For the coming holidays, I swore myself to force myself into the shack on a daily base. So far I have been very submissive regarding this rule. And I had quite some fun at it. I made about 400 contacts. Mostly on 30 and 17. And chase those weird prefixes that seem to be around by the dozen.
This week I wanted to make a few contacts with OJ0V too. I know half of the crew in person, so it’s only normal I want to support them. I managed to work them eight times between 15 and 40. Nothing higher than 21 MHz because of stinking propagation (again / still).
I experienced a short but sweet SR/SS opening to W6/7 on 30m. Oh man how I love this opening. If only I could make an antenna with gain on 30. Actually the making would be the easy part. It’s giving it a place that’s cumbersome. Which is a nice bridge to the SteppIR DreamBeam discussion: one antenna, gain from 6 to 40.
I had some luck on 17 too. Working Americans as far as CA and WA and at the same time have JA’s call in. All on a simple piece of resonant copper wire. Working familiar callsigns is always a treat too. So when I copied AE5X on 17 I was glad to say hello. I had a few longer ‘rag chew’ QSO too. I must say that my CW has become a bit rusty to copy full conversations above 32WPM. That’s what you get when you neglect your mistress that is ham radio! Rusty but I manage. Copying calls and numbers in short bursts is easy up to 40-42 WPM. I can say ‘easy’ now because of intensive training (remember PED & Rufz?) when I began contesting and massive contest experience over the years. So two nights ago I had to keep my head straight and focus when W9FAM bombarded me with a lot of information and questions at what I guess was 36-38 WPM. I don’t want to sound like a lid and answer each ? with a helpless ?
I tried 24 MHz too but to no avail. I’m not even picked up by skimmers, except local ON5KQ and some German. It’s not that the antenna doesn’t work. I had a blast on it when the band was open. Long time ago. It’s just that propagation does not support frequencies that high.
Let’s hope for some improved propagation. I really would like to see 12m open. Ten too of course but I try to avoid the regular bands since I’m already making thousands of contacts there in the contests.
And then there’s SIX METERS… I made four contacts this past week. That’s four more than last year (zero in 2012, I was shocked). I think Ukraine might be a new one there. I don’t have an antenna for 50 MHz. By accident I discovered that my old triband trapped WARC yagi showed 2.1:1 SWR there. And the replacement homebrew inverted V for WARC shows 1.9:1. It’s not a real antenna but it picks up and radiates some RF. Again a nice bridge to the SteppIR DreamBeam discussion: one antenna, gain from 6 to 40.