Saturday, August 29, 2009

Not to Ill to Play Radio...Thank goodness for digital...

If it weren't for the Digital Modes, I wouldn't have played any radio this past week. I've been down with a bad sinus infection since Tuesday. Luckily, I'm starting to feeling better today. Since last weekend, Robin (AJ4IJ) and I (AJ4JD) have been working the PODXS 070 club's 1K celebration contest. It's been a 3 stage contest for the celebration. The first stage, last Saturday, was to work as many 070 members in 24 hours. The second stage was a scavenger hunt that went from Monday through Friday. You had to work 10 different things (i.e. Fur-Bearing Creature (part of name, call or qth), A tree (part of call, name, QTH etc.)). The third and final stage started Friday evening at 8:00pm EST, after stage 2 ended. The objective was to work non-070 members only and the kicker was that it was no calling CQ, search and pounce only.

I have to say that I worked a lot of DX this last week and a half during the celebration. It seemed that there was a lot of DX on 20 and 40 this weekend. We were working Europe quite frequently and the occasional South American station and plenty of North American stations. Everything, of course, was worked on PSK31 and with 50 watts. Some of the countries include: Italy, England, Scottland, Germany, France, Sardinia, Mexico, Cuba, Netherlands, Hungary, Bulgaria, Ukraine, Poland, Australia and many more.

So with all the logs uploaded to LoTW and eQSL, as well as having been submitted to the contest manager, all we can do is sit and wait for the results to be posted. For Robin and I, here is how we faired:

Stage 1: 28 contacts - 28,000 points (Each contact was worth 1,000 points hence the 1K celebration).
Stage 2: Found all 10 objects - 10,000 points (Plus another 5,000 bonus points if approved by the contest manager for finding all 10 making 15,000 points)
Stage 3: 13 contacts - 13,000 points
Total - 56,000 points

Stage 1: 43 contacts - 43,000 points
Stage 2: Found all 10 objects - 10,000 points (Plus the 5,000 if approved making total 15,000)
Stage 3: 26 countacts - 26,000 points
Total - 84,000 points

I don't know how that will place either of us in the contest, but regardless it was a lot of fun and sure did help to keep my mind off my illness this past week. I look forward to the endorsement for participating and I'm really looking forward to the next 070 contest, The Jay Hudak Memorial 80 meter Sprint. We will also be working the Tennessee QSO Party, from Union County Tennessee, I'll see everyone then.

Good DX and God bless.
Vy 73 to all
AJ4JD - Tim

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Happy Birthday KJ4EGJ and PODXS070 1000th member celebration

I just thought I would get in here and leave a big callout (I guess in their lingo that would be a shout-out) to my daughter Ashby (KJ4EGJ). Yesterday was her 13th birthday. That's right she's now officially a teenager and is drifting further away from HAM Radio, at least until later on. Just like most young HAMs her age, there are more important things, like video games, playing outside, talking on the phone, and more things than I can list. Nevertheless, Happy Birthday Ashby. Daddy loves you.

On Thursday the PODXS 070 club reached it's 1000th member mark and has announce a big 3 stage contest/event. It sounds like great fun. Stage one, we have to contact as many 070 club members as possible in a 24 hour time period, starting tonight, August 22, 2009 at 8:00pm EST (0000Z) through 7:59pm EST (2359Z) Sunday August 23, 2009. Stage two is a week long scavenger hunt. It starts Sunday, August 23, 2009 at 8:00pm EST (0000z August 24th) and runs through August 28, 2009 7:59pm EST (2359z). In this stage you have to work 10 different things such as a tree (i.e. anything with a tree in the name or QTH like Oak Street). In stage three, from August 28, 2009 8:00pm EST (0000z Aug. 29, 2009) through August 29, 2009 7:59pm EST (2359z), we have to work as many non-070 members as possible. This stage however is a search and pounce only. That's right, we cannot call CQ during this stage.

I don't think I've ever worked a contest quite like this one. Of course I haven't been contesting but for about a year now so I'm not sure if there's anything like that or not. Anyway, that's about all I have for now. Looking forward to working you all between this week and next. If any of you fit the bill on the scavanger hunt please leave me a comment or something so we can set up a qso date and time next week. By the way, this is a PSK31 only contest.

Until then, good luck, good dx, 73 and God Bless,
Tim - AJ4JD
See you on the waterfall/bands.

Sunday, August 16, 2009

North American QSO Party and a Few Lighthouses to Boot

So yesterday was a busy day. I started out running the garbage, then mowed my yard and the father-in-law's (KU4ME) yard. After that we decided to run up to Clinch Mountain. We had been out in the field a couple of nights this past week to watch the Perseid Meteor shower and to watch an Iridium flare. While we were up there watching the shower, I had been on the local 145.470 repeater, talking to a few friends. It was then that one of them mentioned going up to Clinch Mtn. to watch meteor showers. That brought the thought of a little restaurant up there to John the KU4ME. Clinch Mountain Lookout Restaurant is home to the famous vinegar pie. Anyway, we enjoyed a wonderful down home meal along with vinegar pie as well as strawberry rhubarb pie.

