May 19, 2019

Dayton Hamvention Day 2

Day 2 was hotter than Day 1 but I had the lay of the land so I did the flea market in the morning and watched the air conditioned forums in the afternoon. Today I hit traffic on the way in, but it wasn’t anywhere near as bad as the way out yesterday. The flea market is massive here. I spent over 2 hours looking through it. I came across this guy (forgot to get his callsign), he was running a net from the flea market on an old Vietnam era field radio. The net was for people operating for old military radios. This is another section of the hobby…

May 18, 2019

Dayton Hamvention 2019 Day 1

I typically go to a music festival on this weekend of the year. Last year at that festival I realized I didn’t know anyone there anymore and I used to know everyone, so I decided then that I would do Dayton this year. Dayton totally has the music festival vibe only everyone is carrying walkie talkies instead of beers. I had a chance to talk with Julie K8VOX and Thom W8TAM from POTA, they were hanging out next to the Wolf River Coil booth. I picked up the Wolf River Coil setup and I’ll be trying that out at a park soon. Tomorrow I’m going to the DX and Contest…

May 16, 2019

Third time’s the charm, K-0659 Big Cypress National Preserve

I travel to Miami every once and awhile for work and I’ve stopped 3 times now to try to activate the Big Cypress National Preserve. There’s a “rest area” with no facilities off I-75 that has an entrance to the preserve. I tried to activate from this part twice before. The first time I setup in the field near the road. I was stopped by a trooper to see what I was doing (the mast looks sort of like a mortar launcher before you extend it). I explained it was ham radio and he said cool, but not to run the wire over the road. I had terrible noise and…

May 13, 2019

World Bank QSL, Armed Forces Day and some new DX

Got a card from 4U1WB, the World Bank Amateur Radio Club, from a contact back in March of last year. This weekend was the Armed Forces Crossband Test event where amateurs try to contact the military stations by listening on their frequencies and transmitting back using split mode. I was able to contact the Pentagon, callsign WAR with voice and talked to Claude. I also talked to NSS, the Navy’s station, via morse code. Also, I made some rare, well past dark 20m contacts to the middle of the Pacific Ocean, FW5JG on Futuna Island and E51JD on South Cook Islands. Just happend to notice them on the cluster and…

May 6, 2019

POTA presentation at SPARC club meeting

I gave a presentation at the SPARC club meeting on May 3rd. I used the presentation file I got from Julie K8VOX that she gave at Hamcation. I modified it to be a little more Florida related (as well as adding more pictures from my activations). I also brought in my gear. The presentation went about 30 minutes, and then I fielded a few questions as well as a few more questions regarding the gear. Alan W4UB from the Upper Pinellas Amateur Radio Club saw the presentation online and asked me to do it again at the UPARC meeting on July 6th so I’ll be running through it again for…

April 30, 2019

Tower Antenna Party

I helped as ground crew installing a new tower at Tom NY4I’s house today. Dan K1TO is a very experienced tower installer, he made it look easy. It was my first time seeing how a gin pole works. We pulled up 3 sections of Rohn 55 tower onto about half a section that was above ground as the base. There’s still a last mast to be installed at the top of the tower which will hold the main antenna, but they’re saving that for another day. For now Dan installed a 2m/70cm vertical. It was an interesting day seeing how it all goes together. Here’s a video of the tower…

April 30, 2019

New FT4 mode released

The new version of WSJT-X v2.10-rc5 was released yesterday which includes a new FT4 mode. This mode is designed to compete with RTTY for contesting. It uses a 6 second transmission vs. the 15 second transmission of FT8. It definitely feels much faster than FT8 but I personally feel it should be it’s own contest mode vs being used in RTTY contests. We’ll see how it all plays out over time.

April 27, 2019

First pack of bureau cards

My first bureau card shipment came in. These QSO’s are pretty old. One is from 10 days after I was first licensed. All of them to my old callsign. I’ll have to remember to send out some envelopes to the 0 call area incoming bureau.

April 23, 2019

Grey-line to Kazakhstan

Tonight had a good grey line connection into middle Asia via FT8. I have had trouble getting contacts in this area. I worked UN7G in Kazakhstan. I was also able to hear a China station but after many tries I was unsuccessful in contacting him. I’ll get China eventually. I got a screen capture of the PSKReporter page that almost perfectly shows the connection between me and UN7G over the grey line (see the light yellow line connecting from Florida to Asia).

April 19, 2019

April 2019 Parks on the Air adventure Day 3

One really annoying bird kept me up late and woke me early so I made a nice breakfast and went to my first spot about 40 miles through the forest. This place is called Tate’s Hell State Forest K-4640. Apparently Tate got lost out there long ago. He said it was like Hell when he got back and the name stuck. I went in a mile or so, made a right and looked for a post or stump to tie the antenna pole to. I didn’t find one so I went with the wire tripod method in the road. It was sunny and I was a developing a farm tan…