Tuesday, January 6, 2015

Ham Radio New Year's Resolution

I made one new years resolution about ham radio. My operating habits during December greatly influenced the wording

I, KG4GVL, do resolve to do my best to operate a minimum of twice a week, with the goal of averaging one QSO per day for 2015, or may the Wouff Hong find me as I sleep.

I've tried the whole "QSO once a day" thing, and that quickly became work. I managed to go somewhere around two months with a QSO every day, and many days it felt like I made the contact because of the commitment, not because I enjoyed the QSO. Time is a precious commodity in our house, and I don't have a lot of it to operate radio. In December, I managed to operate a handful of days, spending about an hour of time at a time (sometimes less), and had a blast running stations that were calling CQ. I even managed to call CQ a few times my own self and snagged a few new countries. Part of that I realize was propagation, but I've learned through the years that it don't matter how well propagation is if you don't get on the air. Plus, the maxim "RF gotta go somplace" is a reality. When you QRV, the signal goes somewhere, and the RBN network is a testament to how well some bands do under what would normally be considered marginal conditions. I really enjoy operating when I can get several QSOs at once.

Other people have made their resolutions too, one of the coolest is to build a project from your birth month/year issue of QST. I didn't see much in that would really work for me in the October 1977, but if anyone has an extra issue that they'd let me peruse, I wouldn't mind. :) I do have an October 1953 issue of QST that looks pretty interesting, and I think it has part of a 222 MHz project that would be pretty neat to construct, if I could find the parts to construct it.

Also doing some investigating into ham radio with microwaves. If the kids ever get their license, I think they'd get a kick out of building stuff they can use to bounce a signal off a satellite, or even the moon. The local library has a copy of The ARRL UHF/Microwave Experimenter's Manual and while some of the math inside seems complicated, the projects/ideas inside seem pretty straight forward.

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