K3WWP's Ham Radio Activities

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2024-03-01 01:00:00 GMT-04:00 Until Spring Arrives

Sunday Feb 25 7:48 PM - I am mentally tired after working on transferring my 324 QSOs in the ARRL DX Contest from paper to computer. I will not paper log on any future contests where I expect to make that many QSOs. It was fun doing the paper logging, but tiring getting from paper to computer.

A nice day again today. Started off on the cold side, but warmed to the upper 40s by afternoon. For the third day in a row, I took a mile+ outdoors walk with a little shopping along the way.

Not much activity on the bands today so I took some time to re-play the recording of my rag chew with KH6LC yesterday. I was able to pick out some things I had trouble copying live yesterday. Actually I didn't miss all that much upon re-listening today. It was really interesting to find out so much about Lloyd after working him some 55 times in contest QSOs. I learned something about how he copies me so well in contests and in the QSO yesterday. He has a very low noise floor which along with beam antennas at some 85 feet could really dig out QRP level signals. Especially the low noise floor. My high noise floor really kills QRP level signals here. The difference is astounding when Mike (or Tom) and I operate from Kittanning Community Park or Moraine State Park. Most of the time the floor in the parks is at S0 or S1 at the very most. Down here in town in the valley, the level is at best S4 or S5 and worse at times when my furnace or some other noisy equipment comes on.

Of course being Sunday, my streak QSO(s) came easily in the SST Sprint. I made three of them including one on 15 meters when I went there after satisfying the streak conditions. I was looking for DX and heard Tom K7RI in the SST and helped him out with a QSO on 15. I also heard Carl N5XE and would have liked to work him, but he made one S&P QSO, then I didn't hear him any more. Sorry, my friend.

Mike and I missed out on a hamfest today. We plain forgot about the South Hills Hamfest. So we're going to come up with some system to remind us of future events like that this year. -30-

Saturday Feb 24 5:45PM - Well, I've had over 103,000 QSOs in my 60 + years of hamming, but few as exciting as one I had just a little while ago. An 18 minute rag chew with Lloyd KH6LC on 15 meters. He was calling CQ and I needed to record a Hawaiian QSO on the 705, so I called him expecting a TU 599 style QSO. However he gave me RST QTH Name, and I did the same and we went on from there with age, wx, rig, lot of other info about life in Hawaii and so on. Actually he seemed to be copying me better than I was copying him in my QRN with some QSB. I've got the whole QSO recorded and I plan to be listening to it a few times to try to dig out some of the parts I was having trouble copying. That sure made my day, week, month, year as far as ham radio goes, and otherwise also. HI. I guess that confirms I do have a Hawaii pipeline. -30-

Friday Feb 23 8:48PM - We're closing in on Meteorological Spring on March 1st. If my math is good, that's just one week left in nasty old Winter. Hooray!!

Today was very spring-like with sun and warmth. A high of 58 on both of my remote weather units. I took advantage with an outdoors walk of just over a mile with stops at the bank and Sprankle's. So nice to get out and walk to do my banking and grocery shopping. I hope to be doing a lot more outdoor things as better weather arrives and hangs around.

A good day on the bands with a mix of DX and rag chews. NV3N with a 32 minute rag chew this evening. A couple shorter rag chews with KE8TBM cut short by a Roscoe walk time and AA2YK shortened by poor conditions. Then two DX QSOs with F6IRM and HC1MD/2. I believe that's my first Ecuador QSO in a while, and I forgot to start the 705 recorder. @#$%.

Weather time now, so 73. -30-

Thursday Feb 22 7:56PM - I had a nice visit from Tom WB3FAE today. It's been a while since we've had an eyeball QSO, and it was good to do so again. We spent most of the hour and a half talking about the ARRL DX Contest and then looking over my ICOM IC705. Unfortunately there was very little DX activity on the bands when he was here. Instead we listened to some of my recorded DX QSOs.

I worked a country tonight for my streak QSO that I haven't worked in a long time. Let me see when the last time I worked Mali was. I only have three previous QSOs with Mali, in 1997, 2001, and 2016. The 2016 QSO was with TZ4AM, the same station I worked this evening.

Not much else going on today. Some more work on my ham radio Excel files. No outside walks as it was raining most of the day. Sure better than s@#w. -30-

Wednesday Feb 21 7:49PM - Sort of a mish-mash of things I want to talk about in the diary tonight.

After all the brief TU599 style QSOs before, during, and after the ARRL DX Contest the past few days which I enjoyed immensely, it was still nice in a way to get back to rag chewing. I had a nice 33 minute visit on 40 meters with Bob N2OTG for my streak QSO a little while ago. A very interesting discussion mainly about various keys we both have.

Today was yet another preview of spring day with a high of 60 before the clouds started moving in late in the afternoon preparing for a rainy day tomorrow. I took advantage with a medium length walk while the sun was out. Didn't stop anywhere, just walked.

It's so simple to get a basic DXCC, WAS, WAC with CW and QRP, I like to make it a little more challenging. For example, seeing how quick I can work all continents. I've done that in just a several minute period more than once. Working WAS and WAC with my new ICOM705 was accomplished quickly. With regular non-contest QSOs, WAC took two months. WAS took 5 days under two months. Now I'm working on finishing DXCC. I went through the ARRL DX Contest and added 14 countries to bring me closer at 90 countries now. Those are just some ways I have fun with collecting continents, states, and countries. There are others also like doing it with my KX3 when I first got it. Another way dealing with the IC705 is working on recording QSOs from 100 countries on the SD card in the 705. I randomly recorded many QSOs in the ARRL DX Test and I now have 47 countries recorded. I should say 49 because I have yet to do W and VE which of course will be a cinch.

I hope that gives you something to think about when things get to be too easy with your CW/QRP station. Have fun! -30-

Tuesday Feb 20 8:12PM - This was a...... how do I put it, unusual at times, frustrating day, interspersed with good things.

It started off normally with me getting up at 8:00 as I do every day. I got dressed, did my combination one mile walk / morning prayers, and went to the computer to read the morning cartoons. Then I did some work on my computer ham radio files. While doing that, the lights went out, but before I could even get upset about it, they came back on in perhaps 5-10 seconds. I checked to see if it stopped any clocks, etc. I found only two things that go out even from an outage less than a second, my microwave and my computemp remote weather unit. Everything else resumed its normal operation all by itself.

Next up was walking Roscoe followed by breakfast, some more computer work after which it was time for another walk. When I finished with Roscoe, I walked to the PO to mail some letters that were sitting here for a few days waiting for nice weather. It was nice today with sunshine and a high around 50.

Back home again and up to the shack where I worked some DX. Then back to the computer work. I started to look up one of the calls I worked on QRZ on my iPhone and all I got was a blank screen. I tried another call, same thing. I tried on the computer and got a message I wasn't connected to the Internet. I glanced at my gateway/router and saw a red light which wasn't normal. I called technical support at Windstream, and got a very helpful and friendly girl named Anna. She talked me through several things to try, but none of them worked. Finally we agreed a technician visit was needed. She set things up for a visit tomorrow. OK so I've got to live without an Internet for most of a day. I thanked Anna for trying so hard to help me, and resigned myself to the wait. No website updates tonight, no weather spreadsheet, and so forth. I decided to get something to eat. While I was cooking something in the microwave my landline phone rang with a message saying briefly this is the phone company making a line check. Before I could answer, he hung up. Then a couple minutes later, the doorbell rang and it was the phone technician. I couldn't believe it, and asked if he was responding to my trouble report. He was, and said he was in the area and caught a report on the trouble and thought he'd stop by before he quit for the day. Wow! Can't beat that for service. I had texted Mike about the Internet loss and he said waiting a day wasn't bad, he usually had to wait a week.

Dan (the technician) started to check things out and was having the same problems I was having when Anna was walking me through the steps. To keep this from getting any longer, I'll just say that it wound up that there was some problem with the gateway/router, and Dan replaced it with a new one. It took some time to get it to connect, but finally it did. We set up my computer an phone with the password, etc. and now here I am using it just like nothing ever happened. I was very pleased with the Windstream technical support, both from Anna and Dan.

I got my streak QSO on 40 this evening from 9A/NC8R. It was easy although I had to send my call a couple times before he got the P at the end. Now I'm just finishing up counting my new countries in the ARRL DX Contest that I need for my DXCC on my new ICOM IC705 rig. I stand as of now at 90 countries on the 705. Now I've got to finish my other web page updates. -30-

Monday Feb 19 5:24PM - The story of the ARRL DX Contest story is written. Interested? Go to my CONTESTING section, Stories page for the index of my stories. The ARRL DX link is at the top of the list. -30-

Sunday Feb 18 7:20PM - As I said in a text to Mike a little while ago, after 325 QSOs in the ARRL DX Contest, I am beat. I'm getting too old to put in a big effort in contests any longer, but it sure was fun tuning up and down the bands working station after station. That's what makes contesting fun. I know there are other ways of doing it, but that's my way. No spotting or other computer assistance. Just me and my radio. It was even nice logging on paper. At some points logging a minimum of info for each QSO, I had a rate of a QSO every minute or two. But I'm getting ahead of myself. I want to save my contest comments for the story I will be writing. I have a lot of work coming up this week with the story, transferring paper info to my computer Excel log, going through and cleaning up the many QSOs I recorded on the 705 SD card during the contest, etc. Whew!

So with that intro for my week, I'll close this entry now and start on some of the work. -30-

Saturday Feb 17 8:08PM - Just taking a break here from the DX test to put my laundry in the dryer and type this diary entry. I've pretty much decided I'm going to write a story about the contest since it's the biggest effort I've put in a contest in some time now. That will come sometime later this week. Just past the halfway point in the contest, I've got 204 QSOs in a good many entities. I have no idea how many as of now. I just work the new ones as they come along. I'll count them later when I transfer my paper contest log to computer. A couple highlights to tease about the story. I got one overall new country in St. Helena. I got my usual contest WAC. OK, enough for now till the story.

It was a good day for contesting with a couple inches of s@#w on the ground. We had one squall this afternoon that was almost a complete whiteout. I could barely see across the street which is right outside my shack window. Wish I'd had my phone with me at the time to get a picture, but I didn't. I almost could just post a white sheet of paper as that was very close to what it looked like for a couple minutes.

I got my streak secured with a couple QSOs in the contest after 0000Z. Now think I'll go back to the shack and continue till the laundry is dry. -30-

Friday Feb 16 9:17PM - A very good day all around today. A brief summary here, then maybe more details later or tomorrow or....? Mike arrived around 3PM and we chatted a bit, then up to my shack where he wanted to work some of the SST Sprint. He got about 7 QSOs in a little under a half hour. Then we went looking for and working some DX before heading off to the fish dinner. We both ate in moderation for a change and I don't feel stuffed at all. Back home for another little chatting, then to Brookville for Mike. I got in the ARRL DX and spent two hours there. The bands were excellent, especially 40. I don't think I ever heard 40 so busy to EU and all the EU stations were strong. I spent a lot of time recording new countries for the SD card in the 705 or I could have worked more than the 22 stations I did work. I got 7 EU stations on 40 as deep into EU as RL3A, UW7LL, LY2XW, LY4A plus my usual pipeline to Scandinavia with LN8W. Right now about time to walk Roscoe in the s@#w, so 73 for now. -30-

Thursday Feb 15 8:03PM - I got on the air a couple times this afternoon. There was much more activity from stations getting ready for the ARRL DX Contest this weekend than the past few days. I picked and chose what to work, mainly based on getting some new countries recorded on the SD card in the IC705. I worked HA8RD, but didn't record him for one reason or other. I think it was a duplicate country but I don't have my notes right here now. Then two countries that were new to the recording, OK6DJ and PF88ANT, who was also a new prefix. All 3 were on 10 meters.

Then this evening, I worked PJ2/NF9V for the streak QSO, then CT9/DL5LYM for a new recorded country, #15. I'm really enjoying the QSO record feature on the 705. Maybe some day I'll have a DXCC on the SD card. HI. That will be a while though. I'll probably do the ARRL DX Contest with recording countries in mind more than anything else.

Nothing much else noteworthy today. Oh, did I mention my tulips have sprouted? Anyway I cleaned up the tulip bed today picking weeds and maple seeds. I hope they are not out too early. I did cover them last night anyway as it got down to 18 degrees. -30-

Wednesday Feb 14 9:29AM - I thought I'd better write this early before I forget what I wanted to write about from yesterday. Mike arrived around 2:15 and we got caught up on some things before we went to my shack. Surprisingly there were almost no stations doing their setup and testing for the upcoming ARRL DX Test this weekend. In fact we found only one and worked him, TO4A in Martinique. I recorded the QSO to add another country to my 705 collection. I'm going to make a list to keep track of the countries and where they are on the SD card in the 705 when I get a chance. After that a little more talking then off to Subway for a Tuna sub for me and a meatball one for Mike. Also one of their somewhat new foot long chocolate chip cookies which we shared. My, are they good. I may have to visit Subway more often. They are only a few blocks from here within walking distance when the weather is good.

Speaking of weather, the big s@#wstorm missed us here and went to our SE and really blasted the SE quadrant of PA with almost a foot and a half of s@#w. We only saw a few flakes here.

After we finished eating, it wasn't long before we took off for SkyView. We got there a little before 7PM. Mike had one of his paddles with him which needed some work. One member brought the springs he needed but another one who was supposed to bring the levers couldn't make the meeting. So Mike will have to wait to get the paddle work finished.

Meanwhile I went to the radio room, and set up one of the operating positions without any help. Before long I worked V26CV. There is a little story behind the QSO. After I got home I got an email thanking me for the QSO. It was from Chuck KG9N who was the op at V26CV. He was the op at KG9N/C6A back in 1994 when I started my streak. My QSO with him was the first QSO of the streak 10,786 days ago. I thought that was nice of him to do that out of the hundreds of QSO he has probably made already plus the many more he will make in the ARRL DX Contest this weekend.

I spent the rest of the evening mostly just listening. Al N2MA came in the radio room to visit for a while and to pick up an American Flyer repair manual I was lending to him. We talked for quite a while.

Later Bob WC3O came in for a while. Just about that time I was hearing another DX station and couldn't quite make out his call. It was one of those deals where just when the station sends his call, QSB strikes or a burst of QRN wipes out the call. I asked Bob if he could help copy, but the same thing happened. Finally I figured the call was CB0ZA in somewhat rare Juan Fernandez Island (Robinson Crusoe Island) off Chile. He was operating split and I wasn't quite familiar for setting up for split on the IC7300, so Bob set it up and after several tries, I made the QSO. I was using the club call of K3MJW since it was setup with their big quad antenna, and I don't use K3WWP with QRO nor big antennas. We were at QRP power though. After I made the QSO, Bob used his call and also worked him. Then I asked Mike if he wanted to try, but after a try or two, CB0ZA disappeared, and we kidded Mike about scaring him away.

We stayed a while longer, and as we were leaving, Bob told me we should come down to the club some evening when there was no meeting going on and we could learn more about the radio room setup and work some DX. It is rather confusing when we have only a once a month chance to use it and that is on a meeting night. So we're looking forward to that some time.

On the way home, we decided we'll go to the Lenten Fish Dinner this Friday for our first one of the year. Mike then dropped me off and headed for Brookville. -30-

Tuesday Feb 13 10:15PM - An enjoyable day with Mike visiting and then going to SkyView. Also a tiring day so I'm going to postpone any comments on today until tomorrow. There are a few things I do want to comment on. -30-

Monday Feb 12 8:11PM - Whowever decided 30 minutes was the ideal length for an official rag chew had the right idea. I don't know how many QSOs I've had that wind up in the 20-29 minute range. It takes a little more effort to stretch them to that 30 minute mark, and often I don't make it or the fellow on the other end of the QSO has to QRT for this or that reason right in the 20-29 minute range. So if you make it to 30, it is worthy of being an official rag chew.

I had one of those tonight with K0CDJ on 30 meters. Well, not quite. I see it was actually 19 minutes.

Had a pretty good QSO with Harald OZ8X on 12M today and got it recorded on the 705. He dropped to 10W from 500W as a check with me. He went from 589 to about 229 and pretty much got lost in my local QRN. He gave me a 329 at the start of our QSO. Interesting.

Tomorrow Mike is visiting for a while before we head off to our monthly meeting at SkyView tomorrow evening. Supposed to s#$w tonight and tomorrow, but the boundary of the storm is right on the Indiana/Armstrong county line and we are on the good (no s@#w) side, it looks like as of now. -30-

Sunday Feb 11 7:32PM - On Super Bowl Sunday I had a Super Bowl of Spaghetti next door with Bruce, Jeff, and Roscoe. Now I am STUFFED.

I couldn't find Greg WK0B in the SST this evening so my streak QSO came from K1RF Steve in CT on 40M.

I went for a measured 20 minute outdoor walk this afternoon which is supposed to re-calibrate my Apple Watch. I'll look into that more later.

Other than that, a pretty quiet day. -30-

Saturday Feb 10 7:45PM - Guess I'll write the entry while my laundry is drying in the dryer. Guess that's a good place to dry it. HI

The big event of the day was taking Roscoe to the groomer for a much needed hair trim, bath, etc. He certainly seems to feel better after that.

I got a couple QSOs during the afternoon today. In between I was enjoying the nice weather with a walk in the park. I haven't been there for a while now. It looks like tomorrow will be the last "Spring in February" day for a while. Monday is supposed to cool down and feature some possibly moderate s@#w Monday night into Tuesday followed by cooler weather the rest of the week and maybe into next week as well.

I got 4 QSOs this evening while waiting for the wash cycle of my laundry to finish. Two in the PACC Contest, PI4COM and PE3V. The PE3 might be a new prefix. I'll check later. Then a real rough QSO with N1CAU through my local noise. Finally a short chat with Gary K1YAN. -30-

Friday Apri... ooops, I mean Feb 9 6:00PM - The weather had me fooled there. A high of 64 and two shirtsleeves walks outside totalling a little over 2 miles. Wow, that is so great. Although it is going to cool off starting in a couple days, still it is not going to be all that bad according to the Penn State Weather World Show looking ahead to Feb 24 or so. Some s@#w, but no big storms, and mixed in with rain. They're usually pretty accurate with their long range outlooks, so let's hope.

