Six meter beacon is down

The NF8M beacon at 50.0763 MHz is off the air as of 2000z on 24 January 2019 for an unknown period of time. The output seems to be quite dirty and is full of chirpy spurious emissions up and down the band and into non-amateur spectrum below 50 MHz. Also, the antenna sustained some damage in the last week or so, which is probably not the cause of the issue.

The beacon transmitter will be re-examined and repaired if possible; however, there’s a chance that the beacon could be shut down for an extended time period. Further updates will be posted here.

ARRL January VHF Contest 2016

I don’t normally expect much out of the January VHF contest, so working just seven stations on six meters Sunday afternoon was all right with me. The best DX was only the other side of the state, but I managed three grids (woo-hoo!) for a score of 21 whopping points.

Six meter aurora fun

The end of the year usually brings enhanced propagation on the “magic band”, 6 meters. Reports charted at dxmaps.com showed a lot of sporadic-E and some F2 among some of the bigger guns on the band. I worked a few in the usual southern tier of states but had the most fun catching some as-yet-unworked grids via auroral propagation. I even made one or two phone contacts – sure, it’s hard to hear what’s being said, but speaking slowly and clearly, you can be understood. With aurora muddling things up, it’s important to slow down, both on phone and CW. I’m hoping the seasonal openings continue into the new year.