This will probably be my last post on here for the remainder of the trip. The plan is to take off Thursday morning, early. That means I need to use Wednesday to take down the antennas and pack the truck.
I will have an antenna and radio running on 6m through Wednesday night, I just won’t have the beam antennas.
We are going to dinner with some friends tonight so I am not sure if I will get a chance to catch the evening band opening on 6m, but I will certainly try. I will have tonight and tomorrow night to really bring in the QSO’s (it is very nice having beams!). Though, I should still be able to snag a few Wednesday evening.
The past two nights have been spectacular on 6m. I sacrificed dinner one night to run the whole opening and I am glad I did. The openings that I have caught have been to the South East – from Central Texas to North Carolina, mostly EM’s with some FM’s and EN’s in the mix. I would like to catch some DN’s, DM’s and maybe even all the way to the East and West coasts. So far I have set my antennas to about 135deg and been content.
In the past two big openings I have run in to pileups so thick I have had to ask for repeats as I didn’t catch any part of any one’s call out of the mess. At times I have hit QSO rates of 1 every 15 seconds. I haven’t been too quick with the QSO’s overall though, maybe I should speed things up so more people get a chance to complete a QSO. I just don’t want to be a jerk and run everyone through the “blender” like big DX.
So lets see what happens the next couple nights. I haven’t made any QSO’s on the higher bands yet. I want to at least get a few QSO’s on 2m. I have been calling quite a bit on 144.200, both USB and CW (mostly CW as I can fire up the auto-keyer and let it run while I am doing something else). I have not had any replies as of yet. I will keep a radio on 144.200 even if I am rolling on 6m, so if there is a pile up on 6 jump on 2 and make some noise! I might just take a break from 6 and snag a few on 2m.
I can’t believe the trip is almost done! This is a real effort for a week – 4 days total of travel, all the setting up, and all the tearing down – but when I am sitting there working the pile ups it all becomes worth it (and why I do it year after year!). If I didn’t get much out of it I certainly wouldn’t put the effort in to it. Out of all the ham radio events I operate this is right up there with Field Day (next weekend!).