I started playing in NEQP to support my code practice buddy in New England. Over the years I have earned a few small certificates and had loads of radio fun in this test. NEQP is one of two State QSO Parties that I try to do each year, the other being California QSO Party. They are lots of fun, low key, dont impact the family a lot and help you hone your skills with propagation and operations. Why not take a flyer on one of these State QSO gigs and play, if only for an hour or two?
The amp is still confounding my efforts to repair. It works well in semi break in but fails miserably in full break in. I really need to pull the vacuum relay and check its normally open contact resistance but if I go to all of that bother I probably should have a replacement available to help avoid a doubling of work. Pop one out and a new one in and then check contacts from the pulled unit on the bench later. Almost certainly the normally open (closed in Xmit) contact pair is “shot” with a higher than spec contact resistance. Sigh, another expenditure. At least I have renewed life in this amp by taking old and tired sealed dip relays out and replacing them with new ones. Those particular DIP sealed relays are scarce as Hen’s Teeth. Glad I found a suitable replacement.
My son is almost done with school this semester. In one plus more weeks he will be home for the summer. I think he will be working at the church again this year and trying to earn money for his school again next fall. It will be nice to have some kids home again during the day. The house is pretty quiet with no dog or kids playing and making noises.
18 Mhz has been wonderful in late mornings. Yesterday while testing my amp live on air some EU’s called in and were weak but readable and I was surprised by being called by DX. Nice! This radio stuff never seems to get old. Anyone who has known me for any length of time knows I have experienced a “Burnout” a time or two over the years, but I always seem to come back with a vengeance. I have a very old friend going through one of those burnouts now and I hope he will wend his way back when he is ready. We all need changes from time to time and so things happen and gear goes on a trip to flea market and then you freshen up a month or a year later and it becomes a journey of fun and wonderment all over again. I’ve never really figured out what triggers these episodes in my hobby life but it seems like I always find my way back. There is something about the smell of hot coffee, a cold morning, fog or rain and a chill in the air that acts like a magnet to my imagination and draws me back to that old sense of discovery and wonderment. You never know who is listening unless you try with a CQ or QRZ? So here’s to you all, you dedicated dreamers, who always seem to be there when my curiosity gets the better of me and I attempt a CQ or just a test and someone in a far away place takes a moment from their busy schedule and reaches out to say “Hey”, there is a kindred spirit out here and whats more important I can hear you! Welcome into my home! Thanks to you all!
Thanks for reading my Blog. Best, Chas W5PG