Sunday, November 28, 2021

Contestus interruptus


Written to the cadence of the first embedded YouTube video below. Sort of ;-)


Mercury amp,

Weather damp;

Morse Code sent - till fingers cramp.

Fire up the amp and there I go...I'm QRO.


DX Monitor - not just for DX

I should have posted something about this very useful program a long time ago but didn't because I assume most DXers know about it or use something equivalent.

DX Monitor from VE3SUN is more than a monitor for DX - it's an alert system for a user-defined set of criteria.

I use it in the "normal" way by periodically updating the 'DX Alert' function with current or upcoming DXpeditions. I can do this by callsign or entity.

But the callsigns entered don't have to be DX - they can be the friends you'd like to work. When one of them is spotted, an audible Morse tone is generated from your PC's speakers: "DX".

The main display can also be configured to show only CW, digital, 10 meters, etc. Beam headings are shown and a link to Google Earth will show entities on a map.

There's far more to DX Monitor than I can possible write here and I wish I could tell you that it's free - but it's $39. Free to try for 30 days though. If you're serious about DXing, you might find it worthwhile. If not, there are other (free) options.



Tuesday, November 23, 2021

RIB's - not just for dinner

C6AGU is - I think - currently (23 Nov @ 2230Z) operating as a Radio-in-a-Box. As I write, he is on 14.013 MHz working split.

Fool's gold

"There's a sucker born every minute."
Elecraft recently announced a new antenna - the AX2.

The AX2 is a telescopic 45" whip antenna with a toroidal inductor in series that allows it to function as a mediocre antenna on 20 meters.

It costs $80 plus shipping. No, that's not a typo.

Available for $8 is a 45" whip from Amazon, minus the 75-cent inductor and a $7 F-to-BNC adapter.

PT Barnum was correct.



Sunday, November 21, 2021

Video: Caddo Lake WMA (TX) K-6542 activation

Mark: "Alligators don't like being poked with a paddle"
Despite spending the first 22 years of my life in northeast Texas, I had never been to Caddo Lake on the Texas-Louisiana border. It is uniquely different (yes, a redundancy) from other lakes in the area due to the large number of cypress trees around the lake's perimeter. Also, the transition from lake to land is very gradual and swampy.

A large number of alligators inhabit the lake and I was a bit hesitant to put in with my kayak...but I met a young feller there who was camping, kayaking and hunting. He lived nearby and was in possession of two kayaks - a rigid one and an inflatable. The inflatable kayak was stowed (deflated) behind the seat of his rigid kayak. Strapped up front was a Winchester rifle.

He paddled about, hunting deer from his watery perch. The inflatable kayak was used if he got a deer. He would inflate it with a portable pump, put the deer on it and tow it back to his campsite.

When I confessed my concerns about alligators, he said three comforting words: "They're pretty chill" followed by a disclaimer, spoken in the very finest of East Texas redneckery: "Just don't F with them - they don't like being poked with a paddle."