Sunday, December 14, 2008

And to the Death it was...

The Death Match is over. Final results 147 QSOs and 80+ multipliers. Congrats to all who participated and good luck with the results. Thank you to all the contacts and to the Michigan DX Association for such a fun contest.

73 and God Bless,

Saturday, December 13, 2008

The Battle Rages On...

The PSK31/63 Death Match continued today. We headed over to dad's (KU4ME) to work the match to the death. We got over there around 3:30 and promptly started working 20 meters. I made a handful of contacts there and then it was to 40 for a few and finally on 80 to work many more. Of course, in the middle of all this death matching, one gets hungry. After all, all the battling can make one ravenous. So wifey (AJ4IJ aka my trusty log lady) and I took a break for a dinner date. We had intentionally skipped out on my company's Christmas party and we had opted instead for treating ourselves to a night out on our own.
So we went to eat at the Outback as we had received a gift card from my brother for Christmas. Once we were done we drove around, stopped and got some Starbucks (necessary fuel for contesting), picked up something to eat for the harmonic (KJ4EGJ), and headed back for more. For another four hours I worked while Robin logged and by a little after 2am, the century mark was reached. We called it quits for the night only to rest and recuperate so we could battle erm.. I mean contest some more tomorrow.
So if you are contesting look for me on 20, 40, and 80. Till then,

73 and God Bless de AJ4JD,

PSK 31/63 To The Death ... Match

Well I had every intention of working the ARRL 10 meter contest this evening. Unfortunately, upon arriving at dad's (KU4ME) house, I quickly learned that 10 meters was pretty much deader than a door nail. I heard a couple of stations in there but no sooner than I would hear them, they'd fade right back out again. So after a few calls, I gave it up.

It was at this point that my lovely XYL Robin (AJ4IJ) suggested checking the digital modes. So I fired up Ham Radio Deluxe and launched DM 780. We tuned to 3.580 and found a nice strong waterfall coming in. Within seconds we picked up that there was a PSK Contest going on. CQ PSK31/63 DeathMatch ran across the screen. Of course Google is our friend and we rapidly found out that the Annual Michigan DX Association's PSK 31/63 Death Match contest was on tap for this weekend.

Happy that Robin found me a contest, I quickly set up some macros and dad walked me through tuning up the radio, setting my power on the USB Signal Link, and testing our power output. Within mere minutes I was calling CQ PSK31/63 DeathMatch de AJ4JD. I worked 80 meters for quite a while using PSK 31. After almost 20 contacts, I jumped over to 40 and worked a handful there. After a few of no one coming back to me, I decided to check 20 but it was completely dead so back to 80 I went.

On 80 for the second time of the evening, I switched modes to PSK 63 and continued calling CQ. I picked up a few more contacts and a couple of those were previous contact from earlier on PSK 31. It was around 2:30 a.m. when I wasn't getting any more takers and I decided that I was done for the night. I had been run through and gave in.

It was definitely a fun evening, and I look forward to working more of the contest throughout the weekend. That's right, the Death Match runs all weekend so I have more of a chance to push up the totals. If I remember correctly, I've made around 35 contacts in 17 different states and one Canadian province.

Well it's late now and I must go recuperate from the evening's battle. So with that I will say 73 to all, good DX, and happy contesting.

AJ4JD - Tim

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

ARRL 10 Meter Contest

This coming weekend is ARRL's 10 meter contest. Ever since the November Sweepstakes I've been waiting for this one. There hasn't been any phone contests to speak of or at least that I've known about. Anyway, I've mentioned it to the XYL (AJ4IJ) and to Dad (KU4ME). I don't know if either one of them have any interest in working it but I sure do look forward to working it. I don't think I'll be any count but I will definitely have fun trying.
Anyway for those wandering, the contest runs from 0000 UTC Saturday; ends 2359 UTC Sunday (December 13 – 14, 2008). The only thing required for the exchange is ARRL/RAC Section (state or province) and signal report. For DX stations (including KH2, KP4, etc) transmit signal report and sequential serial number starting with 001. For Maritime Mobile stations send signal report and ITU Region (R1, R2 or R3).
To all the HAMs that will be working the contest good luck and catch ya on the band.

73 de AJ4JD

Saturday, December 6, 2008

2008 Skywarn Recognition Day

Last night marked the start of the 2008 National Skywarn Recognition Day. We (Robin - AJ4IJ, Ashby - KJ4EGJ and I - AJ4JD) were at home when we heard one of our local HAMs give a call with a different callsign WX4MRX on the 145.470 WB4GBI repeater for the Skywarn Recognition Day special event. We quickly made contact with John and exchanged current weather conditions marking our first contact for the event.
Later on in the evening I ventured over to dad's (KU4ME) to play radio with him and to try and catch up on the event. Dad had already worked 8 or 9 weather stations across the country. After firing up the laptop and starting the logging software, I sat down and began hunting down weather stations participating in the event on 80 meters. After a couple of hours of work I had tallied a total of 8 contacts with various weather stations from Illinois, Kentucky, South Carolina, and South Dakota just to name a few. Dad also added to his tally.
I believe we are planning to head over there later today to work some more weather stations on some of the other bands provided conditions are good. So if you have the chance, get on the radio and make some contacts to show your appreciation for Skywarn. Without Skywarn and our community of weather spotters, we might not have good up-to-date severe weather information. If you want to learn more about Skywarn and how to become a certified weather spotter check you local weather service website or you can go to the National Weather Service's Skywarn info page.

Until next time, 73 and God Bless,

Happy DX.