of all, he sticks with me (or other stations) until he gets me in his log correctly.

So after two busy days in a row, I hope to take it easy tomorrow before FD on Saturday and Sunday. Oh, we didn't get any pictures of setup today because of the weather catching up to us. We hope to get some on Saturday when the weather is supposed to be beautiful (also on Sunday). -30-



Wednesday, June 22, 2016 8:07 PM - This was one of those busy days from getting up this morning till now and beyond. Most of the morning I helped Ange with his garden. Then walking Roscoe a few times. Giving my own garden a good watering. Cleaning up some things around the house, and so on. Now I'm waiting for Mike to arrive with a pizza. Then we'll fool around in the NAQCC mW sprint and make some final plans for setting up our FD station tomorrow. The weather looks a little better for that each time they update the forecast. I just hope they don't regress now. If it goes as planned, most of the rain should be over with in the morning leaving us plenty of time to get set up. After that we're going down to Best Buy for Mike to get something and me to get a refund for something.

I got my wish of a quick DX QSO this evening so I wouldn't have to worry about it during the day tomorrow. I worked OM5XX with a single repeat at 0002Z on 14028 which was the same frequency on which I worked MW0BEW last evening. So that's 1,211 days in the books now for DX. Also just 6 days till I hit 8,000 days for the big main streak.

Maybe Mike will have something to add to the entry. He hasn't ghost-written anything lately. -30-



Tuesday, June 21, 2016 8:32 PM - As I just said in an email to Tom WB3FAE, the UK seems good on 20 this evening. Worked MW0BEW for my DX streak QSO, then heard MD0CCE (but didn't work him - save him for tomorrow evening if condx are the same and he is there - HI) very strong. In contrast 9A1TESLA was very weak from east Europe.

Mike, Tom, and I have been exchanging a ton of emails about FD and our setup day on Thursday. Looks like questionable weather for Thursday, but a nice but pretty warm weekend. It will be just Tom and I on Saturday, then Mike will join us on Sunday. So it may be rough to match or top our 562 QSOs from last year. Especially with the sunspot cycle a few notches further toward the upcoming minimum. We probably won't have much on 10 meters nor a whole lot on 15. 20 and 40 will be the workhorses and 80 depending on how we work the evening schedule and how much QRN there is on that band. Whatever, it will be fun.

Oh, we got our Skeeter Hunt number for the NAQCC stations N3AQC today from Larry W2LJ. It's 76 - that's the spirit! -30-



Monday, June 20, 2016 11:34 AM - I'm getting a bit disenchanted with the DX streak. First with declining propagation conditions it is taking up more and more time to find (especially) and work (not too hard when found) a DX station. Second I'm winding up with a lot of repeat QSOs with the same stations as seemingly more and more DX stations are skipping getting on the bands with the poor conditions. Especially the casual stations who used to get on a lot when sunspots were up and conditions good. Related to those two is the lack of available bands for DX. There's virtually nothing on 15, 12, and 10 unless a big contest is going on, and even then not a lot of activity. That leaves 20 and 17 for DX during the daylight hours and 40 (although noisy now), 30, and 20 (sometimes) in nighttime hours.

However I am pretty sure I will keep at it until I just can't work anyone some day. Today I did work Ralph XE1RK on 20 meters at 1526Z. He was running 1KW to a 7 element beam which he swung in my direction. Even with that he was S8 at best with dips down to S4 or S5. I'm not sure how much gain a 7 element beam has, but remember the gain adds to my 5 watt signal strength as received there. Probably with a lesser antenna, Ralph might not have heard me at all.

Patience and stations like Ralph's are what it is going to take to keep the DX streak going through the beginning, depths, and finish of this sunspot minimum. It will be interesting if my patience holds, to see just how far the streak will last. -30-



Sunday, June 19, 2016 2:37 PM - I said something a while ago either here in the diary or elsewhere akin to, "anything worth having is worth working for." I do firmly believe that and I would much sooner put forth a little effort to achieve something than having it come too easily. It means much more that way. I guess that's one of the big attractions to QRP for me. Anyway, my DX streak QSO today was definitely earned. As it was last night, the only stronger DX stations were those working the AA contest and not being in Asia, it was rough having to pass them by. All the Asian stations were weak - S3 to S4 at best. So it took quite an effort and several periods of checking 20, 17, and 15 during the day before I found XE2HOE on 17 meters. He was decently strong on peaks, but QSB was rough taking him down to S3 and up to S5 or S6. I thought I'd give him a try anyway. The first time I called, I got no sign at all that he heard me. After he called CQ again, I called and got a question mark. I called again repeating my call a couple times and he now got K3?. After sending my call three more times, it was K3WW? and he gave his info and turned it back to me. I came back with my call 4 times and sent my info. He copied me solidly thanking me by name, getting my call correct, and saying something about PA. So it wasn't easy, but day 1,207 is in the books. With each of these rough days, I'm convinced more and more that the streak is not going to last all that much longer. Being busy with Field Day this coming weekend will make Saturday and Sunday rough days. I'll be in Chicora much of the time and may have to get my DX from there. I think the antenna setup there will be better than at home here, so that may help me sneak off to a WARC band and work someone from DX-land. Or maybe work a KH6 in FD. We'll see. -30-



Saturday, June 18, 2016 8:45 PM - Time to ask the question again, "Will this be the end of the DX streak?" Most all the good DX this evening was in the AA contest, so I couldn't work them. Then as for the AS stations themselves, none were strong enough to work, especially with the stream of stations calling them. So I'll have to see what tomorrow morning or afternoon brings. To make matters worse, my local noise seems to be back again although not quite as strong. -30-



Friday, June 17, 2016 8:45 PM - A very nice day today after the rain of yesterday departed. So nice, I even went fishing with my neighbor Denny. We didn't catch anything, but it was nice just sitting outside enjoying the weather.

