This past week has been a very productive one on the bands. Despite a generally lackluster Perseids meteor shower, I still managed to work five new grids on 2 Meters, bringing my total to 59 grids worked since January of 2008.
The Perseids netted several netted several new contacts on 6 Meters as well, and a very memorable contact with K0RI in Colorado Springs, CO at a distance of 1,071 miles. What made it memorable is that the entire contact took less than 2 minutes using the WSJT sotware!
Also managed to work Danny, N5OMG in New Orleans on 2 Meters without any help from the falling rocks at all. We used the JT65b mode of the WSJT software and just the usual middle of the evening backscatter to complete the 300 mile QSO during what most would describe as "dead band" conditions. Thanks again to Joe Taylor, K1ST, without whom I'd never have a legitimate shot at earning VUCC on 2 Meters.
It's becoming clear that time at the dials is the most important factor in reaching my goal. But that's always been the case on these bands. One of my mentors advised me to follow the Three B Rule:
1. Be On. (When the band is open, the rox are falling, the moon is near the horizon, whatever)
2. Be Loud. (More power, Scotty! More iron in the air helps too)
3. Be horizontal.
I plan to concentrate on putting in a tilt over mast at my station, and beefing up the 2 Meter antenna to at least 12 elements. I'll also be able to better use the SSB Electronics mast mounted pre-amp. It's great in some directions now, but the attic has too many noise sources. In some directions, turning on the pre-amp only makes things worse. Getting the antenna outside should really help with that too.
Thanks to all who listened hard for the weak one. Each grid is like gold to me, and I'm more grateful than you could know. See you on the bands!