Low Activity and Low Spirits

So far in 2015 I have had one, yes, one QSO, with 3Z90IARU in Poland. The whole K1N experience was so disheartening and depressing I find myself turning on the radio, looking around for a few seconds, and turning it off again. Days go by that I don’t turn it on at all.
K1N seems to have brought out all the venality, stupidity, and malice that the bands could hold. Malicious interference was the rule. Calling out of turn was the rule. Calling on the DX frequency when the op was split was the standard M.O for hundreds of stations 24 hours a day. I gave up on this op, and very nearly on ham radio, after only a few days.
Does anyone know if the much ballyhooed QRM detector had any results at all? Would you blame me if I suspected no, no effect at all? The capacity of some hams for pure spite and malice seems to be boundless.
I will probably not be operating much until my stomach and blood pressure recover from this experience.

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LSDXA January Meeting

Crowded this month


Haven’t seen this many hams in one place since Ham Com.

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So this happened today:

LOTW-TPA#1320 in the book.

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All is Vanity

The once wonderful vanityhq.com, which had many wonders and marvels for ham operators, shut down a while back.

Now the domain has transferred to a Japanese registrar, and the page is mostly empty.

A moment of silence for its passing, please.

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Code of (bad) Conduct

I listened with growing amazement yesterday (9/30) while waiting to see if I could get a chance to work 8R1AE as he repeatedly pleaded for JA only, and a California ham kept calling over his QSOs, calling after again JA only was requested, and generally making a pest of himself until Peter finally worked him just to get him to SHUT UP.

So, Bruce, do you really think you’re in his log? I would bet you’re not. I would have done the same thing – worked you just to get you to go away and then thrown the QSO in the trash.


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Getting close

I am getting very close to collecting some more wallpaper for the shack: 149 of 150 for Triple Play, 98 of 100 for VUCC, 49/50 for SSB WAS, 47 48 of 50 for RTTY WAS, 141 142 of 150 for a DXCC endorsement.

I seriously need Mississippi on phone/LOTW for Triple Play. Hoping to find someone for a sked before too much longer.

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The Paper Chase (continued).

Thanks to the W1AW portable operations, I am at 147 confirmed WAS contacts for Triple Play, missing only Indiana in digital mode and Maine and Mississippi in phone mode. I collected the CW WAS a few days back.

For a new experience, I tuned 50.276 MHz and worked JT65 on six meters for the 1st time.  The band was open, and in two sessions about a week apart, I added 10 new grids confirmed in LOTW to get me to 91 in the VUCC.  I like JT65 for grid chasing, it’s really like shooting grids in a barrel – just watch for one you need and go for it.

Next time I post, I may have 4 new certificates on the wall.

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Chasing paper

I am in serious contention for the ARRL Triple Play Award these days, with 129/150 137/150 slots confirmed. As of today, I need 9 4 2 CW, 7 6 5 phone, and 5 3 2 digital QSOs on LOTW for Triple Play., and I have one CW and one digital pending upload by the other station.

I am taking advantage of the ARRL Centennial QSO Party to get as many of the missing states as possible. In fact, the pending uploads are for W1AW/4 in Kentucky, which could happen at any time, now that his week is over.

I’m also working a lot of RTTY lately using my little Acer netbook and MMTTY.  I picked up some new countries in January in the ARRL RTTY DX contest, and most days hear a good amount of activity on 12 and 10 meters, sometimes with some decent DX to boot.

For now, I will be keeping on keeping on, chasing that wallpaper.

CW: need CO, IA, LA, NJ, NM, ND, SD, WY (KY coming soon!)

Phone: Need AR, IA, LA, ME, MS, MO, NJ

Digital: Need AK, IN, MS, NM (KY coming soon!)

(Updated 4/13/14)

(5/5/14 Update – NJ and ND confirmed in CW, NJ in phone, MS in digital)

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Triply Tripled Triple

I realized a while back that I had filled in quite a few slots in the Triple Play Award, so I have begun pursuing it in earnest. As of today, I have 119 (of 150) slots confirmed, and I’m waiting for 4 more to be uploaded.

I need 12 more CW contacts to finish out that column, and 8 phone contacts to finish that mode. Only 7 to go on digital modes (assuming the 4 I’m waiting for come through, that is).

I picked up several in the ARRL RTTY Roundup. But most of my recent digital activity has been using the JT modes, JT65HF and JT9. JT65 and JT9 are a good way to go for state hunting because the grid location is transmitted with each CQ. Just watch for the ones you need, and jump in. Of the last 50 QSOs I have logged, 28 were using one of the JT modes.

I have been especially lucky on 40 meter JT starting around 2300Z when there is a good mix of local and DX stations. Last night I worked OE5EGN in Austria on 40, while running 20 watts.

I’m taking a break for a couple of nights, I have to wait out the cold front before I can get back on. It’s far too cold to be sitting in the truck.

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Rittie Roundup

Okay, I meant RTTY roundup. 51 Q’s, 5 DXCC entities, including, surprisingly, V5/DL9NDS in Namibia for a 1st time contact. (Hope he confirms in LOTW.)

I only operated Saturday afternoon while it was still warm. Sunday was too frigid to sit in the truck.

So far 9 stations have confirmed in LOTW, adding one new DXCC in RTTY mode and 3 states for Triple Play. My Triple Play score is now 100 slots, 2/3 of the way home.

Part of my low(ish) QSO count was from N1MM logger refusing to behave on the Acer netbook. I don’t know if it is a horsepower problem or something in the software, but after working nicely for 10 QSOs, it just went away and would no longer respond. Restarting didn’t help, and it stopped responding immediately. I spent about an hour chasing that before switching to paper logging.

Around 6, (00 UTC Sunday) the cold front arrived and I packed up and went in.

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