A 40 minute rag chew on 30 meters just a little while ago was my only afternoon QSO today. Not much heard on the higher bands, and none of it was DX. A bit surprising with the ARRL DX Contest looming on the horizon. Usually a couple weeks before a big DX contest features a lot of stations setting up for the contest.

Other than enjoying the weather, I did some arranging of some of the "junk" here in the house today. Now I'm waiting to walk Roscoe, and then head to the shack for another day of the streak. -30-

Thursday Feb 8 8:15PM - Another in the streak of spring-like days here. I walked to the PO and the bank today enjoying the low 60s temperature. It was cloudy as opposed to the past few days, but that didn't matter.

I went through my ham radio awards today and arranged them a little better in my folder. I separated the contest results awards from the regular awards like WAC, WAS for example. It's interesting to see how many of the awards from foreign countries are on paper that is a little different from our standard 8 1/2 by 11 paper. I had to trim some down a bit to get them to fit in the clear file folder transparent covers. It was easy though with the paper cutter I bought a few months ago.

I didn't make any QSOs during the day today for the first time in a few days now. Conditions were on the poor side. Tonight though I had a couple of nice QSOs with W4YAS in NC who had some nice things to say about my web site. His name is Yas, same as his call. I just looked him up in QRZ and I see he is Japanese and Yas is short from Yasutaka. Then an almost rag chew with Howard K4LXY. We came up 4 minutes short of 30 as QSB got too bad to carry on.

Our local Lenten fish dinners are starting this Friday. When Mike and I get together at SkyView next Tuesday, we'll make plans which one(s) we are going to attend. -30-

Wednesday Feb 7 8:25PM - I did something useful today instead of the usual fooling around with this or that. I prepared and mailed my Property Tax Rebate form. I hate filling out forms like that, and I'm glad it is done now. Hope I got everything right on it. Now to efile my Federal and State Income taxes. Maybe tomorrow but I'll probably put it off again.

I also got on 10 meters this morning and recorded QSOs with two more DX countries, England and France. The one with England, G4RCG was a good solid one in which we even chatted a bit. The one with France F8AAN was a bit on the sloppy side, but all the necessary info got recorded. A third one with ON5SY kind of fell apart mostly due to my error in starting the recording then ending it prematurely so I didn't count it as logged and erased that file.

It was a nice day, so I extended my walk when I went to the PO and stopped in Sprankle's to pick up some things. Actually I went in to get two things, and wound up with around a dozen items. HI. Supposed to be nice again tomorrow so think I'll go out again while the nice weather lasts. It's supposed to be rainy over the weekend. That's still better than s@#w. -30-

Tuesday Feb 6 12:04PM - Got this 12 Days of Christmas Award and thought I'd take it easy with the diary today and just use a scan for my entry.

Added another recorded country to the 705 in LZ3ND on 10 meters. See you tomorrow in the diary pages. -30-

Monday Feb 5 8:46PM - Remember Frank Sinatra's "It Was a Very Good Year"? Well it was a very good day here. Another beautiful sunny day, a rarity in February. It was not quite as warm as it should have been, but 48 is not bad for February.

10 meters was good again as it has been the past few days now. I need to get on a bit earlier in the day though. By 1600Z, EU is starting to drop away. Still I did work and record Andy SM2JEB to add another country to my list of recorded ones. I'm also getting a bit more familiar and quicker with the QSO recorder on the IC705. Late this afternoon I worked Bob K8FN again for a nice 23 minute QSO on 30M. Then this evening it was Gary K1YAN on 40 for another full rag chew of 34 minutes. I'm now up to 133 rag chew QSOs in my log going back to January 2016. They're becoming few and far between in that era because I was more into DX and Contests/Sprints then.

This afternoon I went for a walk to the Post Office to mail a QSL and buy some stamps. On the way home I ran into my friend Jasmine and had a brief talk with her. It was nice to see her again.

Now it's time to get the weather readings, so I'll close here. -30-

Sunday Feb 4 7:23PM - There must be another shorter pipeline along with the Hawaii and Northwest Africa ones I have. That is to Greg WK0B. Most times I decide to use the SST Sprint for my streak QSOs, it seems Greg is the strongest and easiest to work station. It was so again this evening. I tried a couple other stations first with no luck, but then found and worked Greg easily.

I worked some more on my rag chew QSOs today and got back as far as April 2017 before I quit. I may go back again for a while this evening. It seems as I go back in time, I find fewer rag chews among my QSOs. I'm up to 124 rag chews now from 25 states and Ontario. Just as an idea of how they decrease going backwards, in the latest full year 2023, I had 26 while in the earliest full year 2018 it was just 7. I had the feeling I was rag chewing more lately and that bears it out, I would say. I don't think I am going to increase the state total much beyond 30, if I even get that far. Time will tell.

It was a nice day again today if a bit chilly early in the day before the sun got higher in the sky and warmed things up to a high of 56. Not a cloud in the sky all day as far as I could tell. A beautiful February so far. Phil has been accurate so far and it looks to continue according to the consensus of forecasts/outlooks through at least February 17. A slight chance of s#$w on the 18th, but that's a long way off.

I played some more with the audio recorder on the ICOM705 today. I like it more and more as I use it. I recorded a couple more DX QSOs today on 10 meters with OM2VL and OZ1LO. I tried a couple others but couldn't get them so I deleted the failures. One other thing I have to try is recording a series of QSOs without stopping and seeing if it is possible then to separate the QSOs into individual files. I plan to record as many different DX countries QSOs as I can.

I'm always interested in records, be it in ham radio, sports, fishing, or anything else. I was checking on the PGA tour on my iPhone while killing some time and I see Wyndham Clark shot a 60 today for a Pebble Beach record. Close, but not an all time PGA record. That's a 58 by Jim Furyk in 2016 at the Travellers Championship. A little extra bit of info puts that in perspective. There have been over 613,000 rounds played on the PGA tour. There have been several 59's shot, but the 58 is unique. Wonder what the LPGA record is? Let's see if I can find it. It's 59 by Annika Sorenstam in a 2001 tour event in Phoenix Arizona. Those are the official records. There are also other claims of unofficial 55's. One recognized by the Guinness Book of Records by Rhein Gibson in May of 2012 in Oklahoma. Three others are not recognized due to unusual circumstances. I'll let you look up more in Wikipedia if you're interested. Do a bing search for "PGA (or LPGA) record low single round scores".

Quite a potpourri of info in today's entry. HI -30-

Saturday Feb 3 7:26PM - I started work today on my WAS rag chew list. I began with the present log entries of today and yesterday and worked backwards until March of 2021 where I got tired and quit for the time being. I found 71 30 minutes or longer QSOs. They were from 24 states and Ontario. The longest one was 52 minutes with K4LXY in VA. There were a lot that were close but just fell short of 30 by a minute or two. Six bands were represented: 80 40 30 20 17 and 10. Just glancing at the list without counting, I would say 80M had the most with 30 in second place. Several stations had more than one, such as K4LXY, VE3WH, K1OV, NR8M, to name a few. Ohio was the best state by a pretty good margin. I'll have more stats when I finish checking all my QSOs or get tired of it and give up before then. HI

My QSO tonight was a brief one in the FOC contest from K3AU. This afternoon, I ran into an old friend whom I hadn't worked since 2006, Kevin KI4DEF. Kevin was one of our early NAQCC members and did a lot to help with the club. He still does a lot of QRP work and likes to operate mW power.

Right now I'm doing my laundry waiting for the dryer to finish its task so I'll close here. -30-

Friday Feb 2 1:06PM - I watched the Punxsutawney Phil show on PCN this morning and was delighted when he made his prediction of an early spring this year. The last time he did that was in 2020 and our February and March were both well above normal temperature wise. Let's hope for a repeat, but all the while keeping in mind that Phil has only been accurate about 40% of the time in 135 or so years.

I did something I hadn't yet done this morning. I tried out the recording feature on the IC705. That is pretty neat. I recorded two of my QSOs on 10 meters. One with OH0Z and another with EA6EJ. Unfortunately EA6EJ faded out after it seemed he wanted to rag chew. That would have been nice to have a recording of. I can see some nice features of the recordings. To check if a DX station got my call correct, and try again if not. To record a contest and then log it later. To "show off" some rare DX QSO. Just a lot of applications as I learn to use it more. It records both sides of a QSO, mine and theirs. I'll have more comments on it as I get more familiar with it. -30-

Thursday Feb 1 8:00PM - I had an interesting thought today. How about a Worked All States with a 30 or more minute rag chew QSO? I wonder how close I could come to that with my 97,000 QSOs. I have all the data in my Excel log since I have always logged both the starting and ending time of every QSO. I could probably write some sort of macro to pull out the data. Or maybe just add another field containing the end time minus the start time of each QSO. Hmmmm. I'll have to give that some thought and see if I really want to go to all that effort or not. It would take a little work, for instance how to handle those QSOs that start in the 2300 hour and end in the 0000 hour just to mention one thing. Well, there's no deadline of any kind and only to satisfy my curiousity, so no pressure to do it. I wonder if I ever had a rag chew with Hawaii or Alaska. Lot of things to wonder about. If I don't find enough 30 minute rag chews, maybe make it 20 minutes or even 15? Then how about something for DX rag chews? I think I've opened a Pandora's box. HI What do you think?

My streak QSO this evening was a 32 minute rag chew with Mike K1OV in Florida. Only 49 states to go. Oh, I did Michigan with Ed AB8DF the other afternoon in a 30 minute QSO. And Ohio with K8FN in a 40 minute QSO about a week ago. And a couple near misses 29 minute QSOs. Darn. Well one was a dupe Ohio anyway, but the other was Virginia. OK, enough of that for now.

It was a fairly nice day today with a high in the upper 40s. Speaking of weather, I put the January weather in my Excel file today. Let me look at it and pick out any interesting stats. The average low, mean, and high were all above normal by the given departure. 26.5 +6.6, 32.9 +4.7, 39.3 +2.9. No overall monthly records were set or tied except the number of days with 1.0+ inch precipitation at 2 days. Of course no 90+ degree days and the like which are tied every year.

Some daily records Greatest Precipitation - Jan 9 1.65", Greatest daily high temperature - Jan 26 64 degrees, Highest daily mean temperature - Jan 27 55 degrees, Hughest daily minimum temperature - three days in a row Jan 25-27 at 44 46 43. Greatest departure from normal high temperature - Jan 26-27 at +27 +22.

Quite a January thaw from the 25-27, pretty much on schedule as it usually happens around the 3rd week in January.

One interesting stat was mentioned on Penn State weather. 90% of the time in Pittsburgh in January the skies were cloudy - the greatest ever in ANY month since such records were kept probably going back to the mid-late 1800s. Awesome. -30-

Wednesday Jan 31 5:11PM - And another month is about to become just an historical memory. It's the 945th month in which I have been alive, if my math is correct. It's the 353rd month in which my streak has existed. It's the 718th month in which I have been a ham radio operator. I don't know why I keep figuring these things as it doesn't do much except to make it more clear just how old I really am. HI

OK I've got all the January QSOs uploaded to eQSL, and now I'll wait for the matches to come in and I'll log them in my Excel log and save the card images that are new band QSOs.

We had an unusual occurance here today. A very bright object appeared in the sky this morning. I forgot what it was for a while until I realized it was the Sun that hadn't been seen here in quite a while with all the overcast skies of late. Unfortunately the overcast won out again by Noontime. SIGH!!! It was nice while it lasted, though. -30-

Tuesday Jan 30 7:55PM - I reached sort of a milestone a little while ago when I worked AB0BM in IA on 30 meters. That was my QSO number 97,000 as KN3WWP/K3WWP since April 1963 when I got my Novice ticket. If you add in the QSOs I made using for example N3AQC, N3A, NY3EC, and a few others I'm not going to list now, that makes a grand total of 97,000 + 6,389 = 103,389 QSOs. Of those, 76,024 came during the streak as K3WWP since August 5, 1994. Gosh, I'm feeling mighty old as I sit here and type this. HI. Now the next big goal if I make it will be QSO # 100,000 as KN3WWP/K3WWP. That's 3,000 more QSOs. In the latest two years, I made 2104 + 1646 = 3750 QSOs /24 = 156.25 QSOs/month. So at that pace, I should hit 100,000 in about 19 months which would take until July/August 2025. If I can stay healthy, that's not unreasonable.

Today was another chilly or mild day depending on what you reference it to. Mild for winter, chilly compared to the past couple weeks. I went shopping with Bruce today to get a couple things. I did some cleaning and dusting. Got on the air a bit late afternoon and worked a nice prefix in HH220Y on 12 meters, along with another nice rag chew with Bob K8FN on 30 meters. -30-

Monday Jan 29 8:02PM - I'm finding that as I age, I'm noticing that my interest in rag chewing is becoming more dominant in my ham radio activities. I really enjoy sitting there discussing not only ham radio topics, but others as well like the weather, fishing, walking, your career, other hobbies, etc. The list is endless, but never politics or religion. When you use voice to talk, it's easy to run out of things to say, at least for me. So CW is an ideal way for me to get into conversations with its slower speed compared to voice. I had just under a 30 minute QSO tonight with K4LXY. Let's see, at a speed of about 18 words per minute, that's 30 x 18 or 540 words or roughly 270 words for each of us. At that speed, we covered a lot of subjects, but never ran out of anything to say and could have gone on a lot longer had K4LXY not had to QRT. Much more interesting than those QSOs where you exchange a club number or some other simple quick DX or contest type exchange. Please don't get me wrong, I love DX and contest QSOs also. I always have and always will. There's a lot of satisfaction in working a rare DX station or making a lot of QSOs in a cantest, but it's a whole different kind of reward from having a long meaningful conversation with someone. End of tonight's "soapbox" if you can call it that.

Today was spent doing routine chores for the most part, but I also worked some more on my weather records and got on the bands this afternoon for a couple QSOs. KP4JRS for a quick DX QSO on 12 meters and KF2P for a short rag chew before QSB and QRN ended it prematurely. Then another DX QSO from V31XX on 40 this evening. Now I'm updating my web site and waiting for 9PM to check my daily weather readings and 9:30PM to walk Roscoe then watch the final part of the movie Shane with Bruce. A late night snack then off to bed. -30-

Sunday Jan 28 7:55PM - A little different streak plan this Sunday evening. I usually go for the SST Sprint to get my streak QSO, but tonight the 705 was set to 30 meters when I turned it on and there were a few good signals on the 705 Spectrum Scope so I thought I'd just stay there and call CQ. My CQs netted 2 QSOs with W8BWE and K1WAT.

It was a cool, compared to the last few days, day today and a lot of rain. We had exactly one inch overnight last night and more rain added throughout the day today. I think it was raining for all three of my Roscoe walks and may be so for the last one later at 9:30.

The NFL playoff games were interesting with KC "upsetting" Baltimore, and now Detroit leading SF. I watched a bit of both games over at Bruce's. He also had a spaghetti dinner for game day which was good. -30-

Saturday Jan 27 8:07PM - That's a nice ham radio related time - 807. Those of you old enough to remember vacuum tubes will recognize that and perhaps have some fond memories of it. I used a 1625 final tube back in my early ham radio days. I don't remember for sure, but I think the 1625 was pretty much identical to the 807 except for the filament voltage, 6.3V vs. 12.6V. Maybe some of you older timers can verify that.

Not much going on today except to look out the window and admire the s#$w-free vista. Isn't it great. At least I love it. Hope it lasts till spring. I guess I said that in an earlier diary entry or two, but it sure feels good to be able to say it and hope for it.

I had a couple nice rag chews this afternoon on 30 and 17 meters. Bob K8FN on 30 whom I haven't worked for about 3 or 4 years. We gabbed for about 40 minutes getting caught up on our news. Then it was Brian WB4IT for a 23 minute QSO on 17. The bands were very cooperative with steady strong signals for the whole of both QSOs.

Then the other extreme this evening with a very quick brief 160M contest QSO with K3ZM for the streak. -30-

Friday Jan 26 5:33PM - I feel good now. I just got an extra dose of Vitamin CW a few minutes ago. I liked that little phrase, "Vitamin CW" when K8QBS used it in our QSO last night and told him I would like to steal it. He gave me permission to use it, so I am and will continue to do so from time to time.

I just worked Jan K1ND in MI and Bill W9VC in IN on 30M. There wasn't much activity on other bands, but 30 was busy in the 2200Z hour today. It usually does show quite a bit of activity in that hour.

It was a warm January day today more like March with a high of let's see, ....... 63 on my La Crosse remote weather unit. That breaks the record of 60 for January 26 in my records going back to 1959. The 60 occurred way back in 1963. The highest January temperature in that long span was 71 twice on Jan 8, 2008 and Jan 13, 2006. We also hit 70 one time on Jan 11, 2020. Needless to say all our s@#w from a few days ago is totally gone. Our high is supposed to be in the 40s the next 10 days now except Monday when it will only be 39. I'll take that kind of weather in January any year. I hope it continues through February then warms up when spring (Meteorological) comes on March 1. Speaking of that, I'm going to watch the Friday Forecast Frenzy on Penn State television now in which they give a 2 day forecast, an extended forecast to 10 days and an outlook for the second week ahead. -30-

Thursday Jan 25 4:37PM - An early diary entry with a little story and a couple pictures.

Last night after I wrote the diary entry, I remembered it was the night for the NAQCC 160M Sprint. I set my iPhone alarm for 8:28PM to remind me later to get on and give it a try.

The time came and I headed to the shack. For some reason my mind was thinking mW sprint and I set my power to 900 mW, but still got on 160M. I heard K8NGW tuning up and getting ready for the sprint. When it started I gave him a call, and he came back with K3W?. I sent my complete call again and he got it and exchanged info to complete the QSO easily. That's about when it dawned on me about setting the power at 900 mW. After calling myself a dummy, I wondered if I ever had made any mW QSOs on 160 before. Conditions were good and I probably should have made more QSOs, but I only intended to get one QSO and QRT. I honored that intention and went to my computer and submitted my one QSO log with a soapbox comment about the mW power. Later I looked up 160 mW QSOs in my Excel log and found I had previously made 16 of them, 14 in the 2010 ARRL 160M Contest and 2 in the 2011 CQWW 160M Contest. That was when I had an attenuator to lower my 5 watts output from either my TS-570 or TS-480, whichever I was running at the time. The resistor values I had on hand lowered the power to 930 mW. So I now have 17 mW QSOs on 160M with my attic random wire. Yes folks, QRP and QRPp does work no matter the situation.

