W4H Sticky

W4H - 2nd Anniversary of the 470 Amateur Radio Group
Start Date: November 1, 2009
End Date: November 15, 2009
Frequencies:Voice - 24.450, 14.260, 7.260, 3.860
PSK31 - 14.070, 7.070.
QSL Info: Note the amateur's name and send QSL to the call that is working the W4H event. For example if you work me as W4H I will also give you my home call and tell you to QSL to me AJ4IJ.
More Info: The 470 Amateur Radio Group website

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Wondering where I've been???

Just wanted to leave a quick note about where I've been, and why no updates.

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

Contacting Sasquatch...

Week before last, the PODXS 070 Club gained its 1,000 member. *Congrats!* In celebration, they arranged a 3 Stage contest that was to last for, to sum it up, a week. In stage 2, we were required to "find" certain things - you may have seen my previous post seeking assistance for items on the list. I found them all, but my number 6 (a fur-bearing creature) was by far the most interesting.

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

-- THANK YOU!!! --

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

Time Out for Girliness

Sorry OM's -- gotta take a time out to be a YL.

These UPcycled resistor necklaces and earrings are just darling!!

Found on etsy.com... I'll list seller names with the item




Sunday, August 23, 2009

Need YOUR Help

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."

The Criteria:
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

With Deepest Sympathy

From ARRL.org

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

NA8SA & WA2LQO: check!

Thankfully, Tim found NA8SA and WA2LQO and I was able to make contact with both. I was really excited about those.

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.

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Upcoming Hamfests

There are two upcoming hamfests in the East Tennessee/Western North Carolina area that I thought I'd list here if anyone were interested.

MCARC (McMinn County Amateur Radio Club) Hamfest
This is an Outdoor Ham Radio Trader's Fest
Location: Athens Regional Park - Athens, Tennessee
Date: Saturday, July 18th, 2009
Time: 7:00am - Noon
Talk in: 145.310 (-) 141.3 - monitored in normal and reverse, should be able to get a response you hit the I-75 Exit 49

Directions: Take Exit 49 off I-75, turn east towards Athens. Go approx 1 mile, park will be on your right. Follow the signs.

Limited under-roof spaces: $10 each - Tailgating $5 each (bring your own table) - 6:00am setup

Admission free to buyers!

Breakfast for sale from 6:30am to 10:00am - Go Here for Additional Information

Contact Info:
NA4IT - Scott Duckworth
(423) 263-1989 or email at kg4fzr (at) yahoo (dot) com

Western Carolina Hamfest (aka Waynesville Hamfest)
Location: Haywood County Fairgrounds - Waynesville, NC
Date: Saturday, July 25th, 2009
Time: 8:00am - 4:00pm
Talk in: 146.91 (91.5 PL) and 147.39 (94.8 PL)

Directions: I-40 to Exit 24, NC 209 Lake Junaluska. Go South approx 2.5 miles to Hamfest on Left. Follow signs.
From 19-23/74 on NC 209, go North approx 1/2 mile to Hamfest on right. Follow signs.

Tickets: At the Gate $6.00/person - in advance $5.00/person

Vendor space in building - $10.00 per 8 foot table, Tailgating free with paid admission
Covered "Flea Market" spaces - $5.00 for 8 x 8 space

VE Exams given on walk-in basis at the Clyde Fire Department at 2:00pm

Contact Info:
KN4ST - Elwood Miles
(c) (828) 216-0690 or (h) (828) 253-4490 or elwood3 (at) charter (dot) net

Hope you all have a great time. If you go to either one, send me a comment telling me all about it!

Thursday, July 9, 2009

The End... W4H

Between web design work, running a business, and getting my lesson plans ready for this school year (I homeschool our daughter), I was finally able to sit down and work some W4H.

I worked PSK31 on 14.070 this evening and made quit a few contacts on the last day of the special event.

It was great fun, and I want to thank all of those who contacted me, and all the other 470 ARG members that worked W4H this time around. Great job to all of you!

For a QSL card, see the sticky above. I'll also confirm via LoTW and eQSL for W4H.

Thanks to all for making this Special Event a success!

