Blowing the dust off

This weekend it’ll be 6 weeks since my last QSO. This weekend it’ll be 6 weeks since my butt last touched the shack’s chair. In between I only let the amp run dry for a few hours to keep things going. So I vowed that this weekend, I’ll make a few contacts.

The first thing to do after such a period is let the PC do its updates both for the operating system as for anti-virus. Then I installed the latest N1MMLogger and K5ZD’s SCP. Finally it was time to make the move from V5 to V7 for my microHAM MK2R+ ‘s USB routing software. This went unexpectedly smooth. No glitches, no settings lost, no problems to get things going after the upgrade. Great stuff from microHAM! Then on to get my K3’s firmware up to date. Last time (and the first time I did that) wasn’t exactly a big success (see link). Guess what? Same issue again. Same solution to the problem. And now I remembered to set the baudrate to 4800 again!

Finally time for some action. TT8JT was firing away on 20m. I think I worked him. He sent what I assumed to be my call but I was not sure due to "simplex rude manners" so I replied ‘QRM DE OQ5M OQ5M 579 PSE CFM’ to which he replied ‘TU TT8JT UP’. So I did not get a confirmation and I simply did not log the contact. I don’t care about DXCC or work – not work a DX. I want a decent QSO which is at least a proper confirmation of my call to see if the DX has it straight.

I didn’t bother to call again and moved up to 17m. SFI=69 and A was 0. So I did what I like most: park myself and call CQ (in CW of course) and see what happens. After a couple of CQ’s WA6NHD answered. His loud signal lead me to believe he was an Eastcoaster. But not so: he sent ‘CA’! My first QSO in 6 weeks and there you go. I continued for a while and worked some more W5+6+7 and a W0. California, Texas, Nevada, Colorado and Pennsylvania too. I like working USA regardless the band. Then I got a "Dinner Is Served" call so I called it a day. My weekend’s vows are met.

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