It was looking like another DXless evening tonight. The AA contest was on, but except for P3X in Cyprus everyone was quite weak. P3X had a constant stream of callers. I couldn't get a dot in edgewise. HI. There was nothing on 17. 15 had a strong PY, but he was in the AA contest so I couldn't work him. 12 and 10 were dead. So after working WB2YRL on 40 for my regular streak QSO, I looked around on 30 and found CP4BT who was not all that strong. SA is not really my best continent especially around or below the equator, but I called anyway and after he worked someone else, I got him with a couple repeats, so the DX streak goes on as well. -30-



Thursday, June 16, 2016 5:39 PM - A lot of things seem to get in the way of a lot of things. One thing that had other things get in the way of it was this email from Van WC5D (ex-K3ZMI). I think I did mention it briefly back near the applicable date of May 2, but I'd like to do more about it now. May 2 was the 50th anniversary of the first ever CW County Hunters Net session. If you've never done so, you can read about how the net got started those many years ago in the CTY HUNTING section of my web site.

I guess Van would be the number three person after me and Dave WA8EOH helping the net to get started and keep going. I think his thoughts presented here are very interesting and a worthwhile addition to the history of the net. So without further ado (as they say).

"My recollections of those 1st days:

Paul W8CXS put out a new county in MI Parks every Saturday morning with plenty of callers for a new county and stimulated Saturday CW county hunting, I think. [meanwhile] John K3WWP and Dave WA8EOH had been discussing a [CW] County Hunting Net operation.

I learned of this in a QSO on 4-18-66 with K3WWP and encouraged that he continue with the plan. I got a postcard in the mail from John that he would call the first net session on May 2, 1966.

In the mean time I'd been monitoring & checking into the traffic handling net for Maryland & Delaware (MDD) with one of the NCS Andy K3JYZ later W3XE.

The big day came on Monday May 2, 1966 on 40M CW 7035. I scurried home from High School and checked into the 1st ever CW County Hunter Net session run by K3WWP at 1854Z and stayed on until 1958Z.

The next 3 days WA8EOH was NCS, along with K3WWP with much later sessions. I think he began about 2300Z. Somewhere in those first 3 days, I volunteered to be NCS for the 1st ever Saturday session for May 7th, 1966 1400Z

So, loosely based on traffic handling, I asked for QNI and just called "CQ County Hunter Net All Welcome". A few check-ins was all. 2nd weekend 1430Z had 16 check-ins and several visitors handed out their counties.

It was a fun summer being NCS on Saturdays, participation grew, until I went off to college.

CW mobile was almost non-existent, so everyone was encouraged to bring stations to the net to give out their county, along with my solicitations with All Welcome.

Amazingly enough, many youngsters and young adults, way back in the 60's and early 70's that were interested in CW county hunting are still around today. Here is a few that come to mind, sorry if I missed you K0DEQ, W9MSE ex-K0WNV, W8WVU, W0GXQ, W3DYA, N9QS, WB2ABD, K8IW ex WA8JDW, K1BV ex K1GUD.

John K3WWP moved on from County Hunting to CW QRP and "The Streak" among other "All CW" activities and remains very active daily. Explore his website.

This "County Hunting" thing has been a thread on & off in my life, I've enjoyed it immensely, co-existing along with many of my other interests.

We have a come a long ways since those humble beginnings!!

73 & GH
Van
WC5D ex-KL7HNN & K3ZMI
USA-CA 1092 All CW #71"

Actually to be completely accurate, that was forwarded to me by Van after he had posted it elsewhere with links to the pertinent CH pages on my site.

Those early CH net years seem like they occurred back when dinosaurs roamed the earth, maybe even on another planet somewhere. Still with all that separation, I can still remember them distinctly as another phase in my life. I never did go on to get all the counties as Van (and many others) did over the years. Of the 3,077 current USA counties, I've worked 2,247 overall including those from the 1960s when I ran more than 5 watts, and 1,894 with QRP power levels.

Some may disagree with me when I say I think the overwhelming abundance of mobile operation for working counties took a lot out of the "hunting" aspect of county hunting. Now it's just a matter of sitting in the net waiting for someone to drive through a county they need. I fondly remember using the callbook, PO publication POD26, and the quick lookup in the callbook to get a city then to the POD26 to see what county that was in. If you got quick enough you could do it all while the fellow was calling CQ, then if it was a new county, give him a call. If not, move on to the next CQ. That is what "hunting" counties was all about. But then, I've always thought that working hard to earn something was a great alternative to more or less having that something handed to you. -30-



Wednesday, June 15, 2016 8:15 PM - That was quick. Worked EA8TL at 0002Z on 14025 for DX day 1,204. So since that went so quickly, I have time now to fill out the headlines from yesterday.

There are two patriotic events I attend every year. Memorial Day and Flag Day. Of course yesterday was Flag Day when we honor the basic symbol or icon of our country, the Stars and Stripes Flag. Each year the Elks Lodge has an hour long service honoring the flag with band music, prayer, and histories of the flag and Flag Day. This year we were blessed with beautiful weather as you can see here:
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During the service, local boy scouts display our country's flag from different eras starting with the Pine Tree flag and progressing through our current flag which has been in use since Hawaii was admitted as our 50th state. This picture shows the scouts holding the flags while the history of the flag is being told my an Elk member. Unfortunatly with calm wind, the flags didn't unfurl very well.
pix_diary_20160614_001 (100K)
That's our award winning Kittanning Firemen's Band in front of the scouts.

Of course I flew the flag on my porch - the one that draped my dad's coffin back in 1964. I didn't get a chance to get a picture this year, but regular diary readers will have seen it in other pictures from other patriotic holidays.

After the service, I came home and Bruce and I folded my flag in military fashion to be stored away until July Fourth.

Then it was time for our NAQCC sprint. After the past couple months of low noise and good propagation, I had in the back of my mind maybe hitting 60 QSOs. That thought quickly crumbled when I started on 20 meters. I only heard a couple signals and worked both - K4BAI and N5GW. Hearing nothing else there, I went to 40. It was on the strange side. I just wasn't being heard with my CQs at all well. By sheer perseverance I did manage 23 QSOs before giving up and seeing what 80 was like. I was pleasantly surprised. Despite high QRN (from storms, not any local noise), I ran off 11 QSOs there in about 25 minutes. So I wound up far short of the 60 of my fantasies with 36 QSOs - less than both of the past two months.