Sunday, July 5, 2009

PODXS 070 40m Firecracker Sprint

Yup, I worked it. Had loads of fun, too. I did stop for about an hour or so to let the little one check out some neighborhood fireworks, but I ended up with 80 contacts and 33 multipliers for a point total of 2640 points. So, not too shabby I don't think.

I worked in the Low Power category, if anyone is wondering, at 50 watts or less.

Also, if you're looking for my confirmation on LoTW or eQSL.cc - I'm having a little trouble with the upload, but should have it soon. For all the ones that have confirmed me so far, thanks a bunch.

And for the character that kept throwing dead call signs at me last night, I'm smarter than you, and didn't add all that **** in the log. So, have your fun, but don't insult my intelligence.

Thanks to everyone who made this sprint a success for me! I truly enjoyed every minute.

Saturday, July 4, 2009

New: Twitter

Please take a moment to divert your eyes to the right of your screen.

See that cute little blue bird with that cup o' hot latte?!

That, my friends, is the link to the brand new AJ4IJ twitter page.

Find out what I'm doing, when I'm doing it, and what frequency I'm on, by clicking on that link.

Thanks to all of you avid readers, and thanks for looking.

I adore all of you!

Thursday, July 2, 2009

W4H Special Event

Hey Everyone!

Don't forget to be on the lookout for the 470 Amateur Radio Group's Fourth of July QSO Party Special Event.

Listen for W4H from July 1st until July 10th from 1700z to 0300z.

Frequencies, thereabout, will be 14.260, 7.260, 28.400, 3.960 mhz +/- 20 khz.

If you contact W4H, please QSL to the operator you contacted.

Happy Fourth of July!

Field Day 2009

I know I should have posted this earlier in the week, but it's been crazy playing catch up around here.

Field day was a success, despite the Jeep needing a new water pump and some hoses. We got her patched up enough to run us up in the field, but she's still not feeling well. Now her timing's off, and she's failing to idle correctly. *sad face* Poor little Jeep. She still needs quite a bit of work.

There was also a lot that went wrong once we got up there. We discovered first thing that someone had stolen one of our antenna ropes that we use to lift the wire in the air. We made due though, because we're hams, with a length of camo rope and a sports drink bottle, and subsequently produced quite a few laughs and "HEAD'S UP!"s.

Once that was up, we ate our quick and fancy field day supper. Yum.

After eating, we got to work on getting the radio set up and everything in order. That went pretty smooth, although we did have issues with using the Traveler headset in conjunction with an external speaker on the FT450 we had brought with us. So, we ended up just using the hand mic and having an extra person to log the contacts. That also worked more smoothly this year, but I give props to the table for that. We took a larger table this year - 6 feet in fact - and although it was heavy, awkward to load, and potentially hazardous to the health of the Jeep window while bouncing up the ridge-side, it was efficient and gave us tons of elbow room.

Matter of fact, the table wasn't the only thing new we took. This year, having learned from the past, we took two fans (totally sweet in the 90 degree heat), the new FT450 (smaller, functional, done a great job, but I missed the fish finder on our radio), the little netbook, an Air Card that allowed us to have Internet connection, a lamp that DIDN'T run on batteries (last year, our lamp died halfway through, this year we collected beetles with our 100w bulb), and the shortwave radio -- which we found good use for later in the evening.

Clover seemed to enjoy herself as well. She loves the field. We took her frisbee this time, and she played until late in the evening. This picture was taken right before she crashed out on us. haha

And I have to add that the bugs were horrendous this year. Worse than last year. I'm making a note now to take some of those bulbs that don't attract bugs for next year.

Tim worked so many Field Day stations that I can't remember how many. I had searched, and piled, and pulled all the stuff out at home. Had stuffed, piled, tucked, and shoved everything in the Jeep. Had pulled, tugged, and dropped everything out on arrival. Then set up while Tim was going back down for the rest of the family. So, to be quite honest, I was so exhausted once I was there, I only made 6 contacts and one was a dupe. I had fun regardless.

Later in the evening, Tim called in to WMRI to tell them about our Field Day. Shortly after midnight they called back and put him on the air.

After that, Ashby wanted to play radio. She did a great job, making quite a few contacts for herself.

