I am still getting the hang of this new group. They have a website, a yahoo group and tend to meet on the “Eights”. 018, 028, etc. Today was an hour long activity session however, I did not participate as I could not get N1MM logger updated correctly. I’ll work on that for next week or month. Not sure at this point about frequency of activities. Im looking forward to participation on air and the camaraderie involved. Perhaps there will be a gathering once a year or so. That would be a fun thing to look forward to doing. Maybe at a large Hamvention? Forgive the daydreaming. I am thinking out loud.
CW Practice today was wild and woolly. My mental focus was split between sending code and watching my amp. Chuck needed some extra gas this morning on our 20 M sked and so I pumped it up to 2X my normal 500W. Recent smoke from my amp kept me watching the amp for signs of problems more than focusing on code practice. I am beginning to think that my power transformer, which has paper winding insulation and is Hygroscopic, was affected in some way by high humidity and has since been baked dry-I hope that was all and no permanent damage was done. Since coming back from Holidays we have been pushing things up in the speed department and I am sending at 34 wpm. That is a non trivial speed for me and I need to remain mentally focused or things get very sloppy. Today I got sloppy.
The band (20 M) at 1530 Z was a trifle rough around the edges. Using these early openings causes some trouble with our non directional antennas because Long Path can be heard simultaneously with short path at times and at 30 ish wpm the delay causes aural overlap of the spaces between dits etc and tends to fill in the gaps. Today that issue was compounded by sporadic e and having an FO E at Millstone Hill sounder showing up at 2.70 Mhz. Our best propagation occurs when FO E is below 2.2 Mhz. In this case the E layer is blocking signals from getting to the F Layer and Propagation is weak and highly variable. I keep wishing for a Sounder to be placed at Kentucky or Tennessee but that isn’t going to happen soon so we continue to use Millstone Hill in MA. as a proxy. It works but we are guessing about the real conditions at our midpath point.
I am back to 30 M for a quick look around and then off to do chores. Yikes…I love running the vacuum and going to the store.
Thanks for reading my blog. Best, Chas W5PG