Last weekend was pretty busy for me, ham radio-wise. It started bright and early Saturday morning with the latest One-Day Tech Class. There were twelve students in the class, and all twelve passed!
This class was a bit odd in that most of them signed up during the week before the class. So few had signed up by Saturday, January 7th, that I was even thinking that I might cancel the class.
On Sunday, January 8, I sent out a reminder to my mailing list, and after that, the class quickly filled up. Many of them were engineering students from the University of Michigan, who are part of a project that sends up weather balloons. They use amateur radio to track the balloons and to find the payloads once they’ve returned to Earth.
Hamfest not so festive
Sunday morning, I was up even earlier to attend the Hazel Park ARC hamfest. Since I was selling some
junk, errrrr good stuff, I wanted to get there by 8 am. So, I was up and out of the house by 6:45 am. I needn’t have rushed, though.
Attendance was way down, and while I did sell a little over $100 worth of books and other stuff, I was hoping that I’d sell more. In particular, I thought I’d sell a few of my new “Hams Obey Ohm’s Law” stickers. I didn’t sell a single one, however. One friend of mine offered to purchase one, but I just gave him one.
I think clubs have to think twice about when they schedule these things. Holding them so early on Sunday mornings almost guarantee that only the old farts will show up for these things. And the old farts are a dwindling audience.
No propagation, no glory
Sunday night, I tried to participate in the monthly Run for the Bacon (RTFB). This low-pressure QRP contest, run by the Flying Pigs is usually a fun event. Sunday night, however, the band had gone way long by 9 pm EST, when the contest started. I managed one contact with a station in Idaho, but no one else could hear me.
To be honest, I don’t really know how much power I was running. Instead of hooking up the KX-1, I just cranked down the power on the IC-746PRO until the power out meter was showing just a single bar. I really gotta get that wattmeter kit finished.