When I looked out at my mailbox there were two big white envelopes rubber banded together. I checked and one was for some health insurance info, the other from the ARRL. I thought maybe it was an award certificate. They sometimes take forever to send out such certificates and I forget I even ever entered an ARRL contest. Anyway it was nothing of the sort, but the following as shown here:

I was surprised because I knew I dropped my membership for a few years while I was inactive while pursuing my career in broadcasting. Apparently that was taken into account and they only totalled the years I was a member. Apparently there were fewer years I was inactive than I thought. I believe I first joined in 1963 or 1964 which would make 60 or so years. So I guess I was a non-member for about 10 years. Sorry for doing the math here, but I was curious about it while I was typing the diary entry here. HI

It was nice to hear from Paul N8XMS via email today. Paul followed Tom WY3H as NAQCC President when Tom retired as President and I retired as Vice President around 2014. I haven't talked to Tom for a while now, and think I may give him a call tonight. -30-

Wednesday Jan 24 4:09PM - Is there any more beautiful sight in nature than that I'm about to show you?

I've been working on my 63+ years of weather records again today. Getting them somewhat better organized. I hadn't looked at some of the records in many years now and it is very interesting to go through them again. It brings back a lot of memories going all the way back to 1959. I could probably write a whole book about the history of those records, but I don't think I ever will go beyond making notations about this and that along the way.

I thought I'd take a little break and get the diary written for today. I have these pictures of a nice s@#w melt and an interesting fog formation.

First the s#$w melt. The first picture from 12:52PM yesterday, January 23. The second from 3:16PM today, January 25. That's a span of a little over 26 hours from downright ugly to beautiful, thanks to the January Thaw's arrival just about exactly on time this year.

Lastly what I think is an unusual fog formation with the fog layer splitting the hills in the backgroud. They're basically just one large hill. I don't know exactly how the fog did the neat splitting job.

Think I'll do some more work on the weather records now or perhaps go upstairs and check the bands. -30-

Tuesday Jan 23 7:37PM - We lucked out weatherwise. NO Freezing rain at all last night or today. That was a real blessing. Actually we didn't even get much regular rain or s#$w. Just a few drops of rain, and that was it, so far.

One reason we didn't get any was because it all was falling as Virga. What's that, you say, if you're really not into the study of weather. Well, Virga is precipitation that falls into a very dry layer of air normally rather deep and close to the ground. As a result, it evaporates before reaching the ground, no matter what type it was before the dry layer. It will even show up on radar before it evaporates, which is why sometimes radar will show precipitation at your QTH, but a look out the window will show you nothing.

I had a couple of rag chews late this afternoon with a couple of hams I had never worked before, VE1CEN Josh on 17, and AB2T Jordan on 30, both answered my CQs. Then this evening another first timer, WD4AWD on a POTA operation on 30. Not sure where he was as a lot of POTA stations don't give out any kind of location, not even a simple, quick state. Another case of the integration of ham radio and computers. You have to check the POTA web site to get a QTH for an operation, and then if he wasn't spotted there, you have to wait a day or so to see where his operation took place. When I do a POTA, I have and always will give an RST State report. -30-

Monday, Jan 22 6:21PM - Although I hate the frozen kind, precipitation and how it is formed is fascinating. Let's look at the basic four forms: Rain, S@#w, Sleet, Freezing rain. There are other sub-forms, but I won't go into graupel, snow pellets, hail, and the like.

Most all precipation begins in the upper atmosphere as s@#w. What happens between there and the ground determines the type at the ground level.
1. If the temperature is above freezing all the way down, it is rain.
2. If it is below freezing all the way, it is s#$w.
3. If the journey starts in above freezing air, but there is a thick layer of cold air at ground level below that, it freezes before it reaches the ground and is sleet.
4. Similar to #3, but the ground level cold air layer is not as thick, it is freezing rain, not freezing till it reaches the ground, roads, trees, etc.

It gets really interesting when there are more than 2 levels of different temperature air on the trip to the ground. Do a Internet Bing search to learn more about precipitation types.

I got a quick DX QSO for the streak this evening. I turned on the IC705 and went right to 10 meters. Right there on 28016 was a strong LU7YZ calling unanswered CQs. I took care of that for him quickly. I called and he came back with WWP?, so I sent K3WWP and got a K3WWP TU 559 report. I gave him a TU 589 and a day was added to the streak. I looked around the bands some more but didn't work anyone else. TX5S was on 40 with a narrow but huge pileup. I never did actually hear TX5S. -30-

Sunday, Jan 21 8:19PM - Remember back in 2010 (I think it was) when the Netherlands Antilles broke up how the bands were overloaded with those seeking to work the new arrangement of those countries? 17 meters sounded a little like that late this afternoon with folks chasing Clipperton Island and TX5S listening all over about half of the CW portion of the band. Maybe that's an exaggerated comparison, but 17 was busy. Not busy enough to keep me from finding a rag chew QSO with Dave W4CI. I tried a bit to work TX5S, but didn't feel like spending time trying to find where he was listening, and gave up. I have Clipperton worked and confirmed on 30, 20, 17, 15, 12, 10 meters anyway.

Tonight I worked old standby SST participant Greg WK0B on 20 meters, then took some time for a rag chew with old friend Bill K4VSV on 30 meters.

A little more work on my weather records the only non-routine activity today. -30-

Saturday Jan 20 7:25PM - A very cold day today with a high of 21 and winds enough to make it feel like the single digits. At least no s@#w to speak of. So a good day to work indoors, and I did. I continued my work of late organizing my weather records. I got four 3-ring binders delivered today and took some records out of a filing cabinet and put them in one of the binders. I also split up a bulging binder and split its contents up with one of the new binders. I also did some more updating of the web site.

Ham Radiowise, I also did some work on my log files. This evening was the HA DX Contest with everyone working everyone else so I grabbed VE3NZ and gave him my number uno in the contest then QRT to do my laundry which I have been doing on Saturday evenings the past few weeks now instead of Sunday mornings. Now as the laundry is in the washing cycle, I'm doing the diary entry and updating my streak table on the main page of the web site along with today's propagation numbers on the propagation page. Maybe when the clothes go in the dryer a little later, I'll go back to the shack for a while. Or maybe not. HI -30-

Friday Jan 19 7:30PM - Another day of s@#w, staying inside, and doing some more web site updating. Looking forward to next week's January thaw with a few days in the upper 40s flirting with 50 degrees.

I had a great 30 minute rag chew about an hour ago with W1DWJ up in NH. We went into the time machine reminiscing about ham radio in the 1950s (when he was first licensed) and 1960s in my Novice days. Very interesting to compare then and now as far as ham radio goes. Vacuum tubes vs. solid state devices. Doing it all yourself vs. so much computer aiding these days. In a way it's truly a case of the "good old days" vs. what is going on these days. Which is better is strictly personal preference. My preference is a mixture of both, but mainly the old fashioned way of doing things with a little help from computers. -30-

Thursday Jan 18 7:58PM - I spent part of today doing some updating to some of my web site pages. Some of them haven't had much care recently and the info was, shall we say, outdated. HI.

Also I was looking at the NAQCC Award winners page on the NAQCC site and saw some of my awards there need updating and I worked on that somewhat also.

Interesting how when you get older things tend to get out of hand more easily. A lot of other things change also with age. I'm finding out a lot about that over the past couple years as the ageing is setting in kind of suddenly rather than a slow gradual change. Oh well, I'm still in good shape so no complaints.

My streak QSO tonight had to do with old age also. It was with Jon W8TY. We first worked way back in the early 60s when I was KN3WWP and he was WN8ELT. It will be 61 years since our first QSO this year on May 23. Whew! -30-

Wednesday Jan 17 7:30PM - For what it's worth, we're one day closer to spring than when I talked about the miserable weather in the diary last evening. Actually in about a week now, we may get a brief preview of spring if the outlook of 50+ degrees pans out the middle of next week. We'll see how right that turns out to be.

Not much on the bands this afternoon. I did get a couple of quick QSOs this evening though. First a brief chat with EA3AR on 40 meters. We've worked before a few times now and then. Then back to PA for a QSO with Eastern PA on 80 meters. A little later this evening is our NAQCC Sprint. I might try to get a couple QSOs in that to keep up my participation in the sprints.

Other than that, it was a shopping day to stock up on some food from Family Dollar and Sprankle's. Some $60.00 worth. I was thinking of trying to compare what I would have paid a year or two ago pre-inflation for the same food. I do have some old receipts from then, so it might be possible to do, but a lot of work and I'm not really that curious since there's not a lot I can do about it anyway. I was going to say something about politics here, but I decided not to. -30-

Tuesday Jan 16 6:02PM - We had another 2+ inches of you know what overnight to continue the miserable weather a little longer. Not much of a melt today with low 20s temperatures. SIGH. At least we are in the middle of meteorological winter today so half of the lousy season is over with.

It was a good day for ham radio, anyway. I had three good rag chews on 3 different bands. It started with KS0M on 10 meters. Dick is one of the oldest hams I have ever worked at 97 years of age. We talked for 16 minutes. Then next was W5LXS on 17 meters. We went for almost exactly 30 minutes and could have gone longer but the band dropped out on us suddenly. Lastly, it was N0ZT on 30 meters for 9 minutes, also ended by the band changing. All three QSOs came from my calling CQ. I was especially surprised by the 10 meters QSO. I hope the bands are still good this evening for my streak QSO. -30-

Monday Jan 15 8:07PM - T'aint a fit nite (day) out for man (me) nor beast (Roscoe). We did manage 4 quick short walks though with one more to come. I feel sorry for the little fellow as the cold and s@#w seemed to bother him today. I had to hurry him along. A little bribery helped in that regard. I took a doggie treat out with me and he did hurry up somewhat in anticipation of getting the treat. We had a low of +6 and a high of 25 today. It was a sunny day for the most part which helped boost the temperature a bit. It didn't help much in melting yesterday's s@#w though. It looks like more off and on snow for a week then maybe some warm up from the January thaw weather next week. I've watched the Penn State weather many years now. I believe it was there I heard Mark Mancuso's theory about the January thaw. It made a lot of sense, but unfortunately after all the years, I've forgotten the details. It had something to do with the Arctic climate. There is a definite peak in temperature that occurs regularly in the third or fourth week of January that shows up in my records.

Speaking of records, not for anything to do with the January thaw, I did quite a bit of organizing my weather records today. I started keeping records as a school project back in January of 1959 and after an intermittent 1959, I started keeping daily records on January 1, 1960 and with the help of my mother and an aunt, I've kept daily records to this very day, and in about 35 minutes as I type, I'll be getting today's data to continue that streak another day.

The other streak, the radio one, extended easily this evening with two QSOs, DX from PJ2ND and a rag chew of 27 minutes from W2XS. -30-

Sunday Jan 14 7:14PM - A tale of two QSOs today. This afternoon a rag chew with Vic W9RGB that lasted 47 minutes. This evening an SST QSO with Grant WA3AAN that lasted maybe 15 seonds at most. Both count as QSOs though, and that's the bottom line for my streak.

Very little going on today worth talking about. I definitely don't want to talk about the weather other than to say Winter has arrived. About an inch of s@#w overnight and the temperature was steady in the low 20s most of the day, and is now 15 degrees. BRRR! One good thing is that the wind has finally died down for the first time since Monday or so. Almost a full week of strong winds. I finally could put my porch furniture, hanging flower baskets and wind chimes back out today so it looks a little more cheerful and distracts from the ugliness of winter somewhat.

I also played with the settings on the ICOM705 a little today. Nothing particular in mind, I just wanted to see what some of the settings do, especially the ones that change the look of the Spectrum Scope. I wound up only changing one that increased the display height of the signals to make them stand out more clearly. -30-

Saturday Jan 13 7:35PM - Let's see, how can I describe today. Maybe like a tiny taste of what it must be like for those folks sitting out a hurricane wondering what it is going to bring them? The key word there is "tiny" because the magnitude of what is going on here is very small compared to a hurricane's penchant for destructive force. We did have the pretty steady high winds all day and they will continue through the night and tomorrow although they will diminish a bit by then. Today they were in the mid 20s range with gusts to the upper 30s range. Just a slight breeze compared to a full fledged hurricane. There wasn't much rain at all here today and there was a little snow mixed in now and then. I guess the real similarity is worrying about what the storms will bring. Will the wind blow down some power lines or some tree limbs on the lines or on the house? Will there be flooding from the rain? Any ice mixed in? Things like that which so far have not materialized, and hopefully won't before this all wraps by late tomorrow. Then we go right into the first real cold spell of winter for the next week or so. SIGH, when will spring get here. HI

The NA QSO Party provided an easy streak QSO with KR2Q whom I've worked many times and who took a moment to ask if I was QRP. Didn't take long to answer with an "R". HI. Otherwise in ham radio today I worked on the listing of all those who have visited my web site and signed the Guestbook. I've gotten quite a ways behind in doing that. It was a good way to pass the time and ease the worry about the weather.

Also tonight for the same reasons, I'm doing my weekly laundry. And that's it for now. Hope to be back here tomorrow evening. -30-

Friday Jan 12 7:30PM - A day spent watching the weather, trying to figure out what it is going to be for the weekend. The best guess right now is a wet, windy one, with maybe some sleet and or s@#w mixed in here and there. Then next week will be a cold one, followed by a less cold, dry one. That's my nutshell forecast mostly gathered from Penn State's Weather World telecast. I've been following the Penn State weather practically since its inception. There have been gaps in that when I couldn't get the telecasts. However I've come to the conclusion that it is the most accurate forecast available. The best feature is that they allow for flexibility in their forecasts just like in the real weather itself. No saying tomorrow will be cloudy with a high of 43 degrees and .24 inches of precipitation. But more like we'll have temperatures in the mid 40s with around a quarter inch of rain. I think that little sample will convey their way of doing things.

Tonight I heard VP9KF on 40 and went ahead and worked him for the streak even though I just worked him a couple days ago. This afternoon I had a nice chat with Pete K1PJA on 30 meters for 17 minutes. Signals were perfectly steady all that time.

OK, if the high winds don't change things, I'll be here with another diary entry sometime tomorrow. -30-

Thursday Jan 11 5:34PM - I just finished my late afternoon check of the bands that I've been doing lately. They seemed a little more active today than the past few days, but still I didn't work anyone. I didn't really try that hard as I was mostly just listening. I did hear and called a few times my friend Suke JM7OLW on 10 meters but my 5 watts wasn't making the trip today as it has in the past. Suke and I have had 4 QSOs all mini-rag chews. By that I mean they lasted a few minutes each and we actually exchanged more than the all too standard TU599 from DX QSOs these days. I also heard a FY station, but he was jumped on before I even tried calling. Also I tried a few CQs on each band with no success.

I was also reading some stories about Nick Saban retiring as Alabama football coach yesterday. There is a lot of speculation about who will replace him. I have my own choice of the people suggested. I think Dabo Swinney from Clemson would be an excellent choice. He took Clemson to the CFP finals in 2015, 2016, 2018, 2019 where they beat Alabama in 2016 and 2018. They had a bit of a down year this year, but still I think Swinney would be a worthy successor to Saban if he is willing to go and if Alabama can afford and/or is willing to buy out his contract. Just my opinion, right or wrong.

Otherwise we're watching another storm similar to Tuesday coming this Friday and Saturday with a lot of rain, a litle snow, and high winds. -30-

Wednesday Jan 10 8:03PM - A quiet day today after the exciting in many ways day yesterday. I described the day yesterday pretty fully since I didn't get to write the diary entry till after 11:00PM so I won't repeat it here.

I did get on the air a couple times during the afternoon. I've been starting on 10M and working my way down looking for activity and if not finding any, calling 5 or so QSOs, then if no answers to my CQs, I move on down another band. When I got to 17M I found KH7Y calling CQ with a strong signal. I worked him easily, but he had moved to California since the last time I worked him a few years ago. We chatted a bit then I moved on. When I got to 30M, W1WCC answered my CQ there and we chatted about 18 minutes. You probably know with a call like that, there would be a connection with Marconi and also the coastal station WCC on Cape Cod. We talked about my visit to Cape Cod many years ago among other things.

Tonight I quickly found and quickly worked VP9KF whom I've worked 4 times before. Since that was so quick, I went CQing in hopes of finding a rag chew. NS8S did answer my CQ on 40 for a 22 minute QSO. And that wraps up a quiet day. -30-

Tuesday Jan 9 11:11PM - I had a first tonight at SkyView. I worked China, but with three strikes against it counting as an official K3WWP QSO. 1 - I used the club call of K3MJW. 2 - I used 50 watts of power. 3 - I used a tri-band beam antenna. So it goes into my "Other Calls" log, not my K3WWP log. That's fine with me. Once again it proves to me that working QRO with big antennas is just not as thrilling nor satisfying as CW/QRP/simple wire antennas. It was fun though for a change. I also heard two other China stations to make it 3 heard tonight - more than I've heard total in my 60 years of hamming.

Yes, Mike and I did have a good time at SkyView playing with the equipment and visiting with the members. That's been a second Tuesday evening ritual each month for a while now and will continue to be so in the future. I thought we might not make it tonight because of the weather, but the early morning bit of s@#w turned into a mild rain for the rest of the day totalling 1.65 inches of rain. Imagine if that had been s@#w. No thanks, I don't even want to imagine it. Anyway Mike and I lucked out and missed the heaviest part of the rain on our drives to and from New Kensington. -30-

Monday Jan 8 8:44AM - I was going on a shopping trip early today, but that has been postponed so I thought I'd use the time to talk about the 2023 weather for my diary entry today.

I'll just list the data in one or two line statements with a brief comment if necessary.

Here are a couple of earliest in the year for a maximum temperature reading: 72 Feb 15, 89 Apr 14.

