Tuesday, August 03, 2010

20 Meter Foxes and the Fuchs Tuner

While trying to snag the 20 Meter Foxes tonight, I continued or re-started if you will, building the Fuchs Tuner kit that I got from the QRP Project in Germany. Tonight I tinned the leads of the L1/L2 transformer while trying to snag Jay KT5E in Colorado. To say that I am not the expert at multitasking is an understatement. Trying to switch between soldering iron and paddles at a second's notice was not the easiest; but at least I managed to do so without burning myself.

Jay KT5E started out really loud in NJ at the beginning of the hunt. At 0118 UTC, he dropped from 599 to almost ESP levels. For a moment, I thought an emergency popped up and that Jay had to QRT. But listening for a little bit revealed that he was still there but VERY weak - 229, perhaps?

Fortunately, Jay's signal rebounded and I snagged him at 0144 UTC. The other Fox tonight was Jim N0UR, who lives in Minnesota. I expected him to be easy pickin's as I regularly have a pipeline into MN and WI. Stations from those two states normally blow my ears out. Not so tonight. Not a peep was heard from Jim or his hounds. Strange.

For those of you who have never participated in a Foxhunt and have no idea as to what I keep talking about, I took a little video of KT5E handing a pelt to K0EVZ.


video

Besides hearing the Foxhunt exchange, please notice that the horrible QRN that I was experiencing last week was nowhere to be heard. Thank the Lord! Turn up your speakers and give a listen, especially towards the end; and you will notice the "Hound's bane" - QSB. KT5E starts out nice and strong and is a fraction of his volume towards the end. All in a night's hunt!

To those of you who are not into "competitive" Amateur Radio (and I am not, for the most part), you probably wonder why we get all hepped up about making a contact that is so short and for the most part, meaningless. I guess it's the idea of a test of equipment, patience and skill that we Foxhunters look forward to week after week. It is what it is!

72 de Larry W2LJ

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