K3WWP's Ham Radio Activities

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Fri Jan 31 2020 7:17PM - Here we are entering February and bidding a fond farewell to January. I will be interested to see what my weather stats for January show when I enter them into my Microsoft Excel Spreadsheet late tonight or tomorrow. The last couple days were a bit chilly and that may make the month yield to January 2006 as the warmest January since my records began in 1959. This year should be no worse than second. It must have been the most s#@w free January as well although I don't keep s@#wfall stats here.

I did most of my end of month financial work today. It was a nice day to walk down to the bank and the church so I thought I'd get that done today instead of on the first as I usually do.

I did some more rewiring of my Lionel train layout today and did a lot of train running to make sure all worked OK. It did. I think tomorrow I'll work a bit on rewiring the Defect Detector I got yesterday. It works fine from track power right now, but I want to get it connected to a separate power source so I can easily turn it on and off. It's going to get old quickly if I have to listen to it each lap. It's really intended for a bigger longer layout than mine, but it is a nice little accessory to have.

It was another of those 0000Z QSOs this evening. The bands were good for a second evening in a row and I immediately found and and worked KA1FXK on 80 meters.

I also uploaded my January QSOs to LoTW and eQSL. The 160 QSOs were the most I've had in a month for a long time now thanks mostly to the 130 QSOs I made when Mike and I worked the NAQP a few weekends ago. Later tonight or tomorrow I'll see how many matches I got from the uploads. -30-

Thu Jan 30 2020 7:32PM - The bands were good again tonight. It seems maybe the ratio of good to bad nights is increasing recently. Tonight it didn't take too long to find and work Doug WA4LJJ on 80, but after 8 minutes or so we got wiped out by a pileup chasing some DX.

Mike and I spent the day together. He arrived around 9:30AM or so. We talked for a while about this and that, then we headed out to the first of four stops we had planned.

First it was the Hobby Express store in Cranberry, PA. What a great collection of railroad "stuff" from beautiful locomotives to rolling stock to buildings to scenery all the way down to tiny pieces of wood for scratch building houses and so on. The best way to describe it is "WOW". I think we'll be buying a lot of things there although today as I said it was only a reconnaissance tour of that and one other railroad store. I did buy a Defect Detector for my Lionel layout along with some transition track to go from my old tubular rails to the new Lionel Fasttrack which the detector uses.

Next on the list was a meal at Chick-Fila also right in Cranberry. That really hit the spot.

Third on the list was Best Buy where I needed to get a couple things. I wound up getting one of two things I needed plus one other item. They didn't have replacement blades for a razor I got there a while ago. I did get a laptop cooling fan stand to replace one that gave out on me a while ago. Then as a bonus I got a CD/DVD case to hold my collection of Little Rascals/Our Gang videos. That will replace the very poorly designed one that came with the CD/DVDs.

Our final stop was at another hobby store. Unfortunately they seemed to be in the process of switching from trains to sports cards and only had a meager collection of some rolling stock.

So it was back home again to do some playing with and working on my Nickel Plate Road 482 GP59 diesel. A hidden object game on the computer, a little more with the trains then Mike headed home where his repaired locomotives were waiting for him. -30-

Wed Jan 29 2020 7:52PM - The on again, off again good band conditions were off again tonight. Only a few net stations were heard quite weakly plus CWOps special event station K4O. Fortunately it didn't take long to work K4O once I found him in the noise. So now I wonder when the next good night will be.

Mike will be visiting either tomorrow or Friday depending on when his repaired locomotives arrive. When he does come, one of the things we will be doing will be visiting the Hobby Express store in Cranberry, PA. We watched a video walkthrough of the store recently and their stock of model trains and accessories looks awesome. That should be an interesting experience and a guide to some future purchases. We have no plans to buy anything this visit which will be more of just a reconnaissance tour of the store.

Early spring in January continues here. We did have a trace of s@#w last night, but it melted for the most part today. We're getting to the point where the altitude of the sun in the sky is having an increasing heating effect and that's great.