The following data is all in the format shown here:

Year  14  15  16  17  18  19  20  21  22  23
Data  99  99  99  99  99  99  99  99  99  99
Spring (Mar-May) daily mean temperature departure from normal
Year   14   15   16   17   18   19   20   21   22   23
Data  +0.4 +2.1 +4.3 +3.8 +1.4 +3.4 +2.5 +2.9 +2.9 +2.1
Summer (Jun-Aug) daily mean temperature departure from normal
Year   14   15   16   17   18   19   20   21   22   23
Data  +0.9 +1.6 +4.3 +1.4 +3.3 +2.5 +3.8 +3.4 +2.5 +0.9
Autumn (Sep-Nov) daily mean temperature departure from normal
Year   14   15   16   17   18   19   20   21   22   23
Data  +1.3 +5.4 +5.3 +3.7 +2.6 +3.0 +3.3 +4.2 +1.8 +2.7
Winter (Dec, Jan-Feb following year) daily mean temperature departure from normal
Year   14   15   16   17   18   19   20   21   22   23
Data  -1.8 +6.3 +6.8 +2.2 +4.2 +6.5 +3.5 +3.8 +7.6 inc.
Yearly (Jan-Dec) daily mean temperature departure from normal
Year   14   15   16   17   18   19   20   21   22   23
Data  +0.3 +2.5 +4.2 +3.7 +2.9 +3.1 +4.0 +2.8 +1.0 +2.9
I think I'll stop here. I have many more statistics available, but these along with precipitation are the most interesting, I think. Perhaps I'll do the precipiation stats in a later entry. -30-

Sunday Jan 7 8:28PM - I finished putting my 2023 weather data into my weather spreadsheet. I ran into a couple bugs along the way caused by my using a different spreadsheet program from Microsoft Excel. I exterminated most of them, but still have a couple to work on. The stats turned out to be interesting and can be summed up in a quick bottom line word - WARM. Most all stats seem to show a general warming trend over the last 5 to 10 years with some up and down bumps along the way. If time permits tomorrow perhaps I'll illustrate some here in the diary to support my observations.

For the first time since I went back to a one-a-day QSO formula for my streak, I got a second QSO tonight, and it was a great one. A rag chew with Bill K0CDJ on 30 meters that lasted just a few seconds shy of a full 30 minutes. The first QSO was a SST Sprint quicky.

A lot of our s#@w from yesterday has melted, especially on the streets and sidewalks, and that's good. Looks like the next storm on Tuesday and Wednesday will be a rain and wind one with maybe some s@#w mixed in now and then. -30-

Saturday Jan 6 7:57PM - This is the third day now since I dropped getting a second QSO each day with my streak. I like the decision because the three days have proved hard just getting the one QSO. It's not due to any shortcoming in my station or antenna nor anything to do with propagation. It's mainly due to a gradual decline of folks rag chewing on CW. Put on a CW contest and the CW segments are full stem to stern with signals. Get some POTA or SOTA stations on the air and they draw big crowds. Special event stations likewise. But just getting on the air with CW to have a nice chat with someone seems at least the way I see it, to be dwindling. Perhaps it's because the old-timers who like to do that are dying off. Along with that, the newcomers to the hobby are making it more of a computer/radio hobby with their digital modes like FT8 and all those other fancy names they have. Give me my good old fashioned Morse code and some other ham who feels the same way and wants to chat about this or that subject in a nice half hour visit or longer, and I'm happy. Down off the soapbox now.

I finally got around to putting at least part of my 2023 weather data into my computer. Some interesting stats turned up. When I finish inputting the rest of the data, I'll try to list some of the stats. A quick bottom line - it was a warm year, and a dry one. Not record-setting, but noteworthy.

We had our first good (bad!) s#@fall today, about 1.5 or maybe 2 inches. It shouldn't hang around too long (better not) since daytime temps should be in the upper 30s to low 50s the next several days. -30-

Friday Jan 5 5:48PM - Looks like this was a good day to go back to one-QSO-a-day for the streak. It was a bit difficult to get even the one QSO last evening. Finally I was able to work Jack W4TJE down in VA after about a half hour of fruitless calls and CQs. Jack and I usually talk quite a bit, but last night poor conditions limited us to one set of exchanges. It was a QSO though and the streak goes on. I hope I don't jinx things by saying this, but actually it is pretty hard to NOT get a QSO. I've proved that by getting at least one each day for 10,746 consecutive days now. It will take something pretty drastic to keep from getting a QSO.

It looks like winter starts tomorrow with a winter storm advisory, then other storms showing up every 3 or 4 days or so for at least a couple weeks. Tomorrow should give 1-3" of s#@w or 2-5" depending on whether you believe the GFS or EURO forecast computers or some other computer. It was supposed to be no s#$w from one computer or C-1" from another then the storm took a jog to the west in its predicted track, hence the increase in numbers. The latest on next Tuesday's storm seems to indicate it will be mostly a rain storm with temps in the mid-upper 40s. We'll see.

About an hour to go till streak time. I wonder what conditions will yield tonight. I didn't get to check the bands this afternoon or early evening. Hope they are better than last night. -30-

Thursday Jan 4 6:02PM - Nothing much going on right now, so I thought I'd get the diary entry taken care of. Actually not much going on at all today. I did some cleaning up in the computer getting rid of some files I no longer need, and things like that. I also fixed one of the hanging flower baskets on my front porch. It had been hanging kind of askew the past couple weeks.

This evening I go back to my one-a-day QSO streak after ending the concurrent 2-a-day 365 day streak. Actually those who have followed the streak for a long time now know there have been other concurrent streaks accompanying the main one-a-day streak that will be 10,746 consecutive days with my one streak QSO after 0000Z comes along in about 50 minutes now. For those not familiar with the concurrent streaks, they are all listed in the QRP section of the site on the QRP Streaks page in that section. I haven't written up the latest 2-a-day streak that just ended yet. I probably will do so in the next couple months sometime. -30-

Wednesday Jan 3 8:15PM - Three items to cover in this diary entry.

1. I've decided with the completion of 365 straight days of 2 QSOs per day when I worked VE2PEACE on 80M, I'm going back to just my regular one streak QSO per day as I've done for the last 10,745 consecutive days. What I'll do is get that one QSO, then depending on circumstances either QRT or explore the bands to see what else is around. No pressure to get any more QSOs after the first one continued the streak another day.

2. I didn't have the ambition to do my 2023 weather data today, so maybe I'll do that tomorrow.

3. I finished work on the keyer today making up new labels for it as shown in the two pictures here:

The first picture is the back of the keyer and shows the pin jacks I added to keep track of the voltage with the battery checking position on my VOM and the new label for it. Also the jacks for the cable to the transmitter and for the paddle plus an empty hole that must have been there for something long ago when I built the keyer. The second picture shows the new recessed pushbuttons for (L-R), a 3x2 CQ, a 3x2 CQ that repeats with a 4 second pause in between CQs, QRL? (my labelmaker doesn't have a ? on it), and the call. -30-

Tuesday Jan 2 7:56PM - I had two somewhat big projects today. At least they were out of the ordinary everyday things. I put the December weather stats in my weather spreadsheet. December turned out to be a warm month with a temperature 8.7 degrees above normal at 41.6 degrees, but short of the record from 2015 of 44.1 degrees. It was somewhat dry with about 3/4 inch below normal precipitation. There were 7 minor daily records like Least Daily Range of temperature, High Minimum temperature, Highest Daily Precipitation, and the like.

Tomorrow or the next day I hope to compile the weather stats for the whole year of 2023. It should wind up being a pretty warm year, although I don't think it will be record-setting, but we'll see.

I also worked on the keyer that we've been using or trying to use on the USS Requin. I think I've got most of the bugs exterminated now with four new pushbutton switches. I also added a couple pin jacks to measure the battery voltage. I can't wait till the Requin opens up again probably in mid-March so we can try it out.

I didn't make all 50 states in the ARRL VOTA deal in 2023. I missed out on AK, GA, MA, NV, and WV. Oh well. I didn't think that was as big a deal as the ARRL Centennial deal several years ago when I did get all 50 rather easily or the 13 Colonies deal each year in July whick I've completed with 13 colonies plus WM3PEN several years in a row now.

A couple of quick QSOs this evening thanks to KC4KNN and N1W. I still think I'm going back to the one-a-day QSO after tomorrow ends a year of two-a-day. Another we'll see deal. HI. -30-

Monday Jan 1 8:14PM - Let's see, it was just about a year ago that I started a "sub-streak" complementing my main streak. On January 5, 2023 I added a second QSO to my daily streak QSO making it two QSOs per day, of course CW, QRP, simple wire antenna style. So two more days and I'll complete a year of <<
Going back to the one-a-day will give me more time to explore the bands more thoroughly after I get the 1 QSO instead of looking strictly for the second QSO. There won't be any self-induced pressure.

I did some end of year / first of year work on the web site today. I especially added my 2023 stats to my yearly stats table in the QRP section of the web site along with some other updates.

That does it for another entry and once again a very Happy New Year to all by diary readers. Have a great 2024. -30-

Sunday Dec 31 8:12PM - And another year bites the dust. This is not only a day for end of month chores, but one for end of year ones as well. At least I got all my financial things done today. In the next couple days I hope to work on the ham radio ones and the weather ones. Whew!

SKN was interesting tonight. It started out slowly where I was on 80 meters, then gradually picked up until it was really going strong when I QRT after getting two great rag chews from W8TY and W3ZT. I talked about W8TY a couple months ago here in the diary after working him then. We first worked back in the early 60s not long after I got my Novice ticket. He was WN8ELT back then. I may get back in the SKN later this evening after walking Roscoe, etc., or maybe tomorrow on 40 or 20 meters. I really enjoyed using my SK tonight. Kind of like going back in time when we didn't have all the fancy equipment, computer programs, and the like. Those were the days, my friend. Thanks to Mary Hopkins for those words from her song.

Not much more to say right now except I hope you all have a great new year coming up starting tomorrow. May all your plans for 2024 be realized and may you keep those new year resolutions all year long and beyond. -30-

Saturday Dec 30 8:05PM - Another day of doing chores. Also a 1+ mile walk in the nice weather. Then a little fooling around on the bands. I stuck to the WARC bands for the most part since I didn't feel like getting into the RAC contest.

This evening the QSOs came quickly. First I worked KR4AE on 40 down in GA. Then kind of strangely I went to 80 where I heard W2T who was working... yes KR4AE. I then worked W2T myself to finish the two streak QSOs. I was done early so I tried some CQs on 80 and got an answer from Hank K1PUG for a 7 minute chat. He said he was getting tuned up for SKN tomorrow evening. I may get in that also either to get my two QSOs or maybe stick around longer. Just depends the mood I'm in. -30-

Friday Dec 29 7:50PM - My ambition attack continued today and I got a lot more accomplished, mainly taking down my Christmas decorations. Like yesterday, I also got on the air a couple times. Once again I got an answer to my CQs on 17M, today from W0GV in CO. Then later on I got a DX answer to my CQs from Andres KP4DQC, the first time I ever worked him. Then I worked N3HAM in Philly, PA whom I've worked a lot before but not lately. Let's see when I last worked him. Well it wasn't too long ago in Sept this year, but before that the previous QSO was back in 2019.

This evening provided two quick QSOs in the RAC contest. Actually I tried VE3MIS in 40 for a couple minutes with no luck so I went to 20M and worked N8OO and N4KS with a single call to each. I've mentioned this before, but the RAC contests used to be among my favorites and I did very well in them until their popularity soared and all the big contesters discovered them. A late friend, Corb K8UCL and I had our own little competition in them before he unfortunately passed away. We were going to form our own little contest team, but he passed away before that was realized. -30-

Thursday Dec 28 7:30PM - I got a lot of little things accomplished today as I got an attack of ambition. HI I'm not going to list them here, but may mention 1 or 2. I took a 1+ mile walk to enjoy the 50 degree weather. That felt really good. I did some work on the keyer we took to the Requin yesterday. I ordered some new push buttons for it. The present collection of four has one that doesn't work at all, and a couple others that seem to suffer from contact bounce producing two CQs instead of the one. I also installed a couple pin jacks to hook up to read the voltage of the batteries.

We won't be going to the Requin until sometime in mid-March as it is shut down for the winter.

I got on the air a couple times this afternoon. The bands were pretty good, if not all that busy. I worked N9EVP in FL, and when that QSO ended I got a tail end call from W0FN in IA. That was on 17M where I very seldom get a tail end call. That might have been a first for 17M, in fact. I don't know for sure one way or other. A little later I worked NI4E on 30M via my CQ there. This evening my two QSOs came quickly from AC1AE and N8CKU on 40 meters. -30-

Wednesday Dec 27 5:50PM - Mike and I had a normal good day at the Requin and otherwise today. He arrived here around 8:45AM and we talked a while before heading off to Pittsburgh. It was an uneventful trip. We didn't get lost and the perpetual construction work by the Highland Park Bridge seems to have finally come to an end and we zipped right by without hardly even seeing the bridge or the entrance and exit to it.

We talked with Art a bit, then went to set up in the radio room. We had a little trouble hooking up my keyer to the room rig. The terminals on the keyer cable didn't quite fit on the room straight key terminals. So that's one thing that we'll work on for the next time. Meanwhile Mike jury rigged a connection that worked for today. Conditions were good and we made around 20 QSOs. Actually Mike made the QSOs and I logged except for one QSO which I made. I also did most of the greeting of the guests as they passed by the radio room. It was pouring rain which didn't matter much inside the sub except we did have a couple of drips from the heavy rain finding its way through seams, cracks, etc. We survived that and stayed our full four hours as planned. When 2PM arrived, we closed up shop and headed home, stopping at Applebee's along the way for a delicious meal.

Here at home, we listened around in my shack for some DX. We found only one station, CX5FK, and both worked him easily. Then Mike headed home to get caught up on some things he missed earlier today because of the Requin trip. I'm doing the same here. -30-

Tuesday Dec 26 5:52PM - Hope you had a good Boxing Day. I didn't really need to do any boxing. All my gifts either fitted or I liked them or both.

I said I might post pictures of the two houses with the good lights display close to here, so I decided I would do it, and here they are:

I don't know if they collaborated on the "JOY" signs or just a coincidence.

And that's it for today. -30-

Mpnday Dec 25 10:30PM - Hope you all had as great a Christmas as I did. I had a dinner with my neighbor Bruce, his brother Jeff, and of course Roscoe. It was nice to have something a bit different this year although all other years have been great also. We had ham, scalloped potatoes, corn, and sweet potato pie. Then I added a shrimp ring to the mix for something really different.

Next up it was the traditional Christmas Night visit with Mike to drive around and check out the Christmas lights. Mike measured and we drove 30.2 miles on the tour. We were figuring out how many years we've done these tours and couldn't remember. I'm going to check my diary archives to see what year we started. I believe it is our 14th year. I say believe because I refer to the lights in my 2010 diary archives. I refer to a visit from Mike on Christmas 2009, but no mention of the lights tour that year. I'll have to try to do a little more research to see if there was a 2009 tour or not. It seems like not right now.

Anyway the lights were good as usual this year, but it seemed that fewer people decorated for whatever reason, money being rough in the bout of inflation we're having now, people getting older and not able to decorate, younger people not caring, and so on. Two of the nicest displays were just a half block from my home here. Pictures to follow tomorrow, maybe.

The streak QSOs were late tonight after the Christmas lights tour, but they came easily in the 0200Z hour on 80M from K9LWA and WD9DWE, both of whom I've worked several times, but not real recently.

OK, back to some chores now before bedtime. Also I'm going to look a little closer at the gifts I got from Mike and from my neighbors. -30-

Sun Dec 24 7:20PM - Now as I do each year:

For unto us a child is born,
unto us a son is given:
and the government shall be upon his shoulder:
and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counseller,
The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace.

Need there be anything more said about Christmas? I, for one, don't think so. -30-

Saturday, Dec 23 8:24PM - Hope you're having a good Christmas Eve Eve. It was kind of quiet around here. I did get out in the nice weather (high of 51) for a 1 mile plus walk stopping at Family Dollar for a couple things and the bank for some money. Saw a couple of the girls I know at both places and wished them Merry Christmas.

I checked the bands a couple times now and then. They didn't have much to offer during the day except for one of the 12 Days of Christmas SE stations, W2G. This evening was slow getting started but I did get the two streak QSOs. I thought I was going to have to get in the RAEM Contest with its complicated exchange of serial number, latitude, and longitude, but I didn't need to. I worked Norm KC1BMD in Me on 40, and had a 31 minute rag chew with KD8BBK on 80. We were both over S9 just about all the way as 80 was in good shape tonight.

Right now I'm doing my laundry so I don't have to bother in the morning tomorrow. Then a little later, a walk with Roscoe and watching a Christmas movie, probably Miracle on 34th Street. -30-

Friday, Dec 22 5:47PM - Kind of a busy day today. Time for another shopping trip, and Bruce and I went to Dollar General and Sprankle's. Not only did I get stocked up on food to last me into next year, but I got the chance to wish a Merry Christmas to the girls working there.

After that I sort of split my time among walking (in the house although I should have gone outside as it was a nice day), tweaking the email setup a bit, and getting on the air.

10 meters was good early today. I easily broke the pileup chasing PZ5RA who was working split. That gave me another chance to become more familiar with working split on the IC705. It really is a piece of cake now that I've done it a few times. Just takes a very few seconds to set up for it. After that, still on 10M, I had a nice chat with Hal DJ3AS. I love chatting with DX stations. I don't get a chance to do it all that often with QRP, but when I do, it's a real pleasure. Later in the day just about 45 minutes ago, I worked CX2DK on 17, and chatted with Dave ND4K on 20 after he answered my CQ. That was one of those strange situations where I call CQ for quite a while with no answer, then think well, this next CQ will be the last for now. Quite a few times, that pre-determined last CQ will get a reply. It happens often enough to make it interesting. OK, off to the shack now, it's just about 0000z after several delays in writing this entry. -30-

Thursday, Dec 21 8:10PM - Here we go again with another diary entry. I figured out how many entries I've got in the diary some time ago, but I don't remember even approximately how many there were then. I think I'll figure it out again sometime soon and post the number here in the diary. If I get a close to exact number, maybe I'll make that part of the time stamp that begins each entry.

I did some final ironing out of wrinkles in the email setup today and think I'm done with it now. All seems to work well. Thanks again to Mike for helping with some final checks. Now if the mood strikes and you have time, I invite you to try using the "Click here to send me email" link above to drop me a note to be sure that feature is working as it should. I can't check it myself. One good thing about all the email trouble is that I now have a slightly better email client with Mozilla Thunderbird than the previous Blue Mail client. Also I got ambitious and am cleaning out some old emails that have just been taking up space for a long time now.

