Saturday, July 12, 2008

In the Land of HF

I know it has been a little while since I've last posted an entry here. After vacation and trying to get back into the swing of things, I haven't had much time to sit down and write. So, now I sit here before the screen pouring my thoughts onto this entry form.
Just to let you all know, vacation was a lot of fun. I only made but a few contacts out on the road. Mainly a couple of HAMs that we normally talk to around here on the local Knoxville area repeaters (KJ4CGG and N4CQW), one HAM in Chattanooga (N4AOW), and 1 HAM in Panama City (KD5RBR). I was surprised that I didn't hear anymore than I did while we were mobiling around Florida, Alabama, Louisiana, etc. However, I will just mark it up to the approaching Field Day and everyone making preparations. While in New Orleans, we were glad to see that the local news channel had a nice segment during field day where one of the news people were at a field day event. Actually, the news cast went back to the reporter several times while at the event. It's nice to see HAM radio getting some recognition.
So now that vacation is over and we have gotten back into our routines, we've been playing around in the world of HF. We've been going over to Dad's (KU4ME) these past couple of weekends and playing on his HF radio (ICom IC-756Pro). Last week I worked on some more states and made a DX contact to a station in Ecuador and on St. Barthelemy. Robin (AJ4IJ), worked her very first PSK31 contact as well. As a matter of fact, she's the first one of our big HAM family to make a PSK31 contact.
Last night I was able to make contact with a station in Portugal on the Azore Islands. I tried my darnedest to work a station on Crete, but the pileup was so large and even when the station called for stations for a first contact, there were still other operaters making contact with the station who had previously contacted the station. So unfortunately I was unable to make contact before he went QRT. Robin was able to make contact with a station in Mexico last night as well. After she made that contact she got up to let me try but the station dropped out. It was very similar to when she worked Austrailia on our early field day. LOL.
Anyway, today we plan on going over to dad's and work on putting up the dipole we used during field day so we can get better HF results over there. It's been hard to bust through the pileups so we are going to see if we can improve that a bit today. Once we get that up, we will probably try to work some of the special event stations that are operating this weekend like the FBI station, the Collins Radio special event stations, and the funniest one I've ever heard of, NU5DE, the Naturist Ameteur Radio Club in Texas.
So that's all I've got for now. I'll get on here later and give updates on the antenna project and how we fare on those special events.

Until then, 73 de AJ4JD

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