I did some more train work today. Mostly rewiring of my layout to gather the various controllers in one place outside the oval of track to leave room for some future buildings and scenery, I hope. -30-

Tue Jan 28 2020 8:14PM - The bands (read that as 80 meters) were good again tonight. It seems that 80 opens up nicely about once or twice a week now which may indicate things overall are gradually improving. There were a lot of S9+ signals jumping out of my noise, one of which was Bob NR8M with whom I had a 43 minute solid rag chew. So I hope that conditions are on the upswing and will continue that way. I know the solar flux has been in the 70s since November 20 now and that's a good sign. We'll just have to wait and see what happens.

The weather continues to be great with none of that ugly white stuff falling from the sky. There was some hint of a bad winter storm on Groundhog Day, but the forecasts gradually are changing it to just some rain, and maybe not even all that much of that. Let's keep it up during February. -30-

Mon Jan 27 2020 8:19PM - It was down to 160 tonight for my QSO. 80 had nothing to offer but net and DX chaser stations. 160 didn't have a lot either, but it did have K2KRG calling CQ and I snagged him right away. He knew about my KX3 QRP and mentioned he was glad to help with my daily QRP work. We had a nice chat for about 20 minutes until he had to QRT to make a sked.

I was glancing through my weather records briefly a while ago. I was checking on this unusual January and wondered how February turned out after such a warm January. This year, January is just about tied with 2006 as the warmest January in my records going back to 1959. Both months had a mean temperature around 36 degrees. As far as how Jan relates to Feb. I set 3 or more degrees above average for a benchmark and counted 15 Januarys that qualified since 1959. 9 of those 15 years had above average February temperatures also. I may do a little deeper research and see what else I can come up with. Maybe I'll make my own groundhog prediction on Sunday. HI.

As for trains today, I did some work on one of my passenger cars. The lights in the car were going out briefly when it went over a switch. I found a loose wire on the one pickup roller and took the car apart and resoldered the connection. The first time it broke again and I had to do it over. Now it works just fine. -30-

Sun Jan 26 2020 7:43PM - A great day today. Mike and I went to an all you can eat breakfast in North Washington, PA. For the second time we've been going to dinners, hamfests, etc., Mike's GPS took us to a location a couple miles from where we actually wanted to go. Finally we figured out ourselves by watching house, farm, etc. numbers along the route where we needed to be. It was a great meal. We both had buckwheat pancakes, sausage, and scrambled eggs.

When we got back home here we went to work on our Big Boy kits. They were quite frustrating for various reasons including broken parts, hard to fit parts, parts that didn't really fit as they should, and so forth. We finished the engines, then took a break and watched a couple train videos, tried out a dwarf signal that Mike bought, and then went back and finished the tender part of the kit. It went more smoothly than the engine part. A check of the bands showed pretty much nothing. I did get my streak QSO a little later just before Mike left to head home. -30-

Sat Jan 25 2020 7:27PM - While I don't keep s@#wfall records here, this has to be one of the, if not the most s@#w free January we've had here since I've been keeping other weather records. That goes back to 1959. It's hard to compare Kittanning with other close weather reporting stations like Pittsburgh and Butler because the 30-50 mile difference makes a lot of difference when it comes to s#$w. Still I will check and see how those stations wind up this January compared to other years. I'd estimate that we have not had even a total of 5 inches this month and probably less than that. That is perfectly fine with me. Let's hope February is the same.

Another day without much out of the ordinary going on. I did some track cleaning on my Lionel layout today and added a couple of connectors to my wiring to replace those that just had the bare wire wound around the terminal posts. Then I did quite a bit of running of the trains, especially my new Nickel Plate Road GP9 #482. It's a Legacy engine from Lionel. I'm really learning the Legacy controls now and the more I learn, the more I like it. I think within the next month or so, I'm going to get a LionChief Big Boy which is compatible with the Legacy system. I want to do some more research before I commit to buying one. They are about 700 dollars cheaper than the Legacy Big Boy and they run on O31 curves instead of the O72 curves the Legacy Big Boy requires. That will make it possible to use my current track layout instead of filling the whole room with the O72 curved track. That's more important than the price.

