November Sweepstakes, Fourteen Years Ago

11/24/2004 | W5WZ Our family was on a camping trip to Daisy State Park on Lake Greeson in Arkansas. I had hoped to spend a significant amount of time in the contest. However, as my first solo portable operation, it wasn’t as successful as desired.

W5WZ operating 2004 Nov SS SSB at Lake Daisy State Park in Arkansas (Photo by KW5MOM)

I brought an fan dipole for 80/20, and also a trap dipole for 40/15. But, I didn’t bring any soldering irons or antenna analyzers. The 80/20 antenna was up about 25 feet, on the east side of a steep slope near the edge of the lake. The 40/15 dipole had an unknown problem; it wouldn’t tune up anywhere. So I gave it a shot with only the 80/20 antenna.

My station was an IC-756 ProII, a laptop with NA by K8CC for logging and rig control, with the requisite Heil proset and footswitch, all on the picnic table at the campsite.

My family had other plans for the camping trip; as much rain was expected, during the non-rainy periods I was expected to be with them. The first evening, the temperature was falling quickly ahead of the rain, which soon followed, so I packed up and went to bed  in the RV. With 4 kids under age 7 in the RV, indoor operating was not going to happen on this trip.

The next morning, it was very damp and windy, so I decided to set up in the cab of the truck. With the 756 on the dash, laptop in my lap, the passenger seat was mighty comfortable. The kids provided plenty of interruptions, along with the nature hike and my turn at cooking for the family, so once again operating was not the priority. After all, this was my vacation! I did learn that an automobile bucket seat should be considered for an operating chair.

My operating position had one heck of a great view! And the rest of the trip was beautiful, too! — W5WZ

QSO with W7IFG Yield Unexpected Surprise!

A late Sunday afternoon QSO with W7IFG on 2018-10-08 via 20M USB yielded an unexpected surprise!  I had just completed a previous QSO with intentions to QRT for supper.  W7IFG asked for a quick QSO, and I obliged.

Scott told me (his name is also Scott) that he had a QSL card from W1AW/5 that listed me as an operator during the ARRL Centennial QSO Party, and he also knew that the two QSOs on the card were made with me, because he had asked for my home call sign.  We briefly discussed how much fun the Centennial QSO Party was for all the participants, then signed off.

The following Friday, Oct 12, I received an envelope in the mail from W7IFG.  I was quite surprised to find not only a QSL card for the recent QSO, as well as the original W1AW/5 card!

QSL from W7IFG for QSO with W5WZ on 2018-10-08 20M USB, and QSL from W1AW/5 for QSO with W7IFG on 2014-11-xx on 17m USB, with W5WZ as the W1AW/5 operator. 

Thank you very much W7IFG!

73, Scott W5WZ

Special Event Commemorating the Louisiana Purchase – April 21 to 28, 2018

A special event commemorating the Louisiana Purchase will take place from April 21 to April 28, 2018.  Sponsored by the NorthEast Louisiana Amateur Radio Club, the event will use the call sign W5L.

A commemorative full-color QSL card has been created for the event.

Operators will be from locations across Louisiana, activating the HF bands in CW, Phone and RTTY modes.

A schedule of the on-air times and more details are available at https://W5WZ.com/W5L 

 

DXer’s tool: ClubLog

DXing is enjoyed by many hams.  There are countless tools available to assist.  One very popular online tool is ClubLog.  There is nothing to install on your computer.  Just browse to https://clublog.org/

Club Log is an online database with a suite of powerful tools supporting active DXers.  Club Log was designed to enable, in fact to encourage club activity and friendly competition between club members through its league tables and charts.

Once you have registered on Club Log and uploaded your log, you will be able to:

Generate personal reports, showing which DXCC countries you have worked and/or confirmed, when you first worked them, which ones you still need, and which are the most likely to QSL (Club Log’s reports are both comprehensive and flexible);

See how you stand relative to your peers in various league tables and challenges (again, the reports are very flexible – for example with a few clicks you can generate a specific league table listing how many DXCC countries or CQ zones have been worked by various African hams on 20m CW in the past year almost as easily as a global league table covering all bands, all modes and all years since 1945);

Analyze your log for possible/likely errors in the DXCC allocations (Club Log’s painstakingly-researched DXCC database is a tremendously useful resource supporting the DX community);

Predict the bands and times on which you are most likely to work almost any DX station, based on actual QSOs in the logs uploaded to Club Log, and draw great circle maps;

Set up a personal DX Cluster feed that filters out the DXCCs you have already worked, leaving just the ones you still need …

… and much more.  This is just a taste of things to come!

73, W5WZ

No radio activity

05/23/11 — Back home after the annual trek to Dayton Hamvention.  I was an invited presenter at the Hamvention Contest Forum. That was a lot of fun. As all SSB contesters know, a microphone and a large captive audience is a good time!  As always, it was great to see friends!

Aquired an AL-1200 at the flea market.  It is a real power house!

  

05/04/11–  Wow!  What a spring we’ve had!  I’ve not done much ham radio since February.  A family vacation to Washington DC during spring break, a couple of rounds of severe storms, and lots of work have consumed my time.  Counting down to the annual trek to Dayton in a couple of weeks.  See you there!