After I finished the sprint and submitted my log, Bruce called to see if I was done with the contest. He was just about to take his creation of a cherry pizza out of the oven and invited me over. As you know, I never turn down a chance to eat. It was very good and we split it between the two of us with Roscoe getting a bit as well. He turns down a chance to eat even less than I do. HI -30-



Tuesday, June 14, 2016 11:31 PM - As you see from the time stamp, it's late. You can't see it, but I'm tired so despite it being a busy day with a lot to write about, I'm going to keep it short for now and elaborate a bit in tomorrow's entry.

As I do every year on or about June 14, I attended the Elks Flag Day ceremony. Then of course, this was our NAQCC sprint evening. 36 QSOs was down from the past couple months, but a lot of fun. Just after the sprint, Bruce called me over for a cherry pizza. After that it was back to the shack for my DX QSO from 9A6C on 30 meters to keep the streak going. Those are the headlines, more on the 11 o'clo..... I mean in tomorrow's entry. -30-



Monday, June 13, 2016 6:36 PM - I was plagued with mixed feelings all day today. In a way I was hoping the DX streak might come to an end. 1,200 days would be a nice round number that we talked about a couple days ago in the diary. Yet, I hated to just give up without a fight, so I fought - - - and WON. I worked XE1RK on 20 meters at 2124Z. He had to turn his beam this way to get me after hearing only K3, but Ralph is a very good op, and we made it. Before that I would check maybe every 90 minutes all day without hearing a single DX station on any band. Then in that 21Z hour, TA3D showed up on 20 about S5, but I couldn't get him. An SM also showed up, but very weak and rag chewing. Everything else, and there wasn't much, was a USA station. I don't feel like going through many more days like today, but with declining sunspots, there will be many more coming up, I'm sure.

OK, about the subpedition now. I processed our scribbled paper logs and found we had 31 QSOs - 12 on 40, 8 on 30, and 11 on 20. They were from 14 states, the most distant being only TX. Skip was really short on all three bands, especially 20 where we worked things like adjacent states MD and NY. That was a lot better than we did in April as I talked about before. We all had a great time. I think I enjoyed watching Jon AB3RU making QSOs on his first visit to the sub more than making them myself. We had a great time interacting with visitors. I think of all our trips to the Requin, the collection of visitors this time had the most interest as a whole in what we were doing. They asked some great questions and really listened to what we were talking about. I always find it interesting how many folks having no connection with radio whatsover will recognize that we are sending Morse code although 99 percent can't copy it at all.

To close before I go back to fight the bands for some DX, here is a picture of the three of us on the sub:
pix_diary_20160612_001 (139K)

That's left to right, me, Jon AB3RU (or as we call him, the h-less John), and Mike KC2EGL.

Here's a picture of the Requin in all her glory on an absolutely glorious June day:
pix_diary_20160612_002 (222K)

The painters did a great job on the sub. -30-



Sunday, June 12, 2016 7:47 PM - Things went better on the Requin today than they did back in April. Although propagation conditions were not all that great, the antenna worked beautifully on all 3 bands - 40, 30, and 20. The first hour or so we had just about continuous activity, then it slowed down quite a bit, but we wound up with either 31 or 32 QSOs. I don't have the log here with me right now. When I get it, I'll cobble together a summary of our activity.

Since it was John AB3RU's first time on the sub, we let him do the bulk of the operating. He did an admirable job handling some minor pileups we had. It seemed that the folks working us in most cases were copying us better than we were copying them. Some of the signals on 20 when I was operating were mere wisps and very rough copy even though the QRN was almost nil. When I took a break and talked to Art about it, he explained it in his usual humorous way. He said since it was windy, which it was, the signals were being blown away from the antenna. HI.

I'll have some pictures in tomorrow's diary entry and a bit more commentary. Now it's almost time for me to go get my streak QSO(s). -30-



Saturday, June 11, 2016 8:44 PM - Two nights ago it was KP3A, tonight NP3A for the DX streak. Now I can enjoy the Requin operation tomorrow without having the DX streak nagging me in the back of my mind all the time. When you're dealing with numbers of things, for whatever reason the round numbers seem to be more important. DXCC for example with 100 countries or 300, 400, etc. miles for an auto race just as a couple of examples off the top of my head. There are many more. Well, tonight marks 1,200 days for the DX streak. Also I'm closing in on 8,000 days for the regular streak.

With the streak in hand, I'm all set for having an enjoyable time aboard the Requin tomorrow. What I said about times and frequencies in the previous diary entry still stands, so I won't repeat it here. It looks definitely like a beautiful weather day with sunny skies and mid 70s temperatures. Almost makes me feel like doing an outside parkpedition somewhere instead of being inside a submarine. No, not really as the subpeditions are a total joy with us crazy NAQCC WPA Chapter members and equally crazy Art WA3BKD from the submarine thrown in the mix. Hope you get a chance to work us if you wish to. We'll do our best to work as many folks as we can. Previously it's been a bit rough having just a speaker to listen to with the high noise level from sub visitors, but now I've fixed it so we can have both a speaker for visitors to hear what Morse Code is like and headphones for us to copy the weaker signals better. -30-



Friday, June 10, 2016 8:41 PM - It was fun watching "The General" last night. I hadn't seen it in quite a few years. NO, not when it was released in 1926. HI. My neighbor and I are also watching the Our Gang/Little Rascals silent films from the 1920s. I have most of them here except for around a half dozen which are either lost or otherwise not available. I'm still hoping to get them somewhere somehow. I have all the 'mainstream' OG/LR films from the first talkie through the time Hal Roach sold the rights to MGM in 1938.

My DX was a bit unusual this evening. Europe on 17 meters. EA1DR was well over S9 and I worked him easily. Not another Europe to be heard on 17 at that time. In fact the only other DX was CO8LY. I was going to work him till I noticed another big peak on the panadapter and found it to be EA1DR. I think anyone who is serious about working DX should have a panadapter. Especially those of us who NEVER use any spotting networks. It certainly saves a lot of time in hunting (and finding) the DX. It may not make it easier to work the DX, but you can find a lot more DX stations to at least try to work than if you just had to tune the band listening for them.

