K3WWP's Ham Radio Activities

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Saturday, June 15 1:38PM - I just finished my DX QSLs display page, and I really think it is neat. I'm enjoying looking at the 214 cards there from 214 different countries I've worked with CW, QRP, and simple wire antennas. If that sounds like something you'd like to check out, do so in the QSL section, My DX QSLs page. If you do, let me know what you think via email or the guestbook.

I also just got back from helping to take Roscoe to the groomers, so with that and the QSLs work, I'm kinda tired and going to take it easy for a while before I get into something else. HI -30-

Friday, June 14 8:56PM - I see it's almost time for my weather readings, so I'll do that, then write this entry. OK, I'm back. The high today was 80 which will feel cold compared to what is coming next week. There are three days predicted to be near 100 and a couple others in the upper 90s. Whew. Glad I got an AC unit a couple years ago.

I texted with Linda quite a bit again today. I also checked the bands this afternoon and got a nice German prefix in DL2024O on 15M. This evening there was a little more activity on the bands. I made a couple QSOs for the streak.

I'm working on updating the page on which my DX QSLs are displayed. I think it will be much better this way with a link to each card picture instead of being all jumbled together on one page. I'll announce it here in the diary when it is finished and ready for viewing. -30-

Thursday, June 13 8:40PM - I received a buro mailing today with 12 cards, most of which were requesting my QSL for whatever reason. No new band countries, and only one new prefix, TM100.

I did a little more work on the web site today, mainly updating a couple of pictures and description of my random wire antenna in the HOMEBREWING-Antennas section.

The bands were their usual poor selves tonight. I managed to get VE3FP for a POTA QSO on 30M, but I called many unanswered CQs after that. I'm still not sure if it is poor propagation or just that fewer hams are getting on CW. The CW bands are sure devoid of signals of late though. This sunspot maximum seems nothing like the last couple when the bands were full of CW signals from all over the World. -30-

Wednesday, June 12 9:15PM - Today was an interesting day. What's another word for interesting? I use that word far too much. HI.

I spent a good part of the day texting with Linda about various topics from ham radio to weather to birds to hunting and fishing and so on. I found it very inte..... uh fascinating to say the least.

Otherwise the weather was good for being outdoors. I sat on the porch quite a bit. Later in the day my neighbor took me to get my monthly Senior Food Box.

This evening was good on the bands for a change. Not great by any means, but better than a lot of days of late. I worked 3Z65C on 15, VP9KD on 40, and had a 34 minute rag chew with N7GBH on 40. Running late because of the time on the bands, so I'll close here and get ready for walking Roscoe. -30-

Tuesday, June 11 10:03PM - Home late from Skyview after a great day with Mike (and Linda). Mike came around 4:45PM and brought a lasagna dinner for us. W enjoyed that and after a few minutes, we headed to Skyview, arriving around 6:15PM or so. I waited outside for Linda to arrive. She did about 15 minutes later. We talked for a while outside and she looked at the antenna farm. Then we went inside and got introduced to the members who were there. Then I showed her around the clubhouse before we came back into the meeting room and talked with the members some more. She submitted her application to join the club. Then she wanted to take a picture of the radio room, so we went back into there and spent the rest of her time there until she left a little befor 8PM to get home while it was still light. I think she really enjoyed getting to know the club and the members. I know I enjoyed my time with her showing her around.

After she left, Mike and I stuck around awhile and I got my streak QSO and also a QSO in the NAQCC sprint. Then we headed home. -30-

Monday, June 10 8:54PM - A chilly day today. A good day to be inside, but I still spent some time outside walking Roscoe, sitting on the porch, and walking to Sprankle's.

I also spent time texting with Linda and Mike about getting coordinated for the SkyView meeting tomorrow evening. I'm looking forward to that.

Conditions were rough this evening. Actually propagation seemed decent but I was having trouble making contact till I finally worked NA4A at a POTA site.

Time now for my weather check so 73 till I talk about the meeting in tomorrow's entry. -30-

Sunday, June 9 8:31PM - A nice weather day, nice take it easy day, so I did. Not much at all going on, but what little there was, was fun and/or needed doing. I was running a bit low on groceries as Bruce had been too busy to take me shopping. So his brother Jeff took me today and I almost made my first ever $100.00 grocery bill, but fell a few dollars short. Jeff kidded me, asking if I wanted to go back in the store for some more items to make the $100. I passed. HI

Then I had some long texting with Linda about the Tuesday evening SkyView meeting which she is going to attend with Mike and me. We also texted about some other things.

This evening of course was the SST Sprint so it was easy to get my streak QSO with W8FN at 0002Z. Then I worked Steve K2KRG in a 14 minute QSO at about 24 WPM or so after he answered my CQ on 40.

Now I think I'll do some more porch sitting till it's time to walk Roscoe, or at least for a while since the walk is still 50 minutes away as I type. -30-

Saturday, June 8 9:13PM - Almost forgot to write the diary, I got so busy here. Anyway I'm caught up and there's not really much to write about anyway. HI

The bands were kind of up and down today depending on when you got on the air. I worked HA3NU in the 2000Z hour this afternoon on 15M. Then had a rag chew with Bob N9HAL this evening in the 0000Z hour for the streak.

It was a nice cool June day and I did a bit of yard work. I also sat on the porch quite a while. Am I getting old? Don't old folks sit on their porches a lot? Well at least they used to when I myself was younger. HI

OK, Roscoe walking time shortly. -30-

Friday, June 7 8:31AM - The main thing out of the ordinary every day events here today was taking Roscoe to the vet for a pedicure (PAWdicure?). Anyway whatever it's called, to get his nails (claws?) trimmed. They grow very fast and kind of got away too long this time. He seems much happier now after that.

Otherwise I did some more work on the web site again. Nothing in particular. Just checking things and updating things here and there.

Also some sitting on the porch in the nice weather listening to music on my iPhone.

Very inactive bands this evening. About the only real activity lately has been POTA stations. Tonight I worked NA4A for my streak QSO. Then called fruitless CQs for 20+ minutes on various bands. -30-

Thursday, June 6 8:40PM - I did some more work on the web site today. If you are observant and came to the site via my main page, perhaps you noticed a change in the photo logo near the top of the page. I liked that Requin picture from a couple days ago and replaced my 2023 picture with the Requin picture for 2024. I also cleaned out a couple more Links pages.

I talked with Linda some more about her setup. Possible something like a mobile whip on her balcony railing and a counterpoise on the balcony floor would be something to think about. My friend in Toronto, Dave VA3RJ has had great success with something like that.

The bands are pretty bad tonight. I finally worked a POTA station for my streak. -30-

Wednesday, June 5 8:30PM - I worked on my web site today as my main project. I'm cleaning up my links page. I was checking and it's quite rare that I get any hits on the links. I think most folks now use one of the several search sites like Bing (my favorite) to find info about a subject instead of exploring links on a web site. Because of that, I'm considering just dropping my links or cleaning out the bad links and just leaving the good ones without changing any that still work. Also I'm not going to ask for any new links. I'll keep them as WYSIWYG now.

I exchanged texts/emails with Linda today about some more info for her ham setup. I hope with the help of SkyView, she can get on the air and be active again.

I only got on the bands today for my streak QSO which came from AK0A POTA activity on 20. Otherwise in the time I was on, there was very little activity heard. -30-

Tuesday, June 4 11:00PM - Actually to be truthful, this is being written around 9:00AM on the 5th as I got home from SkyView late and tired last night.

It was another good day with Mike that ended with the SkyView meeting. Mike arrived around 2:00PM and we killed time talking about various things until we ordered a Vocelli's pizza around 4:00P. After devouring that we killed some more time by checking the bands. As usual of late, they were pretty much dead with maybe one or two weak stations per band. The only DX I recall now was an LZ station who was too weak to work. That took us to 5:30PM or so when we headed to SkyView, arriving around 6:30PM.

As usual, Mike headed to the meeting room, and I to the radio room. I prefer 1 on 1 QSOs instead of being in a big group of folks. I had some nice eyeball QSOs with, among others, Dan NM3A about the QMX+ QRP rig he built. It'a nice little rig. The first time I've seen one. Also another ham whose call I forget, who was trying to work his son on a POTA outing in WV. He was too close for 20M, but later when his son moved to 40M, they made the QSO. There were also a couple other short eyeball QSOs. I then looked around for some DX, but other than an Israeli station who disappeared before I had a chance to work him, there were no other DX stations. So I made a couple of QSOs, one a POTA before 0000Z, and WB2DHY after 0000Z on 40M at 5 watts to the 40M dipole for my streak QSO.

Mike then came in the radio room with his new Begali single lever paddle that he got from Italy via Dayton via SkyView from Bob WC3O. I tried it out, but was sloppy with it since I use a double lever paddle all the time.

