If it's Tuesday night; and it's Winter; then it has to be 80 Meter QRP Foxhunt night! And tonight was nice - to start out with. The band was quiet, hardly any QRN at all. Very nice conditions for hunting Foxes. And hunt them I did; and quite successfully, too!
Steve NØSM in Iowa proved to be the trickier of the two Foxes. His signal was up and down. QSB was a bit of a problem and I had to call for about 20 minutes before I snared him. Scott NØAR was easier, on the other hand. His signal was steady; and I bagged his pelt after calling maybe two or three times. So I got a 2fer, as it is called. I worked both Foxes and the feeling is good.
While attempting to work Steve, though, I managed to get my ears bloodied when out of nowhere, K3IN started calling up the 3RN Net with a 50,000000 over 9 signal. The suddenness of the beginning of the net was a startling jolt. No "QRL?", no "?", no nothing. Thank the Lord for the K2's crystal filters! I was able to peel myself off the floor; go to the tightest filter and still listen for NØSM without developing a migraine.
Yes, I know these nets are the backbone of the National Traffic System; and I realize that they have met on the same blessed frequency every single blessed night since Marconi was in diapers. But how about some courtesy? How about some good operating practice? How about asking if the frequency is in use before blasting away with a "3RN de K3IN" ????? Hmmmm ???
I know, it's like trying to shovel sand into the sea. You get nowhere and frustrated real fast. But being an established net, even a major NTS region net, does NOT excuse you from basic operating courtesies. You mean to tell me if these guys had to move up or down a couple of KCs, that the net would fall apart? If that's the case, then we're in worse shape than I had imagined.
BTW, no answer or acknowledgment from QRPKits with reference to the e-mail I sent them last week; inquiring about obtaining a new U11 reference oscillator chip. I fired off another e-mail tonight. We'll see what happens.
72 de Larry W2LJ
PS - A small point; but the closing signature line from here on out will include the "72" - "Best QRP" originated by Oleg Borodin. Since this is a QRP blog (primarily) it seems fitting.