And I guess it was shortly after 1 o'clock am that the generator finally started begging for more gas. At that point, we all decided it was time to pack up. So we did, minus the antenna, which we went after on Sunday.

In all, even though we had plenty of set backs, Field Day was fun. But now I'm exhausted again just thinking about it.


Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Any Mt. Mitchell Updates

I'm not particularly fond of spreading rumors, but I heard a tidbit on the Mt. Mitchell repeater system and wanted to know if anybody out there knew it to either be true, or knew anything else.

I heard that the repeater owners were granted another year at the site. Does anyone know if this is true and/or has any other information?

Thanks for your thoughts... just leave them in the comments.

73 de AJ4IJ

Monday, June 22, 2009

Field Day Catastrophe

Well, our plans for field day have been placed on hold. Active readers will note that we frequently take the equipment to a real field, real high on a ridge top, and that we typically have great fun doing that.

The problem is, to get up there, we need a 4 wheel drive vehicle, and our poor little Jeep is sick. It's not a surprise that she is. She's 15 years old, and she's been through just about everything you can imagine. But this time, she's really sick. She's spitting out coolant by the quart every time we start her up. We're pretty sure there's a leak in the water pump seal, which means she needs a new water pump, and also that she may not be better before field day this coming weekend.

We took her over last night and left her with dad so he could go to school on her. Thank God for the Internets. Although, I know he knows what he's doing, but I'd never be able to replace that thing and get everything in the right places putting it back in. I'm one of those people that always has parts left over, and even though the gadget seems to work just fine after I fix it, I'm always wondering if those parts were important. haha I don't think it wise for me to work on the Jeep. :)

In any case, without her, there is no field day for us. There may be a "backyard" day, if worse comes to worse, but we were really looking forward to our quiet, private, and outdoor radio'ing. Maybe that'll be enough incentive to get her running before Saturday.

Cross your fingers!

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Mt. Mitchell Repeater Update

Well... I just found that the QRZ thread has been closed. This is sad news to me, as it was really my only way to see updates on the matter. No one sends me emails, and I don't have contact with these people, so... I guess I'll be in the dark for a while on the topic.

But, I found two posts on the QRZ forum I'd like to share with you before I go under my rock...

1. Dated June 16th at 3:02pm

"Discussions are proceeding with the parties to resolve this issues regarding the Mt. Mitchell repeaters.

We appreciate all the help and encouragement from those who have lent their assistance.

If everyone will be patient and 'QRT' on further communciations to Blue Ridge Broadcasting, Samaritan's Purse or other 3rd parties, it will be appreciated.

They have heard your concerns and asked our patience in working out a resolution.

We will have an update at the appropriate time."

Thank you,
Dean Blair ~ k2jb

And 2. Dated June 15th at 8:01pm

"Ken Wood, NN4KW, a McDowell Amateur Radio Assoc member and a part time volunteer at WMIT, was able to meet with Alice Knighten, WMIT General Manager, on June 15. Alice was willing to talk with Ken about the development of events surrounding the request for removal of amateur radio repeaters from Clingman's Peak.

The issue began when a repeater antenna was moved without approval.
The consequences of this change forced WMIT to change antennas to resolve interference issues.

The Forest Service owns the site. Amateur Radio repeaters operate at the pleasure of Blue Ridge Broadcasting, using power supplied by Blue Ridge Broadcasting. There have been no written agreements up to now about the operating agreements. There is a question of liability as the repeaters now operate.

According to Alice, the issue can be resolved. However her boss, Franklin Graham, is now involved due to the letter writing campaign by hams. She is waiting for direction from him. Unfortunately, Alice has received some unpleasant letters which don't advance resolution of this matter.

Resolution will involve defining written agreements, agreement to pay for electricity, and perhaps some apologies.

Ken Wood NN4KW and David Houser WA9OTP"


So, please... for now... halt all letters and requests for letters to be sent to Franklin Graham. They are apparently aware of the situation and are asking for a QRT.

Personally, I'll uphold the QRT on letters as long as they are doing something about this issue. If it seems to begin to be swept under the rug, we will need to send those letters again! :)

Saturday, June 13, 2009

Save the Mt. Mitchell Repeaters!!

This is an outcry to the amateur radio community, even to those not in this area and even other parts of the world.