Then I got a chance to talk with the SkyView President to see if the club could do anything to help Linda W1MP who was with us at the Requin a couple days ago, get her station and antenna set up in her new QTH. Then the Radio Officer joined us. We had a long discussion, and they said they would see what they and/or the club members could do. I'll end here and report on how things work out as warranted. Personally I would like to help but living 40 some miles away from Linda and me not having a car makes that very difficult to say the least.

Now it's off to get caught up on some other things from yesterday. -30-

Monday, June 3 7:49PM - One big project today took care of a good deal of the time. I am reorganizing my antenna pictures section of the web site. I have it pretty much ready to go, and hope to upload the revised section tomorrow. I hope when I get it going, you'll take a look at it and give me some comments on it.

Nothing much else to talk about. Just waiting for 0000Z now and streak time. -30-

Sunday, Jun 2 6:09PM - It's always a great day when Mike and I get together for a subpedition, parkpedition, or just a visit. Today's subpedition was enhanced by the presence of a third op. I'm speaking of Linda W1MP who moved to Pittsburgh a couple of years ago from Vermont. This was her first time operating from the sub. She's a very knowledgeable Extra Class ham operator. which is important, but more important she seems to fit in very well with Mike's and my sense of humor and our personalities. In between making around 23 QSOs we spent a lot of time talking with each other and getting to know each other better. I'm not going into detail, but suffice it to say I think all three of us enjoyed the session from the time we showed up at the sub around 1345 until we closed down around 4 hours later at 1745. That was the bottom line, but also the 23 QSOs were a pretty good showing for the Requin in the Museum Ships Weekend Event.

That's left to right me (K3WWP), Linda W1MP, Mike KC2EGL having a bit of a break awaiting the next answer to their recorded CQs. -30-

Saturday, Jun 1 8:26PM - Kind of a nothing day to start the month of June. I did my laundry a little bit ago to get back into the swing of doing it on a Saturday evening again. Quite a bit of porch-sitting today. Not much else worth mentioning.

The bands, well at least 20M, were good today. I got a quick QSO in the European FD event from PI4AMF/P on my first call. In fact I was slow on the draw and started to answer him as he went to another CQ. He heard me calling under his CQ, paused and came right back to me.

Tomorrow it's off to Pittsburgh and the Requin for some operating in the Museum Ships Weekend. Of course Mike will be there. Without him, I couldn't go. We'll also have a new op with us, a YL or XYL who just moved to the area from Vermont according to Art. That's all I know about her except she is an Extra Class ticket holder. -30-

Friday, May 31 8:47PM - Weatherwise, a day pretty much like yesterday so I did pretty much the same things as then.

I also did a lot of the end of month / first of month chores. I'm glad I have them out of the way now for the most part. Still have to mail a few checks and put the May weather in my weather spreadsheet, but that's about all that is left, I think.

I got a DX and a rag chew QSO this evening. The DX was on 20 from Ben DL5ANT and the rag chew on 30 from Gary K1YAN.

And that's a quick Readers Digest wrap up of my day here. -30-

Thursday, May 30 8:34PM - A nice weather day and I spent a lot of time outside. I did some yard work in the backyard, pruning my rose bushes and pulling and weed whacking some weeds and tall grass that was not reachable when my neighbor cut the grass a few days ago. I also went for a walk outside. For the first time in a couple weeks I closed the Move ring on my watch, went to 42 out of 70 in the Exercise ring, and closed the Stand ring. I feel good about that.

I also sat on the porch for a while and was visited for a little while by a neighbor boy who is about 4 years old and his mom who works at Sprankle's.

I guess that about wraps up the day. Now the next couple days will be busy with the end/first of the month chores. Then Sunday also with the Requin subpedition. -30-

Wednesday, May 29 7:52PM - Just a few minutes till streak time. I'll get this diary entry started, then go get my QSO.

It was a messy day today with chilly temperatures and intermittent showers. About the only outside action was sitting on the porch listening to some more Cousin Brucie and of course, Roscoe's regular walks in between the raindrops. I did listen briefly to the bands this afternoon. Heard a good catch in T77BL but pretty weak and I couldn't get him. I have San Marino anyway on a few bands anyway, so I wasn't all that upset.

Off to the shack now. I'll report here if I get anything. Otherwise will just close this entry. I got two nice rag chews this evening. One from AK8D on 40 and one from WB9FMP on 30. -30-

Tuesday, May 28 8:37PM - A pretty good day today. The weather was nice and I spent a lot of time outside with the regular Roscoe walks, sitting on the porch listening to Cousin Brucie podcasts, and pulling some grass and weeds from my brick sidewalks. Sounds like my leg is about back to normal, and it is virtually there. Now I've got to keep myself from getting too frisky and aggravating it again.

The bands were interesting in the midnight hour last night. I worked a couple nice stations, WW1USA which is a World War 1 memorial club station in MO, and DB100FK which is a new prefix, I'm pretty sure. Haven't had time to check yet today.

This evening I snagged a quick POTA station, NA4A, for the streak, then called CQ and Dan KB6NU answered me for a nice rag chew on 30M.

Just learned from Mike a while ago that we are set to do Museum Ships Weekend from the Requin. We'll be there for a few hours on Sunday from 1400 to 1800 or so depending on activity as usual. It will be a bit different from our usual subpeditions in that Art said we'll also have a YL op with us who just moved to the Pittsburgh area from Vermont. All we know is that she is an Extra Class op. Of course we'll be using NY3EC for the operation. Not sure of what bands or frequencies yet. Probably the usual. It's NOT a contest so the WARC bands can be used as I understand it. See you then and there. -30-

Monday, May 27 8:37PM - My streak QSOs tonight were "leftovers" from the WPX contest. By that I mean stations who set up for the contest at some ideal vacation spot, then after the contest, they stay at those spots and give out some extra QSOs, usually in the WARC bands that are not available in contests. Tonight it was K4BAI at VP5 and WI9WI at PJ2. I've worked both many times over the years at various contest locations plus their home locations.

Only a couple of extra happenings in the CQWPX after I wrote the diary entry. I worked 4T4O Peru as a new 705 recorded country also as a new 705 worked country #101. 4T4O was also a reminder of a good contesting lesson. Earlier in the day I called him many times with no result. Then later I found him again and got him on my second call. If there is someone you really want to work, but can't get him, note his frequency and come back later. Propagation or whatever may have changed and you can get him easily now. Don't waste too much time trying to work someone. It often is easier later.

It was a nice day today weatherwise. It was also a day that should be meaningful. I listened to the Cousin Brucie Saturday evening podcast today and he emphasized this should be a meaningful holiday because our servicemen, living and dead, made it a "happy" holiday because of what they did. I thought that was a very good point made by Brucie.

I did my part by attending the Memorial Day Parade. At least part of it. I didn't stay for the long line of Fire Department equipment though. Not because they are not meaningful, but because my leg was getting tired standing there. I was happy to see one of my Sprankle's girls in a Sprankle's truck give me a big smile and wave as she passed by me.

I hope you all had a Meaningful Holiday also. -30-

Sunday, May 26 5:37PM - I don't think the CQWPX contest has any surprises or thrills left, so I'll write its obituary now and move on to other things.

I stated my goals in last night's diary entry. I made out fairly well adhering to them. I worked the following new prefixes with the band on which it was new plus an X if it was an all around new prefix regardless of the band:

IP1M 20X, KL5DX 20, PV2K 15X, JE6RPM 15X, 9H6A 15X, IP3X 15, UF1F 15X, DQ2C 15, TI8/N7ZG 15.

I added the following new recorded countries to the ones listed in the previous diary entry: 5W1SA, KL5DX, MD2C.

No more new overall IC705 countries, but as I said last night, I am at 100 worked now on the new rig.

It was nice to work some old contesting friends like OH0Z, PJ2T (wkd 119 times now), F5IN (Mike) first time in several years, EI7M, CR6K, DK9PY, PJ4A, SN3A, 8P5A, OM2VL, OM7M, FY5KE. Actually maybe friends is somewhat of a misnomer since some of those stations could have different ops. Anyway it was nice to work those often worked stations again.

As usual, I made my contest WAC. The stations this time were: PT5J, TI8/N7ZG, DP7D, RA9B, D4Z, NH7T.

All in all, I made 46 QSOs which was not bad considering my limited goals and the ionospheric storminess. I'm happy with it.

It was interesting to see how the conditions affected the bands. 20 was almost devoid of DX at times, being best late at night here. 10 showed very little outside of NA and SA at any time I listened there. 15 was the star especially on Saturday although it was not that good on Sunday. 40 was crowded and I didn't listen much there. 80 showed me nothing.

I had some interesting QSOs on 15 in 5W1SA who got me on the second time I called with no repeats. JE6RPM was an easy Japan although he was the only Japan I could work. JA3YBK is usually an easy catch, but this time despite booming in, I couldn't catch him. He was strong even in late afternoon here. RA9P was booming in, and was an easy catch at 1:07PM local time here. 9H6A a somewhat rare country here for me was easy to work.

