G0VQY's Amateur Radio Blog

What's on the mind of a UK ham radio operator?

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17 m was extremely open to day. I didn't get on the band until fairly late in the afternoon, however stations were coming in thick and fast. I worked over 30 stations in the USA in just over a couple of hours. That's not a lot I know, but I do like to have a rag chew rather than just exchanging signal reports, just don't see the point in that.

Funnily enough, I don't think I have worked so many "K" stations in the US in one day, they were coming thick and fast, many number "8's" from around Ohio and Wisconsin. I have no idea why this was, but at one stage it seemed that the skip was only coming from a very short area, most of the stations were very weak to me although my signal was very strong going back. A lot of the stations are only registering about 1S point on my meter, however they were giving me an S point 9 in many cases, the propagation is very strange. I was also told by a couple of stations that I was the only "G" station they could hear, maybe the ionosphere chose me as its favourite amateur for the day HI HI.

I put the radio on at 9:15 PM just have a little listen around and see what was going on. 17 m was pretty much dead so I had a look and 20 m, PJT/AF6WF from Curacao was giving me a very good signal. For those of you who are not aware, this is formally the Netherlands Antilles. She had a massive pileup from the US so I didn't really hold much hope that my modest little station was going to be heard. However, check the video out below, I'm trying not to gloat :-)

Unfortunately I'm not able to stay up late so my operating stops at around 9:30 PM. During the winter time this has really matter that the band have all shut fairly early. However, the bands are now staying open well after 930 which is a little bit frustrating. I have got a hex beam which I am planning on putting up so I can operate from my bed. I know this will be step down from my normal beam antenna, but by all accounts the hex beam albeit fairly small and basic is actually a very efficient antenna for what it is. At some stage I will let you will know how I get on with it. I've just been looking around my property deciding where it should go. I think I have decided on a small Tennamast attached to the side of my house, I think this will be ideal, but this is another story for another time.


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