Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Random Thoughts and a Missed QSO

It's been a busy couple of weeks for me, full of different activities. It's hunting season in Texas and that is something that I enjoy a lot. The weather, while cold, has been perfect for hunting and has resulted in a couple of successful hunts. So there is meat in the freezer and with that a certain satisfaction of providing. We will not discuss price per pound:-)

As I have mentioned before, I am a guitarist for The No Refund Band,, and we had a great show on Saturday night. It was one of my better performances, landing all the notes and licks in front of a nice crowd, very satisfying. Check us out on iTunes, Amazon or most any digital outlet.

That brings me to radio. I guess I've been spoiled with the last few expeditions as I have documented here, getting nice band counters from S21 and XZ on the high bands. With higher sunspot numbers long path to Asia has been fantastic here in Texas, with loud signals and relatively easy QSO's. With the VU7AG expedition I expected nothing less than to make contacts on 10m and 12m. However, this chase was very different. Texas and VU7 just don't have the same path as the aforementioned countries. I listened and listened and listened. The long path was working to the US east coast, but stopped somewhere in the mid west. Kudos to the operators who tried to make this path work, but it just wasn't, until Sunday morning. I was in front of the radio, antenna turned to long path, nothing but static. Then I see some spots from W5 stations, still nothing, what gives? I turned my antenna to short path and there he was, a decent signal with a touch of artic flutter, but otherwise a great signal for short path 10m at 8:30 am from India to Texas. Unashamedly, I cranked up the amp, found the station he was working and started calling, expecting a QSO at any minute. After all, I am destined to salvage this expedition on 10m, aren't I? I called for 30 minutes when the signal began to fade and soon there was no signal and no QSO. The expedition is now QRT. Unlike the hunt and the gig, not very satifying.

However, as I said, I am spoiled. I did manage two new bands, 17m and 30m and a new mode, RTTY. As satisfying as those QSO's were, the lack of success on 10m seems to have dulled the accomplishment. But I'm over it. I still have some excitement waiting for me in the future. If we don't have hope, what do we have?