At the beginning of July we went on our family holiday – it’s been 3 years since we had a real holiday away from the island and I must say it was excellent. We did loads… I won’t bore you completely but we fitted in three weeks worth of stuff in to two weeks.. extremely well planned by my wife, I just followed along for the ride 🙂
So, prior to this my radio mojo was declining – I’ve become ‘bored’ of the same sorts of QSO’s – I’d spent some cash on the tails for my arrow, and the connectors too in a bid to make better / easier QSO’s on satellites and rekindle my mojo – a few successes but the faff of setting up the 817 & 857 and using a couple of SLA batteries really puts a downer on just popping out – so I need ‘go’ type box to make my life easier – guess its all part of working out what works for you and what doesn’t.
Anyway.. I took everything for the sats on holiday with me hoping to dish out some grids on my route around France – it didn’t happen – it was such a speed drive around the first few grids we didn’t unpack anywhere – that is until we got to our week at Center Parcs near (ish) to Paris… there I set up an end-fed, as soon as I could – over the week I made minimal QSO’s on that.. also tried a few satellites – AO7, FO-29 etc and made a couple of contacts on FO-29 just before it went by-by’s and it wasn’t me that killed it, honest!! However being in the forest (as these Center Parcs seem to be) the RX was absolutely shocking – I tried and tried – made a couple of QSO’s on FO-29 initially but that was it… I kept trying almost every day to hear myself or any noise from the various sats… basically sod all but for an occasional sniff of my own signal… I gave up in the end – played a little HF but the end-fed was absolutely shocking too… I tried counterpoises, different lengths of wire… took the analyser with me too to ensure it was as good as I could get… the end fed was utter crap – glad I took it with me though but I didn’t achieve much and what i did was hard going… next time it will be dipoles only….
I was hoping my mojo would be reignited by both IOTA and the holiday… nope, I still feel uninspired with it all – we came back from holiday about four weeks ago (that’s mad – it doesn’t seem that long) and then no sooner back I’m off to the Portsmouth for a work social event (which was bloody brilliant as usual) and other than taking part in the Breakfast Club on GB3IW on one day (and visiting Nevada Radio & meeting Glyn – G4CFS) I’ve barely been in the shack nor had any lust towards doing radio stuff – typing this up is in fact the first time I’ve messed with anything radio related… I haven’t even transposed my few log entries from France yet nor have I requested a new LoTW cert for F/MU0WLV to sort the one grid I gave a couple of contacts on FO29.. I must do that…
I think it’s work – so busy it seems at the moment – I dip in and out of twitter to watch what everyone is up to – see some people suffering lack of mojo too.. may be its that time of year/solar cycle or may be its the weather – I thought nice weather was supposed to bring outdoor excitement for /P use – not me – I’d rather be sat in my shack playing… I MUST MUST MUST finish that bloody rotator… I’ve a huge blog on it, the various stages I’m going through with it but really CBA to get it on my desk… it’s probably a good idea to do it and leave the radio off… a different thought process eh.. radios off so no white noise nor shit phonetics and 59 QRZ QSO’s… bands do seem quite limited though with some openings but that mostly seems to be on FT8…
Digressing FT8 – humm… it has it’s uses but its really taken over peoples lives eh… I enjoyed messing around on 160m with it and the mini competition Dale (MM0INH) and I had – that was fun, this year I want to see what I can do with SSB contacts only on 160m (& may be 80m) as I am trying to stay away from FT8 just because it’s consuming and I feel ‘dirty’ after using it ha ha ha. It’s really just a mode for butterfly collector’s (grid, DXCC, award collector’s) I’d like to have some meaningful QSO’s or ones that extend further away from shack details… there will of course be the 59 QRZ’s and just shack detail QSO’s but law of averages suggests there must be other QSO’s to have… if you hear me then please feel free to waffle on.. I will 🙂
To that end (obtaining mojo back and 160m SSB time come the winter) I have started looking at what I can do for an antenna this year… I’m thinking of a base loaded inverted L with a radial system – trying to make it resonant on 160m – then may be mess about with with other bands and the base loading… not sure… 160m isn’t an easy band to play with because of the length – huge compromises to be made…
After a bit of Twitter discussion and some DM’s I now have a rough idea of what I’ll do… not sure how successful it will be but the fun is in the messing around – isn’t it !? – More to follow in a separate post, obviously! 73! 🙂
I’ll get something rigged up this coming week for that very long overdue QSO!
CHOP CHOP!! You have as long as it takes me to process the 80/90 bureau cards I have just received.. i.e. to sort the log and print the labels attach etc… that could be week or two to be fair – because no oomph ATM.. wanted to post a pic of my small ‘pile’ but cant work out the plug-in I need – thought I had but nope… job for another day – thanks for the comments 🙂
Boom… that’s it – done it 🙂