We contributed 25, 20 minutes “QSO’s” toward the QTX rag chewing award last month beginning at the end of the year put on by the CW OPS group.. Even though it hasn’t officially begun we are sending in log entries to get in the habit. A valid QSO is 20 minutes so we break up our hour long schedule into 3 segments and QSY through three bands along the way. We normally QSO on mostly dead frequencies so as to minimize our having to move around a lot daily. Normally we will begin on 18081.5 then to 21054.5 and onward up to 24925.0. So far those frequencies have worked pretty well for our daily skeds. About the only time there is an issue it generally occurs on 18 Mhz frequency and its because someone is working split form a transmit frequency below and listening up. Its an easy hop above 18090 to find another clear spot. I would suggest that anyone join but we are scheduled so tight that if we took on a third we would not get in enough sending time to make a difference. As it is my sending isn’t improving a lot, even with two participants and an hour of practice time. Sigh, nothing is easy is it?
I spent the weekend listening on the high bands. I spent most of my time on WARC bands as CW Sweepstakes was going and that contest exchange is murder IMHO. I have never been involved in Sweepstakes so I should give it a try some year just to say I did it ….once. Maybe I will save that for when I get good at Morse! 🙂
I happened across a website that showed up a new release of firmware for the IC-7800 that I had somehow missed back in January 2011. We try to keep current but I suppose I missed it somehow and so I downloaded it and tried to install it on the radio. I must have bent a pin in the Flash card reader/writer so I made a trip up to Fry’s and found a cheap all purpose one for ten bucks and then all was well with the world. One does this upgrade so infrequently that I just take out the manual and do them by the numbers “Heathkit” style. There are loads of warnings and one can mess it up very easily so I just take a deep breath and move through the instructions paragraph by paragraph. I didn’t need any rig improvements but somehow it seems the right thing to do by staying current. That sense will all change the first time I mess it up and the radio requires a trip to Seattle for a repair. More of life’s little complications. It’s a little like attempting to keep Microsloth current.
Thanks for reading my Blog. Best, Chas W5PG