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.

Scavenger Hunt Sticky

Thanks to all for helping me with the Scavenger Hunt!