The Western Carolina Amateur Radio Society needs your assistance.

They have been asked to remove the multiple repeaters (53.63, 145.190, 224.54, 442.225, 443.600) from the Mt. Mitchell location by July 31, 2009. The reason for this is quite stunning.

I quote... from the letter I received:

"The only explanation given was that Amateur Radio was outdated technology and it no longer fit with the direction the station was going and that the only equipment that will be permitted would be FBI, CIA or Homeland Security UNLESS, they wanted to pay $1,000 per month per antenna at the site."

**Could someone please explain how radio waves are old technology?!?**

I'm not going to reinvent the wheel here, so you can read about this on this forum:


And I'll add part of the letter I received at the end of this post. It's too large to add it all really. I'll post the important parts.

These repeaters have been in operation since 1982. They have an AMAZING coverage, with the 2 meter repeater being the highest repeater in Eastern America, and located specifically on Clingman's Peak. I don't think I've ever tuned into the 2 meter repeater and not heard someone.

I just wanted to pass it along. You can help, possibly, by public outcry. Be courteous, and email Mr. Franklin Graham by his secretary, here: rwinkler@samaritan.org

He's not the cause of this, so don't be rude. He's quite possibly the only person with any pull on the subject.

Thank you, all of you, for assisting.

Here's the letter I received:

Ladies & Gentleman,

There have been a lot of phone calls and emails today regarding the pending demise of the Mt. Mitchell repeaters.
Some of you may be hearing this for the 1st time.
Let me summarize the facts and then suggest some action items for everyone.

1. To recap, regarding the amateur radio repeaters on Clingman's Peak (Mt Mitchell), WMIT General Manager, Alice Knighten has informed Ken Woodard, WA4BVW to..."Please plan to remove all of your equipment from the site and return the access keys to our office by July 31, 2009."

2. Randy Johnston, KE4RQL who maintains the 3 WA4BVW repeaters and Jimmy Johnson, K4YR owner of 2 other repeaters located there have attempted to discuss the matter with Ms. Knighten. Her decision seems irreversible and there is nothing to discuss about the issue except to remove the repeaters.

3. I have spoken with Randy and Jimmy and they are appreciative of any assistance the amateur community can bring to bear to reverse this decision and have requested WCARS take a lead in coordinating assistance. We have the support of NWS, SKYWARN, ARRL and WCARS and I believe EOC managers.

From my conversations today, the consensus seems to be:
1. Find an alternative site with the Forest Service on Clingman's Peak. No guarantees this is possible and would be Plan B.
2. Generate enough attention to this issue with the people who may be able to appreciate the value of amateur radio on Mt. Mitchell and reverse this decision.

We think Franklin Graham is the person who can resolve this issue.
Jennifer Mauney, KC4LWX has obtained the contact information for Franklin Graham's executive secretary who screens his email. She spoke with her today about this issue and believes that he is not aware of this decision, and that we should contact him.

We need County EOC directors, ARRL representatives, SKYWARN representatives, NWS representatives and Amateur Radio Affiliated Club Officers to respond. Anyone with or without adjectives after their name needs to contact Franklin Graham.

I have attached a letter that you might consider using as a template to send. However, nothing will substitute for your own words.
Please keep your communication professional and to the point. There are no personalities in this issue. Simply a great deal of lost value to the amateur community if these repeaters go away. Lets keep that our message.

Time is of the utmost importance.

Dean Blair ~ K2JB

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

A Little Humor Never Hurt Anybody...

You know... the funniest thing happened to me. After contesting in the PODXS070 3 Day Weekend for what seemed like 4 days straight (utc time can do some strange things to ya, people), the oddest thing occurred.

I went to bed, finally, and my room looked like this:

You think maybe the waterfall should come with side effect warnings????

AJ4IJ :)

Sunday, May 31, 2009

Three-Day Weekend Comes to an End

First, I want to thank EVERYONE who contacted me, or entertained my contact, during this contest. The PODXS 070 Club hosted a Three-Day Weekend PSK31 contest over the weekend, and we've (the OM and I) had a wonderful time.

