Saturday, November 6, 2010
Wednesday, September 23, 2009
You may or may not know that I am a stay-at-home XYL, which is not so bad. I can juggle housework and ham radio.
You may or may not know that my husband and I own our own business, which is not so bad. I can juggle housework, small business, and ham radio.
You may or may not know that my house has over 5 years of junk accumulated in the basement. This does not count as housework. haha But that's okay... it's not so bad. I can juggle housework, small business, yard sales, and ham radio.
I can usually juggle all of this plus some -- like budgeting, hunting bargains, shopping & stocking, doctor's appointments, yard work & gardening, et al. -- and ham radio.
You may or may not know that I am a mom... and I am a home-educating mom as of this year. We had previously had Ashby home when she was younger, but the school system has gotten worse - not better - and so I am homeschooling again. This takes a TON of time and effort, and I'm having a hard time juggling this, all my other tasks, and finding time for me and my hobbies.
So, any lack of post is only because I am probably sitting in the living room working up a lesson plan on The Hobbit, or I could be in the kitchen mummifying a chicken for science/history/art class, or I could be grading the many papers that I have to keep up with, or better yet -- we might even be learning something together.
**I've learned so much in history already! hahaha Not my best subject**
I hope soon that I'll have a home-education post on the subject of ham radio. :)
See you at Ten-Tec!
Wednesday, September 2, 2009
While hunting around the waterfall in search of someone with a fur-bearing creature in their name, call, or qth, I thought, "Wouldn't it be funny if I contacted something like Sasquatch?" I promptly typed Sasquatch into the QRZ.com search box, and to my surprise, it actually pulled up something!
N6CRO, it said. Sasquatch Amateur Radio System, it read. I literally jumped for joy when I seen they had an email address. I knew it was a once-in-a-million shot, really, but I decided to try anyway.
I sent them a message telling them what I was up to and asking if any of them worked PSK31. In a few short hours, I received an email back. Yes, there was one person that was willing to try to work me with the club call N6CRO. Jim Shryne, N6DHZ, agreed to meet me at a certain time on a certain frequency. I knew it would be difficult, him being in California and me here in Tennessee with a cloud-burning dipole and bad propagation -- but I had to try.
When the time came, there was no Jim on the waterfall. I had him via email, but the bands (20 and 40) were dead where he was. At this point, Jim was even nice enough to call me at home, and we discussed power, location, frequency, and yet still, after adjusting it all, could not see one another. I think Jim was just as disappointed as I was, but he wasn't ready to give up yet (and neither was I, but I didn't want to waste his time). Jim decided to try again in a few hours, if only I was going to be up past 11pm. That's not late for me, so I promptly, and excitedly, agreed.
We talked a little longer on the phone - him discussing his dx club, and me discussing our 070 scavenger hunt. He thought that was a grand idea, and I really enjoyed our conversation. He was a very nice 6-lander. We ended the call, and I went in search of other items on the list while I waited, impatiently, for time to go by and propagation to improve.
Twenty minutes until time for us to retry contact, and the bands completely died out here. Not a single signal on the waterfall. I felt so destroyed. I have a terrible habit of getting my hopes up. So, I waited anyway. I wasn't ready to give up. 11:00 pm hit the clock, and promptly there was an email from Jim. He was on 20meters and was waiting for me there. I sent a quick email back to him and called out... and called some more... and sent about 75 watts of signal... and nothing. He couldn't see me -- although he did mention that dx was rolling for him now.
So, we opted for 40 meters. It was better. Propagation was booming on his end, and it had actually come up from nothing on my end to a little something. At least there were 3-4 signals on the waterfall now. I emailed him where I'd be... threw out a call for him... and nothing. Again called... and nothing. I told him to try calling me, via email, and I could see him - at least enough to get bits and pieces. So, I tried to reply -- once -- twice -- and by the third time, he picked up my signal. I was picking his up, too. The band picked up long enough for us to exchange a hello and an RST -- and then BAM, 40meters was dead for me again. It never picked up any more that evening - unless it was after I went to bed. But we both got a good clean copy, long enough to call it contact.
So, I want to send out a SPECIAL and HUGE
to Jim, N6DHZ, for contacting me... even though it took a ton of effort. Jim, you'll never know how much I appreciate the help and the contact.