The bands were fairly good this afternoon, but not a lot of activity as usual. I had one nice 14 minute rag chew on 12 meters with N7IV in North Dakota. This evening there was more activity, but few stations calling CQ, and none answering my CQs. I did finally work KC1BMD on 40. Earlier I chased CT1ILT on 30 with no luck. Later I went back to 30 and got him on the first call. Strange how that works. It's all due to the instantaneous state of the ionosphere and the presence of or lack of QRM and QRN.

Looking forward to a couple of Mike visits coming up. On Christmas night (not eve) we'll take our annual Christmas lights tour around Kittanning, Ford City and surroundings. My cousin said we should be sure to try Manorville also this year. Then on Wednesday the 27th it will be a visit to the Requin for the last time this year. Then it will be closed for maintenance in at least January and February. -30-

Wednesday, Dec 20 11:04AM - I just finished getting all my 3 email addresses working again (I hope). Now I've got to check somewhere around 175 messages that came through while the email was down. With other things going on, that may take a while unless most of them are spam. So if you sent something that needs answering, please be patient. I will get to you. One of the things I couldn't do till I got the emails working was transfer pictures from my iPhone to Laptop. So finally here are my Christmas pictures:

Pretty much self-explanatory. First, the wreath on the front door that I purchased from the Ol' Station Marketplace a few years ago. Next, I used to take that table down and put up the full size tree there, but this year I decided to use the table for the manger scene, the old angels from my cub scout days, and the little tree my late neighbor Nancy gave me several years ago. Then the decorated window pretty much as it has been for oh so many years now. Last from next door, Roscoe's stocking which will be filled with doggy treats for Christmas.

I cut back quite a bit in deferance to getting older, but except for the big tree, I tried to keep the traditions going. -30-

Tuesday, Dec 19 8:22PM - I spent a lot of time today working on my email situation. I now have my outlook email address up and running on Mozilla Thunderbird. A bit more testing to make sure I have one good working email address, and then I'll work on my windstream addresses and also fix it so you can again reach me by clicking on the "Click here to send me email" link above here. Thanks much to Mike for helping me with checking to see if we could successfully use the outlook address. It all seems to work fine here now.

The bands were fair today and a little better this evening. I worked W1AW/7 in Montana today on 20. I also called CQ on an almost dead sounding 17 meters and wound up with a great solid 31 minute rag chew with W0FN in Iowa. Proof again that the bands are good if you just use them.

Weatherwise, it's not worth talking about. We had a little under an inch of s@#w mostly overnight and early this morning. With the temperature staying in the lower 30s all day, not much melted except on streets, roads, and sidewalks since they are still comparatively warm. It's supposed to be better the next few days and it looks like a GREEN Christmas. Hooray!!

The 60 meters setup on the 705 checked out flawlessly again today even though noone was there to work. All the switching, tuning, etc. works like a charm. One thing that is definitely easier than on the KX3. They still have a lot in common though, although they both do things differently, but well.

Well, some more things to do here, then a walk with Roscoe and watching "White Christmas" with Bruce after that. -30-

Monday, Dec 18 7:46PM - Let me repeat that my windstream emails are not working at the moment. If there is anything you want to get in contact with me about, you can try joh-n-k3w-w-p-(at)-ou-tl-oo-k.c-o-m without the dashes and replacing (at) with @. Sorry to make it so complicated but we all know about spambots harvesting email addresses, don't we?

One of the many things I enjoy about ham radio is calling CQ on what sounds like a completely dead band and getting an answer and a solid QSO. That happened today on 17 meters. AC0DK answered me and we had a nice 15 minute QSO. It doesn't happen all the time by any means, but it is worth a try when you're sitting at the key not hearing anything. Remember someone else out there may be doing the same thing and if one of you doesn't take that first step and call CQ, you'll never get together.

I polished off my 60 meters setup on the 705, and now I have it where I can put 60 meters into rotation with the other 160 through 6 meters bands. Very neat the way it is set up on the 705.

I made 3 QSOs this evening, and I'm 99% sure the third one was with my friend Larry W2LJ. Conditions were just not with us and it was a struggle to make a QSO. We never did really get past exchanging RST reports 229 vs. 339 I think. Sorry Larry.

Not much out of the ordinary today. We had a mix of light rain and s@#w that was just enough to make it miserable unless you caught the gaps in the action which I did and went shopping at our Family Dollar. Bruce took me in his van and I got some things for him also while there.

I guess that about covers it. -30-

Sunday, Dec 17 6:12PM - One big project today. Figuring out the Memory Channels system on the IC705. It took a lot of head scratching to stimulate the brain (is that really what head scratching does?) and I think I finally have it figured out. Supposedly I now have the 60 meters frequencies stored in memory for instant recall with the push of a button and twist of a dial whenever I want to get on that band.

I'm thinking of getting on for a serious effort in the SST Sprint this evening, but I'm not sure yet.

Well, I did with a mediocre effort. Let's see, it was 23 QSOs in 16 SPCs. 20 was good at the start. 40 not so good. 80 good with little activity. I'm sure that wasn't very high in the QRP standings, but it was fun for the first full hour I did in an SST in perhaps a year and a half or more. -30-

Saturday, Dec 16 8:06PM - Another not much happening day. I did take a trip to Sprankle's for some things I didn't get yesterday, and to see who was working there. A new girl, Brianna, waited on me. It got up to 60 today on my remote unit. Great for Decemer 16th.

Not much on the bands this afternoon. This evening, the 9A contest gave me my QSOs quickly, CT9ABN and K1TR.

If you've emailed me the past week or so about anything and I haven't answered, it's because I'm having some problem with my email. I hope to get it fixed by the first of next week and get caught up on my emails. -30-

Friday, Dec 15 8:11PM - One hour and seven minutes. That's how long it took to get my second streak QSO this evening. The first one took 14 minutes. It seems to be getting harder and harder to get the two QSOs. Nothing to do with me, propagation, etc. I think the main problem is just there is not as much CW activity on the bands. When there are signals, they usually are strong indicating good propagation. There just are not as many of them as there used to be. At least it seems that way to me. Or are a lot of stations just getting on to collect numbers like quick TU 599 QSOs from POTA, SOTA, DX, SE stations, different clubs, and so forth. They have forgotten how to rag chew with anyone who wants to talk with them. End of soapbox.

Otherwise it was a good day today with some clouds and mild temperatures in the 50s. I walked downtown today for some check mailing, banking, and grocery shopping. Nice to be able to do that in the middle of December. Now another rainy weekend coming, and the rain might wind down as s#$w later on Monday. Not much s@#w though as most will be rain and most of that in the other half (Eastern) of PA.

And that covers the day here outside of the usual every day tasks and chores, etc. -30-

Thursday, Dec 14 7:32PM - Well now, that was unusual. I went to the shack around 0000Z and tuned around the bands. Not finding anything to work, I went to 40M and called CQ. After a few CQs, I heard PJ2ND send his call. I couldn't believe he was calling me, so I asked QRZ?. He sent my call then his. It isn't very often I get an answer to my QRP CQs from DX stations, especially on 40M. It's not in the rare category, but it is unusual. Somewhere I have a list of countries that have answered my CQs. I think it's somewhere between 30 and 40 countries if memory serves. I'll have to look for the list. Of course on that list is VK6HQ near Perth, Australia, about as far as you can get from here and still stay on the planet. He also did it a second time some while later, both on 30M. I remember the first time vividly. I heard a call starting with V answer my CQ. A VE station, I figured. I was shocked when the rest of the call K6HQ followed the V. We chatted for a while. Then after we QRT, a few minutes later, the phone rang and it was John VK6HQ calling LONG DISTANCE from Perth to talk a bit more about our QSO and my QRP. That's one QSO I'll always remember distinctly. I probably have 5/6 of a WAC via my CQs. I don't think I have Asia that way. I think I have Africa, and I'm sure about NA, SA, EU, OC. It's interesting because so many hams claim QRP doesn't work. Mike and I always kid about that when we work something interesting / unusual with our QRP. It was nice to add Jeff (PJ2ND) to my list of DX stations answering my CQ since I've worked him many times otherwise. In fact I worked him on 1 watt a couple days ago when Mike was here.

Otherwise today not a lot going on besides a shopping trip to Walmart to get some food for Roscoe and a couple things for Bruce. I also picked up a couple small things for myself. It was a nice but chilly day. I was going to go for a walk, but never did get around to it. What is a Roundtoit anyway? I know it's something people say they need to get before they do this or that.

Besides PJ2ND, I worked N9OL at his club station W9OG where they were getting ready for a Christmas Party a little later this evening. -30-

Wednesday, Dec 13 9:23AM - OK, here we go with yesterday's entry a day late.

Of course, it was a great day as are all days when Mike and I get together to play ham radio and other things like eating. HI. He arrived around 1:00 and we spent a lot of time discussing the 10M Contest and comparing notes. The first thing I found out was that he did not work any AF stations either. In checking the logs received list on the ARRL site, there were many AF stations listed among the 4,500 or so logs listed there. So AF was active. Perhaps it was just some quirk of propagation that kept us from working or even hearing AF. If it had been a high latitude path, I could understand the lack of stations heard, but it isn't a high path. Europe is higher, and I heard/worked a lot of EU. Take Japan, for instance. The path to there is a high polar one, and the disturbed conditions easily disrupted it. Neither Mike nor I heard a single Japan.

Let's move on in the day now. After our discussions, it was time for a mid-afternoon meal. That consisted of two pizzas from Dominoes. Not as good as our usual Vocelli pizza, but still it was a pizza, and most all pizzas are good. When we finished eating, it was off to my shack to check the bands. There was some activity, but not all that much. We both worked VP9/DK7PE. Next it was PJ2ND whom I've worked many times so I let Mike work him, and I passed. However then I thought I hadn't worked anyone on the IC705 at QRPp power yet, so I turned the power down to 1 watt and got him with a single call. There wasn't any more noteable activity to be found so we did some work on the cable we'll use when we go to the Requin to connect my keyer to the rig there.

Soon it was time to go to SkyView. It was an uneventful trip till we got there. We were too early and the gate to the road was still closed. We only had to wait a couple minutes till someone came and opened it. One of the members had worked on one of Mike's paddles and he went and checked on that and then stayed for the meeting. I hung out in the radio room the whole evening and had nice visits with a couple of the members. One was W3IU if I remember his call correctly. He was an old timer like me (aren't most CW operators in that category?) We talked about the old days of radio in the 1950s and 1960s. I think it was he who mentioned W2OY. If you're from the 60s ham radio era, you will recognize that call immediately. I could talk about him for a while and we did do that. He mentioned there were on-line audio files of W2OY. I definitely will look those up when I get time.Another visitor was John WA3KFS. We were together for quite a while. He showed me a lot of things in the radio room mainly about the antenna switching which I wasn't sure about, but now have a better handle on it.

Of course while I was in the radio room, I did some operating. Actually quite a bit since I was the only one using the radios for the most part. John and I operated together for some time, but were careful to avoid interfering with each other. OK, let's get down to what I worked. I set the IC7300 to 5 watts power output and went to 40 meters. There using the SkyView call of K3MJW, I worked EA3AR, K8Y, and W1AW/9 using the 40M dipole at about 45 feet. That was all in the 2300Z hour. When 0000Z came along I decided to get my streak QSOs as K3WWP since I was using 5 watts output and a simple wire antenna, the 40M dipole. Actually I reduced power to 1 watt output to have a rag chew with W8NIC near Detroit. Next I worked W1AW/7 in MT. I forget now if I used 1 or 5 watts for the W1AW QSO. Next it was my friend Kam N3KS as TI5/N3KS in Costa Rica. That was definitely 1 watt. With my streak QSOs now logged, I decided to go to 20 and play there for a while.

I went back to using the club call and tried out their Quad antenna at 50 feet or so. I figured doing that would be ridiculously easy and no real fun at 5 watts or even 1 watt, so I turned the 7300 power down to 0%, and called W1AW/7 and got them easily. OK, let's try something harder. I couldn't lower the power any further, so I decided to find some distant DX station. I found LU5OM in Salta Argentina. Listed at 4622 miles (from Kittanning, I didn't figure from New Kensington). Bingo, got him right away and had about a 5-6 minute chat with Manuel. Finally I heard and worked HC5CW. Now I was curious as just what was the output power when set to 0 percent. There is an SWR meter that shows exact digital output power through a computer. John tried to get it to work, but it wouldn't. He went and got Bob WC3O who is the radio room guru. It wouldn't work for him either, but he said he had it working at one time with 0% power on the 7300 and it measured about 1/4 watt or 250 mW. OK, it was fun and I enjoyed it, but I prefer something not so easy like I have at my home station. I think I'd quickly get bored working stations so easily each and every time.

The meeting closed down a lttle before 9 o'clock. Mike and I talked with John and another Mike for a little while, then headed home, me to Kittanning and he to Brookville. -30-

Tuesday, Dec 12 10:34PM - Note the time stamp. Yes, it's late and I'm tired with a lot to write about today. What should I do. OK, wait till tomorrow to write this entry about the day with Mike and at SkyView. I'll probably forget some things I wanted to say by then but.... -30-

Monday Dec 11 7:55PM - I got my 10M Contest QSOs from paper into my computer today. It was fairly easy and quick the way I have it set up now in the Real Office spreadsheet which is just about a clone of the Microsoft Excel spreadsheet. Since a lot of the items for each QSO are the same like Date, RSS sent and Rcvd, Band, My power, Contest #, and others are easily deduced from the items in the paper log, it is easy to enter them in the computer log. Once all the QSOs are entered, it is easy to convert to Cabrillo format in the on-line converter by, I believe, WA7BNM. That's all the detail I'm going into here, but you get the idea that with a spreadsheet log and a little thought and work, it's easy going from paper to a log suitable for submission to the contest sponsors. I did that this morning.

I also did some other chores today that weren't all that hard. I paid a bill for my annual furnace check-up. I put the Christmas stencils on the front window. I did some house cleaning. Things like that.

I checked the bands a couple times today and they seem to be recovering from the solar disturbance over the weekend. I worked a VA2 station, and otherwise just listened around a bit. This evening it was overall rough again, but I did squeeze in the two streak QSOs thanks to W4RN and KA1ZEQ on 40 and 80 respectively.

Tomorrow Mike will be visiting in the afternoon followed by going to the SkyView meeting in the evening.

Oh, in working with my 10M log today I confirmed that I didn't work any African stations. In thinking back, I believe I did hear CT3KN as the one and only African station. Very unusual. I'll have to check with Mike to see if he heard/worked any Africans. -30-

Sunday Dec 10 7:31PM - The disappointment in 10 meters continued here today. EU was a little better this morning than yesterday, but not much overall. I did start off with a bang when I got on at 1400Z. I made 10 QSOs in 13 minutes. Unfortunately that pace did not continue and EU signal strength gradually dropped the rest of the morning and was pretty much nil by 1700Z or so. Then it was mostly W/VE stations with a mix of Latin and South American stations, but not that many of them. Also some KH6 and KL7 stations mixed in. After a while I thought I'd see how many states I could work. Up to that point I wasn't working W/VE stations at all, strictly DX. But you take what the bands give you, I guess. I wound up with 16 states. Think I'll figure the DX entities. Back in a couple minutes. I worked 31 entities. That's not multipliers though as states are also counted for that. The 31 is just pure entities. I'll figure the rest of the data later including QSO points and total score. Was it fun? Yes, mainly because it was good to see so much activity on 10 meters again. Was it frustrating? Yes, mainly because I have done so much better in past 10M contests. Partly my fault as I just don't have the drive I used to have in contesting. Partly the fault of propagation and the R1 and R2 level radio blackouts. They didn't really black out communications, but they reduced its effectiveness especially regarding Europe and Asia. Strangely enough it also affected Africa. Thinking back, I don't remember a single African station I worked or even heard. I'll have to check that more carefully as it's very unusual.

The bad conditions continued this evening. I was going to try a full effort in the SST Sprint, but when I checked, 20 was devoid of stations and 40 was far from its usual busy activity in the SSTs. So I got my two streak QSOs and QRT. -30-

Saturday Dec 9 5:58PM - The 10M contest was very disappointing here today. Disappointing in that I only have 20 QSOs so far. There are reasons for that though. The sun caused some R2 radio blackouts today, and some R1 radio blackouts are predicted for tomorrow as well. The main effect that has is it shuts down the higher latitude paths around the globe which means that Europe is shut down early and Japan is missing in the evening. For me, that means since I had things other than ham radio to do this morning, I missed what brief opening there was to Europe for the most part. I was able to get on long enough to make 6 EU QSOs. Normally without my non-ham radio activities and the radio blackouts I should get maybe 60 to 70 EU QSOs on Saturday morning. Hopefully tomorrow morning will be a little better with the lower intensity of the radio blackouts. Also I should have more time on the air than I did this morning.

For the rest of today, I thought activity was down in the contest. If so, perhaps a lot of folks QRT because of the poor conditions. It seemed to me that I was working SA better than usual. That often happens during disturbed ionospheric conditions. It will be interesting to see how things turn out tomorrow.

I wonder how the blackouts will affect getting my streak QSOs later this evening. If I don't get them, I'm sure I'll be able to do so on 10M sometime during the day tomorrow. -30-

Friday Dec 8 7:58PM - A little more active day today. It started out helping my neighbor Bruce fix his walker followed by a little earlier than usual walk with Roscoe. Speaking of walks, it was a very nice day today. As I said to one neighbor, like an encore of Summer. My remote unit here shows a high of 62. I took advantage and walked to Sprankle's for some shopping. Later in the day, I took another mile plus walk to check out the Christmas trees in the park. Individuals and businesses buy/rent, whatever the system is, a small tree about oh I guess 7-8 feet tall and advertise their cause with the tree. Kind of a nice feature if a bit commercial that the town started a couple years ago. I got a kick out of one that simply had a garland and a couple ornaments on the ground with a sign that said, "The Grinch stole my tree."

I also put the lights up around my window. I'll add the stencils tomorrow if I have enough spray s#$w. If not that will wait till Monday or Tuesday when I get a new can of s#$w in the mail. Speaking of things in the mail, I got an Advanced Manual for the IC705 in the mail today. It has just about everything you might want to know about the 705.