I'll probably check the bands again to see what is there as sunset draws near just before 0000Z when I'll get my streak QSO probably from the SST. I'll let you know in tomorrow's entry if anything unusual shows up. One final thought. Conditions here weren't unique apparently. The most common phrase in the contest was "NR?". I guess copy was rough everywhere although only a very few stations asked me for a number repeat. Of course all my numbers were short compared to most. HI -30-

Saturday, May 25 6:57PM - A very laid back contest day for me. I set out with the following premise in mind and haven't deviated from it (yet). I set out to only work stations that qualify in these four ways:
1. Stations from countries that I haven't recorded on the IC705 yet. I got 5 so far: 8P5A, RA9P, D4Z, PJ4A, 9H6A. That makes 72 countries recorded now.
2. Stations I haven't worked yet on the IC705. I got two, RA9A and 9H6A. That gives me DXCC at 100 countries worked on the IC705 now.
3. Friends or contesters I admire and like to help them out with a QSO.
4. Stations that I consider out of the ordinary. Ones from countries that were hard for me to work at one time. Or that are still hard to work for me. Or new prefixes or band countries, etc. Things like that in sort of a combo category, I guess. HI

Basically just working what or whom I want to work with no inkling of any scoring competition. Now I think I'll get back to the shack and try to fill out those four categories some more. -30-

Friday, May 24 9:07PM -

Thank you Bruce, Jeff, and Roscoe. The cake was delicious and the thought was better. Have you ever had an ice cream cake? Our local Walmart makes them, and they are delicious.

QRP contesting is strange, at least in my case here. Sometimes it seems like I've got a stealth KW amp and a beam somewhere, and I can go up and down the bands and work almost all the stations I hear. Other times it seems like I'm running about 1mW from inside a Faraday Cage. Tonight it is the latter so far. I struggled to make 9 QSOs in about 55 minutes. Hopefully that will not continue the whole weekend and things will pick up. I'd like to get the last couple countries I need to make 100 worked with the new IC705. Also I hope I can increase the number of countries I have recorded on the 705. I guess it's wait and see. -30-

Thursday, May 23 8:36PM - Well, I'm not quite ready to run a Marathon yet, but I'm getting close to being back to normal in my daily activities. Tomorrow I take a sorely needed grocery shopping trip with Bruce. My fridge is looking like Mother Hubbard's Cupboard. HI. Todau is the first day in a couple weeks that I will have done all 5 of Roscoe's walks. Also I did two long indoor walks today, the longest in two weeks at about .55 and .65 miles. I may complete 3/4 of my Apple Watch exercise ring before the day is over. All of that is a great birthday present a day in advance.

The bands showed some pre CQWPX contest activity today. Nothing rare heard, but I did work Ireland and as I said to Mike (Brennan), it's always nice to work Ireland. EI9JF sounded like he was next door on 20M when I worked him beating his pileup easily.

Almost time to get my 9:00 weather readings. Nice to be able to go out and get the shelter readings again. -30-

Wednesday, May 22 7:45PM - Just sitting here waiting for the streak hour of 0000Z. Today was a progress day for my leg. I walked further than I have since I hurt it. Still way short of my average of around 7 miles per day before the leg slowed me down, but I'm happy with about a mile and a half today. I also walked Roscoe twice today, something I haven't done in a while. I'm climbing steps easier, and some other things also.

I didn't check the bands today. I thought about it a couple times, but never got to it.

The bands seemed decent this evening although I only got one QSO for the streak, and it was a POTA station. I think this fellow must live in a Park and is active many hours per day. Anyway I hear him all the time on just about any band. I'm speaking of WB0RLJ. He always provides a streak QSO if I can't get anyone else. Usually I have to repeat my call once or twice, though. -30-

Tuesday, May 21 9:21PM - I only got on the bands one time today, at my usual 0000Z. They seemed in better condition than they have been in a few days now with strong sigs on 40 thru 20 meters. I got two easy QSOs, N4E on 20 for EMS Week SE with Eliza as op. That's the third year in a row I've worked Eliza at N4E. Then a CQ on 30 netted WI0WA in guess what state who was testing his SOTA station for the upcoming SOTA good weather season.

Other than that not a lot going on today. I got caught up on my weather readings that I missed due to the sore leg. I used my remote readings in place of my shelter readings. The temperatures are virtually always the same anyway. The precipitation I interpolated from 2 nearby weather stations. I guess that about sums things up. -30-

Monday, May20 8:25PM - An evening to remember! As I mentioned in the previous diary entry, Jock N1JI was going to visit today on his way home from Dayton to NH. He did arrive around 5:30PM, following which we spent a great 3 hours together. A complete story of all we did would be long enough to be a book, not just a diary entry, so I'll pick and choose what to write here if you forgive me.

After he arrived, we greeted each other since we had never met in person before. First I gave him the tour of my antennas, after which we talked about this and that for a while during which we ordered two hoagies from Vocelli's, a Club and Meatball one. After the time alloted to prepare them, we went and picked them up and ate them here at home.

Next it was up to my shack for the remainder of the visit. I showed him my IC705, and we discussed it quite a bit. He thought it was a very nice rig and had some good features. He especially liked the recording feature and we listened to some of my recordings like the rag chew with Lloyd KH6LC and R90KEDR to mention a couple. Oh and he brought his KX1 rig for show and tell. It was the first time I had seen one, and it is really neat, a full station in a tiny package with built in tuner, keyer, and even a small notebook and pen for note taking. All contained in a package not all that much bigger than a smart phone.

He was asking me about how many countrie I had worked, so I got out my album with one QSL from each of the 214 countries I have verified by regular card. I always like to stop when we get to Mongolia and show the 10 Tugruk banknote the Mongolian ham enclosed with his card. It was worth something like 0.000008 cents in US money at the time. Now a check shows it is worth 0.0030 USD and is the lowest denomination in regular use in Mongolia.

We also talked about several other topics like POTA, antenna tuners, etc. until he said he'd bothered me long enough and was going to head back to his hotel now. I told him it was no bother at all and I was enjoying the visit. I suggested he stay at least until 8:00 when I would get my streak QSO. He liked that idea and he stayed and talked some more until I worked a POTA station N1RIP for the streak. We discussed POTA a bit before we left the shack and he got ready to go to his hotel, then off to New Hampshire during the next couple days.

All in all a very enjoyable day. I told him I wished we lived closer together and could do this more often. He agreed, then went on his way. -30-

Sunday, May 19 8:40PM - Another day of progress for the sore leg. Hardly used the cane at all today. I was a bit worried about it since I'm getting a visit from Jock N1JI on his way home from Dayton tomorrow. I feel better about being able to get around more easily now. I'll report on the visit in the diary tomorrow. If I remember, I may even include a picture or two.

Conditions were good for the SST Sprint this evening so I stayed for 10 minutes and made 6 QSOs in 6 SPCs. Let's see, that would project out to 36 QSOS for a full hour. That's feasible too, since I did 42 QSOS one SST early in 2023 when I still had my full contesting desire. So maybe one day.....

It was a nice weather day today. I didn't go for a walk, but at least I sat on the porch a couple times and enjoyed the weather. -30-

Saturday, May 18 9:06PM - Well, this was a good day in two ways. The leg is the best it has been in a few days now, but still not 100 percent, just close. Hopefully in 2 or 3 more days.

The bands were the best they have been in a few days, but they too, have a couple days to be 100 percent. I tested out 20M in the 0000Z hour in the KOS contest. It wasn't quite as easy to work the DX as usual, but almost there. I tried six stations, HA3DX, EA8ZS, S51DX, EF1A, KP2M, and LZ5R. The most distant, LZ5R was easiest to work. EA8ZS usually gets me easily on a first call. He had a bit tougher time getting me tonight. The rest were just a bit tougher to work than usual.

So all in all, things are improving for the OM here. HI -30-

Friday, May 17 9:09PM - I did my 0000Z hour thing again tonight for the streak and came up with a DX and a rag chew QSO with an old friend. The DX was CT9/UR9IDX whom I've worked several times before. It was a bit more difficult tonight though as the bands are still suffering from leftovers from the Solar Flares. Then I heard CT9/DJ1CW, but he couldn't get my call after many tries. Another hint with the failure of my Madeira pipeline that the bands are still not quite back to 100 percent. The rag chew was with N9HAL and it was solid copy for 24 minutes on 30M so that at least was close to normal.

It's a good thing I got my streak QSO in the 0000Z hour last night as when I checked at 0400Z, conditions weren't as good as the previous nights. -30-

Thursday, May 16 8:42PM - Yes, 8:42PM. I'm getting closer to normal each day. Today the step I took was getting back to my 0000Z hour hunt for my streak QSO. I found two of them tonight in that hour. A POTA from NA4A and DX from CT9ACD, both on 40. I checked the higher bands and found nothing on 20 or up. I guess the ionosphere doesn't open for business on 20 until later. I'll check at midnight tonight just to see and work any good DX if it is there and I can get thru. Last night I worked IK1LBL on 20 in the 0400 hour despite him not being all that strong here. He heard me as K3WW on my first call to him and got the P when I sent my call again, We chatted for a few minutes then.