Of course it was a quick 0000Z streak QSO in the 160M contest this evening from NY3A to continue the streak. I don't think conditions on 160 were as good as last night, but still good enough. -30-

Fri Jan 24 2020 7:06PM - I forgot (I do a lot of that as I get older) about the 160M contest. After finding not much at all on 80, I went to 160 and saw a whole swarm of signals there. That's when it dawned on me that this was the weekend of the CQ160M contest. I quickly worked W8CAR and my streak QSO was in the log. I might (but probably not) get on later just before going to bed to see if I might get one or more of the 8 band states I need for 160M WAS. Conditions should be good on 160 at this minimum point in the sunspot cycle. -30-

Thu Jan 23 2020 7:30PM - The bands returned to normal tonight. S9+noise and weak signals. I did manage a brief QSO with Dan KB6NU before he faded into my noise.

I'm getting to wondering if I will ever see good conditions again for more than a very isolated night here and there. It sure seems dismal right now. At least it hasn't gotten bad enough to end my streak (yet). I've still gotten my streak QSO in the 0000Z hour every evening since March 23 last year except for a couple days when I couldn't be in the shack in that hour. I'm talking about the Skyview meetings and I think one other night.

I guess there is nothing much else to talk about tonight. -30-

Wed Jan 22 2020 7:33PM - An unusual night on the bands. My local noise was actually down from S9 or so to S5/S6 on 40 and 80. That hasn't happened in a long time now. It was nice to see signals on the PX3 peaking well above the noise level. I worked WA9VBG in IN at 0003Z. He was quite strong, but had trouble copying my signals. But it was a QSO for the streak. I tried some CQs after that but didn't get any answers.

Mike emailed today and wanted to know if I wanted to go to an 'all you can eat' pancake breakfast on Sunday. I'm sure you know my answer. Then after that we'll try to finish the Big Boy kits.

I said I'd elaborate a bit on our visit yesterday. Mike arrived around 10:30 or so. We played with and worked on my trains for a while. Then it became Christmas and I gave Mike the belated (thanks to the company I ordered it from) gift which was of course the two Big Boy kits, one for each of us. We then got started on the assembly. It wasn't all that easy, but it was a lot of fun nevertheless. Some of the parts were hard to get together. Some fit so tightly we didn't even bother to glue them. They are going to be just display locomotives anyway and we won't be running them. So the snap fit will suffice. I guess we spent about 3 hours on them and finished the boiler and the two sets of driving wheels. That was perhaps around half of the work. We still have a lot of detail work with some very small parts and also we haven't done anything with the tender yet. Perhaps we can finish it on Sunday or we may need a third session.

We stopped work on the kits and watched some train videos until 5:30PM or so when we headed off to Applebee's in the Pittsburgh Mills. I used my Christmas gift card for our two meals. Mike had a club sandwich of sorts and I had one of my favorites, fish and chips. The meal took about an hour.

We left Applebees and headed for the Skyview club house for their meeting which was a 'social' meeting which they have on the third Tuesday of a month. The members broke up into small groups to discuss different subjects. One of the things we wanted to do was find out more about the train trip the club is taking in March to ARRL headquarters in CT. We got most of the details on that and then talked about various things with the members. After that it was back to Kittanning where Mike left me off, then he headed home. -30-

Tue Jan 21 2020 10:53PM - In contrast to the last couple days, this was a very busy one. Mike came down for a visit. We did two basic things. I gave him his belated Christmas present. It was a Big Boy Revell plastic kit for display purposes. We spent a few hours working on that. Then we attended the Skyview ARS meeting this evening. As it is quite late now, I'll elaborate more on what we did today in tomorrow's entry. -30-

