Saturday, March 9, 2019

Lagniappes, tapas and other morsels

A few brief tidbits:

My many-yeared history of successfully building kits is now sullied - in the Slop Bucket II, I've met my match. With the last component installed, the moment of truth had arrived. Application of power resulted in - nothing. Well, there was a soft audible "pop" in the headphones. Only this and nothing more. Let my heart be still a moment and this mystery explore (Poe would say).

I have a 3-part plan and am happy to report that the first two parts have already been accomplished:
  • Cry
  • Curse
  • Troubleshoot
I think my first checks will be for DC power...checking to see if 12V and 5V is everywhere it's supposed to be. Hopefully, it won't be - and that would be an easy fix.

In the meantime, a voice inside my head is asking, "What were you thinking - you're not a phone op?"


The 7P8LB DXpedition 8-16 March) is now on the air from Lesotho and they are making use of QSO Director to display their frequency, mode of operation and near real-time log. I'll be looking for them on 17 and 80 meters. Solar conditions being what they are, 80m will be the easier of those two bands.


Speaking of DXpeditions, team leader Dom of the upcoming 3Y0I DXpedition to Bouvet recently announced that Wayne N0UN will no longer be managing their website and "is stepping back for personal reasons". Neither the Rebel DX Group or N0UN's personal websites seem to exist anymore. Now it is just the 3Y0I Team. Good - the air smells better already and I'm happy to support their endeavor.

And I'm very much looking forward to their post-DXpedition report where they name names of those attempting to sabotage their operation. They've already indicated that this includes "the ones who didn’t succeed recently, and now trying to torpedo our plans" "The ones who didn't succeed recently" reference can only mean the 3Y0Z team. If true, what an ugly chapter in DX history.


Yesterday was the first 10-minute episode of the ARRL's new podcast, "So what now?" and you can listen to it here with an annoying commercial interruption halfway through.

It's a very basic podcast meant for newcomers to the hobby and I wish something similar had existed in my Novice days.

It's sometimes hard to remember how daunting the hobby once seemed with no online forums to ask for clarification on topics barely understood. I remember being so naive that I thought mentions of a band being "closed" were legal in nature rather than ionospheric. To me, a closed band meant that we weren't allowed to operate there for the time being, like a closed highway or business.


March 16-17 is the 30m Multi-Mode Weekend, an event whose goal is to "promote experimenting and using different digital modes on 30m".

Details can be found here and other info on the sponsoring group (the 30m Digital Group), including awards, is here.

If you've ever wondered about a digital mode other than FT8, this might be a good opportunity to try it out. And, with so many ham stations now configured for FT8 it's a simple matter of mouse clicks (rather than hardware additions) to operate any of those modes. I may give Olivia or Opera a try - or JS8Call a re-try.


It's a great hobby, mostly.


  1. Interesting news. I'm sorry to hear you kit is not working. I know what feeling it is ;-). Hopefully you'll be able to find the fault. 73, Bas