Saturday, July 22, 2006

Squeezed in a QSO & Random Thoughts

Another night of some pretty bad thunder storms. From about 4:30 this afternoon to almost 8:00 PM it was pretty much one, long drawn out thunderstorm with bouts of very heavy rain. The lightning bolts were landing very, very locally on the drive home from work. In fact, I saw one touch down in someone's backyard while I was waiting my turn at a stop sign. THAT makes you sit up and take notice! About 9:30 PM it calmed down enough where I was able to squeeze in a QSO. I had a nice ragchew with Bob W8SX in Dayton, Ohio. We spent the half hour comparing notes on our efforts to build ATS-3 radios from Steve Weber. QRN on 40 Meters was pretty gruesome with all the electrical activity in the atmosphere. I pulled the plug for the night and no more than 30 minutes later, the lightning and thunder started up again!

I want to get the internal auto tuner for my K2. I came to that revelation yesterday; probably after reading a bit more about it on the Elecraft e-mail reflector. I currently have an LDG AT11-MP which works very nicely; but I think I want to make a change. I like the auto tuner in my K1 and I think the KAT2 would be a little quicker than the AT11-MP. The KAT2 has double the memories, too. Don't know what I'm going to sell to raise the funds, though. Maybe I'll sell the AT11-MP and will use my Emtech ZM-2 QRP manual tuner for a bit, while I raise the remainder of the needed funds and then build it.

I have really come to enjoy using a Bug for conversational CW. The keyer and paddles are nice for QRP Sprints; but I really like the personality that using a Bug gives you. I have found the key to generating better code with a Bug is to keep your hand VERY relaxed and not tensed up. The second that I lose discipline and let my fingers tense up is the second I start sending lousy code. It's a challenge; but it's fun at the same time.

I'm happy with the number of hits my Website has been getting lately. It seems like the counter has been rolling through a century of hits about every week and a half or so. I put a lot of me into that Webpage; so it's gratifying to see that people find it interesting; or at the very least NOT a waste of time.

The Mets won again tonight, beating the Houston Astros 7-0. John Maine, a rookie for the Mets, pitched a 4 hit shutout. This has been a very fun season and the games have been interesting, even when the Mets lose. Back in the mid 80s and early 90s, my cousin and I used to have season tickets to all the Saturday home games. We have kind of fallen out of touch; and I miss not having anyone to share my passion for NY Mets baseball with.

Work was a bear this week, with trying to catch up after being away for a week's vacation. Hopefully, I'll be caught up by the end of next week. Right now I'm up to my behind in alligators. I need these two days off.

Like the header says, tonight it was random thoughts. I'm getting beat and am going to turn in. I think I'll take the 2M HT up with me to listen to while I try to fall asleep. Sometimes, some of the local repeaters get some interesting conversations going into the wee, small hours of the night.

73 de Larry W2LJ

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