Mon Jan 20 2020 7:17PM - Another of those cold dreary mid-winter days today with nothing to 'write home' about. Some more playing with trains and some computer games. Plus the streak QSO this evening. I think if I didn't have this strong local noise 24/7, I'd try getting on the air more during the daytime hours. However the noise makes it very frustrating. Maybe when the sunspots return and liven up the bands, signals will be strong enough to override my noise. That would be nice. The streak QSO? Oh, it was on 160 meters where I worked Bill K4JYS in NC again as I did about 10 days ago. -30-

Sun Jan 19 2020 7:57PM - A bit more s@#w today after the nice natural clean up last night. Nothing to really worry about, but it is cold at 18 degrees now going down to the low teens overnight.

The bands were a bit better tonight and it didn't take long to find and work WC1X who was portable near Montreal in Quebec. They had 10 inches of fresh snow up there from this latest storm.

It was a pretty quiet day today playing with trains and computers plus the usual Roscoe walks and feedings. I also kind of followed the KC/TN playoff game. I didn't have a favorite since I liked both teams since they started up in the AFL in 1960. Of course KC was Dallas then and Tennessee was Houston way back then. It would be kind of nice to see this year's Super Bowl be a re-match of the very first Super Bowl although the game wasn't called the Super Bowl until the merger was completed. Let's see what GB is doing. Well as it looks now, the re-match is off. SF is ahead 27-0 and it's just past the start of the second quarter. GB has a long row to hoe to get back in the game, but there is time. -30-

Sat Jan 18 2020 7:25PM - Now that's what I like. A s@#wstorm that cleans up after itself. It s@#wed this morning, then transitioned to a very brief bit of freezing rain, then to regular rain that started the clean up. After that, the temperature rose to 44 where it is now and melted a lot of the s@#w that survived the rain. NICE!

I figured I'd get a quick contact in the Hungary contest this evening, and started to look for a contest station. However I noted a big peak on the PX3 up the band a bit. It was K8NY calling a regular CQ. I answered him and we had an 11 minute contact from 0000Z to 0011Z. I got him just a couple seconds past 0000Z. That was on 80 meters.

It was kind of a cabin fever day today with the weather as described above. I only got out for 4 brief walks with Roscoe and that was it except for getting the mail. The rest of winter doesn't look too awful bad. The rest of January according to AccuWeather will have highs in the 40s each day. February will be colder, but not all that bad. Best of all, the s@#w days are few and far between. However that's only an outlook, not a real forecast, so things could change. -30-

Fri Jan 17 2020 7:32PM - Just sitting here wondering what kind of weather we are in for this weekend, especially tomorrow. Just about everything outside of sunny and hot has been predicted as we get closer to zero hour. S#$w, rain, sleet, freezing rain, etc. have all been mentioned. At least the freezing rain is predicted to be very minimal (so far) with little or no accumulation.

For the first time in 4 straight nights now I got my streak QSO before 0040Z when I worked KN4ZQ in VA at 0016Z. Conditions seemed to wake up about 0015Z after the band was very quiet with very little activity for 15 minutes. 80 meters has been that way quite a lot of the time lately. -30-

Thu Jan 16 2020 8:19PM - Winter officially started today and looks like it may be nasty for the second half. S#$w, windy, and cold today. Saturday we may have a mix of s#$w, sleet, and rain. I just hope no freezing rain.

The bands took a couple steps back this evening with some really poor conditions and little activity. It took 50 minutes to find and work my friend Carl WB0CFF on 80 meters. But the streak still goes on.

I did some more work with my Lionel SC-2 switch controller today and learned more about it. I think the Route feature on the Legacy controller is really neat. You can press one button and have several switches thrown to set up a particular route. I only have a couple switches right now, but I can see how handy it would be for someone who has a large setup with many switches. -30-

Wed Jan 15 2020 8:10PM - As if to mock me for my statements about conditions last night, the bands, especially 80, were in very good shape tonight. A lot of activity and strong signals. At one point, I counted about 10 S9 peaks on the PX3 in a 40 kHz wide spresd while working my contact for the night, WA3I Chet.