Barring something totally unforseen, Mike KC2EGL, Jon AB3RU, and I will be operating from the sub Requin on Sunday starting around 10 AM or 1400Z. I think we'll plan on doing 40 meters the first half hour, then 30 minutes on 30 meters, and 30 on 20 meters. Frequencies 7041, 10117, 14061. We'll be using the sub call of NY3EC and IDing who the op is for each QSO. A little more detailed info in our promo on the NAQCC email list tomorrow sometime.

Sunday will also be day # 1,200 for my DX streak. So I'll definitely try to get the DX in the 0000Z hour so I won't have to worry about during the subpedition during the day Sunday. -30-



Thursday, June 09, 2016 9:09 PM - I'm going to watch the Buster Keaton silent movie "The General" with my neighbor in a few minutes, so not much time to write anything.

It looked like another DX shutout this evening. All I was hearing were some wispy signals pretty much down at S4 coming in and out of my S4 noise. However finally after a couple rag chews on 40 with KA9IBS and KA3SJK, I looked around again and tried calling one of those wispy signals and it wound up a bit embarrassing as he was copying my solidly while I had trouble copying him. It was KP3A whom I've worked before. But at least the DX streak goes on and is one day closer to 1,200. -30-



Wednesday, June 08, 2016 9:04 PM - Computer club meeting this evening, so I didn't get home in time for my usual 0000Z start on the bands. However it only took about 5 minutes to get my DX after I arrived home around 0030Z. Now just three more days for 1,200 days of DX.

It was a very chilly day today - nice for walking. I also helped Ange fix his garden gate. Plus walking Roscoe a couple times so far meant a lot of outside activity.

Next event to look forward to is the subpedition to the USS Requin on Sunday. I haven't heard back from Art who said he would contact me if Sunday wasn't OK. So looks like we will be able to do our operation then. It will be me, Mike, and newcomer to our WPA Chapter activities Jon AB3RU. This will be Jon's first trip to the sub. Looks like a nice day with no rain and mid-70s temperatures. Doesn't matter in the sub, of course, but good for travelling and for a break or two out in the Science Center grounds for a snack. More about specific times and frequencies later in the week so you will know where and when to look for us if you would like a QSO with a submarine. -30-



Tuesday, June 07, 2016 7:31 PM -


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Maybe James T. didn't get his daily QSO, but I got mine (DX). It took some searching, but I found HP3/VY2SS on 17 meters this morning and with a single call, put him in my log and added to the DX streak. Rob is a really great op, and although he wasn't much more than an S5 here, he copied me easily with that single call.

I was thinking and I'm sure without the PX3 panadapter tied to the KX3, my DX streak probably would have ended some time ago. The PX3 just saves so much time in checking the bands for activity. Without it, I probably would have lost patience in laboriously tuning across a band listening for signals, and said the heck with it and given up. With the PX3, it takes less than a minute or two to know if it is worthwhile even checking a band. If peaks are spotted on the display, a few seconds more will establish if it is a DX station or not.

So today (7th) is secured. Now in about 15 minutes, it starts all over again. I hope it will be a quick DX QSO. If so, then I can go hunting letters for the NAQCC challenge. I need less than 20 now for completion.

Oh, thanks to Bob K9OSC for the Star Trek cartoon. He thought about my diary entry of yesterday when he saw it, and thought I'd get a kick out of it. I did, especially AFTER I worked HP3/VY2SS. HI -30-



Monday, June 06, 2016 9:08 PM - Looks like another day the DX streak may be in jeopardy. Except for EA8ZS who peaked barely at S6, any other DX heard tonight was about S4 at best. None of it workable. So tune in tomorrow to hear the fate of the DX streak. The big streak marches on toward 8,000 days though, with Gary WN9U helping it on its way this evening.

Not a lot going on today worth talking about after the busy day yesterday. -30-



Sunday, June 05, 2016 7:57 PM - It was the best of times, it was the wor..... No, not really. The hamfest didn't turn out as we hoped it would in one respect. We weren't able to get up a decent antenna. Our table was in a steel frame farm show building with no available space to set up an antenna outdoors due to power lines, parking adjacent to the building, etc. It seems like so far this year, our portable operations have been jinxed. Hopefully that will change. After we got bored not being able to get on the air, we did some practicing with the KX3 in CPO mode sending left-handed. That got old after a while also, and we decided to try a very very makeshift antenna. We ran a wire out the door and along the building's steel wall as shown here:
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If you look closely that's it coming out of the right of the picture along the wall to a pole about 10 or so feet high. It was about a foot at most from the wall. We were able to tune it with the KX3 to a good SWR from 30 through 15 meters except for 20 which the KX3 did not like at all. One of the very few times the KX3 was fed something it didn't like. Reception was best on 17 meters where we could hear several DX stations. However we were only able to make one quasi-contact. I got a definite answer from KW7D in New Mexico when I called him, but then before we could exchange any info, he simply somehow disappeared. At least we were getting out, but that was about it. We have plans for a better setup next year at Breezeshooters.

Anyway here I am plugging away trying to get that QSO in the log.
pix_diary_20160605_003 (148K)

Actually the failure to make QSOs due to the antenna situation was the only disappointment. Other than that, it was the best of times fellowshipping with other NAQCC club members. I won't list everyone here for fear of leaving someone out. But thanks go to Mike KC2EGL, Tom WB3FAE, and Jon AB3RU for helping to man the NAQCC table. As always it was fun kibitzing with the Skyview Club members whose table was next to ours - especially Bob WC3O. Other regular visitors when we have a NAQCC setup or even when we just visit a hamfest for fun were Bob W3BBO, Bob KC3DOF, and Bruce AA3LX. Oh, it was also nice and a surprise when Ken N3CU showed up. We didn't think he was going to make it due to family matters. I especially enjoyed getting to meet Mike WA8SAN whom I've worked many times in our NAQCC sprints. As I told him, it's always nice to associate a face with a call. That makes a QSO much more meaningful.