In addition to the 0000Z trip upstairs, I also went up another time earlier in the day to take some things up and bring some other things down. The leg felt pretty good with all the exercise. I also sat out on the porch for a while, and Roscoe came over for a short visit. Both those things felt good.

Next I need to start going out at 9PM for my weather readings. I've been substituting my remote readings for the shelter instruments readings. -30-

Wednesday, May 15 9:06PM - Pretty much the same routine today as the last several days now. I got my QSO in the 0400Z hour. It was K7/E77DX in some western state on 20M. Really not anything more to talk about. I'll go up at Midnight for the streak QSO if I don't go before then. Conditions seem to be good at that hour. I listened this morning in th 1200Z hour for a bit and heard just about nothing then. -30-

Tuesday, May 14 6:40PM - Conditions seem to have come back from the grave as of 0400Z last night. I got on at midnight and had a nice chat with W4USR in NC on 40M. After a rocky start, sigs came up nicely after a couple minutes and it was pretty much solid copy after that for 20+ minutes. After that I explored the bands and found a Crete station working New Zealand stations. One of the NZ stations was a solid 579 or so. I'm going to have to explore that 0400Z hour some more.

I didn't go to the SkyView meeting tonight because my leg is still not up to par. It is improving though. I'm still sticking to my climbing my stairs once a day though. Up at Midnight, down at 8AM for a while yet. Hoping to be back to normal in a few days. We'll see.

A post mortem on the geomagnetic storm. Look up carrington solar flare 1859 for the worst flare/ionosphere storm, etc. in history. Very interesting. -30-

Monday, May 13 9:02AM - The streak has survived another day thanks to Wilbur KB1CL on 80 meters at 0405Z today. Looks like we are through the worst of the storm now, but who knows for sure. The Sun is still unpredictable at this point in its history. Speaking of history, I got to wondering where that 272 Planetary A index stands in history.

I have a table of solar/ionospheric history that goes back to 1947. The Solar Flux data is complete back to that year with some gaps here and there. The highest SF reading in that time was 457 way back on 4/7/1947. Interesting but not actually what I was researching.

Unfortunately my A index data is not that complete. I only have the years 1995-1997 and 2000-Present in my tables here. Also I do have data for the years 1954-2006 from graphs on the Internet. It's a bit hard to pinpoint exact numbers and dates on those charts. There are several times the A index was 200 or higher. Only 1 in the data I have tops this current reading of 272 on May 11. That is a 280 reading on 11/13/1960. One other reading was over 250 at 251 in 1989.

I wish I had more complete data. I may do some research to find the missing data. However for what I have, this current storm is one for the record books. I'm sure some of the true propagation gurus have more complete data. I'd love to delve into it. -30-

Sunday, May 12 8:29PM - Despite the sore leg and the extreme ionospheric storm, the streak goes on without missing a beat. It's just coming at unusual times. Today for example, I worked 2 stations on 40 meters around 1200Z, one in SC and a POTA station in MA. Yesterday and the day before it was a station each day in the 0400Z hour. Before that on the 9th it was the 1300Z hour on 17 meters. The odd hours are due mainly to my climbing the stairs to the second floor shack as few times a day as possible, not the ionospheric storm. Tonight I'll go to bed at midnight and try to get my QSO then. If not, then I'll try tomorrow morning when I get up. Hopefully one of those times will find some activity for my streak QSO. So far it's worked. If not, then I'll have to try some other time tomorrow. There is a sign the ionospheric or geomagnetic storminess is letting up or will be letting up. The A index seems to have passed its peak now. It reached the ridiculous figure of 272 sometime this weekend. It is now down to around 54 as of the latest reading. So we'll see what happens as this crisis period winds down. -30-

Saturday, May 11 7:41AM - I think this may be the earliest I have ever written a diary entry. I got up early as my leg was bothering me lying there in bed. Then I checked the propagation figures for my propagation table and what I found there was interesting and explains the conditions I found just after midnight today. Predictions for today were for Space Weather to be SEVERE and the recap for yesterday was EXTREME. I don't remember ever using either of those terms in my web site table before. The recap for yesterday was: "Geomagnetic storms reaching the G5 level occurred. Solar radiation storms reaching the S2 level occurred. Radio blackouts reaching the R3 level occurred." The predictions for today are: "Geomagnetic storms reaching the G4 level are expected. Solar radiation storms reaching the S2 level are expected. Radio blackouts reaching the R3 level are expected." WHEW! No wonder the bands were completely devoid of CW signals at midnight unlike the night before when there were quite a few CW signals for that late hour. Well, there was one signal heard and I worked them for the streak which brought up another topic for discussion.

When I looked up the station in QRZ and read his bio, it disturbed me. He says he never operates from his home QTH, but always operates remote. He then listed three locations for the remote stations. He gave no indication of which of the locations he was using when I worked him. I don't know which location I should put in my log. I will have to address this issue since it seems remote operation is being used more and more these days. I guess I'll put REMOTE for the location, Unk for the state, country, county, zone, grid square and any other item that can't be determined. Then explain it in the comments item. SIGH!!! Perhaps the FCC should require stations operating remotely to add some kind of indicator to their call sign like K3WWP/RMW4 as a very minimum. Some remote stations I've worked are good at that, at least they use K3WWP/W4 for example.

One of the locations listed in QRZ for the station I worked was a DX location south of here. I'm guessing that was the one since propagation should have wiped out anything from the higher latitude locations.

That takes me back in my memory to when I used to do a lot of AM BCB listening. There was what must have been similar propagation conditions and most all the high latitude stations, even the 50Kw powerhouse ones, were wiped out allowing me to log Latin American, Caribbean, and South American BCB stations. I'll have to look back in my old BCB records to remember some of the stations I logged. That would have been in the mid 1960s when I was going to Pitt and living in the tower dorms with a long vertical antenna hung out the window from something like the 17th floor. Ah, memories! Oh, I remember one station was from Trinidad. I think it was on the same frequency, 730 kHz as was WPIT. Maybe the call sign was VP4RD? If I do get around to digging into those old BCB records, I might devote a couple diary entries to them. -30-

Friday, May 10 7:00PM - OK, last night I skipped the shack visit at 0000Z, and instead went upstairs at the usual bedtime Midnight hour. Before I went to bed though, I got my streak QSO. It wasn't easy as I tried calling 2 or 3 stations and either wasn't heard or lost to another caller. Finally on 20 meters which was still nicely open, I worked Flavio IK1YDB. He got my call OK after a couple tries, but then had a hard time copying the RST I was sending him. Finally he got it to complete the QSO and keep the streak going another day. I think I may try the same tactic tonight. Hopefully the leg is getting better and I can get back to my normal daily routines again soon. -30-

Thursday, May 9 9:58AM - Part 2. The first part of this diary entry covers the events of yesterday. See Part 1 below. The sore leg I mention there has kind of messed up my regular daily routine. For example right now I'm trying to decide when to make my way up the stairs to the shack. I plan to sleep in my bedroom tonight after sleeping in a chair downstairs the past two nights. So I may try for my streak QSO when I go up at midnight and if I don't get it then, I'll still be up there in the morning and I can try then as I did this morning when I got N0IPA. Got that? A quiz will follow. HI HI.

I am finding walking with my cane seems to be becoming less painful with each walk I take to the kitchen or other downstairs room. I hope that's reality and not just wishful thinking. Tomorrow will probably give me a better idea, I hope.

Part 1. 9:58AM. I had a little problem with a sore leg yesterday and didn't know if I could make it up to the shack for the streak for May 9 or not, but I struggled up today and worked N0IPA on 17M to keep the streak going. Whew!

This old age is not all it's cracked up to be. The Golden Age - PHOOEY.

Now to get some breakfast. Oh about the Requin yesterday. I wasn't able to go because of my leg. Mike didn't go either because of his kindness in stopping by here and helping me out with some things such as getting me my old cane which was upstairs and some other things plus some moral support. Thanks Mike.

Paul AC3IE did make it to the Requin and filled in admirably for Mike and me. I'm not sure exactly how many QSOs he made, but he said "made several contacts with the straight key before I figured out how to connect the one I brought, and then a few more". Thanks Paul. -30-

Wednesday, May 8 9:00PM - I'll write today's diary entry tomorrow morning some time. -30-

Tuesday, May 7 8:42PM - One thing I always strive for in every QSO is to go through it without a single sending error. I don't always make it. In fact I seldom get through without at least one or two errors at the best of times. Well, tonight I had a perfect one of 10 minutes duration at around 19 WPM with K1WK up in Rhode Island. I'm happy with that.

Now if I could just type that well. HI I don't even come close most of the time typing my web site updates, "but that's another story" as my friend from WPIT used to say when he got off the track a bit from something he was talking about.

