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.


  1. Yeah, 10M was a real disappoint this weekend for the contest. I listened off and on during the daylight hours, and finally heard some decent action Sunday evening a couple of hours before the end of the contest. I got on and made about 50 contacts before it ended, one of them with Australia,

  2. Dave, N8SBE says:

    Sorry, left out my callsign, above.

  3. Ulysses, W8ULY says:

    Could you define “sloppy fists” for us newbies?

    I Google’d it and got some “interesting” sites until I added amateur radio to the search parameters. Even then it was in reference to CW which I think I get the meaning.

    Just wanted to be sure I understood and in what context.


  4. There is a man that works at the Ham Radio Outlet in San Diego who’s callsign is N6SIX. Great callsign!

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