Here's a picture of six of the folks mentioned above:
pix_diary_20160605_002 (210K)

That's L-R: WC3O, AB3RU, K3WWP, N3CU, KC2EGL, WB3FAE.

The hamfest started to wind down around 1 PM or so, and we joined in the winding down, and were on the road sometime around 1:30 or so. We all went our separate ways, except Mike and I (you know what's coming) stopped at the Butler Ponderosa for their buffet dinner. We both had about 4 platefuls plus desert despite both of us having a decent sized sub earlier at the hamfest.

Then here at home we took care of some business like signing up a new member we recruited at Butler and organizing the pictures shown here in the diary.

Next we tried out a ColdHeat battery soldering iron I bought at the Ol' Station Marketplace on Thursday. We were both very impressed with it, especially since I got it for something like 75 cents. After that it was DXing where Mike worked F/ON6JUN/P and CO8LY. I worked CO8LY and EA5DNO. There wasn't a lot of DX around so we closed out the day with Mike playing a hidden object game on the computer before he headed home.

Then just a little while ago I got my streak QSOs from Jurek EA6UN and Danny N4DT. Danny also has a streak going starting the first of this year. I hope he can continue it as long as he wishes.

Next Sunday it's an encore subpedition from the USS Requin in Pittsburgh. Mike and I asked Jon AB3RU to join us and he was excited about it. With the Requin antenna repaired now, we should have better results than we did in April. More details about that later in the week. -30-



Saturday, June 04, 2016 9:00 PM - Things are looking a little better for the Butler hamfest tomorrow. The NWS just lowered the POP again to 30/60 percent. It had been as high as 80/80 at one time. The only true test comes tomorrow when it is either raining or not. Hopefully not. Whatever, we'll still be there with the NAQCC table starting soon after 8 AM or so.

Easy DX this evening, thank goodness. Now I don't have to worry about that during the hamfest. Thanks to the IARU Region I Field Day I got GU4YOX/P even though he wasn't all that strong. Then a great call for a NAQCC Alphabet Challenge - DL40IPARC was a second DX QSO and provided 11 letters for the challenge. -30-



Friday, June 03, 2016 8:40 PM - A pretty nice day today. Some rain during the night, but partly cloudy and not as hot or humid as the past couple days, although I don't really mind it being hot. Those couple of hot days really gave my garden a boost. the peppers and tomatoes seem to have grown right before my eyes. Also several bean seeds sprouted during those two days.

This evening my DX came from a station I work nearly every year at this time - F/ON6JUN/P who operates D-Day from Normandy in France. Well, in checking, I actually haven't worked him as often as it seemed. Only in 2002, 2012, 2013, and now 2016. Then I had a chat with a ham whom I know in person as of this year - Ken N3CU. He has visited here and also operated with us on the sub Requin back in April.

Speaking of the Requin, it looks like the 19th is no good according to a call I got from Art this evening. So we will go with our alternate date of the 12th. Art will check and let me know in a couple days if that will work.

Almost time for the Breezeshooters hamfest. However the weather still doesn't look all that great for Sunday. Hopefully that may change although 36 hour forecasts are usually pretty much on the money. -30-



Thursday, June 02, 2016 9:05 PM - Looked like another tough DX night, so I locked in the big streak with a nice rag chew on 40 with Jim K4WOP that lasted exactly 30 minutes.

Then it was back to looking for DX. The PX3 showed a peak near the bottom end of 20. Tuning in, I heard a high speed station that sounded like DX. Turned out to be XR0YS. He didn't say anything about UP, so I listened and heard him working a station simplex instead of split. I called and he worked UY5ZZ. I called again, got a K3?, and after two repeats of my call, I had my DX QSO. After that he worked one more station, then the horde seemed to find him and he went split. So I guess I lucked out and found him just starting a shift. That's what it takes sometimes - luck, timing, oh and a PX3 certainly helps. It wasn't a new country, not even a new prefix, but it did extend the DX streak another day. And it's always nice to work the rarer stations anyway.

A fishing trip and a visit to the Ol' Station Marketplace were the 'events' of the day here. No fish, but I got a couple of nice tools including a (hand) jigsaw, a battery powered soldering iron, and a wood block puzzle all for $4.51 cents.

Right now the weather doesn't look all that good for the hamfest Sunday. We'll have get our anti-rain dance going, I guess. Anyway we'll be inside except for setting up and tearing down our antenna. Still I hope it doesn't cancel out roaming around to see what the tailgaters have to offer. That's always a lot of fun. -30-



Wednesday, June 01, 2016 9:13 PM - I'm running a bit late tonight. I just had to evict a spider from my maximum/minimum shelter thermometer.

DX was a bit rough this evening, but I did work my way through a pretty big pileup to work VP2V/K6TOP on 17 meters leaving 10 days to reach 1,200 now. I also ran into my old friend Gary N2ESE for a nice chat on 40 meters. We haven't had a rag chew type QSO for some time now.

It was a very hot day today, but I did get in a couple good walks. No fishing though as I figured the sun beating down on the concrete amphitheater would be a bit much.

Looking forward to Sunday and the Breezeshooters hamfest in Butler, PA. Mike KC2EGL, Tom WB3FAE, Jon AB3RU and I will be manning a NAQCC table there. If you are in the neighborhood, maybe you can stop by and say hello. More info in a couple days. -30-



Tuesday, May 31, 2016 8:06 PM - A somewhat busy day today with the usual end of month things to take care of. However it wasn't all work. I took time out to go fishing and actually caught a fish - a decent size bluegill at 7 inches. Made sitting in the heat (89) worthwhile. I think I might go again tomorrow as the catch plus some other decent bites fired up my interest.

DX was easy this evening and it yielded a nice prefix in EH0P on 20 meters to start another month for the streak. Just 11 days to go now for 1,200 days of DX. It may not be easy though with any more days like the 30th.

