It has been a wild (for us at least) couple of weeks. Firstly, Matt is home from A&M and so the house has a buzz again! It is nice to have young people in and out. The support trips to A & M eat into radio time but not such a hard sacrifice for us. 🙂 Secondly, some may recall we lost out older Boston Terrier several weeks ago and following that episode we decided to adopt a rescue dog. That process is lengthy and for good reason. Some of these animals have had less than stellar lives to date and so the organization tries to insure a proper home. We successfully adopted a young dog named Molly and concluded the process this week. She is but one year old and needs some training but generally is house broken and fits our personality to a fairthewell.
It is nice to have a doggie around that plays with dog toys again. She keeps me company during the day when no one is around.
We now have three full one hour session of Morse Practice under our belts with the amp back in service. I first replaced all the relays that were either old or suspect or both and the last to be changed was the vacuum relay in the output. Naturally enough that one seemed the ticket and all is working again. It is comforting to know that most of the relays that were in the QSK circuit which were over twenty years old have been replaced with new models and with faster switching speeds and higher contact ratings. Short of a tube failing we should be good to go for a while now. I am running the amp in reduced service as I have it on 115 VAC and only ever ask it to output 500 watts. We sort of coast along at that output.
The bands have been kind of “punk” this past week when compared to the bands in March. Or is that my imagination? It seems so to this observer at least. I haven’t taken a look at numbers but my generalizations seem to have some merit. We actually moved schedule from 18 MHz back to 20 Meters for some of our Morse Practice this week. 18 MHz simply wouldn’t hack the circuit. A bit earlier in the day, say around 1500 to 1600 Zulu I found good propagation to EU on 18 MHz. The band seems fairly lively around those hours from Dallas area.
I never seem to tire of my little window into the world. Each day brings a new adventure. It needn’t be anything exotic to sate my hunger for adventure. I don’t crave quantity or rarity. Simply an excuse to switch on and find someone to chat with with a different or unique perspective. The world is full of such folk and they are always out there saying hey! I will be forever grateful for that.
Thanks for reading my Blog. Best, Chas W5PG