30 December 2001

My priorities this month were to my family... On 23 November my Wife donated one of her Kidney's to my Son who has been struggling with renal failure for the last 2 years. They are now recovering from their operations and all seems to be going well so far. 

I did find a little time to play with my radio... but not like in previous months!! On the occasions that I operated, activity seemed low by comparison with October and November... but I guess we all need a rest after the ARRL EME contest.

My standings improved to: 164 Initials, 32 Countries, 6 Continents, 24 US States, 27 Large Grid Sq and 127 Small Grid Sq.

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Here's the log:

01 December

2029 JA6CZD 559/569, 2039 IK3COJ 549/449, 2238 HB9BCD 559/559, 2250 IK2MMB 559/569, 2316 DL4MUP 559/559, 2353 WA1JOF 549/549.

08 December

We were all having problems sleeping... so I got up!!

0441 OK1CA 549/559, 0816 DK5MV 549/559, 0825 DJ5MN 559/579, 0836... Called F/G8MBI many times but no response, 0910 F6ETI 529/529, 0934 SM2CEW 569/569, 1050 OZ4MM 569/559.

09 December

Unusual weather caused icing of the dish and the mount resulting in problems with the gearing between the azimuth shaft and the azimuth sensor.  I had to recalibrate using my echoes after freeing things up... time to get some car windscreen de icer!!

1015 F6ETI 529/529 and again 1027 F6ETI this time 51/51 in ssb (Philippe uses a 3.2m dish and 400W), 1052 I0UGB 53/53 in ssb.

12 December 

Today marked the centenary of Marconi's first transatlantic communication in 1901. The VLBI 32m Dish near Bologna was used by the Marconi Foundation with the callsign IY4FGM/4 to celebrate the event using EME. Fortunately, I was able to be around to make a QSO with them.

0800 IY4FGM/4 58/57 on ssb, 0848 F6ETI 529/529, 1242 IY4FGM/4 599/559 and 1259 W5LUA 559/559.

Activity weekend - 29 & 39 Dec

Here's the report for this weekend so far… After some problems caused by the winter weather, heard no JA activity and EU activity was very low. Conditions were very good on 29 Dec with some nice ssb QSO's.

28 Dec

Had heavy and gusting winds overnight, dish was parked pointing up but with counterweight arms strapped to tower. The dish was tossed around wildly in the wind... really frightening!! 

Fortunately everything survived… others were not so lucky!! Must do some inspection when the weather improves.

1925 OZ6OL 549/559, 2035 HB9BBD 599/589 and 59/58 on ssb, 2200 Sked with GM0ONN 1.8m dish & 230W - M/Nil, 2254 N2IQ 569/569, 2325 W2UHI 559/559, 2335 K5JL 599/589.

29 Dec

Had about 3 in of snow overnight, spent some time removing it from the dish… up the tower shaking things about and with a brush. Eventually all was cleared. On switching on my tracking PC (Old 486), found cmos checksum error, wasted some time trying to remember how to get into the bios… eventually sorted OK.

1935 On testing for echoes… heard nil!!! Went outside and could see dish was pointing low. Increased elevation till heard echoes and peaked, then reset calibration. All that rocking to remove the snow must have messed up the count from the el sensor.

1956 HB9BCD 549/559, 2012 GW3XYW 55/55 on ssb, 2130 Sked with GM0ONN again M/Nil… Iain had pre amp failure, 2210 F6ETI 549/549, 2218 IK2MMB 559/569, 2350 K2UYH 55/56 on ssb.

30 Dec

0013 SM2CEW 569/56 cw/ssb, 0028 ZS6AXT 559/589, 0039 K5JL 599/589 & 58/57 on ssb, 0128 W2UHI 569/579, 0138 K9BCT 559/569, 0158 W7BBM 549/579 and again 0210 W7BBM 52/55 on ssb with 55 Watts!

2038 JA6AHB 559/559, 2106 F2TU 55/55, 2111 F6ETI 51/52 on ssb, 2117 IK2MMB 54/54 on ssb, 2230 Sked with GM0ONN almost completed... exchanged M/MR but he didn't get my R's, 2315 tried again with GM0ONN... still did not complete. 

Best wishes to everyone for Christmas and the New Year, and thanks for all the QSO's that made 2001 another really memorable year for me. Let's hope next year is even better!!


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