Michigan QSO Party 2016

michigan-county-mapOne of the highlights of the year for me is the Michigan QSO Party, held on the third Saturday of April each year. It’s sponsored by the Mad River Radio Club and brings the spotlight to the Great Lake State.

Each year I try to do something a bit different – after all, the county I live in (Oakland) is one of the most active counties. I’ve tried in the past to get out and activate another county or help out another operation. This year, I did fewer than a hundred QSOs in a couple hours from home, way down in the pack in the single-op low power category, but spent most of my time at Michigan State University’s club station, W8SH. Continue reading “Michigan QSO Party 2016”

Wallpaper: Canada Day Contest 2015

2015CanadaDayNF8MBart, VE5CPU, just surprised me with a certificate for my entry in the 2015 Radio Amateurs of Canada’s annual Canada Day contest. With 10,640 points, I was first place in the 8th US call area.

I always enjoy working the RAC’s two contests each year – the Canada Day contest, always held on July 1st, and the RAC Winter Contest, usually the Saturday between Christmas and New Year’s Day. Continue reading “Wallpaper: Canada Day Contest 2015”

In the log at VK0EK

I’ve been listening the last few nights to the pileups on 40 meters for the VK0EK DXpedition to Heard Island in the south Indian Ocean. Propagation hasn’t been the greatest on 40 and I haven’t been able to hear them, though I can hear everyone trying to work them (they’re usually listening down from their transmit frequency, rather than up).

Tonight, though, I tried 30 meters, and found them at 10.116 MHz, sending VK0EK DN, so I tuned down, didn’t hear much, and set my transmit frequency to 10.114.5. Gave a few calls and heard them send ZM? a couple times, so I tried again, heard 8M? and with one more call got the reply I was waiting for. The usual 599 exchange, and I’m in the log, as shown in the screenshot of their live on-line logging:


Nice to be able to add another all-time new one. Thanks guys!

New rig in the NF8M shack

TS-590SG_672x372My Kenwood TS-690S has served me well for over a dozen years, but it was time to move into the 21st century and upgrade the HF portion of my shack.

After reading the reviews and consulting with some of the world’s top contesters, I decided on one of the 690’s successors, the highly-regarded Kenwood TS-590SG.

Now that some of the initial bugs have been worked out of the 590, and a few features added, it made perfect sense. Continue reading “New rig in the NF8M shack”