Sunday, December 31, 2006

N7NG leaves ARRL

I was surprised to hear that Wayne Mills, N7NG was leaving ARRL. Statements were notable for what they didn't say. I'm guessing League HQ hasn't been a happy place. It's sad to see someone with Wayne's knowledge of DXing being lost to the organisational side of the hobby.

New Year's resolutions

Actually, I'm a firm believer in the U2 lyric, 'Nothing changes on New Year's Day'. But on the other hand, setting yourself goals is always a good thing. So here are my amateur radio resolutions for 2007

1 - To call CQ at least once a day on one band or another - don't be a licenced listener
2- Not to let a CQ go unanswered, even if I'm busy. A quick QSO is better than none at all
3 - To get myself going on the WSJT modes on VHF. I just need to put it all together
4 - Work a US station on 160m. I haven't done it for years from my home station
5 - And, of course, actually most importantly, to help Russell to get his Foundation licence.

Happy New Year

Sunday, December 24, 2006

A wintertime lift

You can't help but noticing that there's been a lot of fog around for the last few days. Flights in and out of Heathrow were disrupted. Well, when there's fog, there's usually some interesting VHF conditions - particularly when it's a widespread area.

It started off quite gently on the 21st December, when the GB3VHF beacon in Kent was several S-points louder than normal, but nothing much else seemed to have changed. I had a nice QSO with 2E0DBE in Eastbourne on 2m, he was using an FT817 to an indoor halo and had a decent signal up here.

The next day, 22nd December was a real surprise. I had a pig of a QSO with DK1FG in JN59. For whatever reason he struggled to get my callsign. But it was a decent distance and he was running 750w to a big antenna, compared to my 50w to a 5ele - so I was probably on the limit of intelligibility (nothing new there!). Also heard around the same time was DK4AL in JO51.

On the 23rd, there was less at a long distance, but still some nice QSOs to be had. On 2m, I worked ON7LAO (JO20), F2YT (JO10), DF7DJ (JO31) and F6FLB (JO00). On 70cms, I was pleased to have DK6JL (JO31) come back to a CW CQ on 432.2.

A couple more 432MHz QSOs today; DB5KN (JO31) and F5APQ (JO00) but conditions seem to be getting back to normal based on the strength of GB3VHF.

Good fun! Merry Christmas.

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