*Well, I have to be honest in saying it was a little long for me. I have a hard time sitting through a two hour movie, much less a three day contest*

I ended up with 166 qualifying contacts, 106 member numbers, and 1000 bonus points. *woot* Seeing how it is late, and I'm exhausted, if you're interested in my final point count, then you'll have a nice little math problem to entertain yourself with. :)

Overall, I was happy with the contest. I was afraid that the CQ CW contest was going to interfere, but it wasn't too much of a problem. I think we both did well with the bands we have and the conditions we were blessed with. Unfortunately, 10m and 6m never opened for me, so I made no contacts there. And we don't have 160m here, so I was left to work 80m, 40m, 20m, and 15m only (which is pretty decent I must add!).

I guess the next PODXS 070 contest is in July. I don't know if I'll be making that one or not, being 4th of July and all --- but anything's possible.

Again... Thanks to everyone and Good Luck to all who worked the contest.

BTW -- if I contacted you, you should be confirmed via LoTW and eQSL. :)

Monday, April 13, 2009


Alright little kiddies... (Oh my... I had a teacher in high school that always called us that. It had implanted itself into my brain, biting and tearing, until one day... one long and happy day... I could use that single phrase: little kiddies. Now it's gone, for good I hope.)

Logbook of the World is up and running for AJ4IJ. If you've been wanting my confirmation via that, you now have it... provided you're in my log.

I'm so excited about it, and now I can say I have worked all the continents (minus Antarctica), since Japan is confirmed via LoTW. Congrats to Me!! Party Party!!

*doing the worked all continents dance*

-- What's that?? WAC doesn't recognize LoTW??? What a crock of 3 dits, 4 dits, 2 dits, and a dah!

Oh well, I've confirmed them in my eyes! I didn't want no stinking $13 cert anyway. hehehehe

*LoTW FTW Dance!!*

Thursday, April 9, 2009

31 Flavors - Upcoming Contest

Ooooooooooh... digi-contest.

The PODXS 070 Club is hosting their 31 Flavors contest THIS weekend (Saturday, April 11th, 09). You don't have to be a club member to participate. Hours of ops are from 12:00pm - 18:00pm YOUR LOCAL time. The rolling start gives everyone a fair chance!

Try your hand at many PSK modes -- BPSK31, QPSK31, BPSK63, QPSK63, and BPSK125. According to the site... The wise contester will use as many variants as possible!

Unfortunately, you probably won't see me working this one... *boo hoo*

I worked the Valentine Sprint, had a wonderful time making TOP YL! But I have to take turns, and it's my OM's turn to work this one. So please look for AJ4JD (member #865)!

For official rules, visit here.

Good Luck!

Monday, April 6, 2009

LoTW: Soon... Soon

For those I have previously contacted... and for those I will work... You'll be happy to know that I will soon be using Logbook of the World.

I'm waiting on my postcard, then my email, and then I'll have everything set up.

Thanks for your patience with this Behind-the-Times YL.... hahaha

But... by the way... I still LOVE receiving QSL cards. :)

Thursday, March 19, 2009

WAS Update - 16 to go!

Thanks to all I've contacted for sending confirmation! I now lack only 16 states for my WAS award!

Here's a look at my updated WAS map:

Click for Larger Image

Montana, Nevada, Oregon, Missouri, Delaware, Massachusetts ... I sent you a card. You know who you are. I'm still waiting :) hehehehe

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Paying Homage...

The April 2009 QST arrived the other day. Just like every month, Tim beat me to it. It usually ends up in a place that I am least likely to read it (i.e. the "QST Room"). I had a chance to steal it away this evening, and it was already opened to an article that caught my eye:

"PSK - 10 Years On" by Steve Ford, WB8IMY

Yup Yup... It's the big 1-0 for PSK31, and I'd like to send my thank you's out to Peter Martinez, G3PLX for inventing it. And Mr. Ford, you did an excellent job with the article.

See, I got my license back in 1994, so I remember a time when PSK31 was nonexistent. When Tim started studying for his tech license, and the testing information started talking all this PSK31 stuff, I was awfully confused. I didn't remember any of that on my test years ago.

(Now, you have to remember, I took an 11-12 year break from ham radio, because I was a kid... and kids know it all... and I had more important things to do, like chase boys instead of dx.)