I checked for activity on the 10M contest at 0000Z. Shortly afterward I got a text from Mike asking if I was hearing anything on 10. I answered him, "Yes, some noise and a couple of weak Calif. stations, so I went rag chewing on 40M." On 40 I worked AJ1G/M and K1YAN. It's interesting how mobile stations seem to copy QRP signals easily. I guess those whip antennas are very efficient RF gatherers.

And I guess that almose wraps up the day. Just one more thing. While I was on the air this evening, Santa arrived in town in a Christmas parade I could watch out my shack window. I was talking to Gary K1YAN at the time, and he wondered if Santa had his key with him. I said I didn't know but it was a very long parade, longer than usual for a Kittanning parade. -30-

Thursday Dec 7 8:02PM - And fhe beat goes on to borrow a phrase from the music world and Sonny and Cher in particular. Or maybe the beat doesn't go on would be more accurate as it was another day with not much happening here. I can't even think of anything that happened out of my normal routine. About the only thing that stands out in my mind is my one afternoon QSO. I called CQ on 30 and got an answer from WN1MB. Jeff and I have been communicating via email mostly about things I mention on my web site for quite some time now. We've only had one on air QSO before today though, back in 2016. So that was enjoyable.

I got a late start in the shack this evening, but when I did start, my two QSOs came quickly. I worked a YOTA station, K8T in ME on 40M, then 3 minutes later a VOTA station, W1AW/5 in LA on 40M. And that satisfied my streak for yet another day.

Last night Mike asked me how wild the ARRL 10M contests were. I simply referred him to my contest stories on the web site. In particular the 2001 ARRL 10M Contest where I made 460 QSOs for my best 10M effort. Although I won't put in as big an effort as I did then, conditions should be about the same since that is 22 years or two sunspot cycles ago. We should be in the same stage of this current cycle as in that 2001 cycle. I guess we'll see. I'll probably have a modest goal of just 100 QSOs or so this year with the same ideas as I had with the CQWW DX contest which are getting some new IC705 entities, getting a contest WAC, logging on paper, basically working who I want to work and not going for a big score. -30-

Wednesday Dec 6 8:14PM - Another day pretty much like yesterday with a couple minor differences. I went for a walk outside even though it barely got out of the 30s. It was nice to get some extra fresh air besides what I get walking Roscoe. I also ran my model trains for a while. It's been a while since I've done that. I figure getting near Christmas I should be running them some more since except for the serious model train afficionados who run them all year, most who have trains set them up and run them during the 'Holiday Season'. I also got some things out for decorating my window in a couple days.

Ham radio wise, I got on a couple times like yesterday. I worked some DX again and did some rag chewing. The DX was 9Z4Y on 15 and HR5/F2JD on 20. The rag chew was with WB7BNE in Iowa on 30 for about 15 minutes.

Tomorrow of course is a sad day remembering the bombing of Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941 (A day that HAS lived in infamy all these years). More locally, it's the day in 2011 that Roscoe's predecessor, Joe died. Joe was a great little dog (a Chihuahua) also, like Roscoe is now. -30-

Tuesday Dec 5 8:11PM - Another day in the doldrums of December. I received my last two Christmas gifts in the mail today and got them 'wrapped' for Christmas, so that's done. Not much else out of the ordinary till later in the day so I got on the air a couple times. More about that in a minute. One other thing today. I helped Bruce get a sock ready for some gifts for Roscoe. I'll have to get a picture of that for the diary.

In the first afternoon session on the air, I worked TO9W on 15. He was operating split so I got another chance to practice split on the 705. It's really very easy. There are two ways to do it. I've only used one so far. I'll have to try the other one and see which is easier. More on that later. After that I had a long interesting rag chew with Mike AA4MC on 30 meters which lasted coincidentally 30 minutes. In the second session, I broke a fairly good pileup on 10 meters on the first try to work VP2V/K2KW. Then another good rag chew with Bill K4VSV on 30 meters who was also running QRP 5 watts.

Then for the streak QSOs this evening, a short rag chew with K7GUD in Idaho on 20M followed by one with WB4JWD in Alabama on 30 meters. So a busy day on the bands. The VP2V station was a new entity for the IC705, #72 now. -30-

Monday Dec 4 4:41PM - Another quiet day today. Time to do some thinking. It's nice to think that in 3 more days now, the sun will begin setting a very little bit later each day. The amount of change will increase more and more each day. The extra light will be hard to notice at first but careful observation will show it. Wait a minute, you may say. Isn't the shortest day of the year around December 21st? Well, in the first place that is not a true statement because all 365 (366) days in a year are the same 24 hours in length. Or more like 23h 56m to the nearest minute to be more precise. However the amount of daylight is the lowest on or near December 21st. That is true because although the sun starts setting later each day near Dec 7 each year, the sun also rises later in the morning each day until around January 4 when it starts rising earlier each day. The sunset and sunrise changes combine to make the difference between them the lowest around December 21, hence the least amount of daylight is on or near that day. Got that? There will be a test later this semester.

The bands seemed a little better this afternoon. There was more activity on all bands from 30 through 10, at least in the 19 and 20 hours Z. Not much DX to speak of, but I had a nice 32 minute rag chew on 20 meters with Dave N5JEY down in Clemson, SC. Very steady signals up until a couple minutes from the end when Dave had to QRT anyway to take care of his granddaughters just getting home from school.

I finished logging all my W/VE eQSLs that came in during November and early December. I did the DX ones yesterday. I still haven't set up LoTW on the new computer I got earlier this year. A project for over the winter? I also have some other software that needs re-installing on this computer. -30-

Sunday Dec 3 7:29PM - Being Sunday, that means laundry which started off my day a few minutes after I got up. After walking Roscoe and helping Bruce set up his new smart watch, I did a little Christmas decorating hanging up the wreath on my front door. I also got out the power strip for the lights around my window which I hope to get up this week. I am just about out of spray snow for the window stencils so I ordered a can from Ebay which should be here some time this week. Then I'll finish the window. That will be it for Christmas decorating this year.

This evening I was thinking of putting in a full effort in the SST Sprint, but changed my mind at the last minute and just used it to get my two streak QSOs, then looked around for some DX and worked 6Y on 30 which I thought at first was a new 705 entity, but it wasn't. In the process of checking I found I had listed Saint Martin twice so I went from 72 back to 71 705 entities. Oh well.... -30-

Saturday Dec 2 7:31PM - Not a lot going on today. I tied up some end of month / first of month things like mailing those checks I wrote a couple days ago. I also did my weekly shopping trip with neighbor Bruce. I guess that covers the non-ordinary daily things.

The bands were poor again today. Pretty much nothing when I checked once this afternoon. Not much better this evening. If not for the ARRL 160M contest, I might still be looking for my streak QSOs instead of writing this diary update.

Oh I did some Ebay shopping finishing my Christmas shopping (I think). I also ordered an Advanced Manual for my ICOM IC705 rig to help me understand some things about the 705, especially some of the settings and tweaks for the rig.

The weather was nice today with a high in the upper 50s. I even walked Roscoe in shirtsleeves (me, not Roscoe) one time today. It felt good to be able to do that this time of year. Keeping in mind the weather conditions change rapidly this time of year, it is supposed to be pretty nice at least the next couple weeks yet. -30-

Friday Dec 1 2:08PM - I just finished putting the November weather data into my weather spreadsheet. For those who are interested, here are some highlights of the month. It was a very close to normal month as far as the average temperature goes, weighing in at just 0.7 degrees above normal at 42.5 degrees. The daily minimum was 0.4 degrees below normal and the daily maximum was 1.7 degrees above normal. There were no other monthly or daily temperature records except for the normal November ones like no days above 90 degrees and no cooling degree days, etc. There was one precipitation daily record of 1.29 inches rain on the 21st. Overall November precipitation was just 2.32 inches or 0.94 inches below normal. Take away 2 days of 1.29 and 0.78 and it's a really dry month at just 0.25 inches which would be close to the driest of any month in my records going back to 1959, but that didn't happen.

We're starting off December with a rainy day today. It's been going at it off and on all day. Not very hard though (yet anyway).

I haven't checked the bands yet today. Maybe after I eat which I'm going to do right now. -30-

Thursday Nov 30 8:17PM - Another month bites the dust and a new season starts - Winter. Let's hope for a rerun of last winter when we only had one real s#$wfall to speak of, around Christmas. Let's see if I can fix the winter countdown clock.

OK, I got it after some trial and error with the hour value. Also I was surprised to see 91 instead of 90 days, but then I realized 2024 is a Leap Year so we have a one day longer winter - sob, sob, sigh.

I just uploaded my November QSOs (265 of them) to eQSL and for the first time in a while I did the conversion from spreadsheet log to adif log without a hitch. I'm getting better in my old age, I guess because I converted my CQWW DX log from the spreadsheet to Cabrillo and submitted it since CQ Magazine requested I do so since my call showed up in many logs they were checking. That went smoothly also. That's why I like having my log in a spreadsheet file. I can manipulate it with a little thought to just about any format.

The bands weren't too good this afternoon, at least in the times that I was in the shack. They weren't much better this evening. I did manage to work a couple of old friends though - W3FSA and N5XE.

Of course being the end of a month today, I had my usual end of month chores to do. Still have some left like changing the calendar pages, mailing the checks I made out today, putting the November weather in my computer, and so forth. Oh, and the fellow came to clean out my gutters of the leaves so nicely deposited there from my neighbor's trees. I don't have any trees (except the pine tree in the back yard), but I get the leaves for sure. That's a once a year deal and reasonably priced at $53.00. That's been the price for a good many years now, not affected by the rampant inflation that runs through all other products under the current administration. I certainly couldn't (or would want to) do it myself even if someone paid me the money. It's an old house and a long way up to the gutters (or worse down to the ground from up there).

I guess that wraps up this entry and the month of November. -30-

Wednesday Nov 29 7:41PM - Let's go back to last night for a minute. I wanted to put this in last night's entry, but had already written the diary entry before it happened. Nothing Earthshaking, but a bit unusual. I found and worked David XE1XR on 14010 at 0025Z for a quick 599 QSO. Then I started to move up the band to look for streak QSO #2 for the evening. I didn't have far or long to go. On 14013 at 0026Z I found and worked XE1CCB. Two Mexicans within 3 kHz and a minute's time. Also of interest was that XE1CCB was running QRP.

Today was a breezy cold day again so it was an inside day. I took advantage and started my Christmas decorating. I decided to yield to "old" age and cut back quite a bit from the usual somewhat elaborate decorating. Instead of a big tree, I'm using a little one that my late neighbor Nancy gave me several years ago. I set it up on a corner table and surrounded it by the cub scout angels from so many years ago. Then on the level of the table below that one, I set up our traditional manger scene. I plan to put a wreath on the door. Also I'll decorate our big front window with spray snow stencils, another long time tradition that started with glass wax in place of the spray snow. Also I'll put lights around the window as usual. That's about it although I'm leaving it open to a change of mind on some things, but probably not although I do have a few more decorations I will be adding yet. Pictures to follow sometime in the next few days in the diary. Also today I got on the bands a few times now and then. Among a couple rag chews, I added TO9W in St. Martin for IC705 entity # 72 on 12M. -30-

Tuesday Nov 28 4:40PM - We had some of that ugly s#@w today, but it wasn't as bad as it could have been. It barely mustered up enough for a slight coating here and there. So I worked some more on my CQWW DX log. I've got all the data transfered from paper to computer now. I also figured out that I do have 150 QSOs with no dupes. Total QSO points = 420. I have 143 multipliers which makes 420 X 143 = 60,060 points. I put in about 12 hours of operating time for about 12.5 QSOs per hour. Not bad considering the guidelines I set for myself as I listed a few diary entries ago. I still need to figure how the QSOs divided among the bands I used - 40, 20, 15, and 10. I know 10 probably had the most QSOs followed in order by 15, 20, 40. It was so nice to have 10 open that I spent most of my time there with 15 not overly far behind.

I found it interesting to see how the 60 entities were divided among CQ zones so here is how that turned out.

Zone Countries worked
 1 - KL7
 5 - VP9
 6 - XE
 7 - TI HR
 8 - ZF VP5 8P KP4 V2 V4 CM FM KP2 J3 C6
 9 - PJ4 PJ2 P4 FY 9Y PZ YV HK
10 - HC
11 - PY
12 - CE
13 - LU CX
16 - EU
25 - JA
31 - KH6
33 - CT3 EA8 CN
35 - D4
40 - OX

I don't know what the odds are, but 4 times I heard stations working Tom WB3FAE. One time he worked a station right after I worked the station. I think it was KL7RA but we're not sure. One other time I worked a station right after Mike KC2EGL did. It was XR1EW. Mike said it was one of our long distance "tag team" QSOs. HI.

I think that is going to wrap up my comments on the CQWW DX contest unless something else comes to mind. -30-

Monday Nov 27 8:07PM - I had a lot of fun logging on paper in the CQWW DX contest. It's good to get back to our roots in ham radio sometimes and divorce it from all this modern stuff like computer logging, spotting, computer keying and some other things I can't remember because I don't use them. The main fault with paper logging is dupe checking. When I was young, I could dupe check in my head pretty well up to a certain point. That point is much lower nowadays. HI. I purposely made it a little hard on myself in the logging by including much more data than I needed. I'd like to talk about that a bit now. Here are a couple of lines illustrating the way I did it in this contest. That will be followed by an optimized couple of lines for the next time I do it, maybe in the ARRL 10M contest next month.

11-25-23 21033 0005 ZF1A 9 9 0005 5 8
         28013 0008 PJ4K 9 9 0008 5 9

11-25 15 0005 ZF1A 8
      10 08 PJ4K 9
In the first example it's full date, full frequency, full time, station call, RST sent/received (abbreviated as just 9 for 599), end time of QSO, my power output, CQ zone. Whew!!

The shortened version as follows:
The date only needs entered for the first log entry
Only the band number needs entered, not the whole frequency
The hour part of the time only needs entered for the QSO that starts the new hour, otherwise just the minutes are necessary
Of course the call letters of the station worked
The CQ zone (in this particular contest) otherwise whatever the exchange is for other contests

The rest of the data that is the same for every contact can be added when going from paper to computer after the contest.

I think you get my idea. I don't want to over explain it. HI

Now some stats I mined from my log. 150 total QSOs, no dupes. 60 overall entities. A WAC worked. Also 5 continents worked in 6 QSOs at least once. 21 of the 60 entities were new IC705 entities making a total of 71 so far. Hopefully I can narrow that down in the ARRL 10M contest.

I was going to write more, but I think I'll just stop here. I may combine the past few diary entries into one of my contest stories. I don't know yet. -30-

Sunday Nov 26 7:41PM - Well, it's over and I'm quite pleased with the results. I won't have the stats complete for a few days as I have other projects this coming week. But here is what I have gathered so far. I made exactly 150 QSOs which is what I set for a goal early this morning. I made my contest WAC which I try to do every big DX contest. Five JA QSOs helped complete the WAC as the other five continents came easily early in the contest. I did NOT work a single W or VE station. It was a pure DX contest for me. I have no idea how many DX entities I wound up with, but there were a lot including a guesstimate of about 15 to 20 new IC705 entities. It was proved once again that I apparently have pipelines to certain parts of the world, the most prominent of which are Hawaii, Scandinavia, and NW Africa. I can be pretty much assured that if I hear these areas, I can work them. I'm starting to wonder about Japan also. It's not 100 percent sure, but in a lot of cases, Japan acts like Scandinavia. No matter if they are fluttery and weak, in many cases I can work them easily. Sometimes they seem to hear me better than I hear them. It's interesting, but I have no explanation or even a theory as to why it works that way. On the other hand, many stations from different areas can have S9+ signals and will not be able to hear me at all.

As to the IC705 and AH705 rig/antenna tuner combo, I am totally pleased with it as a contest station. The only time I can hear more than one station at a time is when they are virtually zero beat. At other times, the 705 filters split them apart as if they were sliced with a razor thin knife with a perfect edge to use a strange analogy.

As soon as the CQWWDX Test ended, I got my two streak QSOs in the SST Sprint and folded up shop for the night. That's the most time I've put into a contest in a long time now. I haven't figured the hours yet, but the number is substantial compared to recent years.

OK, if you're interested, check the diary in the next few days for the final stats on the contest. I know I'm interested/curious, especially where my 705 DX total stands now, since that was the main motivation in the contest for me. -30-

Saturday Nov 25 7:50PM - Let's see where we stand at about the halfway point of the CQWWDX contest. I went by the guidelines I laid out in the previous diary entry, but I added one. I also worked stations that I thought might be new prefixes or band countries (entities). I made the contest WAC when I worked 4 Japan stations in the 2100Z hour on 15 meters. Three I think were new plus JA3YBK who is in my log several times, perhaps second only to JH4UYB. I heard UYB tonight, but not up to his usual strength and I couldn't get him. My pipelines were working well today. Scandinavia seemed to be best. Signals were fluttery and weak, but I got most with a single call. The only one I heard, but couldn't work was OH8L. I believe I worked all the Hawaii stations I heard, and quite easily. NW Africa was the most difficult of the three areas today. I think I only worked half the stations I heard from there. Another guideline I kind of adopted today was to not call a station more than five times at one "session" unless it is something I really need. I figure if he doesn't hear me in 5 calls, I might as well move along and come back to him later when conditions improve or his pileup diminishes.

How about my stats so far. Well, I have 93 QSOs so far. I think I will wait to compile other stats until the contest is over and I get the QSOs into my computer log. Although getting them from paper into the computer will not be easy and will take time, it will be much easier to work with stats when they are in the Spreadsheet.

