A man with a plan

Not just one. A dozen plans are screaming for my brain’s attention!

  • During last week’s CW WW SSB contest, I was rather pleased with the single K9AY RX loop aimed to USA. I should look for a permanent solution.
  • I went shopping for hardware to finish the final 80/160m setup. I need to address that too.
  • Replace rope on one of the pulleys to get wires up the height of the tower. One is too short and its end is out of reach when the tower is all the way up. It doesn’t matter since it normally carries a 40m vertical dipole but last week it was ‘unloaded’ and I couldn’t get hold of it anymore since it was too high. I tried climbing the tower to snatch it but the wind would blow it away and out of reach.
  • And yet more CQ WW SSB fallout: why not try SB15 in WW CW? My usual SOAB(A) adventure seems a bit hard to pull off with the busy schedule before and after so I might limit the operating time and get some sleep. This plan does not require work does it? Yes it does! I’d like to assemble a second antenna. Heck, I even went to buy parts for that yesterday!
  • Either try to fix the TS-850 myself (nasty fault but harmless and not always present) or send it off to a Kenwood repair centre. Then try to sell it to gain more budget for yet more crazy plans!
  • The pile of direct QSL is growing. Time to write the cards and go to the post office. Low priority plan – but still a plan!

That’s only the ham plans, there are many more in ‘civilian life’. But I am definitely over any dip in the hobby that might have occurred over the last 18 months! I climb out of bed early to see what the bands have to offer. I hurry back home from wherever I am to check out the bands. And I have several pots boiling on the stove. No I’m not talking food here, it’s a metaphor HI. In fact some of those civilian chores are even put on hold in favor of ham radio. She’s a cruel mistress, that hobby of mine…

I was shocked (surprised rather) to read that ON7RU calls me “Belgians most active contester” (here). Is that true? I don’t know. I might be the Belgian contester with the biggest QSO volume. But most active? It is a fact that I don’t encounter many ON stations in the contests. Except in CQ WW SSB where they are a massive contribution to my score of course. Really: the most ON I work is in CQ WW SSB where they are a pathetic ZERO points. I’m always happy to work one for the DXCC mult but… anyway that’s another story. Now there might be something to it, especially in CW. Last Thursday I hurried home from work to sample the propagation on 15m with the recent rise in SFI. First caller was a W8. He asked if I was “QRV IN CQ WW CW TEST?”. You bet! I found it pretty weird that he asked that more than four weeks before the contest. The conversation must have been picked up by an XE who also seemed glad to learn I would be on in CQ WW CW. Maybe they start to fear missing out on the ON CTY mult. That would be something: being the only ON in CQ WW CW. I would get almost the same advantage as the contest DXpeditions. Apart from the benefit of a better location of course. All kidding aside: I don’t feel the most active contester… but maybe I am? Not that it matters.

SFI dropped a few points again. But it seems we’re all awake now and trying the higher bands. I wonder how this will evolve the coming months. Was this an occasional sunspot or will more of those return? Let’s hope they will. If not I will multiply the values for my new 15m antenna by 2 and play on 30m, still my favorite band.

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