Saturday, June 18, 2022

Something is up?

 Hmm something is just not as it should be? 


For about a month now I have been on the low side with receiving comments on my blog posts. Don't get me wrong I am not full of myself thinking my blog posts grab thousand of readers BUT I usually get a few comments. A fellow blogger  Bas PE4BAS  posted on his blog regarding a similar issue he was having and both our blogs are hosted by Blogger.  He found changing a few settings within Blogger did the trick for him. I followed his lead and did the same. I thought all was good until I had some emails from readers informing me they were unable to leave a comment. I was told that all seemed to go well with the comment bot and a comment was submitted but it would never appear on the post......

So here we are again.....if anyone out there has:

- Had the same issue with their blogger blog and found a work around let me know?

- If anyone has tried to leave a comment and it failed to post please let me know?

- Finally does anyone know of a no issues blog host? I have looked at WordPress but it seems for what I want to do I have to pay? 

Instead of the frustration of trying to leave a comment just email me at or try leaving a comment and see that happens but do email me as that for sure will get to me. It gets very frustrating when things are just working fine and someone somewhere has a bright idea to change things around.  

Saturday, June 4, 2022

Listen with your eyes closed.


Way back in high school one of my classes was band class, now this was not brass band but strings and wood wind. I was a cello player and very much enjoyed it but when it was time to sign it out to practice at home I had wished I picked the flute....I digress....What does the cello have to do with ham radio? Well back when I was in band class part of our testing was to listen to a recording of an orchestra playing and identify as many individual instruments as we could. Simple with violin, double bass, cello and clarinet. But the Oboe, Bass and E-flat Clarinet, Bassoon, Contrabassoon and then the Viola. Our teacher told us to close our eyes as we listened and it would make things much easier and over time it did. 

So you ask again what does this have to do with radio? For the past 6 months I have been on a mission to build up my copy speed of Morse code. I really did not like the code and had to learn it and I say "had too" because when I first went for my ham ticket the code was a requirement. I learned the code back then to later forget it once I obtained my ticket. 

I have come full circle to respecting and admiring the skill of Morse code. I worked very hard to learn the code and it's very true if you don't use it you loose it. I had lost it over time but in my mid 50's I started again to learn it and wanted to master it....have not got there yet but the challenge keeps me sharp. 

I am focusing on contest Morse code and my next challenge will be a higher speed QSO Morse code. I am at the point now (35-38 wpm contest code) that as my practice contest code programs spill the code at me I find myself typing the letter or number and looking at the screen on the PC to see if it's correct and then listen for the next letter. At 36-38 wpm looking at the letter to confirm is not an option I end up missing letters and not getting the call sign or exchange correct. 

Now at this speed of code I strongly recommend proper home row touch keyboarding and not hunt and peck the letters and numbers. As mentioned in a past post thank goodness in school I took typing and am able to touch type. As I struggled to hit the 35-38 wpm mark I remembered my music teacher...."close your eyes and listen" I did just that and my rate of copy went from 70% up to the 90's. I don't keep my eyes closed all the time and I feel it's just really helping me to concentrate on the rhythm of the letters and numbers. 

To close your eyes and listen sure does the trick for me.

Monday, May 30, 2022

CQ WPX CW contest....well I started with great hopes!

Intentionally left upside down as this was how things turned out.

 Well here we are it's Monday and as I look back to Friday and the dreams of contest sugar cookies dancing in my head and how things can change! The contest was the CQ WPX CW contest and as of Friday evening I was all ready to give it a decent go. The propagation numbers were not in our favour as the Kp index rolled up to 5 and thus lots of signal QSB.

It was Saturday morning and I was just beginning to call CQ TEST when my dear wife came in and announced "I think I hear water running come and have a listen". Those words are any given day are not what you want to hear. The contest came to a grinding halt and it was taken over by contractors, plumbers and various odds and ends.  I was able to get in and out of the contest but only for very short times. The outcome was a poor showing but a better and upgraded plumbing! 

For the limited time I was in the contest here are some of my take a ways from it:

As said the conditions on Saturday were poor and I found myself calling CQ TEST and as time past with no answer my mind began to wonder. Looking around the shack, looking at the operating desk and icons on the desktop. Then all of a sudden an answer came and I was not at all ready for it. Thus repeats and some frustration. 

I really wanted to work in the contest at improving my run abilities and it was just not happening as I was calling CQ TEST sometime for over 10 minutes with no answer. I then went to search and pounce and did up my score that way. Lesson learned....go to search and pounce when calling CQ TEST is just not happening. 

Murphy did hit me with the plumbing issue as well my own carelessness...for example when I setup my CW macros and tested them before the contest I turned the power out to zero. Well this ham radio guy forgot to turn the power back up to 100 watts and for about 20 minutes I was calling CQ TEST with ZERO output!! To boot the radio have a LARGE meter showing zero out and my LDG tuner has the same. Lesson learned to pay attention and not to wonder. 

Not much else and since this is not a home repair blog I will skip the very expensive plumbing repairs.

Below is the final score.