Oh, I just noticed it's 18 days to go for 8,000 days in the big streak. So a couple of milestones to look forward to this month plus a little more incentive to get to them. -30-



Monday, May 30, 2016 5:30 PM - As the day wore on, it looked more and more like this would be the first day since February 28, 2013 that I wouldn't find a DX QSO in my log book. Conditions were deplorable and that is being kind. Except when I was at the Memorial Day parade and the Memorial Day ceremony in the park, I checked the bands about every 45 minutes or so and found the same thing. No strong signals except for some W/VE stations and even they were not all that strong. The DX was below the Mendoza Line (always liked that phrase to describe Pirate shortstop Mario Mendoza's batting average). With my noise at s3 to s4, the DX signals were virtually all just being heard in and out of that level. Every once in a great while, a station would peak at maybe S6 briefly, but soon would be gone again. I was sure they wouldn't hear me if I called, and I was right. I never got as much as a question mark from any of the dozen or so weak DX stations I tried. Even XE1XR running a KW and a 7 element beam aimed in this direction barely made it to S8 and like the others, never heard me at all. He was rag chewing though, and I only tried him a couple times. Maybe with patience, I could have eventually gotten him, but I still doubt it. The next best chance came from PZ50X on 17 meters, but his pileup was tremendous and he was mostly working Europeans. Sure looks pretty dismal for the DX streak.

But wait, there is a happy ending that brought a smile to my face. I found P4/N4QS on 15 meters working split and quite strong at S8 to S9. I figured as with PZ50X, he'd have a big pileup. Anyway I set the KX3 for split, waited for him to finish with whom he was working, and gave a call. Miracle of miracles - a solid QSO with that first call, no repeats. WHEW!!! The DX streak lives on at 1,187 days. Many more time-consuming stressful days like today though, and I might just voluntarily end it.

I hope you all had a great Memorial Day and observed it in the proper way by honoring our war dead for their sacrifice and thanked those still living servicemen for the job they are doing of protecting our country from those intending her harm. In addition to the parade and ceremony, I also flew my flag, the one that draped my father's coffin 52 years ago. -30-



Sunday, May 29, 2016 8:22 PM - I'll start this entry with a major understatement. The bands were strange today. Yes sir, they certainly were. I could write a whole book about it, but don't worry, I'll keep it short.

I woke up around 0915Z and thought I'd see if maybe Asia was coming through on 40. It wasn't. There wasn't a whole lot else around either that I hadn't worked or that was too weak to even try. So I settled for working PX2A on 40 and went back to bed.

A quick check in the 1300Z hour showed nothing worthwhile hanging around for. I did hear JH4UYB weakly on 20, but a couple calls to him yielded nothing, not even a question mark. So I shut down and took care of walking Roscoe and giving him his breakfast.

I went back to the shack in the 1400Z hour and found conditions pretty much like yesterday, so I hung around a while and called a few stations that would have been new prefixes, but only landed VC2A. Haven't checked yet to see if that's even new.

Another layoff until 1630Z or so. What do you know? 10 meters is open, but seems like only a couple folks know it. I worked N9CIQ and AA0AW, then tried some CQs and landed VC7G. That was it though, so I went to 15 meters. First station worked there was VC7G. Still my main purpose of working DX was not working at all well so I again shifted tactics and started working anyone who was strong. 12 W/VE stations took me to 1720Z when I again quit.

When I came back at 2000Z, the bands again made somewhat of a reversal and I found I could again work DX, but only selectively. It really made little sense. Some stations booming in were not hearing me at all while I could easily work others who weren't nearly as strong. I worked 8P5A on 10 meters for my last QSO on that band for the contest at 2011Z. Then CU4DX and a bunch of NA/SA DX stations mostly on 15 took me to 2040Z. From then to the end of the contest, I switched between 20 and 15 working DX when I could and also working W/VE stations as well. It was nice to work some contesters I know well but haven't worked in a while during that period. Still during that whole time, it wasn't easy working some stations, but very easy to work others. There was little relationship between workability and signal strength.

It was interesting to note that after being mostly absent from 15 meters earlier in the day, Europe started showing up late on that band. I worked 9A1A easily at 2123Z for the first EU and EA3CX for the last at 2227Z.

One thing I did notice although I didn't really analyze it at all was that a lot of stations were asking for a lot of repeats from the stations they were working, so it apparently wasn't just me who was having difficulty. Seems like it was mostly DX asking for repeats from W/VE stations although that's just a feeling I got. Maybe because I was litening more to the DX stations.

I did wind up with 161 QSOs in the contest. I'm making a rough guess before I total things up that I worked maybe 40 countries. I also got maybe a dozen new prefixes. I'll have to analyze my results later tonight or tomorrow to know better.

I'll also have to get a DX QSO later tonight or tomorrow to keep the DX streak going. I did work N3EMZ for the big streak at 0008Z on 40 meters. -30-



Saturday, May 28, 2016 8:26 PM - A 180 degree reversal of conditions from last night to today. It's like I'm in a Faraday cage today. I'm just not being heard and it's not the competition for the most part. I remember a similar situation back in, I think, the 90s when the WPX contest started with a bang, then died the next day. Instead of trying to work as many stations as I could, I just looked for new prefixes or new band countries and then tried for them until I got them or gave up. I did get things today in addition to those I got last night. To name a couple, 9A703 and EB8 prefixes. Otherwise not much at all. Even those stations I usually work easily either weren't hearing me or I had to repeat call or number a couple times. Just looking at the propagation numbers and they aren't that bad although the SF is down and A index up a bit today from yesterday. Just one of those quirky things I guess. Anyway I'll finish this and update my propagation and index page, then see if I can find anything else good on the bands. -30-



Friday, May 27, 2016 10:36 PM - The warmest day of the year so far with a high of 89. It didn't really seem that hot though except maybe in the direct sun. I helped Ange get his garden ready for planting. That took about an hour or maybe more and it actually felt good.

