Thursday, July 12, 2012

Being too reliant on technology...

The last few days I've been watching the APRS VHF Propagation map only to see the bands completely dead. Usually when I wake up in the morning the first thing I do is grab my iPad and look at propagation. This morning at 6am I did, saw the band dead, and decided not to get out of bed just yet. Just then, I heard a voice coming from my basement. I realized I never shut off my K3 the previous day, and when I went to investigate I found Joh, W1XX, calling a station down south, the band was open! I jumped on and made a few contacts with W4CLJ in FM18 and KD4AA in FM17. I then came to my senses and put the coffee on!
After the first cup I then ran with a number of stations. At one point, there were 4-5 frequencies in us, and it almost looked like 20m! The WA1ZMS beacon was pounding in at S8 and I was even hearing the W3CCX beacon, which is a first for this location.

The point is, I was relying on the APRS map to tell me if the band was open and I just assumed it was working! I should have been sitting in front of the radio, regardless of what the map was telling me.

I managed to get in contact with the fine gentleman who managed the map and he was able to get it fixed immediately.

I continued to work a number of other stations over the course of a few hours. This is the final log:

W4CLJ  FM18     394 miles
KD4AA  FM17    441 miles
KG4HOT FM07   522 miles
K1DQV  FM19    354 miles
K2DZM  FN20     228 miles
N4HB   FM17uu   400 miles
N3RG   FM29ki    282 miles
KO4YC  FM17fm  464 miles

Three new grids for me!

N3RG came on frequency and was very loud, here is a quick video of my QSO with him:

My only regret for today was that I'm still employed and my boss expects me to show up to work!

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