Tomorrow is subpedition day. Mike, I, and Paul AC3IE hope to be there from 10AM (1400Z) through 2PM (1800Z) if conditions warrant staying that long. Hopefully they will be better than today. Our new policy is not to have a set of times or frequencies picked in advance other than the following. We will operate in the following freq ranges: 7037-7043, 10114-10120, and 14057-14063 avoiding QRM and QRN as best we can and using the band that presents the best conditions and activity at the time. Perhaps Mike or Paul will spot our actual time and freq. I don't ever use spotting myself as you know, but then I never use QRO power either except for these subpeditions since they are to promote the USS Requin, not K3WWP. We use the sub call of NY3EC at 100 watts. Hope that all is clear. -30-

Monday May 6 8:44PM - I thought I'd do a mini review of the ICOM AH705 tuner. I got my IC705 rig back in early September and fooled with a couple different antenna tuners for it. I shied away from the ICOM AH705 tuner after reading some info about it that seemed to indicate it worked best if located near the antenna and away from the rig. That wouldn't suit my setup here. Also the fact it didn't use rechargable batteries and it was said the alkaline batteries did not last that long. I want to flatly deflate both those claims now. First the batteries. I don't remember now just when I put new batteries in the AH705, but it was probably November of last year. I checked the batteries today and after what would that be, six months of daily use, they were still almost like new. My battery checker shows 4.5 ma for a new battery, and both of the ones I took out of the tuner were well above 4.0 ma. I did put two new ones in though and I'm going to keep track of just how long they last this time. It should be well above the 6 month mark at which the ones I removed were still going strong.

As for the location of the tuner, it works just fine with a 2 foot cable from rig to tuner and a one foot cable from the tuner to my antenna switch in the shack. It tunes any of my 6 antennas on any band. All that's needed is to switch bands on the rig, change antennas via the ant switch if needed, tap the paddle briefly and after two seconds, everything is ready to go. That's after the antennas are initially tuned and the tuner memories activated. The initial tuning of a rig/ant/band combo takes a little longer, maybe 10 seconds and only needs doing once if the combo stays the same. All in all, if you have an IC705 rig, I don't think you can go wrong with the AH705 tuner. My findings and opinions. Your mileage may vary.

The bands were not too bad, although kind of empty. I worked ZF2OO on 17 with a single call using just 500mw here. I also easily worked SE call RP79L on 20M. That was this afternoon. Tonight the streak QSO was K1PUG on 30. -30-

Sunday May 5 7:37PM - Not much going on today. Yesterday's solar flare pretty much made the bands lousy today compared to last night's conditions. Also not much else going on except for one project, well 2 projects. Mike heard from Art from the Requin and we will be doing a subpedition this Wednesday the 8th. Accompanying us will be Paul AC3IE. We have a group of about a half dozen ops who join us on the Requin now and it takes a bit of doing to figure out who is available for a certain trip. We can only have 3 ops in the small radio room, Mike, me, and one 'guest'. Paul was the third one I contacted before finding one who was available. The ops are mainly ones we found through the SkyView club. More about the subpedition coming up the next couple days.

The other project was archiving some past diary entries. I was shocked to see that I hadn't moved any old entries to the archives since last October. Shame on me. So I put the last of the 2023 entries into the 2023 archive page. Then I started a 2024 archive page and put Jan, Feb, and Mar entries from this year into it.

Now off to the shack in a couple minutes. Even if conditions are still poor, the SST should provide me a streak QSO or two. -30-

Saturday May 4 9:14PM - Another one of those late entries. This one due to a busy 0000Z hour on the bands. I was working DX plus the 7QP Contest. I thought I'd see if I could work some new counties in 7 land. I haven't really worked much on counties lately for a variety of reasons I don't have time to go into now. I worked Santa Cruz, AZ - Storey, NV - and Pacific, WA. I worked TO60CSG in French Guiana on 17 and 30. Also 3G0YA on my fourth band, 20 meters. Hope it was legit. I had read somewhere the DXpedition was to end on May 4. Anyway a real fun hour.

I also went shopping today to get some food for Roscoe and for myself. Otherwise not a lot going on. Oh, I did add another DX station on 17 at 2201Z, CS2GPDX. -30-

Friday May 3 6:20PM - A little story behind one of my QSOs today. At 2200Z on 15M, I worked Pablo HC5AI. If that were all, it wouldn't be much of a story. However starting not all that long after I became active again in the early 1990s, I worked Alfo HC5AI and continuing through November 1999. Alfo might have been one of my very first Ecuador QSOs. I'm not sure. I may check later. Anyway it was always a piece of cake to work Alfo and I got him on 40, 30, 17, 15, 12, and 10M before he became a silent key. End of story? No. Alfo's son Pedro took over the HC5AI call. Working Pablo until today seemed about the opposite of working Alfo. While Alfo was very easy to work, I don't know how many times I tried unsuccessfully to work Pablo over the past several years. I was very happy when I finally got him tonight to complete the father-son QSO setup. It was just a TU RST QSO, but it was satisfying.

Also today I worked a new prefix in OT24EPIC for a cycling event in Belgium. -30-

Thursday May 2 8:44PM - I worked 3G0YA on my third band today, 17M. A very easy QSO. After I figured where he was listening, I called there and got him with that single call, no repeats. He is really easy now without those huge wide pileups, but better hurry to get him. I think the DXpedition ends May 4. Otherwise the bands were really miserable today and tonight. Only a few good signals here and there, otherwise nothing or very weak signals. Even the German RTTY station on 30 was very weak or absent altogether. Tonight I struggled to get AB9CA on 20 in a POTA QSO. -30-

Wednesday May 1 7:51PM - Just a few minutes before streak time. I'll start the entry now and finish it after the streak is satisfied.

OK, off to the shack now. Back in a bit.

I'm back now after a 17 minute QSO with friend Dan KB6NU on 30 meters for the streak. Earlier today I worked OL87OM on 17 and 3G0YA on 10. The 3G0 piles have really shrunk in number and in size the past few days and 3G0YA is quite easy to work now. I even got them with 900mW a couple days ago. -30-

Tuesday Apr 30 7:14PM - Another month is history. I got most all of my end of month financial things done today. The checks are written and ready to go in the mail. Some other things still need doing like taking care of the April weather records. After the wet start to the month, I still think we came up short of the rainfall record for the month. I think the temperature was above normal as it has been for most months the past few years now. I have to upload my April QSOs. Also some other things like flipping the calendar pages, etc. and I'll be set for another month.

I took some time out to check the bands today. They were a little more active today, but nothing exotic heard here. I made one Special Event 1X1 call QSO with W7Q and that was it. -30-

Monday Apr 29 9:10PM - One of those days when nothing much happened. My neighbor Brian cut my graas. That's about the only news. The ham bands again didn't have much to offer. No QSOs during the day an just a couple streak QSOs this evening from MN and TN to keep the streak going. -30-

Sunday Apr 28 7:36PM - Some interesting QSOs today thanks to some good propagation. At 2057Z on 20 I worked LY4Y easily with 900mW. Then I tried IQ4FH with 900mW, but no luck. I did get him with 2 watts easily though. Then later this evening at 2305Z it was 3G0YA on 10M. A new band for 3G0YA so I used 5 watts although it was so easy I could probably have gotten him with 900mW or less. OK, I blew that chance at a mW QSO with Easter Island, but wait, here he is again on 15M, but I worked him there the other day. Oh well, he is kind of going begging for QSOs. Let's go to 900mW and give a try. Bingo, first call, he got WWP, so I sent K3WWP again and completed the QSO. That's a distance of 5071.5 miles or 5,635 miles per watt. I checked and Easter Island is a new overall mW country here which makes 91 mw countries I believe.

I was again planning to do a full SST tonight, but after all that, I'm not sure now.

It was closest to our warmest day of the year so far today with a high around 80. More info on that at 9:00 when I get my daily readings. Now I'm going to run and decide if I do a complete SST, a partial one, or just use it for my streak QSO. -30-

Saturday Apr 27 8:36PM - The bands were kind of up and down today, but I blame it on overall activity, and not overall propagation. The FL QSO Party livened up the bands with very strong signals. That led me to believe propagation was very good for those who decided to get on the CW bands.

I only worked a couple FL stations although I could have had a lot more had I wanted to. That was this evening. This afternoon I got a couple QSOs in the UK/EI Contest including TF3IRA and HA4FB. TF3IRA was a new recorded country on the 705, #67 now. HA4FB I just worked because it seemed he was having trouble making QSOs at least when I was listening to him. To close out the day I had a nice visit with Jim WB9HDH on 30 meters.

It was a nice weather day again so I got in a couple good length walks to take advantage. I stopped at Sprankle's this evening mainly to see who was working. It was Bryanna. I also picked up a few items while I was there.

I almost forgot about my laundry this evening and just got it started a few minutes ago. -30-

Friday Apr 26 8:48PM - Things were really rough tonight. Finally had to resort to working a POTA for the streak, WB0RLJ on 30M. Conditions were rough early this afternoon also, but then picked up for a while around 2200Z. I worked a couple more AO75 stations for a total of 10 different ones now.

