Radio Silence

I know you’ve all been anxiously waiting for my next post. I know y’all stare at the RBN for my call to pop up. I know the hordes are chewing their nails off awaiting their turn for another QSO with the elusive OQ5M… But it just doesn’t fit into my mood and schedule.

The first six months of the year were productive: I was QRV in most contests. Then there was OT70 and ON18FWC. Those two special events made me reschedule or cancel many things just to be in the shack and on the air. Big fun yielding thousands of contacts!

We did a four man CW Field Day in June and finished second with more Q but five less multipliers. I really would like to know what mults ON6CK/P worked that we didn’t. And where. And when. And how. Should we try again in 2019?

I did IARU as OP0HQ (20 CW) in July. Then four weeks of sweating my butt off with tropic temperatures approaching 40°C at times. Not quite the time to be in the shack – not even taking propagation into account. Highlight: my longtime mail-pal and MA contest-beacon W1EBI came to visit for about 36 hours between WRTC in Berlin and flying home.  Then I did EUHFC in early August. And then: nothing. Nothing ham-radio.

I tried to do some fun family things in August. And we also did round #2 of the house’s total makeover. Another two weeks of moving stuff outside, tearing down ceilings, breaking up floors, grinding in walls, put power cables and coax and UTP in, watch the plasterboard go up and apply layers of joint fillers (not the green herb but the white powder… well not that white powder either…). Then another few days to finish walls, glue wallpaper, paint paint paint and then some painting.

And I also changed jobs. Did you know a bad employer can bring you down? New job: once again it brings the need for me to reinvent myself again as a teacher. And the workload that goes along with that.

Last week I scratched my head trying to remember where the cables had to go after a few special setups the first half of 2018. Then I launched the station for CQ WW RTTY. I was glad to see everything still worked. Even RTTY! After four (yes 4) contacts I had enough. With poor conditions and the tower down…

Last Sunday was the annual biggest ham fair in Belgium. ON4BHQ was the driver and I provided the company. My impression was that it was a calm edition with possibly less people there. Maybe less commercial stands too? That’s a totally subjective impression not backed up by official statistics. I was glad to meet a few of the familiar faces and found three like-minded souls when it comes to FT8. I was called a dinosaur by a no-coder because I still prefer CW over anything else while ‘he’ (?) worked DXCC in FT8 in a nick of time. Heck I don’t even have an appetite for the stuff in the ‘else’ basket. Difference: this dinosaur can boot a PC and install software too while he can’t copy a dit from a dah.

So it’s clear that I haven’t been in a radio mood. I guess propagation is what it is right now so I just don’t bother too much for now and hope to do some of the fall contests (both WW, LZDX). And be QRV a lot in December. I hope I’ll have a few calmer weeks then and that everything from 10 MHz and below is sizzling.


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