Operating Notes: VEs, YVs, and the 13 colonies

I”m certainly no history scholar, but it doesn’t take a genius to figure out that this time of year is a good one for independence struggles. Our own Independence Day is, of course, celebrated on July 4, even though I recently learned that the Continental Congress actually decided to declare independence on July 2, and Samuel Adams always thought that it should be celebrated on that date. Canada Day, the day they celebrate their independence is on July 1, and Venezuelan Independence Day is on July 6.

These events are being celebrated by amateur operators in these countries by either special operating events or contests.

U.S. independence is being commemorated with the Thirteen Colonies Special Event.  Since I’m mostly a CW operator, it’s more difficult for me to work all thirteen than it is for the phone ops, but even so, this year I bagged six of them. K2H was actually QSO #13,000 in my computer log.

On Monday, July 1, I got sucked into operating the RAC Canada Day contest. This year, I made 59 contacts in an hour and a half, and quit when my score exceeded 1,000. (My final score was 1,032.)

Tonight, I got sucked into the Independence of Venezuela contest, when I first the first station, 4M5IR on 7027 kHz. Not hearing any other YV stations on CW, I actually went up to the phone band and worked some stations on SSB. After working five on phone, I did manage to work another on CW, so I’m up to seven at this point. It’s getting late, though, and I might just call it a night after I finish this blog post. Seven is respectable, I think.

LOTW update
This afternoon, I uploaded my contacts from the last three months. The file was processed pretty quickly, and I was please to find that I’ve added two more entities to my DXCC total. I’m now at 120 total, with 117 on CW. On 30m, my best band, I’m up to 88 total confirmed.

DX QSLs spell words, too

These are for WA2HOM, but I had to post them here because the QSLs are so cool. The VE7TUB QSL is especially cool because it’s from a special event station set up for a bathtub race.

ve7tub-qsl

ea3box-qsl

IS it TEA for me?

More QSLs from stations whose calls spell words:

n6tea-qsl

I worked N6TEA during our W8P End Polio Now special event.

k9is-qslI worked Steve, K9IS, during the WI QSO Party a couple of weeks ago.

Two Vintage Photos

This morning, I found two links to vintage amateur radio photos in my inbox this morning. The first one if from Wystan Stevens’ Flickr photostream. Stevens is a local historian here in Ann Arbor, MI.

W8ZRF 1953 QSL

W8ZRF is still alive and kicking and an active member of our local amateur radio club, ARROW.

The second one comes by way of the Glowbugs Google Group:

It comes from an article titled, “The Weirdest Photo Research of 2012.” The caption reads, “Sam Harris, of Medfield, MA, trims his beard with electronic scissors controlled by moon bounce signals. Bettmann/Corbis” Glowbug members quickly identified the ham in the photo as Sam Harris, W1FZJ, who is famous for the first 1296 MHz moonbounce contact.

Not only that, they identified the receiver as the Lafayette HE-10 (fully assembled) or KT-200 (kit). Says, Bob, W9RAN, “Really a nice receiver with and RF stage and transformer isolated power supply – definitely a cut or two above the S-38 that the dial was borrowed from.  I like receivers like this for casual listening, as you can just spin the dial and always find something interesting to listen to.  It certainly would have been usable by Novices and on AM, although tuning SSB on receivers like this or my Hallicrafters SX-110 kept the operator busy, tuning to compensate for drift and controlling the audio with the RF gain, but this soon became second nature.”

 

From my Twitter feed: ham radio apps, pirate radio QSLs, and more

KC8GRQ:
My “Amateur Apps” presentation was a big hit at the #hamr club meeting last night. Its available for anyone to use.http://t.co/VRd0PLIf

This looks like a good presentation. I might suggest that we give it at our club.

jilly:
Shortwave QSL Cards – Pirate & Clandestine Radio #pirateradiouploaded to flickr mostly 1990′s erahttp://t.co/X66OZx9T

SWL QSL card fun

AlanAtTek:
Woo-Hoo! 275,000 views on my little YouTube channel about ham radio, electronics and test & measurement.http://www.youtube.com/user/w2aew

Alan does great videos.

