Tuesday, July 27, 2010

T Minus 3...2....1

What a great summer it has been, despite the nearly complete lack of E-Skip in July. June was one of the best months ever for E-Skip including several 2 Meter openings. As Murphy would have it, I missed nearly all of them due to work and family commitments. But I did manage to work three new states, and a few new grids. I'm at 97 grids worked now on 2, all via the indoor antennas. 

I'm hoping that the August Perseids meteor shower will be a good one this year, allowing me to move over the magic 100 grid mark. Or we'll see a nice tropo opening here as the summer draws to a close. It's been well over 100 degrees here for the past two weeks, but despite the presence of a lingering high pressure system, conditions have been only slightly better than average. I think if you're going to endure "heat advisories" warnings on NOAA Weather Radio, then you should at least have some tropo to go with it! 

Some other highlights of the Summer of 2010 so far: 

  • The ARRL June Contest saw this station working VUCC in a single weekend of limited operating time, on 100 watts, all using the indoor 3 element beam! That's one I won't soon forget. 
  • Worked Joe Taylor, K1ST, one of my radio heroes using his new WSJT 8 software on ISCAT mode via 6 Meters. What a thrill! Can't thank Joe enough for his invention which has made most of this possible. 
  • Added a 30 watt 1296 DEMI transverter, which should help me on that band. 
  • In the process of upgrading antennas for 2 Meters, 902, and 1296--should be ready for the September contest. 
  • A new "serious rover" Austin, K4AMK moved to Helena, AL only a few miles from my home. He's in the process of building a very serious contest capable rover, and should really change the game here. He's also interested in Optical DX, so we're working on some transceivers to make a VUCC attempt in that region soon too. 

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