Tuesday, January 23, 2007

80 Meter Fox

Tonight was the beginning of the second half of the Foxhunt season. I shared 80 Meter duty with Randy K7TQ. It was a strange night. As the Foxhunts start at 9:00 PM local time, here in New Jersey, I went down to the shack to turn everything on and get everything going with about 20 minutes to go. 80 Meters was nice and quiet. A faint hiss was all the background noise I was getting, which was leading me to think that it was going to be a great night. With 10 minutes to go - same thing. I'm getting real confident now. At this point, I came upstairs to bring a glass of water with me to sip on during the Foxhunt. I picked up the headphones, plop them on my head to just to hear an S5 background noise level! What happened! In just a few minutes, 80 Meters went from sublime to a wreck!

I called "CQ Fox" and was greeted by nothing but noise. That I didn't hear my first Hound until four minutes into the hunt was not a good omen. It turned out that the entire 90 minutes became a struggle between me and the QRN. It was not the fun night that I hoped it would be; and I was doubly disappointed as I did not exceed my QSO total from the first hunt. That was my goal. I used every trick in the arsenal to pull out signals from the noise. That I worked 34 stations in the 90 minutes is probably very good under the circumstances. However, I expected more out of myself and am a bit disappointed. Sometimes, I'm my own worst enemy.

73 de Larry W2LJ

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