I took a little time to read up on PSK31, and got most of my answers from my daddy. But what really got me hooked was actually seeing the digi signals on the waterfall, being able to click on them, and actual words started printing on the screen. I made my first contact to a ham in Florida sometime last year. I'd look up the details, but ya'll know how lazy I am. Anyway, that contact was the icing on the cake.

Speaking of cake...

I really hated that I missed Pi day(3-14), because we had planned some wonderful things. Just the world got away from me and I forgot. So, this evening I thought... why not have cake? Only, we didn't really have a reason to have cake (and I only say I need a reason because if I don't, I feel terribly guilty for indulging myself). So... Happy Birthday PSK31. I devoured a nice large slice of three-layer triple chocolate fudge cake with cream cheese icing just for you! Yum!

No... I didn't eat that much cake by myself! I had a lot of help.

Sunday, February 22, 2009

25 More to Go!

It was about time I'd done this. Here's my updated WAS map:

Click on Pic for Larger Version

I've actually contacted 38 states, but you know how it goes trying to get confirmation.

I did contact Montana the other day (that's one I find to be one of the hardest to get). I haven't sent a card yet, but maybe soon I'll get around to it and get confirmation back! *smile*

Sunday, February 15, 2009

I Got 'Em!..... K5D

Wooooo Hooooo!! I worked K5D Desecheo Island last night (well, properly, this morning) on 20m on 14.226. Band conditions seemed better than I expected, and I was able to get them on 100w.

*Doing the Desecheo Dance*

Ashby was able to get them as well, as they were listening up on 14.226 in the general portion. I was very excited that she was able to work them. She got them on her first try. I'd been calling for 2 days. Way to go, Ashby!

Tim got them, too, as well as a lot of our local friends. Congrats to everyone!

If you haven't worked them yet, don't give up!! Keep trying. They'll be there until Feb-26.

For more information... visit the K5D website here.

2009 PSK31 Valentine Sprint and More....

I had a great deal of fun working the 2009 PSK31 Valentine Sprint hosted by the PODXS 070 Club. The RTTY contest this past weekend kind of interfered, but I was able to log 44 contacts, and that's pretty good for me.

I don't typically contest, and I know I won't win... but it was fun nonetheless, and gave me something to do. I kinda like the little short sprints. I don't have the focusing qualities for the 30+ hour contests.

I also logged a few other PSK31 contacts not related to the sprint. I got the Canary Islands yesterday, EA8CLX, and Belgium, ON4LJA... all running 50w.

Friday, I worked some phone. Besides hollering at K5D all day, I worked two overseas special events: OL2009FIS - The World Ski Championship S.E. in Czech Republic and GB5OBH - Special Event in England commemorating the death of Buddy Holly. I also worked OZ5BF in Denmark -- What a nice OM! -- and S52QM in Slovenia.

As you can see... I'm having lots of fun with our new HF setup over here!

Monday, February 9, 2009

Buffalo buffalo Buffalo buffalo buffalo buffalo Buffalo buffalo.

It has been brought to my attention that my use of the term 'XOM' may have some, well, buffaloed. Although I have heard this term used once before (by a guy that I spoke with forever ago), I too questioned it's use. Was this proper Ham Radio terminology? And since when did that really matter to me?? *You are reading the blog of a girl who hollers "CQ on the 20!"*

Well, let me try to explain myself. See, it all goes back to the term XYL. When I was first becoming familiar with this term, I Googled it. After extensive Google research *ha*, I found that there was NO explanation behind why a Young Lady (YL) ceases to be young once she is married, no matter what her age really is. Now, I realize that this was probably and originally constructed this way as to not offend any ladies by calling them Old... but I think they *whoever "they" are* should have further defined XYL.

See, marriage can do some crazy things to people. Despite finding yourself madly in love, marriage comes with sacrifices. Those of us who are married know about these, which may include but is not limited to: throwing away all your dreams and (God bless them) sometimes the hobby. I wonder if walking down that aisle did not age me by 20 years automatically, and therefore I embrace the term XYL with pride. After all my old man has put me through, I'm surprised I'm not SK. :D

So, logically, if marriage takes away the youth of a lady, then it must take away something from a man. Hence the XOM. Some of you may ask... What is there after Old? Does that make them Dead? Well, I'll leave that up to your imagination. But, I can guarantee one thing. I am not married to a ghost. Maybe a zombie, but not a ghost.


