2023-02-15 mk’s Word – A Radioactive Winter

Jumpin’ January …

The CQ 160, one of my highlights of the winter, has come and gone for another year.

This time, in an effort to defeat, or at least blunt Murphy, we went out to VE2OJ a day early, Thursday rather than our usual Friday. It worked, sort of. The problems we encountered in December did not come back, and we were able to overcome the new ones by the time the contest started. It seemed a little quieter this year, but we still managed over 900 contacts before tearing down and wrapping up Sunday morning, so we could leave the cottage ahead of the incoming weather.

Winter Field Day

Meanwhile, during the daylight hours of Saturday, I managed to get in about 2 hours of portable operation from a gazebo. My operating time was squeezed between the start of the Winter Field Day at 2 PM and the return of 160m propagation at around 4PM. Conditions were great, weather was good enough that I didn’t need the hot water bottles I had brought, remembering how cold last year’s WFD weather was. Lessons learned: The battery has so many connections between it and the rig that 75W isn’t sustainable. It worked much better at 50W, and I don’t think the difference cost me any contacts. Putting up an end fed antenna that covers 80-10m is too much work for the limited time and space available. Next time I will have a 40-10 end fed. It will be much easier to find a place to put it up. Any time 80 is open during the event, we would be opening up 160m anyway, so the extra length doesn’t gain me anything.

And more …

After that was the ARRL VHF thing. I didn’t put in much effort, and didn’t get past my own grid square, except for one contact with VE3KG in the grid next door. Seems after every VHF contest, I find myself saying I have to put up some better antennas. – Maybe next time.

I decided to put some time into the BC QSO Party and did OK, even though I found 3/4 of the way through that I STILL had the rig putting out 50W where I had left it from Winter Field Day. At least I have the excuse that I could have doubled my QSOs if I had used my usual power setting. – yeah sure.

The recent weather has been mild enough to make February, usually one of my hardest months to endure, quite bearable. Whatever comes along now, it won’t be long before antenna season. By the way, now, when the trees are leafless, and aren’t doing anything, is a good time to see what branches you want to get rid of, and which ones you want to hang wires on.

’till next time

Last Updated on 2023-02-18 by AdminOARC

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.