OK skip ahead now to tonight. I was only going to use the CQWPX contest to get my daily DX QSO, then QRT. Am I ever glad I changed my mind and hung around for about 90 minutes. Take a look at this excerpt from my GenLog file of the contest so far:
15m   CW  05/28/16  0042  WH6R         11   599    599   33     *WH6    3
15m   CW  05/28/16  0043  KH6TU        12   599    599   94     *KH6    3
15m   CW  05/28/16  0044  PP5KR        13   599    599   76     *PP5    3
15m   CW  05/28/16  0047  KH6LC        14   599    599   113            3
15m   CW  05/28/16  0048  PX2A         15   599    599   97     *PX2    3
15m   CW  05/28/16  0051  5W1SA        16   599    599   86     *5W1    3
15m   CW  05/28/16  0102  KH8/KC0W     17   599    599   43     *KH8    3
15m   CW  05/28/16  0106  VK3JA        18   599    599   123    *VK3    3
15m   CW  05/28/16  0111  TI2OW        19   599    599   83     *TI2    2
15m   CW  05/28/16  0118  ZM4G         20   599    599   74     *ZM4    3
Both Samoa (5W1SA) and American Samoa (KH8/KC0W) are overall new countries, bringing my total worked now to 225 (of course all QRP/CW/simple antennas). All 6 of the Oceania QSOs above were pretty easy ones with only a repeat or two to get the job done. About the hardest was KH6LC for whom I had to repeat my number several times. The rest were pretty much bang-bang-logged. I may go back and check 15 again or maybe 20 now as 15 may be dead by this time. I had to take time out to go walk Roscoe and visit with Bruce for a little bit. -30-



Thursday, May 26, 2016 6:47 PM - This may have been our warmest day of the year so far. The high on my remote unit shows 86. If that is the 'official' reading at 9 PM on the regular thermometer and they are usually very close, it will top the previous high of 84 back on April 18. Also the humidity was up a bit although not too high. It really felt good when I was out walking with Roscoe or by myself. I also visited the Ol' Station Marketplace and picked up a nice visor magnifier so now I can magnify things and still keep both hands free for working on small parts. That was only 75 cents. I also got a Raiders of the Lost Ark video cassette for 1 dollar.

It's getting time to get the fans out for the summer. I don't care for air conditioning and am happy with just a fan. Much cheaper also. Bruce got his out today and I helped him fix a broken 'foot' on the fan just a few minutes ago. Now I think I may go for a walk before time comes to pursue the DX streak.

Oh, I also got a package of 19 QSL cards from the buro today and did most of the processing of them except actually filing away the cards. Of the two dozen or so QSOs represented by the cards, only two were QSOs for which I requested a card. The rest all wanted my card for whatever reason. At least they represented some new prefixes and two new band countries. The countries were San Andres Island on 12 and 17 meters. The prefixes were: OF9, W100, 5C5, LZ300, DD5, JA5, LZ259. -30-



Wednesday, May 25, 2016 9:17 PM - Another quick DX QSO when I worked KL7SB/VP9 on 30 meters at 0007Z. Mike arrived shortly after I got on the air, and we headed to Subway after I got my DX QSO. We ate our subs there and came home and had the last of my birthday cake. Then up to the shack where Mike tried to work FM/DL7VOG unsuccessfully. Then it was to the kitchen window where we tried to watch Mars the moment it rose. However there were some high clouds and we didn't notice it until it had already risen for a couple minutes. Right now we're watching an Our Gang episode- Bedtime Worries.

Earlier it was a nice warm day with a high of 85 degrees and I got in a couple of good walks and some shopping. I also took a picture of my sundial early this morning.
pix_diary_20160525_001 (190K)

As you can see by the shadow of the gnomon, the picture was taken shortly after 9AM (EST) which is after 10AM (EDT). Of course sundials aren't exact timekeepers due to the equation of time and a couple other factors. I'm not going to delve into it here. For more info, do a Bing search for "equation of time" or "sundials". -30-



Tuesday, May 24, 2016 8:30 PM - It wasn't too hard getting my DX this evening. In fact I got an extra one to boot. KP3W on 20 and TG9ADM on 30. I don't work Guatemala too often so I gave him a try when I heard him and despite him being only 559, we made a good QSO after just a couple calls. So once again the DX is Central America and the Caribbean.

Not much else to report today. I did finish my sundial and remounted it outside. It restored pretty well. I'll try to have a picture in the diary tomorrow. -30-



Monday, May 23, 2016 9:06 PM - A tough night tonite. Even had trouble getting a regular streak QSO, but finally found and worked WA1KBE on 40 meters. Then continued my search for DX. Before that, I hadn't heard anyone strong enough to break out of my meager S4 noise level. So finally I found and worked old standby HT7AAA on 30 meters. Hated to work him yet again, but I was determined the DX streak wasn't going to come to an end on my birthday, so.....

Not much else going on today out of the ordinary. I did put the first coat of polyurethane on the sundial I'm restoring. Tomorrow I'll add another coat. -30-



Sunday, May 22, 2016 6:09 PM - Thought I'd write this now since at 0000Z I'll be going for my DX QSO, then finalizing our NAQCC May Sprint results, and after that going over to walk Roscoe.

A couple of things taken care of today. I updated Bruce's computer from Windows 8.1 to Windows 10. As usual, just like the half dozen or so such upgrades I've done for myself and other folks, it went just as smooth as silk with not a single glitch. I honestly can't figure out why folks seem to have problems with the upgrade or with other Windows things as well. I've used Microsoft Windows exclusively here on several different computers since around the early 1990s and NEVER have had a single problem with anything due to Windows. I have had a few problems along the way, but each one traced not to Windows, but to some incorrectly designed third party non-Microsoft software.

I also worked a bit more on my sundial today. I decided to restore the original sundial I built with my friend Bill several years ago instead of the replacement one I built a couple years ago. Mainly because Bill is now in a nursing home with probably no chance of ever leaving there. This will help me remember the good times we had together on various projects. We never did get to the last planned one though - a weather vane. Maybe I'll try that myself sometime. -30-



Saturday, May 21, 2016 8:28 PM - Pretty much a washout day in all respects. Chilly and rainy on and off all day today and still at it now. Better things coming early next week though. The sun and 80 degrees are mentioned in the forecast on the same day a couple days in a row.