PS.... If the above grammatically correct title has you buffaloed, try this: THE buffalo FROM Buffalo WHO ARE buffaloed BY buffalo FROM Buffalo ALSO buffalo THE buffalo FROM Buffalo. And if that doesn't work, visit here.

Saturday, February 7, 2009

A Task Half Done

It's crazy. I bought my daughter a "magic wand" for Christmas. It was expensive, for a piece of plastic shaped like a stick, but it was something she has begged for since she became obsessed with Harry Potter nearly three years ago. Today was the first day I really wished that the wand actually worked. It would have been nice to have shaken a wand, twitched a nose, or said a few words that weren't explicatives and the new multi-band dipole would have been stretched safely between two trees with no effort nor obstructions.

Unfortunately, that's not the way the world works, even though we'd all prefer it that way. Of course, without our sweat and hardships, we probably wouldn't appreciate a "job well done". Well, this job is, at the moment, a Job Half Done. *Although if I were a more "glass half full" type person, then it'd probably be three quarters of the way done* (If you came here for optimism, turn around and leave. Please visit my XOM's blog, which is much nicer in that category :D)

I guess we did learn a few things today. The Murphy's Laws of Putting up a Dipole:

1. No matter how much you plan, hope and pray, the wind will always top 20mph on 'Put-Up-Your-Antenna' Day.

2. Always have a backup plan. You will be defeated by something. In our case, the pine tree kicked our rears... Royally.

3. If you have a wooded area, the "straight shot" will always be through the saw briars. I was the lucky candidate to walk through it today. My arms, legs, and torso brandish the evidence to prove this.

4. Cutting down a tree that is in the way is not a great idea. You may successfully cut it down, but it will fall on your antenna, no matter how hard you try to get it to fall otherwise.

5. There is never an existing hole big enough for a PL-259. Solder it on AFTER you run the coax through an existing hole.

I'm sure there are more things that we learned today, but at this point (2:30am), I'm exhausted and tired of thinking about it. I'm just glad it works as well as it does, and I'm even more happy that it is up and this excursion is over.......... at least for today.

Until next time... Happy DX'ing!

Thursday, February 5, 2009

The Scoop Du Jour

Wow, I need to catch up here. The blog is running away faster than I can keep up!

Really, I've just been lazy. No, really! I have no excuse, except that I've let everything go far too long. Not just this blog, but just about everything. Graduating after nearly 7 years of school will do that to a person. Now, it's time for me to get my head back in the game. I hope that's a possibility!

I have news about Ashby. But before I do... We finally got our HF radio hooked up over here. It's been sitting at dad's since we bought it. Not collecting dust or anything though. He put it to good use while he had it. Probably misses it, to tell the truth, since his has some anomalous sound problem. Even baffled the Icom guy, but hopefully they'll figure it out soon enough.

We've been working on getting the antenna up. Failed miserably last weekend. I didn't fail... I was in the house, where the smart people go when boys play with bows, arrows, fishing reals, and 80 foot trees. *SMILE* Gladly, they didn't spear themselves... Really! Not even once! I know you still think I'm lying. Hey, it's still possible though. There is an arrow still in my pine tree, dangling dangerously with the slightest of every breeze. It'll be my luck, I just know it. I'll be working in the front flower garden or something, when some evil wind blows the arrow straight through my eye socket. Ewww, that's gross. Carrying on.

This weekend is supposed to bring very nice weather. *psst... always revert to the weather when topics run a little too wild* Maybe we can successfully get the antenna up!! I did go purchase a slingshot, some weights, and some better fishing line; although I'm not sure I'll be any safer around them with that.

Yes, I know... you want to hear the news about Ashby. Well, she won second place in the public speaking contest this past week. Her speech was about Amateur Radio, and she did very well! I was so proud of her. Too bad the "Sheep Boy" won first place. Shhh... don't repeat that!

Here's pictures of her, and a LINK to her speech, for those who would like to read it.

Scavenger Hunt Sticky

Thanks to all for helping me with the Scavenger Hunt!