What do I want to achieve in amateur radio this year?

At the beginning of each year I always think it’s fun to try and set some goals for the year. Sometimes I find my focus changes and I end up not doing them, but it’s always interesting to look back on

Here’s what I’m thinking of at the moment:

1 – Activity. Try to maintain my rule of calling CQ each day on one band or another and to let no CQ call go unsanswered – even if it’s just a quick hello.

2 – 70MHz. I seem to have spent more time on 70MHz than ever before in the last year. I’m currently enjoying 70MHz FM, but I hope to focus on CW/SSB during the Sporadic E season. Although the FT847 gives me some CW/SSB capability at low power and a poor receiver. I want to improve on that. It may involve a transverter driven from the FT817, or perhaps modifying the FT847. Keen to do *SOMETHING* to improve what I can hear on 70MHz.

3 – 50/144/432MHz. I’m keen to install a collinear antenna for these three bands. The intention is to erect a small mast on the house which will also support a TV antenna for the boys’ TV. On top of the mast can go a collinear for 50/144/432 MHz. I’m hoping that I can use this antenna for Sporadic E on 50MHz as well as regular FM operation on 144 and 432MHz. Currently I have no vertically polarised antenna for 144 and 432MHz and it would be useful to be able to scan the FM channels to monitor propagation more closely, as the repeater channels very often show hints of openings before there is adequate activity on SSB.

4 – 1296MHz. I’m getting more intrigued by 1296MHz and would like to get some sort of capability on the band in the year. Not sure whether this may just be simple 1296MHz FM from a handheld or something else. We’ll see. I can do so simple 1297MHz receive using a scanner, so it will be interesting to see if that yields any results.

Tim Kirby, G4VXE, is a regular contributor to AmateurRadio.com and writes from Oxfordshire, England. Contact him at [email protected].

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