It’s been almost seven weeks since the Corona / COVID-19 confinement. Apart from nature walks with family and dog, and some gardening, there is not much left to do but ham radio. You won’t be hearing any complaints from me about that. Here’s an image from one of the long walks:
So what did I do?
The red thread running through this month is that I left up the tower and low band antennas after RDXC and WPX SSB. Since I am at home all the time (Corona confinement!) and WX is not too windy… Actually the wind was strong enough on two occasions. Not a storm but très gusty. Everything held up. With the antenna up and nowhere to go, I participated in some events I usually skip.
I participated in a local 6m contest. But I have no 6m antenna. So for that I hung up the WARC dipole. It exhibits reasonable SWR on 50 MHz. Any antenna beats no antenna so I logged 13 CW and 25 SSB QSO. Of which one DX: a DL.
I worked 51 Japanese stations in their JIDX CW. All on 20m, none of them loud. Some pretty weak and marginal.
Gagarin Memorial Cup. That was fun. I logged 516 CW QSO on 40m only. Lots of stations to work. Confinement is a bliss for our hobby.
Manchester Mineira a/k/a CQMM. My plan was to work a dozen Brazilians on 15m. That turned out quite… well:
Band QSOs 3,5 99 7 357 14 391 21 22 Total 869
A lot of people to work from all over the world. Again: confinement is boosting on the air activity.
During the week there was stuff to work. World Amateur Radio Day SES stations (***WARD). Especially the Spanish: AM*WARD. Spain is not always easy from here but I think I’m up to 30 now.
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Last week a radio-friend asked if this never gets boring to me. NEVER! April 18 is World Amateur Radio Day and I have used morse code to talk to people in Alaska, Argentina, Greenland, Brazil, Australia, Martinique, Siberia, Azerbeidzjan and a ton of other places. That’s only today. I am tired and my bed is tempting me but the signals keep coming from the #greatesthobbyintheworld !!! Someone has to answer so it might as well be me. _________________________________________ #cqcontest #amateurradio #hamradio #radioaficionado #worldamateurradioday #qrz #morsecode #telegraphy
Never waste a good crisis and any occasion can serve a Special Event Station purpose. STAYHOME, STAYSAFE, HOPE, ANGELS and other variations on the theme. At first I wasn’t really in to this. But then my club opted for OT4HOPE and since I was on the license… I made 1100 QSO so far, mostly CW. Of course.
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I just contacted this Finnish amateur radio station with a funky callsign: OH1PYSYKOTONA. ‘Pysy kotona’ aparently means ‘stay home’. That makes sense. The Belgian equivalent would be something like ON5BLIJFINUWKOT. Amateur radio is a very educational hobby! And 100% compliant with the anti-virus rules. _________________________________________ #amateurradio #hamradio #hamradiocallsign #specialeventstation #blijfinuwkot #stayhome
Another red thread though all of this is the absolute abysmal conditions on HF. There is DX but it’s few and far between. Openings are short lived and moreover: during weekdays there seems to be no one around even of a band shows signs of life. I’m talking about classic CW and SSB. Don’t care for anything else.
My conclusion: if there is no award to chase or online ‘leaderboard’, people don’t care. And CW contesting during the weekends is currently alive and well, even in small unknown contests.
73 and stay safe – stay home!