Saturday, April 28, 2018

Two Years of HF

This week I celebrated my second anniversary of being on HF. For you non-hams, that means the High Frequency bands. My antenna theoretically operates the bands from 40 meters to 10 meters (that's the approximate wavelength of the band:  7MHz to 29.7MHz).

I had passed the General Class exam (giving me privileges to operate on those bands) 3 weeks before, but needed a radio and antenna capable of working them.  With the help of my brother-in-law (non-ham but with considerable skills) we got it all set up and I made my first contacts: CT7AEQ in Portugal and HT7AAA in Nicaragua. A couple of days later I got a great lesson in propagation. I'm in Massachusetts, and heard OK2RZ in the Czech Republic talking to a station in Connecticut. I heard the Czech station clearly, but could not hear the CT station, less than 200 miles from here.  Anyway, I was next in line to work the Czech station and I was off and running.

In July 2016 I changed my call sign from KC1EXG to W1LEM, and in December 2016 I passed the Amateur Extra Class exam. I operate mostly on FT8 now, but I do QSO Parties and other events on phone (voice). I am learning Morse Code (CW), and have some CW contacts logged. More to come.

I have Worked All 50 US States (Mixed, Digital, Phone, FT8, 20 meters, and  20 meters digital) and 107 countries. As of this writing I have 7526 contacts recorded in Logbook of the World.

(Totals below do not match LOTW exactly due to different logging data sources, but it's a good picture of the distribution)

CW:            5
FT8:      5468 (started 2017-09-01--so far, 50 states and 93 countries)
JT9:          57
JT65:     1292 (I did JT9 & JT65 for 7 months--worked 49 states--not Maine--and 62 countries; FT8 is more enjoyable and I probably will never go back to the JT modes)
Phone:     584
PSK31:      44
RTTY:         1

10m:            3
12m:          34
15m:        313
17m:        775
20m:      4145
30m:        632
40m:      1517
60m:            3
80m:          27 (note that my G5RVjr antenna is not supposed to perform on 60m and 80m)