I got to the shack a little late because I was helping to get Roscoe to take one of his pills. He takes a flea/tick preventative and a heartworm preventative pill. The flea/tick he usually just eats like a little treat. The other one we have to mix in with his breakfast, but that didn't work today. So we put it in the fridge until this evening, then Bruce made some beef gravy which we added to the food and the pill (broken and pulverized). Roscoe was reluctant, but I finally used a little persuasion and he finished it after a few minutes.

I worked on my Lionel setup today. I got a SC-2 switch controller a couple days ago, and after studying it a while, I jumped in today and hooked it up. It was much easier than I thought. So now I can use my Legacy CAB-2 controller to also throw the switches on my layout. Very nice! I really like the Lionel Legacy system. It seemed very complicated with all the control systems Lionel has, but it turns out that the Legacy system is backward compatible with all the older systems, even the conventional AC one. -30-

Tue Jan 14 2020 7:53PM - Remember the previous sunspot cycle that had twin peaks? Well, I think this may be a twin valley we are in now. I thought a few weeks ago conditions were picking up, but the past couple nights have been absolutely horrible. I still think a lot of it is folks staying away from the bands because of the state of the sunspot cycle. Now last Saturday, the bands seemed great in the NAQP with a lot of activity which extended up through 15 meters. Mike and I made around 250 or so QSOs, most of them easily, on 160, 80, 40, 20, and 15 meters. That seems to indicate that propagation is good, not as good as at a sunspot maximum, but good enough that QRP and simple antennas can get a lot of QSOs. That's just how things seem to me. What about you?

Tonight it took 40 minutes to make my QSO after unanswered CQs and unanswered responses to other stations calling CQ. Finally K9GHD in IL answered my response to his CQ and we had a brief rather rough QSO with QSB and QRN pretty bad.

Otherwise today, we took Roscoe to the vet for a check out and he got a good report except he needs to lose a bit of weight. -30-

Mon Jan 13 2020 8:15PM - The bands again tonight were not all that good, but it didn't take long to get my QSO anyway. I worked Amy KT4E on 80 meters. There was a lot of QSB, but copy was pretty good on both sides for 10 minutes or so.

It was another 'not much going on' day today. I did a lot of playing with my trains. I also finalized all the results from the NAQP on Saturday. I uploaded all 129 QSOs to my on-line logs, and also double checked them all in my Excel log. There were quite a few first time stations that I worked. I would guess around 20-25 or so, but I didn't count them. Maybe I will now. PSE AS. I was close, it was 29. So 100 of the QSOs were with those whom I have worked before. I see there were 47 multipliers. That figures to be a score of 6,063 points.

That's it for now. I'm going next door to watch LSU-Clemson with Bruce and Roscoe in a little bit. -30-

Sun Jan 12 2020 8:03PM - I said I'd talk about yesterday's events with Mike, so here goes. Mike arrived around 10AM not long after I walked Roscoe. We chatted for a while, getting into a new train layout I designed with the program AnyRail among other things. I then asked Mike if he wanted to help me set up the new layout. He said he would, but we better get our contest setup fixed first. We did that, setting up like I described a couple entries ago. Once we felt everything was ready we got to the train layout.

First we got everything out of the center of the layout loop. Then we changed the position of the switches and added track (after checking it to be sure we got good pieces from my old collection) to make a smaller loop inside the big one. After it was set up, we tested it with my engines, and it worked pretty well. There are a couple spots in the track that need some fine-tuning though. I'll get to that some other time. Now the priority shifted to the NAQP contest.

We went up to the shack at 1800Z for the start of the contest. We began on 20 meters which was quite active. But then we decided to check 15 meters, and there was activity there. We made a few contacts on 15, then headed back to 20 again where we stayed until a food break from about 2030 to 2130. We picked up a pizza at our favorite pizza parlor, Vocelli's and ate it here before going back to the shack for some more 20 meters work until 2245Z when we tried 40 briefly, but found conditions very poor there. Next it was on to 80 for most of the rest of the contest except for a foray onto 160 for a half dozen or so contacts. Mike was ready to shut down and head home at 0300Z, so we did and he did. I made 129 contacts and Mike also worked most of the same stations right after I did. Conditions did change or the station I worked developed a pileup and Mike missed out on about 10 or so stations. We worked all USA call areas plus KP2 and VP5.