I did some more lawn work today in the nice weather. I also went for two mile+ walks, one in the afternoon and one in the evening. I even sat in the park for a while in the first walk. Tomorrow is supposed to be a bit on the rainy side so may not get to do many outdoor activities. We'll see. -30-

Thursday Apr 25 7:37PM - The bands were a bit better today. Signals were stronger although still not that many of them. I made 3 QSOs. A special Canadian call VE7RCAF celebrating 100 years of service of the Royal Canadian Air Force. That was on 10 meters. Shortly after that a short rag chew with Ed W4ELP in VA on 30M. We've worked several times before. We were both QRP. Conditions weren't all that good with QSB and QRN. Next the catch of the day so far. I didn't really need Easter Island, but like Liberia several days ago, I was just determined to work them, 3G0YA to prove again I can break big pileups with my minimal QRP signals. It took a while but thanks to the setup for split op in the 705, I found the spot in the wide pileup he was listening to, plopped down there and I was about the 7th or so station he worked after that.

Now in a few minutes I'll find out what streak time brings.

Otherwise today I spent time outside in the nice cool dry spring air. I did some edging of my front and back lawns with the battery powered trimmer I got last year. I didn't get too much time with it last year and I'm still getting the hang of it this year and liking it more and more. After that, I deadheaded my tulips so they will put more energy into getting the bulbs ready for next spring. Then I went for a walk this evening of a little over a mile. No shopping, just walking. -30-

Wednesday Apr 24 7:30PM - Just about the same time tonight for diary writing as last night. Band conditions and time getting to the shack also similar to last night. Not as much activity as last night and I only had one QSO, albeit a very interesting one. First of all it was a solid 2XQRP QSO that lasted for 28 minutes. It was with the youngest ham I've worked in a while at 44 years of age. Who? Jordan AB2T. Despite the age difference, we had similar ham careers. Both started off on CW with a straight key. Both used tube rigs for most of our hamming for many years. A lot of other similarities that provided a lot to talk about to make for a great rag chew style QSO on 30 meters.

I say from time to time in the diary how much I like rag chewing. I'm just thinking back now and rag chewing has figured prominently in my hamming ever since day 1. I also have gotten into many other ham interests like county hunting, contesting, DXing, awards hunting, among other things, but I always have enjoyed good rag chews along the way as a complement to those activities. Just like writing these diary entries, I enjoy talking about various activities using CW on the air.

When I tune in to big contests, it makes me wonder how many of the big contesters ever sit down at a key (not a computer or keyboard) and enjoy a good rag chew. I know that some of them do because I've done so with them. Most recently I wrote about the great rag chew I had with Lloyd KH6LC. Also John K4BAI and I have a rag chew now and then. There are others also. In fact too many to list here for fear of leaving someone out. But the majority seem to only fire up the rigs for contesting. Nowadays also there are many who only turn on the rig to work a POTA, SOTA, or DX station.

Well, I am not going to dwell any longer on that because I think I've made my point. I think my point also points out why the CW bands seem to be getting more and more empty in non-contest or non dxpedition times. How about firing up those rigs and just talk with other hams about whatever comes to mind. I'm sure you'll find it as interesting as I do. Now I'm heading off to the shack in a few minutes to get my streak QSO. Hopefully it will be a good rag chew, but if not, I'll take a contest, DX, POTA, etc. QSO in its place. -30-

Tuesday Apr 23 7:32PM - It was an interesting day on the bands today. Unfortunately I didn't get to the shack till later in the afternoon as I was busy with other things like some banking, shopping, and walking among others that occupied my time. When I did get on the air around 2130Z I found conditions to be good with more activity than the past few days, but still not all that much. I quickly worked AO75EX on a single call on 15M to add another AO75 call to my collection. Shortly after that I heard HR9/AD8J and noted I hadn't recorded Honduras on the 705 yet so I worked him easily on the second or third call and did remember to turn on the recorder. HI Then the same thing with FY5KE and French Guiana whom I worked recently but that time I forgot to turn on the recorder. Today I remembered. Now I have QSOs with 67 countries recorded. Should have more, but I forget to turn on the recorder. I am getting more used to it now. I think there is a way to automatically start the recorder but if so, I don't know it yet. Anyway I don't want to record every QSO, just selected ones like new countries and the like.

After a break to walk Roscoe and a couple other things, I went back to the shack and tried some CQs on the higher bands. Roy W7HJL answered me on 12M and we had a nice chat. He is 83, so we've both been around a long time. We chatted about our early days in ham radio in the 1950s and 1960s. It was very interesting and it is nice to reg chew like that when the TU 599 73 QSOs get boring. Not to demean them, but actually talking with someone about various topics is very enjoyable. That QSO with Roy lasted 20 minutes, the longest 12M QSO I've had since I don't know when, if ever.

Hope the bands are as good in about 12 minutes when it will be time for the streak QSO. -30-

Monday Apr 22 7:23PM - Another of those kind of nothing going on days today despite the nice weather. Well, I shouldn't say nothing going on. Perhaps nothing out of the ordinary. My neighbor cut my grass again today and I helped sweep up afterwards. While we were doing that, we had a nice rag chew about various things. One thing in particular was that we both enjoy fishing and neither of us has gone fishing for a couple years. Me just getting old and losing interest. Him because he has a couple young boys to take care of while their mother works at Sprankle's. So we may try to remedy that sometime this year and head to the river when time permits.

I also continued some spring cleaning I started a couple days ago. Today I cleaned out a corner where I keep my telescopes and some of my model train stuff. I plan to do things like that every day or two till I get most of the house cleaned better than it was.

As far as radio, a check of the bands a couple times revealed pretty much nothing except for a medium pileup chasing something on 12M. I never could hear what they were chasing and those doing the chasing weren't all that strong and mostly from EU.

I also went for a couple walks to enjoy the weather. One a little over a mile and the other about a half mile with a shopping stop at Sprankle's along the way.

Next up is my streak QSO in about a half hour. Hope the bands cooperate. -30-

Sunday Apr 21 7:08PM - 19:43, 19:08. Huh? Oh those are the times for my 2 one-mile walks today. 2 of the very few times I've been under 20 minutes for a mile since last fall some time. I've been slowing down as I age and most mile times are in the 21 and 22 minute ranges of late. So maybe that's a good sign. I don't know why I'm speeding up again, but it feels good. Hope I can keep it up (or down).

Lousy bands again today. Virtually dead with what signals I am hearing being very weak ones. Not even much activity in the CQMM as there was yesterday. Once again I have been thinking of doing a full SST sprint this evening, but not if conditions are like they were this afternoon. I might even struggle to get my streak QSO. Well probably not as there are always at least a few workable stations in the SST sprint.

P.S. - Just fooled around in the SST. Got one QSO on each of 4 bands. 15-WA5PFJ, 20-KD5J, 40-NM2A, 80-K1EBY. Didn't hear anyone on 160 or 10. -30-

Saturday Apr 20 7:43PM - The bands were a little more active today. I don't know if it was propagation conditions or activity brought on by the several contests going on, especially the CQMM contest which is one of the more popular ones these days. I got in it on 10 meters a couple times today and was pleased to find the QSOs easy to make most of the time.

Otherwise today it was a shopping trip to Family Dollar early in the day, and just now I finished folding and putting away my weekly laundry. I'm not sure how it evolved from a Monday morning thing through Sunday evening and now to Saturday evening, but it has. HI

Now it's just a few minutes till streak time. With all the contests going on, it should be easy to get my streak QSO in one of them. -30-

Friday Apr 19 8:42PM - And the streak goes on. Well, that streak also, but I was referring to the streak of poor conditions or lack of activity on the CW bands. Today seemed even worse. Virtually nothing heard on the CW bands from 15-10 meters. A couple weak stations on 17 and 20. That covers what I heard today in 2 or 3 checks at various times this afternoon. Actually even the SST didn't do much to help the activity, just a few weak sigs on 20 and 40. At least I did get my streak QSO this evening from KR4AE down in GA on 30 meters, a 2XQRP QSO with very deep QSB both ends.

At least it was a nice day for walking. I enjoyed the weather in a couple long outdoor walks. It was in the mid-60s which is just about an ideal walking temperature. -30-

Thursday Apr 18 5:46PM - The bands were virtually devoid of CW signals from 20 through 10 meters in a couple of checks this afternoon. I finally did get a QSO late this afternoon from VE3MM on 30 meters. It is really sad the condition the bands are in lately. Where are all the CW operators anyway? They still come out in droves for sprints, contests, POTA, SOTA, etc., but doesn't anyone like to just rag chew besides a few of us dedicated CW ops?

It was a beautiful cool partly cloudy day today which gave me a chance to work on the lawns to finish up the mowing job of Tuesday with some edging and trimming with my battery powered trimmer. Really nice to be outside in this beautiful time of year when it's not too cold nor too hot.

