de Wes AC5K:
10) We need to “burn in” our newly assigned CW Ops’ 6 meter meeting frequency of 50.098 MHz.
9) Your hand will not get tired from long QSOs, because the nature of 6 meters is such that conditions change VERY quickly, so everyone just exchanges quick reports while the band is open.
8) You will be utilizing a new band on that expensive radio that you convinced your spouse you just had to have.
7) You will finally have that excuse you have been waiting for to memorize your grid square. Continue reading 'Top Ten Reasons for Trying Six Meter CW'»
I’ve owned an FT-857D for about six years now. I bought it for the same reason that I can’t bring myself to sell it – its diversity:
DC to daylight, a gazillion modes and all that…CW, V/UHF repeaters, satellite work, mobile operation, etc. Heavy on the etcetera.
The FM “easy-sats” were fun for a few days, APRS for a couple weeks and 2m FM for a few milliseconds.
Now there’s a new use for the ’857. An article in July’s QST talks about a way of converting the it (and other rigs) to a “psuedo SDR” radio. Continue reading 'The FT-857D: My most versatile and least-used rig'»
Note to self: There are frequencies above 28 MHz.
Reading the 6m-related posts from Pierre ZS6A and the latest from Julian G4ILO have re-kindled my interest in the Magic Band – a band I frequently ignore in favor of 10-80 with their almost constant activity.
With the ARRL’s VHF Contest coming soon, today found me on the roof with my old Par OA50 – trying to make it achieve the impossible…to no avail.
A lightning strike took this antenna out over a year ago and, unable to resusitate it, I’ve been off 6 meters ever since.
But no more… Continue reading 'Back to the magic band'»
One of Disney’s latest animated films for children is Ponyo, a movie about a boy and his goldfish who longs to become human.
If I read more blogs I’d probably know this already, but thanks to our visiting granddaughter, I was startled to hear “This is JA4LL!” coming from the video she was watching and learned then of the scene in the movie where the family uses an Icom, a Buddipole and the 6-meter band to communicate with their father who is on a ship at sea. Continue reading 'Ham radio in an animated Disney flick'»
With recent forays into VHF territory, I’m logging QTH’s in terms of grids rather than states, provinces or countries. Contest exchanges include grid squares and I’m left after the contest to tediously look up which states I worked.
I’m not complaining ‘cuz I see the benefit and the reason for such exchanges. In short, they add more variety to locations to be worked on bands that are often difficult to achieve much geographical diversity.
Thanks to this hobby, I can picture in my imagination the location of any state in the country – but I can’t do that with grid squares.
Bertrand Zauhar VE2ZAZ has come up with a nifty little (470KB) program named WorkedGrids to just that. In short, you import an ADIF or Cabrillo file into WorkedGrids and it displays a map of locations worked that are color-coded on a per band basis. Continue reading 'Handy program for graphical representation of grids worked'»
Last week, I worked 34 states on 6 meters during a very casual effort in the ARRL VHF Contest. Much to my surprise, no one called the next day to interview me on television – not Oprah, not Bono, not even The View - and soccer fans rudely failed to serenade me with those beautiful-sounding vuvuzelas. The very nerve.
Now I know why.
Those 34 states had nothing to do with skill and everything to do with the luck of the draw. I really knew that all along but Saturday’s (June 19) conditions on 6 meters illustrated to me once again the role that luck and nature play in amateur radio.
We like to think of radio as a technical hobby where, with an ingredient of skill, we are able to divine from the æther those minute electromagnetic fluctuations and convert them into meaningful dialog (I use the term “meaningful” lightly). Continue reading '6-meter oddities and organic towers'»