So once we got back home, it was time to sit at the station and get down to some serious contesting. Last night I worked the North American QSO Party for a good 5 hours. I know you are thinking that if I was a serious contester, the yards and dinner could have waited. Unfortunately, when the temps are hot and the humidity is low, we are plagued with a horrible AC line noise that won't quit. So needless to say, I wouldn't have done any good during the afternoon hours. After about 5 hours I had bagged a total of 120 contacts and 61 multipliers for a total of 7,320 points.

This morning I was awoke by my XYL (AJ4IJ) who was beaming about a couple of good contacts she had made. She contacted a couple of lighthouses and a special event station for the Mason-Dixon line. I won't go into the contacts as I'm sure she will want to blog about them, but she said I should get up and work some as well, considering the bands were doing really well and the noise wasn't in there. So needless to say, after a cup of coffee and a cigarette or two, I sat at the station and made a few lighthouse contacts, two in New York and one in Canada.

So that's been the amount of radio time I've had. I've been on the 470 repeater a bit more here recently so the activity is definitely picking up. Anyway, thanks to all the contacts I made. I hope all had a fun weekend. Good DX and God Bless to all.

73 de AJ4JD,

P.S. All contacts have been uploaded to LOTW and EQSL.

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Several Good Contests Coming Up

I was looking at WA7BNM's Contest Calendar online and I saw that there are several good contests coming up in August. This weekend is the Maryland/DC QSO Party running from1600Z, August 8 to 0400z, August 9 and 1600Z - 2359Z, August 9. Next weekend the North American QSO Party is running from 1800Z, August 15 - 0600Z, August 16. This ought to be a busy one. I worked it a bit last year but never turned in a log. The New Jersey State QSO Party is also next weekend from 2000Z, August 15 - 0700Z August 16 and 1300Z, August 16 - 0700Z, August 17.

The weekend of the 22nd and 23rd, two more State QSO Parties will be contested, Hawaii and Ohio. Hawaii's party runs 0700Z, August 22nd to 2200Z, August 23rd while Ohio's party runs from 1600Z, August 22nd to 0400Z, August 23rd. To round out the month, the Kansas State QSO Party is running on the last weekend of August from 1400z, August 29th to 0200Z, August 30th and 1400z, August 30 to 2000z, August 30th.

There are several other contests during that time, but for me those are the highlights. I will definitely be working the NAQP hard and heavy and will like try to make some contact during the various State QSO Parties. So look for me on the air during those times. Highlights for September include: Tennessee QSO Party, PODXS 070 80 Meter Sprint, Arkansas QSO Party, South Carolina QSO Party, Washington State Salmon Run, Texas QSO Party, and several more.

That's all I have for now. I have to go get ready for work now. 73 my fellow hams and good DX.

Until next time,
Tim - AJ4JD

Sunday, August 2, 2009

Ho Hum Radio...

Well, it's been another week of hardly any radio. I thought about working the TARA Grid Dip, but instead I spent a wonderful evening hanging out with my XYL Robin (AJ4IJ) in the back yard around a camp fire. The next day we all went to the Frank H. McClung Museum on the University of Tennessee campus. We had went to the museum so our harmonic could see a real life mummy. You see, she and the XYL are going to mummify a chicken as a school project. This will cover many subjects such as math, science, art, and history. After the museum, we had to run to the library to pick up a few books on Egyptian culture and burial practices to help with the project. (I guess I should add that Robin is homeschooling our daughter this year.) After the library we had to run to the store and then drop our cousin off at home (she wanted to see a dead person too). When we got home I had to mow the yard and weed-eat it as well especially since I hadn't been able to do that in about two weeks due to all the rain we've had.

By the time I got all that done, it was too late to work the Grid Dip. That's okay because I've had a wonderful week and weekend nonetheless. I did make a few PSK contacts earlier in the week, two with stations in Belgium (ON4AXU and ON3SB), a special event in Canada (thanks for the QSO Michael VE3FRED), and Joseph in 3 land (NE3H). So this morning, I turned on the radio and the 10-10 International Summer Contest was still going on. I worked a big whopping 3 stations before we decided it was time to figure out what to do today (Check out our outdoor blog for the adventure today).

So that's all the radioing I've done this week. Like the title says, Ho Hum Radio. That's okay, the International Light House/Lightship week is now. Get on the bands and make contact with all the Light Houses you can. They are great fun to work. I worked a handful last year and hope to do the same this year.

That's all I've got for this edition, until next time....

73, Good DX to you, and God Bless,
Tim - AJ4JD