Charly versus Golf – from cod to god

I notice a drop in traffic to this website which is only normal when you’ve got even less to report than ususal. After the CQMM weekend two weeks ago, I decided to take a few weeks off from ham radio. Since May has nothing to offer except WPX CW and there are a few projects waiting for me in the garden, I thought some absence wouldn’t hurt. But…

There is a but of course. First of all, the weather. The dreaded WX. For four weeks on end we’ve seen rain rain rain. And wind. Rain prevents me from doing the work I want to do. Pigs might enjoy wrestling in the mud but I don’t. Wind: two weeks ago we had a VERY windy Wednesday with an hour of storm-like gusts. So I decided to lower the tower completely. And because of the occasional thunder and lightning I leave all coaxes and control cables unplugged. Which makes me effectively QRT.

But then there was the complete surprise (at least to me) of a Yemen expedition (7O6T). Out of the blue. Little did I know! Why now? And why not announced earlier? So after a week I still haven’t worked an all time new one. I must say I’m not too keen on joining the pile ups with the tower down and the yagi low. But given the relative closeness it might work. I’d like to work them on a few bands but I must say I won’t feel bad if they suddenly QRT and I miss my chance. Wouldn’t be the first time I miss a very rare one for a new DXCC.

Last weekend we had yet another batch more of the same ‘spring’ weather: cold, rainy and a chilly breeze. So I finally did something I had been delaying for ages: reply to all incoming direct QSL. Trend: more and more I receive direct cards without return envelope or without an IRC or Dollar bills. I have always answered these in the past and paid for the stamp myself. But with a stamp for outside EU costing me more than one Euro already… I need to think this over.

There were a few exotic ones inlcuding two from China, one even came in registered. But the call was not in my log. So I scrolled back to the date and time on his card and there is was – a busted call. It was in CQ WW SSB and it might have cost me a multiplier with extra penalty! I’ve said it before: I only log when I’m 100% sure about the call and the exchange. My log said BC8COD, his card BG8GOD. So two times I copied charly where he said golf. I really don’t want to offend my fellow Chinese hams, but I think they are hard to copy in SSB. That said I’m glad they appear in big numbers nowadays. When I started in 2000, China was very rare.

I planned to chase 7O6T later this week. But the weather forecast talks about T-storms for the coming three days. That and showers. So probably neither ham radio nor working in the garden. Even the butcher was complaining about it today, that so many people complain about the weather. Bad vibes in the butcher’s store and no one buys that delicious BBQ meat so prominently on display. Today was a nice day though but I spent my free afternoon collecting materials and parts for my outside projects. If it continues, I might as well start over with a DIY / WX blog! Topics:

  • Why you can’t lay bricks when it’s raining cats and dogs.
  • What shoes to wear when digging trenches in very wet soil.
  • How to clean a clogged waste pipe.
  • The effect of sudden freeze on water filled plastic recipients exposed to the outside elements.
  • What if the water pressure regulator goes south and the boiler’s safety valve opens because the water company puts enormous pressure on the distribution system?

You see that I have little time for ham radio right now…   ;o)

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