Radio W4KAZ

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Lost Opportunities

Blew off most of the recent fun contests.  Just a few QSO’s in Stew Perry, fewer in NAQP CW, and zero interest in NAQP SSB.  Atypical, but there it is.

During Stew Perry I operated long enough to observe the K9AY was having a good night.  RX on the K9AY was much better than on the transmit antenna in a lot of cases, even though QRN was relatively low.  I was able to copy several stations on the K9Ay that were below the noise on the TX inv-L antenna.  The wx conditions had been very wet leading into that weekend, so I expect the ground conditions were better.  The radial field for the K9AY got torn up during this seasons leaf harvest, so its mostly just a ground rod.  That’s worth investigating more thoroughly and methodically.

Currently the normal shack-time has been squandered toying with the Linux file server.  Been toying with some PHP/html curiosities, and getting a project gathering band data from the  ARRL Sweep contest migrated to the server.  Most recently been more compelled by curiosity into looking at the raw data now available from the reverse beacon network.  The “reverse beacons network” is simply a site that has been set up[by PY1NB, F5VIH, and N4ZR, et. al.] to gather spots generated by various CW skimmers that have public access nodes.

Currently the network is fairly irregular, in that most of the skimmers seem to be part-time.  But there are more of them active for more regular durations as time and interest marches forward.  Interesting idea.  The data available goes back to 2009, by the day.  It occurs to me that the data might be useful as yardstick for measuring a station’s relative strength.  A good way to compare stations in the only way that really counts – how well can they hear you.

The amount of data available is fairly large, even with a relatively small and irregular network of skimmers being aggregated.  It seems like it might be interesting to peel off the data I feel is of interest, and see if anything interesting can be “squouze” from it.  To that end, a whole new array of “how do I  get ????” questions pop up.  The spot analysis tool written by F5VIH is a great start, but maybe not exactly what I’d like to see.  In the end, nothing may come of the recent curiosities other than a less than rigorous exercise of the gray matter.

Let the leaves blow where the wind takes them.

2 comments to Lost Opportunities

  • The K9AY loop observation suggests a new pre-contest preparation strategy: A six-pack of Yuengling, couple of hours making a visual inspection of the antennas while consuming said Yuengling followed by improving the conductivity of the K9AY radial field. Regardless of antenna performance, you’ll begin to enjoy contest preparations more.

    • Watering the K9 – An excellant plan. One side benefit might also be forgetting why the watering was required, and just hitting the sack to sleep off the Yuengling. As long as one does not mix up K9 and canine, and try to water the dog with rented Yuengling, everything would work out.

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