Monday, May 9, 2016

2016 Update

Where have I been!?!?!  Have I vanished?  I have not posted anything since the beginning of Dec 2015.  Work, life, laziness, etc. has all gotten in the way of my blog posting, but I haven’t abandoned it!  I’m here to give an update on everything ham related since the end of 2015.  Also, I’ll go into more details on most of these items with a separate blog post in the near future.

  1. In March 2016 I purchased a Flex 6500 for my shack.  It’s an awesome radio!  I love the SDR functionality plus I needed a good base radio for the shack.  Now to get a better antenna.  I’m currently looking for houses with more backyard space, so a full size 40m and up dipole should be easy to put up soon, as space with large trees are in the new house requirements!
  2. The first week in April, Justin (KE0HXL), Chris (WX5CW), Kevin (K0KEV) and myself all took off to Union Ridge Conservation Area just west of Kirksville to participate in the MO QSO party.  We were stationed on a 3 county line (Putnam, Adair & Sullivan) for the whole weekend and operated as W9W.  I’ll save the story for the blog post and YouTube video, but we didn’t do as well as we should because of a series of antenna failures due to high wind. Band conditions were not the best for the weekend.  We learned a lot and will be back at it next year!
  3. Back on April 23rd, Scott (ND9E) and myself activated the Jefferson Expansion Historical Memorial (Gateway Arch).  It took quite a bit of planning, which Scott took care of most of it.  I just showed up, helped setup and operated.  Band conditions were again not the best, but we did end up making around 250 contacts during the afternoon. I plan on activating other National Parks in the future, so more to come...
  4. I’m going to Dayton 2016!  Justin and myself will be making the trek, so if you see us, say hello!
  5. I missed working the New England, IN, DE and 7QP QSO parties this year because of Mother’s day and other prior commitments as that weekend did not work out of my schedule.  I think dragging out the flex and setting up in a remote location away from the city yields some of the best operating conditions for things like this since the bands have not been in the best shape.  Next year I’ll be ready, as I just didn't plan very well for the weekend.
  6. I’ll be participating in the NA RTTY and the NA QSO party this year to get ready for the IL QSO party in Oct. Not sure where I'll be operating at for these events, but I'll be in it.  
  7. Since I like operating portable, I’m going to build a go-kit for each of my HF radios, Flex included.  Two kits, a contesting portable kit with my Flex and then a “go kit” with my KX3 and 100W amp with Singalink.  In Dayton, I’ll research some battery boxes and other go kit items.

This should be all of it.  Look for more detailed blog posts on some of the above items in the next few months.  Follow me on /u/framaram in /r/amatuerradio.

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