Some random notes about operations here at KB6NU and WA2HOM over the past couple of weeks:
- Novices! In the past two weeks, I’ve worked two Novices. Both were a little shakey, but I’m glad to see them still getting on the air. I guess I fell into the trap that anyone who still had a Novice license was probably not really interested in ham radio any more. I’m going to send them a QSL card and encourage them to stay in the hobby and upgrade.
- Sunspots! Old Sol must be getting a bit spotty again. Last Sunday, I fired up the rig on 15m after hearing some guys say on the ham radio mailing lists that I’m on that the band was open. Indeed it was. I worked EI6IZ (who was just booming in), CO8WZ, and an N7 station in CO. This morning, I worked a guy who said that 12m has been open, too. I should put together a fan dipole for 12m and 17m and see what kind of trouble I can get into.
- Short skip. Over the past couple of days, the skip on 40m has been really short at times. Saturday morning, down at the museum, we worked AA8N, who is in Flint, MI, just 70 miles or so up I-75. Since then, I’ve worked a station in Richmond, IN (180 miles) and one in Newark, OH (170 miles) on 40m. It’s an interesting phenomenon.
- LOOOONG Skip! This morning, around 4 am, I found myself unable to get back to sleep. What would any typical ham do in that situation? Get on the air, of course. Tuning around 40m, I copied a fairly weak signal whose prefix I thought was “HW0.” That didnt’ sound right to me, so I kept listening. Turns out the station was 5W0OU in Western Samoa (about 6,800 miles). It took a couple of calls, but eventually he heard me. So, I’ve got another one in the log.
Ain’t ham radio fun?