Rumors of my death have been greatly exaggerated…

I’ve been QRT (both radio- and blog-wise) for quite some time as the XYL and I have been planning and, over the past week, executing a move from Robinson to the charming little town of West, TX — that’s West (comma) Texas, population 2,690, which despite the name is nowhere near “West Texas” but just a dozen miles or so north of Waco in the central part of the Republic. According to the FCC database there are 18 licensed amateurs in West, including your faithful correspondent.

The new QTH is an old but freshly renovated 3 bedroom house with a detached garage and (praise Jesus!) trees, giving me antenna possibilities that did not exist at our suburban-hell duplex in Robinson. There’s a tripod already on the roof; it’s not exactly heavy-duty but it should be adequate for a vertical. Whether I’ll put the Cushcraft R7000 back into service or simply mount the Tarheel on the roof remains to be decided. One of my priorities is to at least get a dipole strung up for 6/10/12 meters. Not yet sure if there’s room for an 80m wire.

The shack/office is about the same size and layout as at the last QTH. There’s a large walk-in closet that I will use as a library to store some of the 8.6 million books that I seem to have acquired over the years and which I hope to have moved for the last time. I no longer have a loud central air conditioning unit outside the window of the office; however, I now live across the street from the main Union Pacific train line that runs through the middle of the state. Being a lifelong fan of model railroading but never having the room, tools or skills to build the N-scale layout of my dreams, I can now enjoy a 1:1 scale road with regular trains that shake the entire house about a dozen times a day like a coin-operated bed in a cheap motel. Must remember turn the VOX off when I’m not at the radio.

Since we’re still living out of boxes it may be some time yet before I can get the shack reassembled, antennas installed, and return to the bands — needless to say, the IARU HF contest is going to have to get along without WW2PT’s big signal, and the IOTA test in a couple of weeks will be a long shot, but I fully intend to be up and running in time for NAQP in August.

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