DX continues rough, but I'm still managing to keep the streak going with DX QSOs in the 0000Z hour. Tonight it was XE3ARV on 30 meters. I heard another Russian on 30, but he wasn't hearing me. There's not all that much difference in propagation from the declining sunspot cycle, but it is there and it is very noticeable to me. I still don't think the DX streak will last all that deeply into the upcoming sunspot minimum. I do think barring some major propagation anomaly, the regular streak will continue as long as I can make it to the key. After all, it went through the previous sunspot minimum without missing a beat. We'll see. -30-



Friday, May 20, 2016 8:37 PM - I took advantage of the nice sunny warm (77) day and went fishing for only the third time this year so far. Got a few decent bites, but no catches. I think they were little fish, maybe sandpike or possibly some small mouth suckers whose mouths weren't big enough to take the hook, yet big enough to take the worm off the hook. Had I stayed longer, I might have tried smaller hooks, but I had to get home to take Roscoe for his walk.

I'm just wondering how many days in a row now my DX QSO has come in the 00Z hour. I'm going to check in a moment. Tonight it was EA8TL on 20 meters at 0005Z. Not as easy as usual with him, but not all that hard. Tried UB7K on 30 with no luck. Would have liked that prefix. Wonder what part of Russia he was in. I'll check that also and report back.

UB7K is in Kerch in Crimea. DX in the 00Z hour goes back until April 26 when I worked EA6NB at 0427Z. So going on a month now. That's still in the evening though. Let's see the last time I didn't get any DX until morning or afternoon. OK, April 11 it took until 1353Z to get my DX from HA3FTA on 17M. So despite the decline in the sunspot cycle, the evening still provides a lot of DX. However a lot of it now is from North, Central, and South America as well as the Caribbean instead of Europe, Africa, Asia as it was when there were more sunspots. Maybe I'll figure how much DX from each continent I worked each month in my DX streak. That may prove interesting, but I'm not going to do it now. -30-



Thursday, May 19, 2016 9:14 PM - Just a short entry tonight. I just got off the phone after a long chat with Tom WY3H. Those of you who read the diary or are NAQCC members (hopefully both) know that Tom moved down to Georgia a couple of years ago, so we don't get to talk that much any longer except in these long phone conversations every now and then.

Then after finishing this and a couple other web site updates, I'll be going over to visit with Bruce and take Roscoe out for his last walk of the day.

So I'll just say that the bands sounded pretty good this evening. ZA/S56X was quite strong on 20 meters, but I couldn't break the pileup during the 5 minutes or so I tried. I didn't try longer since I have Albania on 20 meters and also the ZA0 prefix. Before that at 0001Z I kept the DX streak alive by working HR5/F2JD on 30 meters. -30-



Wednesday, May 18, 2016 8:46 PM - I worked J68GU on a new band (40) quickly (0003Z) for my DX QSO. So with the pressure off, I found CR60P strong on 30 working split with a big pileup and determined I was going to break the pile and work him. I can tell most of the time when I have a chance at a station with a big pileup. If he's at least a certain strength here, I know he should be able to hear me there. Tonight was such a situation. After a few minutes I got a K3W?, but was immediately covered by other callers whether or not their call was close to having a K3W in it. The op at CR60P did not take control as he should, sending K3W? KN KN KN or ONLY K3W?. Thus I lost out on that chance when he worked an interfering W4 instead. That made me even more determined to work him. I kept watching the PX3 to see who he was working and tail ended on that station's frequency. Yes, I said watching, not listening. I didn't use the split cans because I've gotten to the point where I can tell visually who the DX is working most of the time. If I can't see them, I probably wouldn't hear them anyway. I noticed he seemed to be jumping up and down a few hundred Hz picking out stations. I followed as best I could and finally got a WW? from him, repeated my call and got him for that much wanted new prefix. It took about 15 minutes of my time, but the satisfaction and the new prefix made the wait worthwhile.

Of course there were the stations who would call right on his frequency instead of UP. That was by no means the fault of the CR60P op as he sent UP after just about every QSO. Perhaps some folks thought his call was CR60PUP although there was an accurate separation between CR60P and UP. Or perhaps they don't know how to operate split. Or...... who knows? It's very annoying especially if they are strong and override the DX. Anyway the streak lives and I got a new prefix plus some numbers/letters for the May NAQCC European Chapter challenge as well. I'm about 70% done with the challenge, so I may make it this month especially if I put in a little effort to do so. -30-



Tuesday, May 17, 2016 8:37 PM - One of those days that seemed busy, but not really a lot accomplished. HI. I did get in some walking and shopping. Also busy arranging things for our NAQCC WPA Chapter activities in the coming months.

I did have one interesting thing happen. While I was walking Roscoe, a biker on the nearby Rails to Trails turned off and headed up my way. Actually I didn't see him coming because my back was turned the other way and didn't hear him till he got close. He asked me if a certain house was the one that a certain lady who passed away lived in. I showed him the house, then we got to talking and it turned out that he and I played together as kids some 60+ years ago. He lived just up the street from me way back then. We reminisced for about 10 minutes about the old neighbors who are no longer with us, and so on. Wish we could have talked longer, but he seemed in a hurry to be on his way.

After chasing CR60P unsuccessfully (darn, would really have liked that prefix) on 20 meters until he just vanished, I looked around for other DX and found YV5IUA on 30 meters. I waited through perhaps a half dozen other QSOs before it became my turn. So that extended the streak another day. In between I heard another station on 40 with a pileup, but it turned out to be WU1ITU/4 so I passed him by. However after the YV5IUA QSO I thought I'd go back to 40 and try to work him. I did, and it took only a single call as his pileup seemed depleted then. -30-



Monday, May 16, 2016 8:46 PM - Strange conditions on the bands again this evening. Had a very tough time working OK1CF on 30 when I usually work him easily. Took several repeats for him to get my call, but it was finally a good QSO that extended the DX streak another day. Then went to 40 and called CQ - got answered by VA3YG who was S9+ and gave me a 589. Then after our first round, the path just died and he was down in my S4 noise and never came back up. I've had a few QSOs just like that the past few weeks as conditions are very unstable at times.

The usual Monday things here like laundry. I mailed one of our NAQCC prizes while the clothes were in the dryer. I did a little shopping and took a couple walks.

One of my projects lately is re-doing my sundial I built a couple years ago. It was kind of weatherbeaten after being out in all kinds of weather those couple years.

That pretty much covers the day. -30-