Sunday, February 20, 2011

Added a new one

I just realized that I added a new DXCC Entity to the "worked as QRP" list yesterday, when I contacted VP2MMM in Montserrat on 10 Meters yesterday.

10 Meters was not as sizzling today as it was yesterday.  15 Meters was still hopping this afternoon, as was 20 Meters.  I see the Solar Flux Index is a bit down - closer to 100 than 120.  With less that three hours left in the contest, this is a good time for newer QRPers to jump into the fray of a DX contest.  The big guns who are still in the thick of things have reached the point where they've worked a lot of stations; but are still hungry for points.  They are inclined to listen for weaker QRP signals that they might be hearing.

I was pleased to see on Facebook that George N2JNZ's new FlexRadio station is working quite well for him.  On 40 Meters alone, he's had more than 108 QSOs with 50 countries worked.  He said that the new release of software has made CW a lot better than it was; and that he has been having a good time with his bug.

My own involvement was very little.  I really was only poking around a bit to take advantage of the good conditions on 15 and 10 Meters; as well as to see if I could scare up a new country or two.  Working Montserrat completed that goal.  As always ...... want to make sure the antennas work, too!  All contacts except for one were made with the Butternut HF9V.  That vertical has been a very solid performer for me for this last decade.  I sure am glad it's out there.  This weekend, we've had some pretty ferocious winds, too.  Loud enough to make me cringe a bit as I was laying in bed last night as I was drifting off to sleep.  The HF9V takes the winds here in stride.  A little swaying, nothing even really noticeable.  And that's nice.  At one time, I owned another brand of vertical and I used to have agita and nightmares when the wind would start to blow.  Ice storms were even worse!

Tonight is the Flying Pigs monthly QRP sprint, The Run for the Bacon.  I would expect participation to be down as probably everyone is a bit pooped from the DX contest.  In an open e-mail to the QRP and CW e-mail reflectors, I invited K6JSS/2 to join in on the fun as "the Key" is passed from Arizona to New York state tonight at 00:00 UTC.

One last thing.  I was in "the library" looking at the newest issue of QST, when my eye settled on an advertisement for the Icom IC-R75 receiver.  Here's the text that made me pause for thought, as my fledgling footsteps into this hobby were as an SWL:

"Listening to shortwave over the air is part science, part art.  There's something magical about tuning a knob on a box and opening an earful of life in another part of the world.  No Ethernet cables.  No server shut-downs. No broken links.  Just hundreds to thousands of miles of air between the station and you, with your IC-R75".

Can you imagine if this ad had somehow magically appeared in an issue of QST of the 50s or 60's perhaps? "Ether what?"  "What's a server?"  "What's a link and how do you even break one?"  Yet these are things that we have now come to accept as part of every day life and get taken for granted.

It's nice to see that Icom (or perhaps just their ad agency) still recognizes that radio, in and of itself,  is still "magical".

72 de Larry W2LJ
QRP - When you care to send the very least!


  1. Radio is a lot like fishing. You never know what you're goin to catch till you throw the line in the water!

    Yes...the bands were hot again today!

  2. I had a lot to do this weekend so I wasn't on the radio a lot but I tried to spend some time on 10m. 10m seems to be quiet now but over the weekend I was able to log 39 stations using my dipole and 100w. The best 10m contact was with ZS6RJ in South Africa about 8000 miles away. Looks like he has a hexbeam for an antenna.

    I guess I can start to believe the "old timers" when they talk about 10m. This is new for me!