Operating Notes – 12/9/12

Bad fists. When a CW operator sends sloppy, poorly-spaced code, or makes a lot of mistakes, he or she is said to have a “bad fist.” It’s one thing to have a bad fist, quite another to have one after many years of operation. It’s only a few guys that I regularly hear on the air, but there’s no excuse for it. If you hear me on the air, and I’m sending poorly, please let me know.

30m, 40m propagation. Propagation on 30m and 40m in the evenings has been just useless most nights. The band seems really long and the signals weak. I haven’t heard a European on 30m for weeks, it seems. Last night was a nice change. On 40m, between 0200Z and 0300Z, I made three contacts, including a couple of Europeans, and a nice long ragchew with WB2KAO.

More stations whose callsigns spell words. I recently purchased a Wouxoun KG-UVD1P dual-band hanheld. I’ve programmed it with the more popular local repeaters and have it scanning while I work. About a week ago, a guy pops up on the W8UM repeater. At first, I couldn’t believe I heard his call right. As it turns out, I was right. His call is KK4JUG. We had a nice contact as he drove by Ann Arbor. He was on his way to visit family further north.

Yesterday, down at WA2HOM, I first tried 10m, but when I didn’t hear a peep there, despite the contest, I  QSYed down to 20m. One of the first stations I ran across was VA6POP. He had a really nice signal, and we had a nice contact.

I hope to get both QSL cards soon.

CUBs and DENS

Don’t cubs live in dens? That makes these last two QSL cards for my collection of QSLs from stations whose callsigns spell words perfect complements for one another.

W8CUB QSL

W2DEN QSL

Should I go retro with my next QSL?

I’m getting kinda tired of my current QSL card. It’s an aerial photo of Michigan Stadium. They call it “The Big House” because it’s the largest American football stadium in U.S.

KB6NU Big House QSL

While scouting out items for my “Amateur Radio in the News” items, I ran across a human-interest story about ham radio operators in Los Gatos, CA in 1920. It included a photo of the QSL card for one of them, 6CDW:

6CDW QSL

I kind of like this card, and am thinking about having some printed up for me in this style. What do you think? Should I go retro?

 

LOTW Update – 11/18/12

I’ve blogged many times about Logbook of the World (LOTW). Well, it’s hard to believe, but it’s been three nearly years since I went through the hassle of registering with LOTW. The reason I know this is that now they’re asking me to re-register.

To re-register, you have to use the TQSL-CERT program to generate a .tq5 file and then upload that to LOTW. LOTW is supposed to process that file and then return a .tq6 file, which you then load back into TQSL-CERT. Sounds like a lot of make-work to me, but oh well.

While I was at it, I thought it would probably be a good idea to check when I last uploaded my logs to LOTW. Well, as it turns out, the last time I’d done this was the end of February, so nearly nine months ago! So, I got that taken care of.

Finally, I thought I’d check my awards status.  Well, lo and behold, I now have a total of 108 countries confirmed via LOTW.  I’m also now qualified for a CW endorsement, with a total of 105 countries worked on CW. 30m is my best band with a total of 73 countries worked on 30m.

Worked All States is another matter. I only have 48 states total confirmed via LOTW. I have worked 48 states confirmed on 40m and 48 states confirmed on CW.  And, all that’s before the 800-odd QSOs that I just uploaded.

 

More QSLs – 10/8/12

These have been sitting on my desk for a couple of weeks………Dan

OM2011IIHF QSL

I love these special callsigns that seem to be the rage in Europe these days, even though they’re a pain to send in CW. I wish the FCC would allow U.S. special event stations to use similar callsigns.

K4OAR QSL

This card from K4OAR is now part of my collection of QSLs from stations whose callsigns spell words.