I must say I really enjoyed getting back into some relatively serious contesting. It was great to work those contesters I hadn't heard or worked for a few years. I was pleased to find I still had my old contesting skills such as copying whatever speed they were using and digging signals out of the noise and QSB. It was just a totally fun activity. I'm so glad Mike suggested doing it. Now I look forward to doing some more of these tag team contests with Mike. Maybe the ARRL DX test next month??

Tonight was a poor night on 80 and I had to resort to 160 meters for my streak QSO, working Bill VE3AUI for about 25 minutes with solid copy both ways despite a little QSB. -30-

Sat Jan 11 2020 11:00PM - Mike and I just ended our NAQP session a little while ago. I'll have more to say about it in tomorrow's entry, but right now I'm getting ready for bed. So tune in tomorrow for the continuing saga of K3WWP and his hobbies. -30-

Fri Jan 10 2020 7:21PM - No ghost writer around tonight, so I guess I'll have to write the diary myself. This marks about entry number 5,325 in the diary which began being a regular daily thing in mid-May 2006. That's a lot of writing and a lot of time spent doing it. Just like the QSO-A-Day streak though, I intend to keep doing it every day (with an occasional break when my main ghost writer Mike does it for me).

Speaking of QSOs, my streak QSO tonight was with KO8L in Cleveland, OH on 80 meters. Tomorrow (today UTC) I should have a lot of QSOs as Mike and I do one of our tag-team contest efforts in the NAQP. That will be our first tag-team effort in quite some time from my shack. Of course we do multi-op outings in our parkpeditions, Skeeter Hunt, FOBB, FD, etc., but those are not really tag-team efforts. As we define it, a tag-team contest is when we use one rig (mine usually) with a key and set of headphones plugged into it for each of us. Then I find and work someone as K3WWP, after which Mike tries to work the same person with his call KC2EGL - or vice-versa sometimes. When we first started the tag-team efforts, we would have just one key and headphones (or speaker), and would just alternate sitting in the operating chair. That was hectic, although it did provide good exercise when we were younger. HI. Now our new system is more favorable for our ages. In looking back through my contest results notes, I see we possibly had our last previous tag-team contest in the GAQP in April 2014. Has it been that long!! Or possibly my incomplete notes left out some later ones? Anyway it will be fun.

It was a mild rainy day today, the kind of day we don't like in summer, but love in the heart of winter. And it should be even milder tomorrow with a high possibly near 70!!! We've only had a couple 70 degree days in January that I can recall from my 60 years of weather records. I just checked my memory and looked it up and it was 71 on 1/13/2006 and 71 on 1/8/2008 and 70 on 1/13/2013 and 70 on 1/13/1972. Looks like January 13th is the winner for high January temperatures. -30-

Thu Jan 9 2020 8:48PM - Thanks in advance to Mike who is now going to switch seats with me and write the diary entry.

Good evening eveyone. The day started when I arrived at John's QTH around 10:35AM. We chatted a bit before John had to take Roscoe for a walk. After Roscoe's walk we started checking out a issue with John's model railroad. That was followed by a phone call to Tom WB3FAE to see if he was up for a little company this afternoon. He liked the idea so we headed over around 12:30PM after I took a look at John's neighbor Bruce's cell phone. It was stuck on a loop of rebooting. We went next door to give Bruce the bad news that his phone was no longer servicable. We then headed over to Tom's QTH. We spent the afternoon talking about trains and radio. He invited us into his shack and we tuned around the bands to see what was out there. There were a few signals working pileups via split operation. No luck for John or myself. After a very nice afternoon visit with Tom we headed back to Kittanning. Stopped at John's place to check on Roscoe before heading out for dinner. Wendy's was our choice of grub for the evening. Then it was back to John's for more checking on his model railroad before heading to his shack for his streak QSO. We followed that up with a few model railroad videos. Which brings us to this very moment. John is getting some walking in by pacing the first floor of the house. Now John is headed out to get his temperature readings. And I will get ready to head North to my QTH.