Just glancing at the QSOs, I see quite a few new 705 entities - HC, FM, OH, 8P, D4, V4, J3, PZ, HR, P4, FY, CN, 9Y, EA6, YU, OK, HA, S5, EA8, OE, HB9, PA, ON, PJ4, LA, OX, EU, XE. Some of those I have already counted in the 705 totals, but most are new, I believe. All in all, it's been a lot of fun, and I really like the IC705 as a contesting rig. More so than the KX3, I'm coming to the conclusion. I'll be interested to see what Mike thinks. Although it doesn't apply in contesting, he already thinks the split operation is much easier in the 705, or actually in his case for now, the IC7300. The 705 and 7300 are pretty much identical in operation except for maximum power output. -30-

Friday Nov 24 8:39PM - Having fun in the CQWW with these guidelines. 1. I am not going for a score. 2. I am not working any domestic (W, VE) stations, only DX. 3. My main objective is to add new entities to my IC705 totals. 4. I am giving a good check to see how the IC705 performs in big contests. So far, I give it top notch ratings. The filtering is excellent, perhaps a tad better than the KX3. 5. I am checking to see if my pipelines are still intact. So far KH6 is up to par. NW Africa seems to be working. Scandinavia was rough, but I did work a LA. 6. I am doing strictly paper logging and logging all data for each QSO.

What has all of this gotten me in 90 minutes so far this evening? 14 QSOs, 5 on 15, 3 on 10, 6 on 20. 12 band-entities. All continents but Asia. New 705 entities - LA, OX, EU, 8P for a total now of 50, halfway to a 705 DXCC!. I'm pleased with that. I enjoyed working EW5A on 20 late in the evening (0123Z) here. Looking forward to daylight tomorrow to see what I can catch on 10 and 15. They were both open late this evening. Next report tomorrow. -30-

Thursday Nov 23 8:01PM - THANKSGIVING - I guess the thing I was most thankful for today besides good health, good weather, and the things like that was that it was a quiet holiday without a lot of fuss and bother. Outside of the great Thanksgiving dinner with Bruce, Jeff, and of course, Roscoe, it was a quiet ordinary day. Also I ate just enough, and didn't overstuff myself although the food was so good I could easily have done so. HI.

Conditions weren't as good tonight as they have been the last few nights. I think the DX stations have their stations ready to go, and are taking it easy now till the contest gets underway in 24 hours or so. There were a couple still active though and I worked them for my streak QSOs, PJ2ND and KP4JRS, both of whom I have worked a few times before over the years. Also heard my friend WI9WI active from PJ2, but couldn't break his big mostly European pileup. -30-

Wednesday Nov 22 8:12PM - A busy day on the bands today. 6 QSOs this afternoon and then 5 more this evening. DX today and rag chewing this evening. I worked some new IC705 countries to bring my total to 46 DX entities on the 705 now. I hope to maybe get 25 or 30 more in the DX test this weekend depending on how active I feel like being. Today I got VP5 (last evening actually), PJ4, V2, CX, CE, TI, and LU. Unusual because my path to SA hasn't seemed to be very good lately.

This evening 80 meters was again good as it has been lately. I had a 17 min rag chew with N3WT, a 7 minute one with W3UY who tail ended the N3WT QSO, and finally a 26 minute one with W8XW. All at 18-20 WPM or so.

I continue to grow to like the IC705 more and more as I use it more and more. (A lot of mores there. HI). I'm very glad I got it and wound up with the ICOM AH705 antenna tuner to accompany it.

I hope you all have a Happy Thanksgiving tomorrow and have a lot of things to be thankful for. I'll be having dinner around 3PM with my neighbors. -30-

Tuesday Nov 21 5:52PM - A better day than usual at the sub, activity wise. All trips are fun, but some are pretty much glitch-free, and some have more activity than most. Both descriptions were accurate today. To start with, Mike and I actually arrived pretty much right on time at 10:00AM despite the miserable rainy weather. We talked with Art a bit, then went to the Radio Room. I gave Art that picture of the Requin I posted here in the diary a couple days ago. He was very interested in it.

Next up we set up the keyer I worked on the past couple days, and surprisingly, it worked right away. We programmed a repeatable CQ message into it and started right on our way with a couple QSOs. Then there was a little gap so we moved from 30 to 20 and the rest of the day the action continued there. It wasn't heavy, but sufficient that we didn't have to wait more than a few minutes for the next QSO to come along. We stayed around until shortly after 2:00PM and then shut down. The action was still continuing but we had to get going and the sub would probably be closing before long anyway. We wound up with, let's see, 28 contacts which is probably near our record except for Museum Ships weekends. SPCs included MO PA CA IL OK WI NY GA KY WY VA FL TN MD TX ON NC IN. That's a total of 18.

Along the way on a break, I had a chance to meet and talk with Maria, the Submarine Manager whom I guess is Art's boss. Among other things, she told me how glad she was that we are doing our part to keep the history of the sub alive. She said she gets comments from visitors saying how much they enjoy the radio room activity. I told her I thought it was important, especially today with history being ignored in many corners, to keep that history alive for this and coming generations.

Mike and I closed up shop and headed home with the normal stop for some eats at Applebees. He didn't have time to stop here because he had to get home to Brookville and check on Jayden.

Out of curiousity I checked my rain gauge here and saw we had 1.23" of rain. I'm just glad it was rain and not any other kind of precipitation. Now to kill some time and head to the shack for the usual streak time in a little under an hour now. -30-

Monday Nov 20 8:39AM - Just got up from sitting at the rig just under an hour and a half or so. 80 meters was great this evening. I guess Winter is closing in. Well, actually it is, just 11 days from today, in fact. Oh well, hopefully the quicker it starts, the sooner it will be over. I hope this year will be a rerun of last winter or non-winter, I guess I should say.

Anyway, back to the bands. 80 provided me with 4 medium to long rag chews, all solid copy for the most part. One from an old friend up in Erie, PA, W3CUV who is part of a three-way friendship with him, me, and Bob W3BBO. Then this afternoon it was time for some DX tuning up for the CQWW DX Test this weekend. I worked DM3A and RW1A on 15 easily. The RW was the first Russian (entity #40) with the new ICOM705 which is performing flawlessly with the new AH705 antenna tuner with the exception of a couple operator errors. HI. Still getting used to it but close to mastering it now. Still some features I haven't tried yet, like recording QSOs for example. I think that will be a very nice feature especially to record some rare DX QSOs, etc.

Tomorrow it's off to the Requin where Mike and I hope to have some fun and give out some QSOs around 7041, 10117, and 14061 +/- QRM. Ken may join us but probably not as he said when he texted me today. Looks like a bad weather day, but hopefully Mike and I will make it OK. I worked on a keyer today that we hope we can use to call CQ for us at the Requin. We had had trouble with it in the past and tomorrow will test out the work I did today. Sure will be a fist saver if it works. Oh, we'll be there from around 1500-18/1900Z depending on activity, etc. -30-

Sunday Nov 19 9:02AM - I thought I'd do the diary pictures I mentioned yesterday early today while I'm doing my laundry.

First, here is the USAF MARS certificate:

Second, a certificate issued to Larry W2LJ (then N2ELW) for the special event honoring the opening of the Carnegie Science Center where the Requin is moored. Thanks Larry who thought Mike and I would like to see how the Requin looked back then. I printed the certificate and will give it to Art at the sub when we go there on Tuesday.

Finally, three fireworks pictures. I took them at the last minute and didn't have time to set up properly, but you get the idea, I hope.


Saturday Nov 18 8:19PM - Just finished watching our "Light Up Night" fireworks show. All such shows are pretty much alike, but tonight seemed to have a longer more spectacular finale. Maybe it's just because I haven't seen a display in quite a while now. Maybe I'll pick out a couple of the nicer pictures I took and post them in the diary tomorrow.

I've also got another picture to post. I got an electronic award for a couple QSOs I made with the AF Mars Anniversary stations a couple weeks ago. Then I have another picture that Larry W2LJ sent of the opening of the Carnegie Science Center back in 1991. Should be quite an image show in the diary tomorrow.

Just before the fireworks I did a little work on the shack. I added a better ground wire to the new aH705 antenna tuner. Just before that I got my two streak QSOs from the LZ DX contest.

Going back a little further to late afternoon, I worked WL7HP in North Pole, Alaska. BRRRR. That was on 15 meters.

Oh, last night after the diary was written and posted, I got the first 160M QSO on the 705. I've now made QSOs on all bands from 160 through 10. Still need a 6M QSO and 2M and 440MHz bands. Probably may never get to those last two bands.

So today was a busy one around here. There were also some other things I'm not going to take time to talk about here now. -30-

Friday Nov 17 5:33PM - Interesting day today. I worked on my random wire before the rain was scheduled to arrive. I took off about 15 feet or so from the outside end in hopes of getting it to work on 160. My hopes were realized and here are my 11 band SWR readings from 160 through 6 meters:

1.3:1 - 30, 6
1.2:1 - 80
1.1:1 - 160, 20, 15, 12
1.0:1 - 60, 40, 17, 10

160,80,60,40,30 - random wire most of which is in my attic
20 - 20M attic dipole
17, 15, 12 - 15M vertical dipole on side of house
10 - 10M sloping dipole on porch roof
6 - 6M rotary dipole in attic

After checking SWRs late this afternoon, while checking 60M, I made my first 60M QSO with the IC705 when I worked John K8JD on 5332. That was also my first overall 60M QSO since 9/29/2016. All in all as I said, an interesting day. -30-

Thursday Nov 16 7:50PM - Well, as easy as it was last night to get the streak QSOs, that's how hard it was tonight. I did manage to do it with a POTA QSO from NM5N that took a lot of repeats to finally make it through. Then the second one was even harder and was almost an ESP QSO. However, after many tries, KF8IV finally did get my call and sent it correctly along with a ridiculous RST of 119. I generously gave him a 339. Just looked at the WWV report and it doesn't really look all that bad at 118 / 8. Don't know why the bands were so poor. Or again was it just a lack of regular CW activity, just DX chasers and POTA stations, no rag chewers to speak of. I'm getting more and more sure that I am going back to just one streak QSO per day when the two a day streak ends after one solid year early in January.

I had more fun raking leaves today than struggling on the ham bands. I've pretty much got all the leaves taken care of except for a few here and there. Most are off the trees now. Sometime in the next couple weeks I'll get the gutters taken care of. I don't do that, but hire out the work.

Our traditional trip to the Requin the day before Thanksgiving had to be changed for some reason this year. Art told Mike that it would have to be Tuesday or Friday of Thanksgiving week. I thought Tuesday would be best vs. doing it on Black Friday, so it will be Tuesday the 21st this year. Ken N3AFS will be joining Mike and me. I hope conditions will improve by then. They can't get much worse, at least. -30-

Wednesday Nov 15 7:45PM - Hey, finally an evening where my streak QSOs came quickly. An oddity of late except for the Sunday SST evenings. Tonite it was WB8BIL on 30M almost as soon as I sat at the key at 0002Z. After a 10 minute QSO, it took a little more time to find the second QSO at 0026Z with N2JPR on 40M. Although 30 was not busy except for our QSO, there was quite a bit of activity on 40M with several strong signals. Nice to have things that way.

The bands were also fairly busy this afternoon. I had to get on to get my second streak QSO since I only got one last night after the SkyView meeting. I got a mix of 4 QSOs starting with NJ8L on 30 in early morning. Then a DX station in AM775CPT on 17 meters followed by W1AW/7 in WA on 15 meters. I finished with a rag chew with Jon W8TY. Jon and I first worked back on May 23, 1963 when we were both Novices. After the QSO, I sent him a copy of the QSL he sent me way back then.

I was going to write a longer entry about some ham radio topics, but I decided to put that off till another time.

I did some other things today not ham related. I paid my middle of the month bills, and went to the bank to get some as I put it, "paper for metal" when I turn in some coins for paper bills. I also got a very small check cashed. That check is usually for around a dollar and I like to kid the girls by asking if the bank has enough money to cover the HUGE check I have. Then I show it to them. They sometimes have a good comeback such as asking me if I want a security guard to go home with me and all that money, etc. HI

Then I also got ambitious and raked about half the leaves in my back yard since the weather was nice and sunny in the mid 60s with very little wind. I'll see if I can finish the leaves tomorrow under similar weather conditions. -30-

Tuesday Nov 14 10:43PM - Mike and I went to the SkyView meeting and it led to something unusual. I was having so much fun watching Mike play with the big rigs and big antennas at the club, I didn't bother making any QSOs there myself, figuring I would just get my streak QSOs when I got home. Well, that was almost 10:00PM and there wasn't much on the bands in the way of CW. I did get the first streak QSO easily from John K8JD on 80 meters, but never did get the second one. Unusual to be probably going to bed with only the one streak QSO, but not to worry. I've got till 0000Z tomorrow evening to get the second one.

Mike and I had a good time. While he was here, he fixed up a key cable for the old KX3. Then we listened around the bands and both worked Jorge EA8TL. After that, we headed to Skyview. It was kind of late and as a result unusual thing #2 happened. Mike said we didn't have time to stop and eat before getting to SkyView. So I went back in the house and made myself a couple sandwiches as I was feeling a bit weak. I ate them on the way to SkyView. Now as I type this I'm ready for a very late third meal of the day which I am going to take care of post haste. -30-

Monday Nov 13 8:17PM - The ICOM AH705 Antenna Tuner arrived today as scheduled. I didn't note the time, but I think it was around 2PM or so. That's not really important. I unpacked it, hooked it up per the instructions, fired it up along with the IC705, and nothing happened. It wasn't working. Great! I checked everything I could possibly think of and still nothing. Finally after some time, I felt the plug on the control cable where it went into the tuner. It didn't feel quite right, like it was loose and maybe not seated correctly. Bingo! I pushed it in as hard as I could and felt a final click as it now did seat itself completely. Hooked up everything again, fired it up, and now it worked perfectly. It worked just like the Mat tuner, but now I felt confident I had a tuner that wasn't going to need charging every several days. In fact, it uses Alkaline batteries, or an external power supply. I plan to see just how long the batteries last. They are extremely easy to replace, so if they last long enough to suit me, I won't even bother with the external power supply.

Next step, check the SWR on each band. When first turning on the IC705, the tuner needs activated by pressing FUNCTION - 2 - TUNER. After that, just a tap on the key tunes the antenna each time the band and antenna are switched. It seems to need the activating step only when the rig is initially turned on. That suits me just perfectly. I went through the bands and got a very low SWR of maybe 1.3:1 or lower on each band except for 160 meters. I may have to trim the length of the random wire to get it to work on that band. No big deal. My first QSO with the new setup was with Fred KE8TBM whom I've worked a couple times the past few days. It so happens he has a IC705/AH705 setup as well, and we spent a lot of time discussing that. He liked his setup very much and said he only had to change batteries once in well over a year of using it, maybe as much as 2 years. Sounds great to me. He told me I should really love the setup especially after using the Mat tuner previously here.

So I think I finally have the ideal setup. Now if I could only fix up the bands and improve conditions and get some more activity on CW. It took over an hour again to get my two QSOs this evening. The first one with VE3WH was easy, but the second one took me down to 80 meters to work KC4KNN down in NC through the QSB and QRN, but we made it a solid one of 9 minutes.

Now tomorrow Mike is coming down around 1 o'clock or so for some projects, to see my new setup, and then go to the SkyView Club meeting in the evening. Should be a great day. -30-

Sunday Nov 12 6:42PM - The past couple days have sure changed from the day last Friday when conditions were good enough to have a nice rag chew with Japan on 10 meters. I haven't even heard much, let alone work anyone. As of most days of late, it's hard to tell if it is poor conditions or just a lack of activity on the CW segments. Most time when I check the bands there is activity concentrated around the digital segment, but very little if any in the CW segment. That's a very sad situation to those of us who couldn't care less about the digital modes, but love our CW.

At least tonight I'll have the SST Sprint to get my streak QSOs. Then after that, I'll check elsewhere in hopes of finding other CW activity.

We're having some very nice late summer in fall weather which should continue for several more days at least. I went shopping today to Family Dollar and Sprankle's and stocked up on groceries in case the nice weather doesn't last. It was nice to see my friends there again.

Almost time now to head to the shack. Tomorrow I should be getting my new AH705 antenna tuner which I hope will work better than the Mat705Plus tuner. Well actually the Mat tuner works beautifully, but the batteries only hold their charge for about 10 days or so in my case. Supposedly the AH705 battery life is measured in weeks/months. Or it can be run off of a 13.8V power supply and never need battery charging or replacement. We'll see. -30-

Saturday Nov 11 6:10PM - I spent time on the bands this afternoon a couple times but didn't work anyone. Conditions didn't seem as good as yesterday. I did hear the A2 DXpedition, and had him all to myself for a few minutes. He was quite weak here and wasn't hearing me at all. Not even a question mark from him when I called. Just out of curiosity, comparing the dustance of A25R to JM7OLW. A25R is at 8060.5 miles vs. JM7OLW at 6457.9 miles. Solid rag chew style QSO with JM7OLW, and not even heard at A25R. It might be interesting to compare other aspects of the two stations such as how much of the paths go through or near to polar regions, how much of the paths are over water/land, and other things like that. Compare the SF, A, K indexes for the paths, and so on. Another future project.

I'm looking forward to the new tuner for the IC705. It should arrive here on Monday. Might have come today if it hadn't been a holiday? -30-

Friday Nov 10 6:02PM - The IC705 WAC is now complete after a nice rag chew with Suke JM7OLW on 10 meters at 2208-2214Z today. It's always nice to be able to rag chew with JA stations. It took a long time to work my first Japan back in the mid 1990s when I put JA3ZOH in my log. It's always nice to work anyone, anytime, but some QSOS stand out in memory more than others for one reason or other. I'm not going to delve into that any further now, but maybe some other time.

I've pretty much come to the conclusion that there is really nothing wrong with my Mat730Pro antenna tuner. Everything with one exception works as it should, but the one exception is really annoying to me. That is the somewhat short time it takes for the rechargable batteries to deplete their charge. In my case it seems to be just a little over 10 days. After which the tuner must be removed and recharged while I use another tuner in its place. I wonder if the charger could be left connected and the tuner could be used while recharging? I don't see that mentioned anywhere. Anyway I decided to go ahead and order the ICOM AH705 tuner and give it a try. It has provision to run off a separate 13.8VDC power source which should mean it will run continuously without recharging or replacing batteries. More on that idea as time goes by.

That will do it for the diary entry today. -30-

Thursday Nov 9 8:07PM - The bands were a little better this evening as they were this afternoon as well. Conditions were better and activity was better. I made 3 QSOs this afternoon and my 2 streak QSOs this evening. Today W1A on 20 in CT, N6TT on 15 in CA, and W1AW/7 on 20 in WY. This evening K4UX on 40 in VA and W1AW/0 on 20 in KS.

