Saturday, February 13, 2010

Strike Up The Band(s)!!!

sonovista, my friends! its been a long time, but improving propagation and slightly nicer weather have gotten me back on the air, so time for a quick blog update...

back in December, just before the Christmas holiday, i received a G5RV-Junior antenna from Kerry (W2NAN), the True-Talk antenna guy... we had decided that the shorter version would work best in my location, but the antenna arrived just as the holidays and bad weather were arriving, too, so i left it in the box and waited for the new year... as noted below, i had finally gotten a clean run from the tall tree next to the house, so i used the long wire already up, and pulled my new G5RV Junior into the tree and elevated the whole thing by attaching the other end through an insulator to my 20ft painterpole (which i use as a mount for a Buddipole vertical)...

the result is this:

and with the new propagation openings this week i was able to work UA0IT, Andy, in Magadan Russia (northeastern portion, next door to Gov. Palin), on 20m and this morning my first 12m contact with VE3OZ, Sean, in Orangeville Canada... compared to the Buddipole vertical, i'm usually 2 s-units higher with the G5RV, though it seems to depend on the time of day and location of the other station... the G5RV -does- seem to be nosier than the Buddipole, but knob twiddling on my K3 helps to fix that.

so i'm hopeful that the continuing solar activity combined with my new 'ears' will result in more QSO's (certainly more DX) and for now i think my antenna fiddling is over.

on the digital front, i was reading my twitter feed (@W6RDG) and noticed a few folks commenting positively on the new EchoLink app for the iPhone... i had never had any success with EchoLink (being mostly a Mac gal), but installed the app and, with the help of the very fine folks at EchoLink, was up and running and chatting with some nice hams in Wales and London on their way to work! could be interesting, indeed! if you want to try me, my node is 92357 and i'm on now and then, so feel free to give a shout!

and that's all i got for now... heading off to learn a bit of Ruby so i can tackle a programming/graphic project i've taken on!

oh, and if you're looking for a simple landing point for your iPhone (or other smart phone) to see a summary of all the various Propagation Widgets out there, feel free to check out this page:

W6RDG Propagation Widgets

i update it on a regular basis with new and more useful tools... if you find it useful too, drop me a note!

until the next time
73 and Happy Hammin!
de Robin (W6RDG)

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