Until next time, de Mike KC2EGL, 73. -30-

Wed Jan 8 2020 8:17PM - I guess 40 meters was a fluke last night. Tonight it was back to its usual dead self with only a couple very weak sigs to be heard. So it was back to the old standby for the past several months, 80 meters where it took a little while, but not long, to find and work K9VPL Marv in IN.

We didn't get a chance for various reasons to make the shopping trip for Roscoe today, so we're shooting for tomorrow morning before Mike arrives.

It was rather a nasty day today anyway with a bit of s#$w from off and on flurries most of the day. It only totalled about a half inch at most though so that was good. Now we're looking for a warmup for a few days starting on Friday. That will also be good. -30-

Tue Jan 7 2020 7:55PM - Well well, what do you know? There were a lot of signals on 40 meters this evening above my local noise level. So I called CQ and got an answer and a QSO from K5KHK in Rochester, NY. Let's see if I can quickly find the last time I got a 40 meters QSO by calling CQ. Jun 26 of 2019.

Not much else to report on today. Just the usual activities and nothing else special.

Tomorrow among other things, I'll be going along on a grocery shopping trip for Roscoe. He's just about out of breakfasts and we've been improvising on his suppers for a couple days now. Then the next day Mike and I are getting together again. I'll have more to say about that after the fact. -30-

Mon Jan 6 2020 9:12PM - A great day with Mike. He stopped here around noon on his way home from Menard's in Ohio where he picked up the remaining buildings he ordered. We played with my new Nickle Plate Road Diesel for a while. He included in the consist his BN boxcar he got at Menard's to replace the defective gondola he got a couple days ago. Then we tried to light up his buildings and the free cars that came with them. We had no success for a while until we analyzed things and found the plug from and old power cube of mine had the + and - parts of the plug reversed from 'normal'. After we fixed that all the buildings and cars lit up just fine.

After I took Roscoe out, we went to Subway for dinner. We both had tuna subs. Then an unsuccessful search for a power cube at six or seven stores. At one store though, I found a nice dog bowl which I bought for Roscoe. I took it over to him when we got home, then later fixed his supper in it. He seemed to enjoy it. He doesn't like change and I was afraid he would reject the bowl, but he didn't.

Next up on the agenda was watching some railroad videos. In between them, we went to my shack where we both worked KK1CWO on Cape Cod on 80 meters. Then more videos after which Mike headed home just a little while ago. -30-

Sun Jan 5 2020 7:29PM - I finally got around to finalizing my weather records for 2019. In glancing through the data as I was working with it, I didn't really notice anything outstanding, hot or cold, wet or dry. It was a little above normal in both temperature and precipitation. I may go through it more thoroughly to see if I overlooked something when I get a chance.

I worked one of our NAQCC members this evening for my streak QSO. It was KC3MIO Rich in PA on 80 meters.

Mike is going to Menards tomorrow to pick up his "back-ordered" items. Then he is going to stop by here for a while. I guess we'll try out his buildings and also the replacement Gondola that didn't work right. I'm doing my laundry tonight as I'm typing so I won't have that as a distraction tomorrow. -30-

Sat Jan 4 2020 8:46PM - You know how the Chinese name the years, the year of the tiger, the year of the dog, and so forth? Well if we did that, this would be the year of good vision. You know, 20-20. OK, enough!

Another day of delayed winter. Almost at 50 degrees again. Let's hope that continues. AccuWeather seems to think it will at least until near the end of January. They think the Polar Vortex will remain strong and hence remain in place near the pole. Here in the USA the jet stream will provide mostly a Pacific zonal flow which means mild weather.

