Author Archive

2010 California QSO Party

Photograph 1 taken Sunday afternoon as rate drops in half and I’m logging California counties on 20m with the yagi pointed due east.

Photograph 2 illustrates my rate per hour through 17 hours of operation. What a blast operating CW through CQP weekend as 3 point Qs drove my score into six digits.

Photograph 3 is a list of sections worked and one notes band conditions were long especially on 15 and 20m however 10m never ionized over the weekend. I miss 10m activity and hope the band will finally play next year?

Photograph 4 is a continuation of sections worked and I did not log Nebraska, North Dakota, South Dakota, Nevada, or Utah in addition two Canadian sections as well.

Photograph 5 breaks down my country total and each European counted as new one against my DXCC pursuit. What a joy finally hearing stations across the Atlantic on the wireless set!

California QSO Party.
Rest is important going into any RadioSport event and fatigue does not help one’s morale when butt-in-the-chair time is a priority. I was wiped out when Saturday evening rolled across the ionosphere and called it at 0100 UTC when CW signals blurred my brain. I slept 12 hours then returned to the keyer catching long skip into Europe on Sunday morning.

I recognized many stations who filled the log at the shackadelic in Shell Beach and, what a hoot, logging Dave, K2DSL and Victor, KD2HE both of whom journal their wireless activities on the Internet.

Likewise, logging Bill, N6ZFO who was booming through the ICOM wireless on Sunday morning from Lake County. A great signal from his location. I want to thank the North California Contest Club for sponsoring a stellar event. The California QSO Party is world class!

KA3DRR/6 CQP Score.
40m = 92Qs and 1 Section.
20m = 376 Qs and 25 Sections.
15m = 222 Qs and 26 Sections.

Total Qs = 690
Total Sections = 52
Total Points = 107, 640

Spirit of Ham Radio.
Likewise John, W6SL is a stellar example when speaking about the spirit of ham radio and the friendship that follows our hobby. He opened his operating chair and put me in the pilot seat of his accomplished station. John is a 5 band DXCC operator with 300 plus entities to his credit. He is one who patiently waits for a new country recently logging Andorra not an easy feat from the west coast given the mountainous terrain surrounding this country.

The spirit of ham radio moves through the ether in mysterious ways. I was speaking with Dick Norton, N6AA about moving to the next level in RadioSport during an annual swap fest in Santa Maria, California. He mentioned guest operating just as W6SL walked within range of our conversation. John asked about my guest operating interest and invited me over without hesitation.

I enjoyed operating a wireless set using an amplifier and competitive grade antenna systems through last weekend because of John, W6SL.

Rest is important going into an event. RadioSport is fun and reasonably defined goals make a difference in the operating chair. I logged new countries, grid squares, and counties through last weekend while learning about propagation using competitive grade antennas.

The spirit of ham radio endures through men like John, W6SL, Bill, N6ZFO, and organizations like the Northern California Contest Club.

73 from the shackadelic.

Salmon Run And Ham Radio Fun

Logging Qs this afternoon in the Salmon Run was a lot of ham radio fun
inside the shack relaxation zone. Signals ranged from arm chair copy
to light with more than one unique call going into the database. I
listened on 15 and 10m yet Cycle 24 needs a little more punch for my
low profile, low power station. Admittedly, there are a few of us
local ops, wishing upon a sunspot where the high bands are fully

A few locals either upgraded their antenna systems or performed
maintenance chores like treating for corrosion or added a new antenna.
Sunspots or the lack thereof has not stopped anyone from having fun
with ham radio. Fred has nearly completed his Route 66 award and his
VUCC received its certification.

Traditional cards continue arriving in the mailbox with countries like
Chile and Galapogas Islands now confirmed in addition to blogger AE5X
and longtime RadioSport operators. My approach is crafting fun out of
our tradition of exchanging cards like KB6NU who collects a callsign
that makes a word.

New England To Host WRTC2014!

Congratulations New England RadioSport enthusiasts for crafting an award winning proposal. Doug Grant, K1DG, Chairman, WRTC2014, Inc. stated in CQ Contest Reflector, “We consider this a great honor, and will work hard to make the event enjoyable and memorable for everyone involved.”

RadioSport Russia set the new standard and raised the bar for competitors and participants. A job well done that benefited the future of ham radio. We have an example of world class competition that speaks to international goodwill and the enduring spirit of wireless communications, nothing less than field day style, for the young at heart.

The task in New England is monumental and I’m hedging the assembled team of passionate volunteers and excellent leadership will produce one for ham radio’s history book. This is an exciting moment for RadioSport USA!

Contest on.

See Also.
World Radio Team Championship 2010 Russia.

Best 73 To N4EMG

I want to thank Ed, N4EMG who helped bring ham radio blogging to the Internet and for sharing his personal journal as well. There is a season for everything. I’m experiencing that change when the leaves begin morphing while the deep slumber of winter is soon to arrive. I met a friend through the spirit of ham radio blogging and will miss Ed’s contribution.

Ed, please leave your blog, your contribution is part of ham radio’s history. Who knows what one year will bring or for that matter five years from now? We are among the early new media pioneers and now it is reaching ubiquity within our community.

Or, perhaps now is a good time for a vacation from the blog, gather new material without having to journal about what was learned. I’m having fun writing out traditional QSL cards and watching the mailbox. Finally, I’m getting after my basic awards like DXCC, WAS, and WAC as well. Likewise, I’m confirming counties and building up my grid square count. Today, KI6QDH and I worked on his 3-element tri-bander with its new 40 meter add on kit. What a hoot!

There is a season for everything and best 73 to Ed, N4EMG from the shack relaxation zone.

Spiderbeam, USA

Congratulations from the low power, low profile shack to Scott Robbins, W4PA who acquired SpiderBeam, USA according to a recent email from the company. Scott also owns Vibroplex as well. One might say there is something fascinating going on in Knoxville, Tennessee and a ham radio entrepreneur is leading the way.

I want to send all the best success to Scott, W4PA as he leads the way into ham radio’s future.

73 from the shack relaxation zone.

Droid Invasion

73 from the anywhere, anytime shack.

Droid Docks

Continuing my series of posts from my Droid mobile device while watching Garbage Moguls on National Geographic this evening.

My first attempt at docking the Droid failed. Why so? Accessories are as important to the bottomline as the device itself. I bought one of those nifty protective shells, hip, slick, and cool. The red casing dressed up the Droid however someone in engineering obviously did not dress their device to the nines.

The red casing was an eighth inch to big for the dock. Yes, Houston, no go on docking the Droid.

Gene Kranz would never tolerate such a situation even though we fly missions to space based on the bottom line of the lowest bidder. Well, I made a command decision that is, remove one part of the case and continue the mission.

Success, if only partial, because mission critical software was not installed on the mothership. I fired up my wireless connection and contacted Motorola for a device driver. They delivered bits and bytes of required code necessary for docking.

Mission success as Droid spoke with mothership and downloaded essential life support software such as R34P and SolderSmoke recordings. My ear buds hummed with dual channel CW/SSB from WRTC 2010 and SolderSmoke. There is yet one more piece of mothership software missing to complete my mission portfolio.

73 from the anywhere, anytime shack.

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  • Matt W1MST, Managing Editor