I might just go for a walk after I take Roscoe out a little bit later. -30-

Wednesday Apr 17 5:24PM - Thought I'd write this early today. I just got home from our subpedition with Mike and Ken about an hour or less ago. The bands were pretty poor as they have been of late. Mike arrived a little past 8:30 and we passed some time before leaving for the Requin. A little too much time maybe, since we were late getting there. Ken was already there and we greeted Art at the sub entrance and chatted with him a bit before heading to the radio room to join Ken.

We brought my keyer and it took a while to get it set up. Ken hadn't made any QSOs in the short time he was there. After the keyer was set up, we got into full swing in the operation. It sure has been nice having the keyer to call CQ for us the last few subpeditions. Sure saves wear and tear on us. HI Things started out somewhat slowly with Mike as the OP. He worked the following listed by band and in time order:


Next up N3AFS:

Then K3WWP:
20 K9OZ

20: NN0TE MN

In between the QSOs and during the QSOs, we had a good time greeting the visitors passing by the radio room. There were a lot of school kids, most of who were early grade school with one big class of high schoolers. Of course accompanied by adult teachers and parents. I also had a chance to have a couple of good chats (rag chews?) with Art, the sub caretaker, and Auri, one of the tour hosts.

With activity dying down even more from its already low level, we decided to close up the station and head home around 2:00PM. Ken went his way, and Mike and I headed to Applebees for a meal, of course. Then back home to Kittanning for me with Mike continuing on to Brookville. All in all it was a very good day, and good to have Ken along. -30-

Tuesday Apr 16 8:40PM - It wasn't a new country or even band-country, but I got a stubborn streak about working A8OK for some reason, and tonight I made it after only 2 or 3 other stations on 30M, no repeats either way. Interesting how that works. You try and try, and then it is as easy as working your next door neighbor. Well, besides satisfying my stubborness, it is a new prefix for my records. And of course yet another streak day in the books.

It was also a day for accomplishing other things. I got my second half of the month bills paid and on their way in the mail. Also my neighbor cut my grass. I decided it was time to have someone else do that chore. I still clean up the yards otherwise though. I pruned my rose bushes. I got the yard ready for mowing moving the sump pump hoses, a statue, a couple little solar powered butterfly gadgets, etc. I swept up the grass clippings from my and my neighbor's sidewalks after he finished. So I'm not fully retiring from yard work just yet. HI.

As I mentioned in yesterday's diary entry, Mike and I are off to the Requin for the first subpedition of the year tomorrow. Hope to work you.

Overall, besides the A8OK QSO, the bands were pretty poor today. I don't know if it was propagation or just lack of activity on CW. -30-

Monday Apr 15 8:44PM - Happy(?) Tax Day. After the big 18 QSO day a couple days ago, I've now gotten one QSO a day the past couple days. Well, I may get more today, but conditions will have to be better than they have been those last couple days.

Not a lot going on today. It was a beautiful day after all the rain the past day or so. Sunny and warm in the mid 70s. Ideal for the two walks I took although the wind was pretty strong and I could feel myself getting blown around like a high impact vehicle. HI.

I also did a little outside cleaning up, mainly picking a lot of maple seedlings out of the cracks in my sidewalk.

Inside I did some work in my shack, mainly rewiring a ground connection.

One final thing. Mike and I will be doing a subpedition on this Wednesday. The usual routine. Arriving around 10AM or 1400Z, operating until 1800Z or so depending on activity on or near 7042, 10117, and 14061 +/- QRM from POTA, SOTA, etc. No fixed time for each band. Just will depend on activity. We'll be using the sub call of NY3EC. Ken N3AFS will be accompanying us. Hope you'll try to work us and be successful at it.

And that's it. Time to get the weather readings now. -30-

Sunday Apr 14 8:14PM - We're somewhat in the midst of a line of thunderstorms right now. So far most of the worst of the line has passed to our north, but there is more coming and it may be coming closer to us now. So we'll see what happens.

Not a lot to talk about in the diary today. Band checks revealed the bands to be pretty quiet unlike yesterday. About the only activity was from a few state QSO parties, mostly the Georgia one.

I got a quick streak QSO a little while ago from WA0I, then I QRT. -30-

Saturday Apr 13 8:50PM - I spent more time on the air today outside of days of big DX contests than I have in probably a good many years. Maybe since I got the KX3 some 11-12 years ago. Conditions were great and there were several contests going on. Overall I got 18 QSOs on 40-10 meters except 17. 4 in the Yuri Gagarin test, 1 in the NMQP, 8 in the JIDX Japan test, ! in the NDQP, and 4 otherwise including IQ4FH on 900 mW on 15, Special call LZ543BN on 12, and LY4I on 20. Plus 2 ragchews. WHEW. All that led to some extra work getting the QSOs in my computer log. Kind of like cooking where the cooking is easy, but cleaning up the dishes, pots, and pans afterward is the real work. HI.

It was a lot of fun especially since I still get a little extra kick out of working Russia and Japan because many years ago it was very hard for me to get my first QSO from each of those countries and now I have at least 2-3 hundred with each one.

Right now I'm doing the laundry and have to get my weather readings also, so I better close here. Oh, it was a blustery day today with winds gusting into the 30 MPH range so I didn't go out much except to walk Roscoe. -30-

Friday Apr 12 8:30PM- An impromptu day with Mike today. He texted me this morning saying he had the day off since the golf course was closed because of the excessive rain. He wanted to know if I wanted to go to Pittsburgh to the Apple and Best Buy stores with him. I didn't really need anything, but I figured it would be a chance to do something outside my usual daily routine. Also my neighbor has been wanting to get a computer, but didn't have the money today. So this would give me an idea of what Best Buy would have to suit what exactly he wants later. We left sometime around 12:30 and went to Apple first where Mike updated his iPhone. Then off to Best Buy where Mike shopped around for a printer and found what he wanted and got it. I took pictures of the little spec cards with the HP computers and will study them later. Back here to Kittanning after a stop at Chili's for a meal. I forget what Mike's was called, something like a "Triple" something or other. I had a delicious Santa Fe Chicken Salad. Both meals were huge, but we finished them. I don't really feel stuffed. Maybe one more bite would have put me over the stuffed point. It was close. HI

This evening a couple of quick rag chews for my streak with K4VSV and W1FSY. Now time to get the weather readings. I looked at the rain gauge earlier and it showed around 1.15 inches today to go with about 1.5 inches yesterday. At that point, the April total was already 6.93 inches. -30-

Thursday Apr 11 11:30AM - Here is a post-mortem on the eclipse. First two pictures taken very closely of the same scene out my back window when the sun peeked out briefly from the cloud cover. The first one is at or very close to the maximum coverage of the sun by the moon. The second one a couple hours later when the amount of cloud coverage was similar. There is a noticeable difference in illumination as you can see here.

Below those pictures is one taken by my friend Tom W3TLN in Sarver, PA about 12 miles south of here at the moment of greatest coverage. That is virtually the same as what I was seeing here projecting the image through one half my binoculars onto a piece of white card stock. Unfortunately (or poor planning), I didn't have enough hands to hold everything steady to take a picture. Had the prediction been for a clear blue sky, I would have set up something better or had I been able to go to the path of totality, I would have had something better as well. As it was, this was just another one of a few partial solar eclipses I have seen. Of which, some have also been plagued with cloud cover. You can see the clouds well in Tom's picture.

So it's over now and I never will get to see a total solar eclipse, barring travel to some distant location since the next time a path of totality will touch Earth in Pennsylvania will be in October 2144.

I have had better luck with lunar eclipses since they cover much more territory. Back in the 1950s and/or 1960s, I even submitted observations to Sky and Telescope magazine. But that's another story, as another friend Tom used to say at WPIT when he would whet our appetites with an interesting tidbit about something or other. HI

Here now the pictures


Wednesday Apr 10 8:30PM - An interesting day in some ways and kind of boring in other ways. It was a nice weather day suitable for being outdoors. I took a walk for a while and wound up in Sprankle's where I picked us some groceries for actually the first of four times today. Then I fooled around on the bands for a couple times early in the afternoon with no luck. When Bruce got home from work, he took me to pick up my Senior Food Box. On the way home we stopped for my second time at Sprankle's, then at Family Dollar to conclude my food procuring trips for the day.