The streak QSO came quickly again this evening when I heard and worked Mike WQ9H on 80 meters. -30-

Fri Jan 3 2020 9:27PM - And once again here's my ghost writer Mike: Good evening everyone. The day started out when I arrived at John's QTH around 10:30AM. The plan was to head to the train shop in Indiana Pa to exchange three model railroad signals for three I did not know they had in stock. John also made a purchase. He needed some smoke oil for his new Diesel Locomotive. After our stop at the Train Shop we headed out to the Menards in Warren Ohio to pick up a order for a few O Gauge structures, an order that I placed last week. This was a first trip for both of us to a Menard's. Best way to describe it is Walmart and Lowes metamorphasized into one store. It was very impessive. Unfortunately they only had one of the items I ordered. I had received an email earlier today saying that my order was ready for pick up, only to find out that the rest of it had only shipped today from Wisconsin. I received another email just after we left that the rest of my order should be in tomorrow. I will wait until Monday to make sure that everything is in before heading back to Warren. I did purchase four pieces of rolling stock to complete a frieght train set up. One of those has to be returned because it has an issue staying coupled when going around a turn. I'll exchange it for another item when I go pick up the rest of my order. The other three items (a box car, a coal hopper, and a covered hopper) all work very well being pulled by John's new diesel locomotive.

Before heading back to John's QTH we stopped at Pondeosa for a late lunch/early dinner. After arriving back at John's we tested out the new rolling stock that I purchased, and went up to John's shack for his streak QSO, which he will tell you about a bit later.

That brings us to this moment with me typing away and John checking his weather readings and taking Roscoe for a walk. It's time for me to close this entry out and head north to my QTH. Until next time this is Mike KC2EGL, 73.

Thanks Mike. My streak QSO this evening was with my old friend Bob K9OSC on 80 meters. I heard him calling CQ and we hooked up for a 22 minute QSO. There was some QSB and QRN, but copy was still pretty solid. It's always nice to hook up with someone you've gotten to know pretty well after several QSOs. -30-

Thu Jan 2 2020 7:29PM - I spent a part of today getting some more first of the year things done. Paying some bills, getting some computer work done, etc. It turns out December was yet another warm month with the average temperature at 5 degrees above normal.

I got a QSL card from Gene AA8MI for our visit (eyeball QSO) on December 28. Thanks Gene.

I got two QSOs this evening. The first was with KK1CWO whom I believe is some special event station as he told me to check him out on the Internet. I'm going to do that right now. Oh, it's for a chapter of the CWOPS Club on Cape Cod. Always nice to work Cape Cod as I visited there a couple times many many years ago. That QSO was so quick, I decided to follow up with some CQs of my own, and I got an answer on the very first one from K8EG in OH. My first multi-QSO of 2020. Hopefully conditions will improve this year and will permit more multi-QSO days in between playing with my trains and other activities. -30-

Wed Jan 1 2020 7:23PM - It was a good first day of the year for the most part. There was a little s@#w on the ground this morning, but it melted off the sidewalks and roads pretty well during the day. Otherwise, I had a good New Year's Day meal from each neighbor on both sides of me. Also my new NKP 482 loco seems to be running well, hopefully breaking the jinx Mike and I have had with locos of late.

The bands seemed good tonight, especially 80 meters. So I decided to try a CQ since all the other stations I was hearing were in nets or rag chews. It didn't take long to get an answer from AA2AU Dave in NJ for a 10 minute QSO.

I'm getting caught up on my end of month/year work. I put the stats from 2019 in the QRP section of the web site. Certainly a come down from the past few years in every category. I have a few more updates to the site which I'll do in the next few days. Tonight I'll deal with the weather stats from December 2019, and later the stats for the full year of 2019. It will be interesting to see how 2019 compares with previous years. Most all months were above normal in temperature so it should turn out to be a very warm year overall. Kind of like the years in the 1930s perhaps, although not that extreme. -30-