This weekend was pretty frustrating for dipole owners. K5D was active and strong on almost every band. They spent considerable time working EU and JA which I would expect due to K5D’s position on the “Most Wanted” charts in both areas. When they were working US stations I just could not make it. Of course this is early days of the expedition’s life and there is plenty of more opportunity to come. It has been a long time since I tried to grab a new one and the band scope display on 20 and 40 meters was astounding. It was almost as bad on 30 meters. Very early this morning I was not able to sleep for whatever reasons and I managed to drag myself out to the radio/computer room to check on things. I listened a bit on 40 M and decided that I would check other bands and see if were any lighter with respect to the pile-ups. The first place I checked was 30 meters. That sounded promising. He was calling without directional CQ’s and the pile was manageable. I was astounded at how strong some JA’s and VK’s are on 30 M at that hour (1:30 AM local) and altogether surprised at K5D’s signal strength. S-9 at times. Suffice to say I now have an all time new one in my logbook. I will probably wait until the end of the expedition before trying again unless a slow spot presents itself. From the sound of things that seems unlikely just now.
I had some free time this weekend and took another of my “Alice in the Looking Glass” trips around the internet. I was hunting places and people I had met in my Radio Life. I dont recall what triggered my looking for VK3HW (John Lewis) and VK3AMH (Bill Sadler) but I started hunting the pair. John and Bill shared some property in Ballarat back in the 1980’s or so and had a wonderful tower and common shack that they built together. John and Bill put up an electrical transmission tower on their property and actually poured building blocks from concrete and built their shack under the footprint of this tower. I have an exterior photo someplace around here but I cannot locate it. I do, however, have an interior photo that I did locate and will place here. It is faded with sunlight as it spent a goodly number of years under a glass on my desk in California and in Texas. I don’t have a scanner so I had to re-photo it with a digital camera which is pretty unacceptable but such a picture may be of interest to some. I managed to visit both John and Bill and their families in the 1980’s and was hosted by the family for a day or two while on business in Melbourne. Along the way around the internet I found announcements that both John and Bill had passed. I never saw John again following that trip to Australia but Bill and his wife managed a trip to Tracy to visit for a day or two while traveling in North America. I met John on 40 meters while visiting with a friend on 7188 Khz named Pete, W6VOD, maker of Unique Wire Tuners. Pete held council on 7188 for years.
Thanks for reading my blog. Best, Chas W7MAP/5