2023-03-15 mk’s Word – The Ide(a)s of March …

In search of … outdoor locations

The temperatures are bobbing up and down through zero, as they should be this time of year. It has me thinking about those days to come, when the shade of a tree and branches to hold up an antenna are both welcome. Unfortunately, two of my favourite spots to play radio outdoors have become construction sites. One is to be the new Civic Hospital, and the other is a trench that will be the future home of the O-train. So now I’m spending time looking at maps and bus routes to find new places to play. By the way, does anyone know how much RF noise those trains make? I’d hate to find that the western extension wipes out the Ottawa River as a spot. This summer I should have an end fed antenna for 40-10m to play with. I’m about ready to give up on portable dipoles that need 2 supports and a place for coax in between.

Contests keep coming

Meanwhile, indoors, the Commonwealth Contest was a fun time. Once again, a few sharp eared people in far flung places heard my little signal. I think there are two more African countries in my “all time” list now. Having 10 and 15m open up meant about twice as many contacts in the log than in previous versions of the contest. Maybe I should plot number of QSOs versus year and see just how the numbers run.

This sunspot cycle is definitely going to be kind to the QRP crowd and those who have to put antennas in their balcony windows to get out. I just hope they don’t get complacent and decide that a dipole made up of two lawn chairs will always work the world.

Coming up is a strangely compelling contest called the Manchester Mineira contest (CQMM) out of Brazil, with bonuses for working club stations, YLs, QRP stations etc. With the Ontario and Quebec QSO parties happening the same weekend, it will be tough to keep all the logs in order, but it is a fun, if hectic weekend.

I hope Homebrew Night goes well. Without in-person meetings, these words, and the Capital City net are my only connection to the OARC, and it is wearing thin. The club may be picking up members from afar, but I wonder how many locals have dropped by the wayside. Some day the OARC will get back to meeting in person. I hope it doesn’t have to wait ’till Field Day.


Last Updated on 2023-03-18 by AdminOARC

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