It was a busy ham radio weekend for me.
On Saturday, there were four of us at WA2HOM, the club station at the Ann Arbor Hands-On Museum. Jim, K8ELR, and I got there shortly after 10am. Also there at some point was Jack, WT8N; Ralph, AA8RK, and Jeff, KD8JAE.
The first thing we noticed was the addition of a poster displaying photos from our Space Station contact and copies of the two newspaper articles. Very cool. All we need is a QSL card and the poster will be complete.
After Jack arrived, the first order or business was to try to get Jack’s PSK interface working. Despite a lot of discussion and swapping of plugs, we were unable to get any audio from the Omni VII into the computer. As we did not have any test equipment, we aren’t sure what the problem is. NOTE TO SELF: at the very least bring a multimeter to the museum next time.
After Jack left, we got down to some serious operating, with Jim and Ralph making a bunch of North American QSO Party (NAQP) QSOs. We made some on 40m, then switched over to 20m for a while. Unfortunately, 20m was dead again, and after a couple of rough contacts, we switched back to 40 meters.
Jeff, KD8JAE, arrived sometime around 1 pm. Jeff is a rather new ham, having passed the Tech test in July. I got an e-mail from him last Thursday and invited him down to the museum. We sat Jeff down at the mike, and he made a couple of NAQP contacts. These may have been his first HF QSOs.
We packed it in about 3:15.
Let it Snow, Let it Snow, Let it Snow.
We’ve been just getting pounded with snow here in Ann Arbor. It’s not like Colorado, or Minnesota, and I suppose that I shouldn’t be complaining, but we already have had nearly four feet of snow fall this year. Last year at this time, we’d only had two and a half feet, and last year was a record year.
On Saturday, it started snowing around 9:30 am and snowed till about 3 pm. Then, it started up again about 5 pm or so. Overall we got about six inches or so.
Since I’m not really big on driving in snow, I decided to call off an expedition to the hamfest this morning. I told them all to sleep in. The only problem is that I failed to call all of the guys, and he woke me up with a call at 6:30 am, saying he would be arriving at my house soon. Since he had a fair drive just to get to my house, I couldn’t really tell him to turn around and go home, so I got dressed, and we drove the 40 miles from my house to the hamfest.
Fortunately, the roads weren’t too bad. A couple of spots were dicey, but the traffic was light and we made it there in one piece.
I ended up buying a bunch of stuff, including some rubber feet, a couple of neon bulbs, and an Autek RF1 antenna analyzer. The RF1 is a bare-bones kind of instrument, but it’s perfect new hams. I got it for $75 and plan to re-sell it to one of the students in my upcoming General class.
Another “bargain” was the Army surplus mitten liners that I got for a buck. The amusing thing about this purchase is that they came with wearing instructions (see below).