Ham radio hiatus

Regular readers may have noticed: it’s been a long time since my previous post. It’s been even longer since I was active on the radio. Over the last week three people have commented on the absence of blog posts and my signal on the air.

In short: I haven’t had the time nor the energy for the hobby over the last few months. Sometimes other things need to be taken care of. Things that are even more important than the important hobby.

The only two contests I did so far in 2019 were UBA CW and ARRL DX CW, both in February.

I did a time consuming welding job for a friend in late March and early April.

I went to a ham fair with ON4BHQ and ON3MDW on Easter Monday. I bought some SMA-to-various plugs (N, PL, BNC). Because I bought an RSP1A. Haven’t gotten around to actually do something with it.

At the fair I talked to the guys organizing OP0HQ. We agreed I’d be doing 20m CW just like in 2018. I decided to bail out of the team a few weeks later. I assumed I wouldn’t be into the hobby with enough motivation by now to go all out and I didn’t want to compromise the team’s score or cancel my participation last minute. This early cancellation gave the organizers enough time to find a potent replacement. I hope to be back in 2019…

I finished checking the logs for the UBA SSB contest. The CW part is done too, I just need to manually look for busted calls versus uniques and then run the scoring and UBN modules.

I had no interest in WPX CW either. That weekend I went out for a walk with the dog and the kids when I noticed my farmer-neighbor installed a bunch of new giant fans with speed control. Speed control = switching semiconductors = possible major PITA (RFI and noise anyone?). So back home I decided to fire up the rig and see if these fans caused problems. So far they seem not to bother my HF RX. I haven’t listened below 7 MHz though.

Maybe I should combine the RSP1A and RFI-sniffing? Maybe later…

Every time I checked the online cluster I saw little or no propagation and almost exclusive FT-8 spots. This is not what it takes to overcome my current ham radio state of mind. Last week though I noticed EU-USA spots on 10m CW. Now that’s what might do the trick to get me on the air…


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