Monday, June 19, 2006

The "broadcasting day" started with a check in to the Gordo net from my home station.

Then a long 2m simplex FM QSO with Scott, WA6LIE as I was right behind him on Bear Creek Rd. The chances of that happening are pretty LONG indeed!

Then a late-early check in to the 9AM Talk Net.

Then a late check in to the noon time net (who's seemingly only purpose is to allow folks to check in...)

Some various chatting on 2m FM on the way home.

OK, nice QSO with Joe W3BC, in Pittsburgh, PA (actually Moon, PA but who's checking).

And then a good Morse Runner, breaking my previous record of 15 in 15 minutes. 16 in 15 minutes, plus one additional Q that was a duplicate. (Not fair, the program cheats!)

73 & Gud nite

Sunday, June 18, 2006


According to DX Propagation the bands were not in really good shape tonight. I was also really tired, so I did a pair of Morse Runner sessions instead of getting on the air.

I've been using Morse Runner as a benchmark on my CW skills. Morse Runner is a "contest simulator" that includes QRN (natural noise), QRM (other ham signals interfering with you), QSB (fading), flutter, and LIDs (other contesters who don't know the rules, forget to log you, send you the wrong numbers, etc...) It makes for a really good practice session if you can't get on the air...

Anyway... I'd been trying to break 15 QSOs in a 15 minute period ever since I started using the software.

Now I've been getting better, first it was about 8, but writing everything down. I've been slowly inching up, but the ellusive 15 QSOs in 15 minutes has alluded me for months.

Tonight I got it!

UTC Call Recv Sent Pref Chk
00:00:50 OE6MY 599 002 599 001 OE6
00:01:16 KG4DX 599 001 599 002 KG4
00:01:52 G0CHE 599 002 599 003 G0
00:04:54 M0CMK 599 004 599 004 M0
00:05:26 JA8HCH 599 002 599 005 JA8
00:06:08 K1GUN 599 012 599 006 K1
00:06:39 UT7M 599 007 599 007 UT7
00:07:25 ON6LO 599 019 599 008 ON6
00:08:51 EA5AKR 599 002 599 009 EA5
00:09:57 OK1ITK 599 025 599 010 OK1
00:10:24 K9JE 599 018 599 011 K9
00:11:13 OK1KCF 599 021 599 012 OK1
00:11:57 PY1LI 599 022 599 013 PY1
00:13:12 VE2OWL 599 017 599 014 VE2
00:14:01 N1OEF 599 011 599 015 N1

The 15 WPM seems really readable. I'm copying most callsigns correctly the first pass.

Good deal. I am getting better!

73 and gud nite.

Saturday, June 17, 2006


OK at some point I should tell about my abortive adventures on the air in Old Virginny.

And the Thursday QRP in the Park.

But for now I've got another 13 Qs in 15 minutes on Morse Runner. Argh. It started off really well...


Wednesday, June 07, 2006


Things haven't slowed down any, but I'll spend a couple minutes anyway...

I got to Murphy Park a bit early and started to set up.

It was clear and mild but a bit breezy. Just enough to blow bags away and make keeping the log book open a chore...

First thing up was the JacKite collapsing fiberglass pole. After a bit of scouting I decided to duct tape it to a garbage can between two trees.

The pole (still collapsed) fell over twice while I was attempting to tape it. A couple at a nearby table was starting to get amused. Next I pulled the Appalachian Trail doublet out of its bag. And of course the wind caught the bag and carried it 50 or 75 yards before I could catch it...

(More amusement for the bystanders)

Next was to put up the dipole. I used my ever popular water bottle sling. Unfortunately the water bottle came off on the first attempt. A second couple started getting amused.

After 4 or 5 attempts the first half of the antenna was up. So I went to the second tree. It took 4 more attempts. Two VERY amused couples.

But at this point I was able to put up the JacKite mast and things started to come together. Out came the "big black bag of QRP-goodness" and the Yaesu, Palm Paddles, 2 A-hr battery and antenna tuner all set-up very quickly. Amusement was turning to interest.

The Appalachian Trail doublet tuned up just fine on 40m, but the best I could do on 20m was "four bars" on the Yaesu. That's bad. Perhaps it had something to do with the 20 feet of 300 ohm feed line that was lying on the ground?

Note to self: I need to ask what to do with "extra" twinlead. Scott WA6LIE might know...

Anyhow there were LOTS of loud signals on 40m. Also lots of signals on 20m, but they all sounded sort of muffled. Could it have something to do with the "four bars?"

The signals were loud, but also, REALLY fast. This led me to what I now believe was a critical mistake. Rather than being patient and slowly teasing out the exchange of those fast stations, I went tuning on trying to find stations that I could easily copy. Next month I'll be patient and "Listen, listen, listen" and get those stations in the log.

So, at the end of the day there were 4 contacts in the log. CA, UT, CO and NV. 30 on 40m and 1 on 20m. Pretty cool, eh? 5 watts outbound, some 5W and some 2W inbound. From here to Colorado with 5 watts from a park bench!

Everything came down much faster than it went up.

So, there ya go. The story of my second Spartan Sprint. I'm REALLY looking forward to the third one.

73 de WyreRider

Monday, June 05, 2006

Greetings all,

Today was a good day. Gordo net, 9AM Talk Net.

Spartan Sprint in Murphy Park, Sunnyvale CA.

I had two goals:

  1. First to operate outside (acomplished)
  2. Second to make 10 contacts (only made four, but picked up three new states!)

Need to figure out what the lessons learned were. Probably to be more patient with faster senders while doing search and pounce... Will sleep on it.

This evening had two solid QSOs.

Tomorrow will be a LONG day so it's bedtime.

Will add more on the Spartan Sprint from my "soapbox"

73 de WyreRider

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