Sunday, August 30, 2009
Sunday, August 23, 2009
Thanks to everyone! I've got a special blog post about Sasquatch coming soon... just have to wait until Stage 2 is over... haha.
I'm currently (for the week of Aug 24 - Aug 28) working a PSK31 Scavenger Hunt.
So, if you work PSK31 and you meet ANY of the following criteria, please message me here so maybe we can set up a time to work one another. 160m thru 6m - no WARC bands - I don't have 160m capability.
By the way... before you ask...
"it is entirely permissible and within the spirit of this event to solicit QSO's using methods other than amateur radio. It is left up to the wiles and ingenuity of each Ø7Ø Club member to seek out and schedule QSO's through any and all means at his disposal, utilizing his knowledge of upcoming contests and events, internet search techniques, band propagation, etc."
1. Work a tree.(name or qth) Got this one!
2. Work an LONP. Got this one!
3. Work a TLA. (name, call, or qth) Got this one!
4. Work an island. Got this one!
5. Work a geometric shape. (name, call or qth) Got this one!
6. Work a fur-bearing creature. (name, call or qth) Got this one!
7. Work a country. Got this one!
8. Work a color. (name, call, or qth) Got this one!
9. Work a palindrome. (name, call or qth) Got this one!
10. Work Ø7Ø #1000. Got this one! Thanks Bob!
By the way - I live on Chestnut Ridge Road and an LONP, so I can satisfy two points for your generosity of satisfying point(s) for me.
Thanks for your help!
I'll cross them off as I get them... if I do!
Thursday, August 13, 2009
As many of you may have heard by now, Mickey "Santa Claus" Hicks, WO6T passed away Sunday, August 9. He was 79. For the past 38 years, Hicks, a ham for almost 50 years and a long-time Amateur Radio instructor, would get on the air for 10 days each December as W6S (Whiskers-6-Santa). ARRL Youth Editor Duncan MacLachlan, KU0DM, profiled Hicks in December 2008: "The Amateur Radio community has been quick to embrace the W6S operation. Mickey says that the first year operating as W6S was 'a hit with the operators of all ages and their children.' Mickey noted that most children are a bit apprehensive of talking over the radio, let alone to Santa! He said one of the most challenging parts of operating is when he hears 'This one is shy and won't talk.' That's not a problem for Mickey -- he says after a few warm-up questions (such as 'Can you say hello to Rudolph?'), he can strike up a conversation that lasts a few minutes. He has even heard back that the parents weren't able to get the microphone away from the kids afterward!" Hicks told the ARRL in 2001 that his Santa's Workshop has been a great ham radio recruiting tool. One of his most memorable experiences was when a young girl he'd once spoken with on the air as Santa came by with her ham ticket in hand to thank him in person for getting her interested. "I had tears in my eyes, of course," he said. Mark Slater, WI6J --Hicks' QSL manager -- said Hicks was an avid DXer, contester and rag chewer: "He had a passion for radio and making new friends through the hobby he enjoyed so much. Mickey will be greatly missed." Slater said that he will continue to confirm WO6T/W6S QSL requests "indefinitely." Hicks, of Bakersfield, California, was a member of the ARRL A-1 Operator Club and a long-time member of the ARRL, the Northern California DX Foundation, the Central Valley DX Club and the Kern County Central Valley Amateur Radio Club. -- Thanks to The Daily DX for providing some information for this story
This was very sad news for us. As many of you may know, Ashby (KJ4EGJ) was fortunate enough to speak with Mickey ("Santa") last year. It was a joy, and she had so much fun. They talked about lots of things, and even about Santa's healthier eating habits. When Ashby didn't know what to ask Santa for, he was prompt in telling her what the best present of all would be. From then on, it was popular news that Santa was bringing Ashby a purple and yellow salmon for Christmas. Here's a link to an article written about Ashby's contact with Santa by Duncan MacLachlan, featured on ARRL early this year, about midway down the page:
Please keep Mickey's family and friends, and the many children that he blessed over the years, in your prayers.
Saturday, July 18, 2009
I've been watching the replay of the Apollo 11 mission on WeChooseTheMoon.org and it's pretty interesting. I wasn't around during that time, so it's been fun getting to see it, and relive it with my Daddy, who was very young at the time but remembers the mission well.
It's a great thing, celebrating this anniversary. The Apollo 11 mission paved the way for many more explorations.