2022-11-17 mk’s Word – November Notions

Novemburrr 2022

I’m in a Grrrumpy mood these days. That last gasp of summer like weather was fun while it lasted. Unfortunately it didn’t (couldn’t) stick around. I can’t decide whether I dislike November or February more. Just now I’m leaning toward November.

Magloop mayhem

While the fall chores got done, the magloop didn’t quite get finished. At least it did get up in the air. Sort of. It looks like the perimeter of a potato chip, or a roller coaster on stilts. I figured out how to build a pipe bender out of C-clamps and T-Rail, and how to build a gin pole out of same, plus pulleys, so that’s something. I wouldn’t have thought a gin pole would be necessary for a mast only two metres off the roof, but that loop is heavy.

The capacitor isn’t in place yet, but it seems to resonate around 5 MHz without it, so things are looking promising. I can get to the place where the capacitor goes without getting near the edge of the roof, so I will be able to continue messing with the thing.

ARRL CW sweeps

I played a bit in the ARRL CW Sweeps, but I just couldn’t fire up a lot of enthusiasm for it. Maybe it was the long exchange required serial number (I hate serial numbers), callsign, precedence, check and finally section. I did manage to work my first VY1 in a long time though, along with Alaska and Hawaii. There are fewer than 40 contacts in the log, but all of them are on 15 and 10 metres. The bands are opening up enough to make people forget the bad old days of the depths of the last solar minimum.

Ham exams

Exams are still going on, with some struggling and some candidates getting through with great marks. If you aren’t in the habit of taking exams, and don’t have a technical background, it is a tough slog. I appreciate the effort of those who keep at it anyway until they break through. They seem to appreciate what they have more than those who ace the exam without breaking a sweat.

Meeting and net musings

Sorry to hear that in-person meetings won’t be starting until next year. Given our demographics, it will be interesting to see what happens when meetings do resume, especially in the dark of winter.

It used to be that when you checked into a net, you were in that net, following that net until you checked out. Now, people seem to be “multitasking” and miss their call, or don’t know what the topic of discussion is, and generally aren’t paying attention.

Does that happen when people are present but not present at zoomeetings? Do you just get used to the sounds of barking dogs and coffee makers punctuating the meeting? If you have experience with hybrid meetings in other contexts, I’d like to know how they have changed from meetings in the before times.

73
Stay focused
mk

Leave a Reply