Good news!! I finally made Sx4. It took a real long time to get there. Hopefully Sx5 will be not so hard, especially with all the new members joining. There are already new Senators with numbers in the 17, 18 and 19 hundreds! Truly remarkable. I guess we are getting our name out there and more people are trying CW.
Recently there was a topic on the SKCC groups.io about CW skills. There were several things talked about.
One was that it appears some operators were using some form of decode software to read CW. I know this for a fact. I actually had one operator tell me that is what he was in fact doing.
A second comment was that some were using "electronic code generators". I know that the rules allow this if you have some impairment that does not allow you to use a mechanical key. But, I have heard some hams calling a "perfect" CQ but when they start a QSO, the sending is not quite the same quality.
Of course my road to learning CW was all wrong. I started by memorizing the code and repeating it in my head without really listening to it. Big mistake. I tried to use a decoder, but found they left a lot to be desired. Decoders expect mostly perfect code and perfect conditions. They are more or less designed for contesting.
I tried listing to the ARRL CW practice files on my computer. That worked OK but just.
A great book to read is "The Art and Skill of Radio-Telegraphy" By William G. Pierpont NØHFF (SK). This pointed out all the mistakes I was making, and I was making a lot!!
Copying in your head is probably the best skill to try and acquire. Recently I have been listening to random words (500 most common) at 18 WPM with characters at 25 WPM. I listen for about 2 mins and try and copy them. I am using the JLMC program by Sigurd Stenersen LB3KB. It is fairly programmable so it works well. I probably get about 20-40% but this has help me a lot in the head copy department.
Well, the K3Y event is over and, unfortunately, I only got 18 of the 19 regions. I missed out on AF. There was only one station on from Africa and that was John ZS6JBJ.
John did a great job, but conditions were not great here in MA for an AF contact. Only a couple of times did I hear him at 329 but most of the time there was nothing heard at all. Plus the pile ups were bad. John only had 101 total contacts, which was the least of all areas. South Africa is a tough place to get.
It seems John tried to be on at least twice a day everyday. He was mostly on 40 and 20 meters. Oh well, maybe next year.
John ZS6JBJ Thanks for being a K3Y operator. I really appreciate your dedication!
There was a remarkable number of QSOs, over 32,000! By the way, the free map web app exceeded the usage limit. so you can't see the K3Y operators location.
Well my antenna broke three times. It turns out that where the wire goes into the trap is a weak point.
If you look at the first picture, you will see that the antenna wire goes into the first hole, loops around, comes out the second hole and then is wound around the form and then repeats the threading on the opposite end.
Well that worked OK for a couple of weeks, and then it broke again where I had spliced the wire. So for the second repair, I tied the wire together with a square knot and soldered the ends together.
Well that only lasted a little while before it broke again. Finally I tied a square knot again and just twisted the ends of the wire together and put a bunch of electrical tape around it.
Turns out wind is a big problem for me here in Georgetown. We were getting 50-60 MPH winds here. No wonder my antenna broke!
I have finally used some bungee cords to help with the wind problem. That seems to have work for now.
Now that the weather is getting better, I think I will try and put up my OCF Windom. Hopefully that will stay up better.
|Added Bungee cords. One at the transformer end and one about 20 feet along the wire looped around the porch railing. This helps with strain relief for the antenna.|
Here are my results for the last 4 WES events. As you can see, I have been slacking as of late.
Dec 80 QSOs 39 overall 24 QRO (good for 10th place all time for area 1/MA)
Jan 52 QSOs 40 overall 22 QRO
Feb did not post results only made 13 contacts. I should have posted anyways just to get the number of participants up a little.
Mar 43 QSOs 84 overall 56 QRO
I don't know if this is new or not, but on the WES page, there are some statistics that are quite interesting. It gives results of top 10 scores for all areas and states at this link: Weekend Sprintathon Participation Statistic . Interestingly I have 10th place for MA and I have 7 out of 10 top 10 for VT. Of course VT doesn't have a lot of members, 74, (0.37% of total members) and not many participate in the WES. Also most of my WES events were done in VT.
Month QSOs place
Nov 81 19th
Dec 97 16th
Jan 105 37th (K3Ys counted as brags)
Feb 39 25th
Progress on new shack:
Oh I wish! Well I did get a structural engineer to design the changes that need to be done to the floor above the garage. Now I am waiting for my builder to come over and pick up the drawings so he can start the project. and waiting and waiting....
Who am I? (Ancestry DNA:)
Off topic but interesting. As a Christmas present this year, I got an ancestryDNA kit. So I sent it in and didn't get any real surprises.
I am basically English (73%), Irish, Scottish (22%) and about 5% Germanic.
Flex radio has released V3 of their 6000 software. Again it will cost you $200 to upgrade. I am still running the latest version 1. V3 doesn't have anything I need. My 6300 has locked up a couple of times but not enough to make me go crazy and spend $200.
All for now - 73 Dave KB1WOD