I mentioned the Mat705Plus tuner being a little troublesome. I think I've figured out that it is the rechargeable battery that is draining much faster than the specs claim. This time I charged it back on Oct 31st and it only lasted till this evening. That's about 10 days. I'm going to give it one more cycle to see if it makes it about the same ten days this time. If so, I need to figure out what I'm going to do. I'll have more on that as I make my plans. I'm thinking right now about trying the ICOM AH705 antenna tuner. We'll see. -30-

Wednesday Nov 8 8:36PM - Tomorrow, Nov 9, it will be two months since my ICOM IC705 arrived here. It's been a real delight to operate with the exception of a couple of little quirks with the external Mat703Pro antenna tuner which seem to be fixed now (knock on wood). At 1756Z on 9/9 I made my first QSO with the IC705 working K4A in AL on 20 meters, my K3WWP total QSOs # 96,179. Tonight I made my K3WWP total QSOs # 96,481 meaning I have made 303 QSOs so far with the IC705. That includes all 50 states, all continents but Asia, and 34 DXCC entities. I said some time ago in the diary I was going to compare the IC705 to the KX3 when I became familiar with the IC705. Well, I have found it very hard to do. It's like the proverbial comparing apples to oranges. They both do things very well, but in slightly different ways. I still have to sit down and think about it. One thing that may be in favor of the IC705 is working split, because it seems to be easier to find the station the desired station is working and as soon as you do, you are set to transmit there. A bit hard to explain but I hope you understand what I'm saying. You can do that with the KX3 also but it's not quite as straightforward, at least in my (and Mike's) opinion.

It was hard getting that second streak QSO this evening, but W1AW/0 came thru after an hour and three minutes of searching and calling CQ and other stations unsuccessfully.

Well, it's weather report time now. I had some other things to say, but they can wait another day. -30-

Tuesday Nov 7 8:02PM - Nothing much at all going on today out of the ordinary. I didn't even get my extra afternoon air time like I've been doing fairly regularly since I got the IC705. Conditions were fairly good this evening. I got ZF2MJ as soon as the clock flipped over to 0000Z. Not a new 705 entity but nonetheless one of two streak QSOs for the 8th, Then I made the second daily streak QSO with KE4SC. That wraps up the day. -30-

Monday Nov 6 8:12 PM - I kind of like being back on Standard Time again.I hate the getting dark so early in the evening, but it's nice to not have to rush my diary and other web pages updates.

I got on the air in late afternoon. Conditions were fairly good and I made 3 QSOs with N4OW, VP9/AA1AC, and KA8TNK. This evening conditions were also good, but activity was down from afternoon. I worked KD8BBK and NK8O.

Not a lot else to write about. -30-

Sunday Nov 5 4:58PM - The IC705 has spread its RF to all 50 states as of working DE in the SS about 15 minutes ago. I got states #48, 49, and 50 in the SS this weekend. I texted Mike and he said time to start over again. I don't think so. Once was enough especially when it got down to the last few states. It was fun though and a sense of accomplihment to master the challenge. In reality, now I'd like to complete an IC705 WAC by getting Asia, and then getting 67 more entities to complete the IC705 DXCC. That's one of the many good things about ham radio. There is always another challenge out there to master, and doing so with CW/QRP/simple antennas adds immensely to the satisfaction.

The IC705 WAS started when I got the rig on September 9, and ended today, November 5. Counting both those days, that's a total of 58 days if my math is correct. I made a total of 297 QSOs in that span of time.

Now I've got to get used to the new time for my streak QSOs with Standard time back in effect. I've got to set my mental alarm for 7:00PM EST daily till Spring comes along - HURRY UP. -30-

Saturday Nov 4 9:17PM - Of course this is ARRL Sweepstakes weekend. I had a plan for the SS. PRT 1, I'd enter it to get my 2 streak QSOs at 0000Z. Part 1 accomplished very easily. Part 2 was to try to get the last three states I need for my IC705 WAS. Plan 2 unsuccessful so far. Of RI, DE, and UT I only heard DE and seemingly everyone in the SS wanted to get that DE multiplier. My QRP just couldn't beat out all the strong contest stations to get NW3Y on 40 meters, but there is still a lot of time left.

I'm sure you've heard this all day somewhere or other, but be sure to turn your clocks back an hour if your area observes DS(Shifting)T. You know my pet peeve about Savings vs. Shifting time. If not email and ask. 73 for now. -30-

Friday Nov 3 10:37AM - A brief very early entry today. I just modified the streak table on the main page of the site. There seems to be a little confusion about the stats of the streak now and then from someone encountering it for the first time. They say something like "Congrats on the 10,000 QSOs in the streak when the 10,000 actually refers to the number of days in the streak. The actual number of QSOs in those 10,000 days is around 75,000. So I added a column specifically for the number of QSOs, Streak QSO# which is the QSO# of the first QSO that particular day. Hope that helps to clear up that matter. -30-

Thursday Nov 2 4:29PM - It's been a good day so far. I thought I'd write the diary entry early before anything comes along to spoil it. HI

First of all when I went to the mailbox around 3 o'clock there was a letter there with a Vatican postmark. Has to be a QSL but it's been ages since I worked HV5PUL for Vatican City. Wait a minute, The Sovereign Military Order of Malta is connected with the Vatican. I bet it's my 1A0C QSL. Yep.

I'll always remember that QSO with one of the very rare DXCC entities. I described it thoroughly in the July 28 entry this year. Now I have a very memorable QSL to go along with the QSO.

It's always good when home projects turn out well no matter if they are large or small. I had a couple turn out well today to help make the day even better.

I installed or tried to install my storm door windows yesterday and came up short because of one very hard to get at small bolt which was even harder this year for some reason that just could be I'm a year older than when I did it a year ago. Anyway it went very smoothly when I tried again today.

Then I had been putting off fixing a lamp here for way too long. I figured since things were going well so far, I'd give it a try. I checked the bulb - good, socket - good, cord - aha, an open circuit. So I tore the lamp apart, got a new cord from my junk box but it was too big for the small hole. Got a second cord which fit fine and had the lamp up and running quickly. I wonder if there is anything else I should try to fix today. No, I'll leave well-enough alone. HI. I'll just kill time till streak time later tonight. Hey, in a couple days now streak time will be 7:00 PM EST instead of 8. -30-

Wednesday Nov 1 9:11PM - Well, let's see how my guesses about the October weather turned out. I thought it was slightly above average temperature-wise. The mean daily temperature was 56.0 which is 2.8 degrees above normal. My guess was a little low there but within the ballpark, I guess. One day of 1.28 inches of rain ruined my precipitation guess. It was 0.93 inches above normal at 4.07 inches. Take away that one day and I was pretty close, but..... There were only a couple daily records set. On the 28th and 29th the highest daily minimum temp was 58 and 51. On the 17th the least daily temp range was 5 degrees tying 2001 and 2019. Kind of an unexciting month weatherwise. November started off with a bang with a little under 1 inch of s@#w which quickly melted in a couple hours.

I had a QSO with Roger KO5Q tonight and he gave me some sad news that Bill W9ZN passed away. Bill and I both worked in broadcasting, he in Chicago and me in Pittsburgh. We had several QSOs about our respective jobs.

The bands were good tonight and I got my streak QSOs fairly promptly and they lasted fairly long. This afternoon I got W1AW/0 in IA for VOTA state #43. There are 3 I won't get though as I missed them earlier in the year and they aren't scheduled for another activation. Oh well. -30-

Tuesday Oct 31 7:45PM - BOOOOO!!! Couldn't resist that. This Halloween, as is true each year being on the 31st of the month was devoted to all of my end of month activities, most of which are done as of now. I just uploaded my October QSOs to eQSL which was the next to last or as I like to say, penultimate major EOM chore. I still have to put the October weather readings into my weather spreadsheet and see how the month turned out relative to normal. I'm guessing without any studying that it will turn out to have been at or a little bit above average in temperature and a little below average in precipitation. Stay tuned to the diary tomorrow evening to see how my guesses turned out if I get the weather compiled by then.

I got on the bands in late afternoon and they seemed pretty good. I had a rag chew on each of 20 and 30 meters. I hope they are as good this evening.

Back to the weather for a closing comment. Not a good one as there is s@#w in the forecast for overnight. Perhaps around 1/2 inch, maybe a little more if we are unlucky.

OK, off to the shack now. -30-

Monday Oct 30 10:20PM - Really late tonight. Had a lot of trouble getting my second streak QSO tonight and didn't get it till after 0100Z and turned into a rag chew that lasted about 15 minutes or so. That pushed everything else pack and now here I am writing this entry well over an hour and a half beyond normal. Nothing really much to write about anyway. Another cold dreary day with temperatures falling throughout the day from a high of 54 in the middle of the night to 42 right now. The next couple days look even worse as the dreaded winter season raises its ugly head early this year.

Other than that, I did some more house/computer cleaning today and of course took Roscoe for his usual walks. -30-

Sunday Oct 29 8:20PM - Of course with the SST Sprint, I got two quick streak QSOs tonight. WK0B and N5OT, both on 20M. I also heard a local friend, Paul AC3IE in Murrysville, PA on 80M, but he disappeared before I had the chance to call him.

It was a typical drizzly damp cold November day a couple days early in October today. So except for Roscoe's brief walks, I stayed inside. After my laundry this morning, I just kind of did a little of this and a little of that to pass the time. Nothing really worth writing about so I'll just close here. -30-

Saturday Oct 28 8:21PM - Yes, 8:21PM. The two QSOs came fast tonight and weren't long ones. KV1I for 12 minutes on 20M followed by C6AXX for a TU599 type QSO on 30M. That makes it almost exactly a third of a DXCC on the 705 now at 33%. It's just too bad I don't have a lot to write about today. HI That's the way it goes.

I did some house cleaning on my computer today getting rid of a lot of no longer needed pictures and files. Then I rearranged a lot of pictures on my iPhone, mainly putting those of Roscoe in an album of its own to show/give to Bruce some time.

I also helped Bruce set up a new Straight Talk Nokia Flip Phone he got at Walmart today. It supposedly will serve the purpose he wants it for which is basically just a phone with a little Internet presence, but I wouldn't be happy with something like that. To each his own, I guess.

I took advantage of what may be the last dry warm day for a while and went for a mile+ walk with a stop at Sprankle's to pick up a few things. Now comes some rain followed by some cold (20s) and some........I hesitate to say it.........s@#w maybe Tuesday night. -30-

Friday Oct 27 9:17PM - The last day of Summer? We've had 5 straight days of late summer weather with highs of 74 or 75 each day, but that's supposed to come to an end the next couple of days. Sigh!

Took a nice walk/shopping trip this evening. Probably the last evening walk of the season as it is dark pretty early now and going to be colder.

Pretty good conditions this evening. I was late getting to the shack, but once there it didn't take long to work Dan KB6NU on 40 and Steve N4LQ on 80. Quite a few 80 meters QSOs are sneaking into my log lately. OK, that's it for this entry. -30-

Thursday Oct 26 9:12PM - Another day with not a lot going on contrasted with yesterday when a lot was going on with Mike's visit. The big thing today was a shopping trip to Walmart to get a new smart phone for my neighbor and to stock up on dog food for Roscoe.

I got on the air this afternoon and got a new DX entity for my IC705, working ZF2B for entity #32. Also had a nice rag chew with 89 year old Bill K9NY in WI on 20 meters. I also made all my band widths on the 705 uniform so they cover only the CW portion of the bands. Don't need those other segments. I guess that about covers the day. -30-

Wednesday Oct 25 7:51PM - Mike visited today from 10AM until he leaves to go home shortly to check on Jayden, etc. A great day as usual although we did have some frustration along the way with a couple of our ham projects dealing with power pole connectors and a custom made paddle plug for his KX3 rig.

I also had an interesting QSO while we were fooling around with my IC705. I heard W8TY calling CQ and that rang a bell that soon resolved itself. Aha, that's Jon in Lima, OH whom I first worked a loooonnng time ago when he was WN8ELT. I did some research to augment my memory of things. Jon was my 30th QSO as KN3WWP back on May 23, 1963. I wanted to find his QSL he sent since he was my first Ohio QSO and first Allen Co. QSO. The card wasn't in its expected place so I looked in a couple separate folders in which I have special cards stored. It was in my KN3WWP/K3WWP WAS folder for 40 meters first states worked. I think I will take a photo of the card and send it to him via email or if that doesn't work, print out a copy of the photo and send it regular mail. My first QSO with him and the one today are the furtherest in time apart of any QSOs with the same person. -30-

Tuesday Oct 24 9:23PM - Late again, so a shorty entry. Mike is spending the day tomorrow. It was to have been a subpedition day, but Art couldn't be available tomorrow. Also we were going to visit a WPIT friend of mine, Charlie. But he turned out he had some business to take care of tomorrow. So Mike and I are just going to hang out around here and work on some radio projects and of course, eat.

I guess I'll just cut it off here as it's only a couple minutes to Roscoe walking time. Then I'll finish my web site updates after that. -30-

Monday Oct 23 9:19PM - Took a long time to get the second QSO tonight. Almost didn't get it. Was just about to give up and wait till tomorrow morning or afternoon when I worked W9KVW in a short QSO at 0100Z. End of entry tonight. -30-

Sunday Oct 22 8:22PM - Conditions continue poor here. A look at the 20 and 40 meters band for the SST Sprint speaks volumes. Looks like only about 1/3 to 1/2 of the normal activity I see here. I still continue to get my daily two streak QSOs however. The conditions don't affect CW/QRP all that much. It's the lack of activity that makes things rough at times.

I had one of my closer QSOs today, working my friend Ken N3AFS in New Kensington, about 20 or so miles from here. Let's see what QRZ has as the distance. Well, I'm close with my estimate. It's 20.2 miles as the RF travels. Ken has been with us on the Requin and will be with us on the probable next Requin trip the day before Thanksgiving. -30-

Saturday Oct 21 7:30PM - Another damp wet day. Never rained hard that I noticed, but it seemed the air was always wet with light rain, mist, drizzle, etc. I did squeeze in a walk though early this evening.

I checked the bands today a couple times. Mainly to see if they were as bad as Mike was saying they were as he tried to work the NY State QSO Party since he lived there a good part of his life. They were pretty bad, but seemed better than they were last night. I believe this is the weekend of the Worked All Germany contest. Yes it is according to the WA7BNM Contest Calendar. You wouldn't know it from listening to the bands this afternoon. I didn't hear any German stations. I heard a couple non-Germans calling CQ WAG, but that was it. I did work a couple NY stations via a single call, so conditions were kind of bad today but they seemed better that what Mike was experiencing some 40 miles or so NE of here. I wonder what they will be like tonight. Hopefully good enough to get a couple quick NY stations for the streak and leave enough time to do some exploring of the bands. -30-

Friday Oct 20 8:49PM - Kind of a wet day today with intermittent showers, intermittent enough for me to get in a nice walk about a mile and a quarter or so. That plus some on the air work which wasn't very productive helped pass the time on an otherwise rather gloomy day.

It was another rough night for the streak, but I persisted and came up with my two QSOs, one was a POTA from KG8CO and the other was a short rag chew with Alan W4AMV. Oh I did get a DX station late this afternoon working FS5GL on 15 meters for IC705 entity #31. New entities are coming slowly now. I've got a good sampling of European entities so far and a scattering of others from around the world. -30-

Thursday Oct 19 8:45PM - Kind of a middle time tonight for the diary writing. Today was the mildest day in a while hitting 66 or so for a high with no rain or wind to speak of. I took a couple long mile or so walks today and it felt good.

Otherwise I didn't do much of anything except some housecleaning and some computer work. I did get on the bands, but only for a little bit as they were pretty poor continuing into the evening. There was a strong D44BM station on 30 late in the afternoon. I couldn't get him but I got in a little practice working split with the IC705. Now I have a real good handle on split and I'm ready to be working some split DX now. This evening, only 20 meter was in anywhere near good shape, and I got both my QSOs there from ND and IA. That and longer skip was really good tonight. -30-

Wednesday Oct 18 9:12PM - Late again tonight, so just a brief entry. Got on the air quite a bit today. Worked some DX, IK1PMR on 12M, and old friend Carl N5XE on 15M, among other stations like another old friend W4MQC/1 up in NH on 30 getting ready to go south for the winter next week. Gee, is it that time already. Just heard from Mike that we won't be going to the Requin next Wednesday. More on that tomorrow night. That's it for now. -30-

Tuesday Oct 17 6:06PM - An early entry for a change. I spent quite a bit of time today playing with the IC705. More in a minute.

I also worked on a project for my neighbor. He uses a walker, and some time ago I made a shelf for the walker to make it easier for him to carry things around in the house. Recently it wore out from a lot of use. Today I rebuilt it for him. I could have used some of those fancy shop tools they use on those woodworking TV shows, but I only have hand tools here. Anyway it's more rewarding doing things that way like on Roy Underhill's show, The Woodwright Shop.

Back to ham radio now. I set up the IC705 to work with my headphones now. It feels much better than using the speaker since I've used headphones practically my whole ham life now. It only took a few minutes, if that, to do it. I just never did it till now. I have a question though. I thought I read somewhere in the 705 manual where the 705 could be set up to use both phones and speaker at the same time which sounds like a nice feature when there is company in the shack. However I can't find the instruction again.

I had an unusual happening today. Although I've had a good many such things in the past, it's been a long time now since a DX station answered my CQ. Well, at least a European DX station. Today G3RGD answered me and we talked for a couple minutes.

OK, time to walk Roscoe in a few minutes. -30-

Monday Oct 16 9:12PM - Abominable conditions this evening. W1AW/0 even had trouble copying me. I didn't feel so bad when he also had trouble with the station he worked after me. Then I worked a KZ0RS on 20 who barely copied anything beyond my call. I wasn't happy to count that as a QSO so I had a solid QSO with Al K4UX on 40 whom I worked earlier in the day on 30 also. This evening he had the strongest signal I heard anywhere on the bands. He was running 400 watts, so he made it through the poor conditions quite well. To top things off, when I looked KZ0RS up in QRZ, there was no such listing. Either a brand new ham/call or a bootlegger

I can't even type well tonight, so I'll simply close here and hope things will be better tomorrow. As the saying goes, "they can't be much worse". -30-