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Try to learn something about everything, and everything about something - Thomas Huxley

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Sat 5 Aug 2023

The day's radio action started slowly, with what looked like very difficult propagation conditions.

The data as of 0905z:

SFI 171
A 13
K 5

The K index was still rising, up to K=7at 1015z

Solarham https://www.solarham.net/index.htm showed there had been a solar flare at 0936z reaching M2.1.

All pointed to a poor day's radio - STORM G3 - and the bands were very quiet, only one or two weak signals on 30m.

I sent a few CQ calls on 30m at 1030z, and despite the poor condx I still got spotted on the RBN system at 15 different locations around Europe.

After calling CQ for a few minutes without any replies I gave up and did some other work in the shack (trying to tidy some space for comfortable operating, and to make the work area clear in preparation for building my new K2 if/when it arrives).

Later in the afternoon I tuned around and heard SM5DAJ calling CQ at 1438z and we managed a short QSO, with RST 569 reports both ways, but deep QSB which sent signals into the noise at times. Still, it was a QSO when there didn't look like much chance of anything.

As part of the tidy-up I'd re-installed my homebrew 60m transceiver and connected it for RX only (using a feed from the Wellbrook loop) and heard G4AFU calling CQ on 5262kHz, not very strong, but certainly workable. I swapped to the IC7200 and replied.Then followed a QSO with Paul in Bedale, N.Yorks, not a great signal report from him (RST449) but at least we exchanged details ok. I tend to find 60m is difficult during the day inter-G from this more distant location, much like 80m, with D-layer absorption. Nice to have a daytime CW QSO on 60m.

I came back to the shack in the evening.

The solar data looked a bit better

SFI 171
A 13
K 2

but there was evidence on Solarham of another big flare at 1910z reaching at least C6.7!

Still on 60m, 5260kHz, I called CQ few times, and then heard Rupert G4XRV call CQ, to which I replied. We had a really good long ragchew starting at 2023z and ending at 2135z. We chatted about the Elecraft K2 and also K1 and K3 etc. Rupert has built several and still uses one as his main station rig. I built one in 2006 but sold it a few years later (and regret this) and I'm now awaiting a new K2 kit from Elecraft so that I can build another and this time I won't dispose of it! We had a nice long bug - bug chat and at the end we were called by G0IIK (Nigel) to say he'd enjoyed listening to a good Bug QSO. We exchanged reports a few overs (Nigel recommending a Cootie Key for an interesting alternative to the bug).

I was very pleased to have held up a long 2-way bug ragchew for an hour, very comfortable, informal chat, very little written down, all just “in the ears and straight to the brain” - as it's meant to be.

Later I tuned around the 30m band and found Ian IK4EWX and Jim SV8ANW in another bug-bug 2-way QSO. Conditions a bit more challenging on these more distant stations. The QSO was almost finished, both guys saying they were heading for bed… so at the end, just to say “Hello” to Ian, I called IK4EWX and we exchanged RST559 reports and a few short overs. Conditions not great, and getting worse. A good time to stop.

Ian's QSO with Jim SV8ANW is now on You Tube : https://youtu.be/MWvBj8R-PBw and at the very end you can hear my call to Ian!

I had a QSO myself yesterday (Friday 4th August at 2203-2225) with Jim SV8ANW - another bug-bug QSO, and it's contained in another of Jim's You Tube videos, this link should get to the point of the start of our QSO https://youtu.be/YYNCK6KCKds?t=2343

Saturday proved to be an interesting bug-related CW day, despite the poor conditions. I saw lots of RBN spots that were totally inaudible here, but fortunately I still managed to reach somewhere and have some QSOs.

public/radio/blog/sat_5_aug_2023.txt · Last modified: 02/04/24 20:38 BST by john