Thank you, Buro

A surprise came in yesterday’s mail: an envelope from the W5 buro with a nice batch of cards inside. Thanks also to OM2VL, SF7WT, RU3ZX, EA8ZS, OR7R, and ES5QD for the nice cards.

The last one puzzled me for a bit, as I had only one QSO logged on the date of the card, from a Japanese station. It finally hit me that that date was when I was traveling from Texas to Los Angeles, and making QSOs that I didn’t log.

I have sent answering cards back via the buro to all these stations. Thanks again, guys.

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Made It

Just received an LOTW QSL from HC2/W7SE, giving me 100 countries confirmed. Application is already in to ARRL.

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Six Meters, anyone?

Here’s my 6 meter contesting setup this year (I can also put up the Moxon if needed).

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I can also bolt it to the bed rails on the back of the truck. Extreme 6 meter mobile?

Now I’m just waiting for the opening ….

Update: This arrangement got me 9 6 meter QSOs during today’s opening. Looking good.

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Stuck in the Gate

Been this way for several weeks now. There are several stations in the log that are LOTW participants who either haven’t uploaded lately or didn’t get my call into their log when they did upload, so here I am, one short of DXCC.

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Yaesu VX2R Belt Clip Mod

Does your Yaesu VX-series HT look like this?

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The plastic belt clips are notorious for breaking. There is a solution. Buy a cellphone clip for Nokia phones. I found mine at Amazon:

Nokia Belt Clip for Nokia 5100, 6100, and 7100 Series Phones

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Remove the old broken clip by unscrewing:

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There is a small hook-shaped metal clip on the end of the Nokia button whcih is designed to slip under the battery cover on the phone. It is held in place by a rivet. We don’t need it for the Yaesu, so use a drill bit slightly larger than the hole in the rivet and drill it out.

Now the screw for the clip will fit easily into the hole. Attach the new button clip to the Yaesu:

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Voila! A new, sturdy, easy to use belt clip holder for the Yaesu HT.

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Big tip of the hat to KB2LJJ for this idea. His technique suggests cutting off the clip, I think drilling out the rivet is a neater solution.

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Back in Action

The IC-7000 is back from the radio doctor and is all better. 1st contact after repair was E51M on 12, followed by SP2YY on 15, E51M again but on 15 CW, Z36T on 15, S52WW on 17, and R3K on 15. I’ll take those to mean it’s working okay.

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Time Out

I have been idled by a blown final in the IC-7000, possibly caused by lightning.

The radio is repaired and on the way back, and I’ll be disconnecting the antenna (and maybe the power) from now on when storms are in the area. Live and learn.

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ARRL DX Contest (10 not so dead after all)

After saying that 10 had gone dead, the ARRL DX Contest shows it has some life left in it yet. I managed 64 contacts with 28 countries on 10, so it still has its moments.

I worked 3 new countries in the contest, Peru, Bolivia, and Anguilla. Two have confirmed so far and my LOTW DXCC count is at 96.

I saw VP8NO in the Falklands spotted on 10 meter RTTY and got all set up to have a try, only to find this:

If you listen closely, you can hear VP8NO’s rtty signal underneath the chatter. He was 599 here, but couldn’t compete with that.

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Ham Salad

Is anyone else shocked at the collapse of 10 meters? 10 went from wide open to the world, work anything you can hear, to sporadic openings and (mostly) band wide silence in the space of a few weeks. Of course this is due to the collapse of the sunspot count, from over a hundred to less than fifty with a corresponding drop in the flux levels.

But with ten’s decline, 15 has come into its own. 21 MHz has given me Niue, New Zealand, Italy, Ecuador, Kamchatka, Poland, El Salvador, Brazil, Croatia, and for a new one, J88DR in Saint Vincent, all in the last two weeks. I’m getting a card out to Dave for Saint Voncent ASAP. (Boo to the post office for increasing the European postage rates, from 98 cents to $1.05. No 7 cent stamps and I still have most of a sheet of 98 centers left.)

I am also watching the 6-meter propagation maps for sporadic-E opportunities. I have 66 grids confirmed and would like to complete VUCC this year. I recently bought an M2 6-meter HO Loop antenna to try out during openings, and would like to log a few using it.

I now have enough countries confirmed in LOTW and with cards to qualify for basic DXCC, as soon as I can get the cards entered into my DXCC account at ARRL. So I will be growing my wallpaper collection this year too.

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Done

After 48 years and 4 months as a ham, I have completed my WAS.

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