Back home again and on the bands for a while. After last night at Skyview fooling around with QRPp, I thought I'd try to go below 5 watts and see what I could work here. CT9/UR9IDX was booming in on 17 and I tried him at 500 mW, but no luck. I should have tried a few more times though as I got him easily when I went to One Watt. That kind of whetted my appetite for QRPp since I hadn't done any for a while. I was just looking to refresh my mind how many mW countries I have worked and the last time I totalled them, it was 90. I think I'll work on that some more now since the bands should be in great shape for mW now. We'll see... maybe. -30-

Tuesday Apr 9 10:00PM - A day with Mike. He arrived around 3:30PM. We discussed DX for a while, then off to Subway for dinner. After that, off to Skyview for a club meeting. I mostly just played with the radio room setup, learning a little more about it as I do each meeting. Tonight I set it all up myself and then made several QSOs - KD3KO, N4LQ, AO75CM, DK8OL, E71A, 9K2MU, and after 0000Z, KC3RN for my streak QSO and my NAQCC Sprint QSO. All QSOs were with 5 watts. All except KC3RN using the K3MJW club call. I used my call with KC3RN for a CW/QRP/Simple wire antenna QSO in my K3WWP log. The other QSOs go in my "Other Calls" log. I let Mike work 9K2MU before I did since it was a new country for him and I worked 9K2MU at home a couple weeks ago. Other than the QSOs, I enjoyed fellowshipping with some of the club members which is always enjoyable. Now I've got to close here and finish some things before bedtime. -30-

Monday Apr 8 8:20PM - The day of the great eclipse. I hope it panned out well for you. It was OK, but far from what might have been. First I had to settle for a partial eclipse since I didn't have any way to get to the path of totality even though it wasn't that far away. Since I didn't make it this time, if I want to see a total eclipse in my lifetime, I'll have to go on one of the eclipsepeditions to some more distant spot than anyplace here in PA. The next total solar eclipse with any portion of the totality path in PA is in October of 2144. Another negative this time was the weather. Of the roughly 2 1/2 hours the path existed here, perhaps the sky was free of clouds only a total of 10 minutes or so and never more than a few seconds at a time. Very hard to get any pictures with a pinhole projector or binoculars projection, so I have no pictures to remember it by. There were a couple brief openings near maximum coverage and I got a nice view with the binoculars projection. It was too hard to hold both the binoculars and the camera steady though. I really should have prepared things better. I should have gotten out my 4 inch reflector telescope and used it for a projector. That would have provided a steady image I could have photographed like I did several years ago with the transit of Mercury. However I didn't think there would be much of a chance for longer periods of clear skies, so I just left the scope inside which with the weather was probably a good idea. So that was the disappointing story here. One thing though, that (at 97.5%) was the closest I've come to a total solar eclipse. Oh and one other thing I did notice at maximum coverage an eerie darkening of the landscape. I got a picture but it didn't really show the effect, even when compared to a picture at full sun.

The bands weren't all that good today. I did finally get a station from Cuba recorded on the 705 though when I worked CO8ZZ. I still have a lot of other "easy" countries to record also. I think Cuba was country #63 now. I don't have my list at hand right now. Tonight I resorted to a POTA QSO for the streak from WD4AWD. And that wraps up this entry just in time to get my weather report. -30-

Sunday Apr 7 6:01PM - A busy day today with a lot of little chores accomplished that I am not going to bore you by listing. After the chores were done, I took a trip to the shack and was glad I did. DX was good on the higher bands, mainly 17 and 15. I had one good catch in HB0/OH2YL on 15. I've only worked HB0 23 times. Last time excluding today was on 10/1/2015. All were HB0/***** portable stations. I also worked another AO75 station, this time AO75CM. And IQ4FH. Heard a lot more that I didn't try working. I recorded the HB0 QSO and it's also a new country for the IC705. #62 recorded and #97 toward an IC705 DXCC

Another chance tonight to do a full SST, but right now, I don't feel like it. Maybe that will change. Bands seem pretty good. If they stay that way....... -30-

Saturday Apr 6 8:43PM - Not a lot going on today. One big thing, taking Roscoe to the groomer. While waiting for that to finish, we had a good breakfast at a local restaurant named Valley Dairy. Sounds kind of like an ice cream parlor or something like that. However it is a full restaurant. I had a full breakfast of scrambled eggs, French toast, and sausage. Mmmmm.

Not a lot of activity on the bands other than a couple state QSO parties, the Poland DX contest, some POTA action. I did find a good rag chew finally with Dave N5EEI whom I haven't worked since 2009.

This evening it was my laundry, some March Madness, and a couple contest QSOs for the streak. -30-

Friday Apr 5 8:47PM - A better all around day today. I had quite a bit of ambition from somewhere. I did my state and federal income taxes on Turbo Tax today. That's four years in a row now I've gone with Turbo Tax. It certainly is the easy way to go. It took about 45 mins to compile the info from my tax forms. Then after the Turbo Tax forms were completed and uploaded to the Federal and State offices, they were received and confirmed within an hour. Neat.

Then I gave my bedroom/shack a good dusting. I read somewhere that there are a lot of human cells in the makeup of dust. If that's true, I could probably have made up a new human, I gathered so much dust today. HI

This evening I added AO75CL on 40 meters to my collection of AO75 QSOs. That went quickly, so I hung around a while looking for some other DX or maybe a rag chew, but no luck, so I QRT. -30-

Thursday Apr 4 9:11PM - This was a Murphy's Law day for me. I'm not going to go into any detail. Let that first sentence suffice to describe things.

At least the bands were good today. I added to my AO75... stations and now have 7 of them. I also had a chat with OE5CSP. I worked GS8VL and thought it was a new prefix, but I have GS8VL in my log a few years ago. Tonight I got CQ75URE for another URE anniversary related station. Then I recorded a new country QSO on the 705 when I worked V4/G0TLE. That's #61 towards my goal of recording 100 country QSOs.

OK, let's let today go at that and see if tomorrow is any better. HI -30-

Wednesday Apr 3 12:44PM - The number of the day is 61. Yes it was 61 years ago today my ham radio license as shown here was issued by the FCC:

Of course I didn't get the license in the mail until a few days later. No instant gratification in those pre-Internet days. In fact, my first QSO didn't come until 5 days later on the 8th with KN3WWW, my high school friend with whom I took my Novice examination a couple weeks before. Then we worked again the next day. No more QSOs until the 21st, when I worked Art K3HGD, another local Kittanning ham. Finally I broke out of Pennsylvania when I worked WN9GAR in WI on the 22nd. Things continued to go slow through the rest of April and never picked up until May 9. From then through the end of May as I learned my way around, I got 41 QSOs in my log. A glance shows my most distant QSO in that time was WN5FQV in Dallas, TX. After that, things continued to roll to this day, and I now have 97,534 QSOs in my KN3WWP/K3WWP log plus 6,396 QSOs using other calls besides KN3WWP/K3WWP for a total of 103,930. Whew! Wonder how many dots and dashes of CW that involves?!!

Back to the present, DX was very good today on 17 through 12. Picking and choosing, I worked AO75AR, AO75CL, 9A24WAW, AO75PA, and AO75GA. I could have gotten a lot more, but didn't feel like running up the total to make more work transferring from my shack paper log to computer which I have to do now for these 5 QSOs. Getting lazy in my old age, I guess.

Looks like it's raining again to add to our total of 3.59 inches so far in April. So maybe no walk today, but I'll find something to do. -30-

Tuesday Apr 2 7:38PM - Not too much going on today besides watching the rain. At least so far we didn't get the deluge that was predicted, but we still have to make it through tonight and part of tomorrow. Last night and early today we got 1.75 inches of rain which isn't really all that bad considering....

Otherwise in between the showers I went for a walk and got a couple things at Family Dollar. Just a little while ago, I brought my small telescope down from its storage room to get ready for the eclipse. Looks like I'll be watching it from here at home where it will not be total, but about 97% total leaving a small crescent uncovered. I would have loved to see totality, but that just didn't work out barring a last minute miracle. So I guess I'll have gone through life missing a total solar eclipse. The next one with the path of totality covering part of PA is, I believe, in 2144. There are many others before that, but a long trip to their path of totality would be necessary. I have seen some other astronomical events that are pretty rare along the way like a Transit of Mercury, Transit of Venus, Halley's Comet, other long period comets, some nice Auroral displays, a quasar, a nova, among others. So I guess I can't complain since I was lucky enough to see all those things.

As for the eclipse Monday, I'll have my scope set up in projection mode to project an image of the sun on a homemade screen. I did that for the Mercury Transit several years ago and it worked well. I put some pictures of the setup and the transit in the diary. Let's see if I can find a date if you would like to look at it. Look in the diary archives for May 9, 2016. You have to look carefully to see Mercury as the pictures didn't turn out as well as the actual view of Mercury.

OK, streak time now, so 73. More about the eclipse, etc. in the next few entries. -30-

Monday Apr 1 11:30AM - Happy April Fool's Day. Don't let anyone get you today!

I just put my March weather data into my weather spreadsheet and since a lot of you also enjoy weather records and comments, here goes.

March was another quite warm month. The departure from normal for the daily Min, Max, and mean were respectively +7.1, +6.2, and + 6.7 degrees. It was a somewhat wet month with a departure of +0.57 inches of precipitation. For the year so far the departure is +2.52 inches. Only a couple of daily records were tied. High maximum temperature on the 4th tied 1976 at 76 degrees and high minimum temperature on the 9th tied 2000 at 44 degrees. That's it. -30-