Saturday, February 03, 2007

6m a bust? But 160m a possibility. Exercises in extremes.

Just a quick blog entry tonight. We have managed to review and capture all of Budd's contacts from his bicycle (on paper logs). Budd has been quite active and the only means of logging in the field is with paper and pencil. I can attest that any penmanship classes he might have taken in grammar school did not have the desired effect. I spent until 3 AM last night working on the problem. Chris and I worked until after 2 AM tonight finishing up. My new rule: even if you are a 100 Pound DXpedition you should be doing computer logging at all times. It is far too inefficient to do it with paper and pencil. Plan on budgeting for the weight of the laptop--it is going with you!
We have been doing RTTY! There have been lots of requests for RTTY and we finally started making QSOs today. Paul would like me to note that his 100 watt station is no match for the 1000 watt stations currently dumping RTTY into the bands. If you want more RTTY from here, please make some room. This might also be a nice time to locate that RF Power knob you'd heard about. Note that it turns both clock-wise and counter-clockwise {grin}.
Several hours were spent building 160 meter antennas. We now have 2 antennas for top band. We have a dipole (low hung for this band, obviously) and a vertical constructed from Buddipole parts. Budd will attempting to make contacts on 160m CW over the next couple of days. A New Zealand station heard him tonight but refused to work him because we wasn't in the A-1 Operators club. Nice. (Apparently they are having a contest tonight.) Perhaps we'll be able to make some contacts once the contest is over and "regular" people can work.
We had also constructed a 6m 3-element beam for the magic band we listened for openings but heard none. We listened to the beacons and heard the local one on St. Kitts (I think) which was blasting in here... but heard nothing else. I've not given up on 6m yet, but I'm preparing myself for this to be that one aspect of the trip that was a little disappointing. For those of you that wanted us on 6m, please be patient. We are trying.
My web site provider has an FTP service that is used to upload new material. That was horribly unreliable today. I don't know if it was the internet connection here on the island (which has not been 100%), or if the service itself is having problems. Anyway, Budd's new (and rehabilitated) log is up and there are updates for most of the operators. I'll try to get the rest tomorrow.
Our hosts took us out for an amazing dinner tonight so no QSOs were put in the log by me. Now that Budd's logging nightmare is over, though, I'm hoping I can go back to working towards my goals of 1000 QSOs, WAS, and WAC. I'm close: 700+ QSOs, 45 states (with the usual suspects missing), and I worked a ZL and ZS today leaving only Asia as the continent unworked. Cross your fingers.
We pack up on Monday for a return flight Tuesday. Not much time left. Work us while you can. 73!


Blogger KateGladstone said...

If the man's handwriting looks like "ytrmzf" or something, and he refuses to log by computer, don't ride with him again until he has taken (and survived) at least one of the Handwriting Repair [tm] sessions perpetually on sale/auction via eBay:

February 03, 2007 10:00 AM  
Blogger NE1RD's Blog said...

Budd is doing a fantastic job working contacts everywhere. Doing it on a bicycle, pedestrian mobile, and in many other challenging places would be difficult for anyone. For casual operation, I think the paper logging thing is fine (which is what Budd does everyday in California). Here on the islands, with the volume of QSOs we've got here, though, I think that is impractical. Budd's been a trouper (and his son Chris has stepped up a great deal) to make the best effort we can to make this work. It is an important part of the operation (to show that portable HF setups are practical); the logging complications were not anticipated to be this severe. Still, I think we've done a good job of getting all the data out of the notebooks, double-checking them, and getting them on the online log. We can only hope this is sufficient to the task.

Thanks for your comments. I'll pass the handwriting thing on to Budd. {grin}

-- Scott (NE1RD /VP2MRD)

February 03, 2007 10:22 AM  

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