Sunday, April 26, 2009

Things sure have been quiet lately

I decided to take a look at my log to see what might be of interest since my last update. Unfortunately, the answer has been “not much”. Unfortunately, I was never able to make a contact with VK9GMW from Mellish Reef, which was disappointing. I heard them a few times and tried to make contact, but just wasn’t able to do it. I did manage to work TI7KK who were operating from Islas Murcielago, the relatively rare IOTA NA-191. Thanks as always to Larry, N4VA, for letting me know that this was a rare one.

I did work a couple of new entities on 160m, KG4CN at Guantanamo Bay, and C6DX in the Bahamas. I don’t work a lot on 160m mainly because although my antenna will work (sort of) on that band, it doesn’t work very well. Those two entities bring my grand total to 10 entities worked on 160m. I don’t think I’ll be getting single-band DXCC anytime soon there.

I did notice one rather amusing thing while looking at my log: I worked 4L4WW in the country of Georgia, and the next contact I had was N4PN, in the state of Georgia.

One final thing is that I’ve started to participate in the “Ham Banner Exchange” that Fred, WB4AEJ has started. If you’re reading this on my blog website (as opposed to getting it via email or RSS feed), you’ll see a banner at the top of the page for another ham website. Fred has set this up for free as a way to encourage people to find other ham-related websites that might be of interest. The way this works is that you agree to display the different banners on your website, and in return, your banners are displayed on other websites. Again, it’s all free and I’ve already noticed an increase in web traffic to my sites. For more information, check out the FAQs  and if you’re interested, you can sign up at the Ham Banner Exchange login page.

Saturday, April 04, 2009

Saturday Surprise

I got a nice surprise this afternoon while tuning around the bands. There are a couple of contests going on, but nothing I was participating in, and the only interesting DX that I was looking for was VK9GWM, the guys out on the rather rare Mellish Reef for a DXpedition. I hadn’t heard them today and was just starting to think that they’d might be showing up on 30m or 40m at around 2100Z or so. Meanwhile, I saw a spot for Chris, TL0A in the Central African Republic.  Although I have worked many of the countries on the African continent, that’s one of the few that I haven’t worked, so I tuned to the 17m frequency from the spot but heard nothing. I left the radio on that frequency while I was doing some other work in my shack/office. A few minutes later, someone spotted that TL0A had moved to 20m on 14.200Mhz. I tuned there quickly, hoping to beat the crowds, and I got there just in time to hear a French-accented voice says “…210”. I didn’t know if he was working split (listening on 14210) or moving there, so I did what I always recommend: I listened.

It turned out that Chris had move to 14.210 and was working simplex there. I heard him complete a contact, and I called, but he pulled out another station. Still, nobody had spotted that he’d moved there, so I thought I still might have a chance to work him before the pileups began. He finished a brief contact, and I called him again. This time, he heard me and I was able to have a brief chat with him. Within a couple of minutes, he’d changed to working split and started getting spotted on the cluster. Listening to the pileups that followed, it was obvious that if I hadn’t gotten to him before he was spotted on his new frequency, there is no way that I would have made the contact.

The lesson here is that you have to be persistant and you have to listen.

On a totally unrelated note, thanks to Scot, KA3DRR for assigning me shackadelic number 007 … and he didn’t even know that I’m a James Bond fan!