Tuesday, December 20, 2011

time to catch up

Well it has been quite a while and quite few QSOs since I last made an entry in this blog.  So I will try to catch it up in one post that covers a few subjects.

Let me see..............

Let's start with the gas plug "lightning arrestor" that failed.  I had an SWR problem that started with random high SWR that would throw my amplifier into fault.  At first it happened radomly and on was not band specific.  It started the day before the December 2011 ARRL 10 meter contest.  No matter what I did,,,,,,HIGH SWR.  I hadn;t changed anything so it seemed it had to be something variable.  I also had high swr with just the radio and no amp..  One a whim I started at the shack side of the coax run where it enters the shack from the garage.  I pulled the lightning arrestor and hooked up the coax directly and no problem!  I inspected the gas cartridge and did not see any issues.  Replaced the complete arrestor and off we went.  Everything functioning fine.  So, the moral is.............. I don't know........... if you have not changed anything, check the things that are variable.  In my case I could receive signals and hear the difference when I would extend the BigIr and contract it.  So I knew the motor was running and the tape moving.  I replaced all the coax labor day weekend.  So that pointed at a link somewhere in the system.  The easiest link to check was the gas plug lightnening arrestor.

Texas QSO Party:
I think I wrote about playing in the Texas Qso Party.  Turned out I did pretty well this year, I took 2nd in my category.  Up one place from last year.  The lack of multipliers held me back.  I did not make too many DX contacts this year and did not work as many counties as would have been nice.  I am not complaining, don't get me wrong.  I am quite happy with the the results.  I hope to do better next year.

Hawaii Qso Party:  I don't think I wrote about this one.  Having lived on Maui two different times this contest has a special place in my heart.  This year I managed to take first place in my class. 

U.S. Island QSO Party:
This year a local ham Jeremy k0jcc came over and helped me operate the contest.  This was a nice break.  It gave me a chance to do some normal things along with contesting.  Jeremy did a great job.  Don't know the results of this contest yet or the results of the IOTA contest.

Speaking of the IOTA contest, this evening, December 20, 2011 (Texas Time) I worked quite a few Japanese stations on 15 meters including some that I worked during the 2011 IOTA. 
Arigato for the opportunity to meet you again.

The ARRL 10 meter contest was held earlier this month.  I hate to say it, but I can't spend 36 hours of 48 working a contest.  I think I managed 10 hours.  It was lots of fun.  I alternated between holding a frequency and search and pounce.  I think I made 600 plus contacts.  The bands were great.  Lots of stations.  Much DX. 
I wish the ARRL would do a 12 hour (cumulative time) category for this contest.

If you are reading this blog, you are probably aware that the upper bands have been wide open.  I have been blessed with the opportunity to work many new countries, in some cases band fills but in others, all time new ones, including South Korea and India.  What a thrill! 
I know many people have worked these countries.  But, I am doing this with a vertical, in the southern middle section of the US, Texas.  Yes I run an amp, usually at 500 watts, but it does not help me hear the stations.  Hearing them is often the most difficult part.  The old saying is true, you cannot work them if you cannot hear them.

I am slowly working on QSL cards from the 10 meter contest.  I need some of those countries I worked on 10 meters.  I have replied to all QSL requests, except for six that came in this week.
I really wish the RSGBIOTA would accept LOTW and that more stations used it.  It is refreshing to see that a number of stations that were in the 10 meter contest have already posted their logs to LOTW.  I try to post mine every 1 - 2 weeks depending on how active I have been.

Well that is all there is time to write about tonight.
I am experiencing another HRD deluxe logging issue that I cannot get on top of.  I think it is caused by an update to office.  I will try to post it here this week with a screen shot.  It surfaced in the last two months.

Until next time.
Good DX and 73
Leslie, AD5WB
Galveston Island, Texas