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The realisation

It has been many months since I have made QSO’s and even longer since I have posted about them here. Over the summer months I have had a clear realisation of how radiosport and ham radio in general fits into my often hectic schedule.

For me now radio has become a seasonal pursuit, much like skiing or biking. I will never abandon it but at the same time I will not fight to make it fit to my schedule. When this happens my frustrations grow and I lose interest.

So I have decided to focus my energy around the good propagation season from September to March. My little gun station means I have to fight for QSOs and in the summer that is just not possible here. Analysing logs from the past two years has shown that I make more QSOs and work more DX in October, November and December.

If I have time I’ll still fire up the rig at other times of the year, for dxpeditions and what not, but I won’t lose faith when the log remains empty.

Now for the first of the season…bring ‘em on!

Some practice…

Slip on some headphones, open up notepad on your computer and get some practice in…

QSLs

I’ve just finished sending out my first batch of direct cards for PJ2/EI8GNB. There were only a dozen direct cards so far one month after operating, however I’m already up to a 42% confirmation rate if I include LotW and eQSL stats. One way or another the art of QSLing be it for personal or award gain is not diminishing, just the form of the QSL is changing.

I didn’t do a professional print run for the PJ2 call. I just created ‘homebrew’ cards by designing one in photoshop. I design the 3.5×5.5″ card and put it in a 6×4″ document, leaving a white border around. I then take the file as a JPEG on an SD card to my local drugstore photobooth to print out glossy 6×4 photoprints. I cut the prints back down to QSL size (a rotary paper cutter is great for this) and stick a large label on the back with QSO and station details et voila! For small card runs like this, this process is great because it is completely customizable.

Here are the cards, I have two designs (I couldn’t decide), if you like a particular one let me know in your request:-
pj2ei8gnb3pj2ei8gnb

November musings.

I’m back in the saddle as far a radio is concerned. I’ve just recently returned from PJ2T in Curacao. Thanks to Geoff W0CG and the rest of the team there, lots of fun was had. Outside of the contest I got the chance to operate for about 3 hours as PJ2/EI8GNB, and put 340 Qs in the logbook on 10m and 15m. I’m already receiving direct QSL cards and return cards will be sent once I complete the design in the coming days.

The openings on 10m have been fantastic for little pistol stations like mine. To get my DXCC totals up I’ve been trying to stick to my two-a-day-DX-diet. I’ve been getting good signal reports on 10m though receive on my end is slightly weaker because of my compromise antenna. I’m currently researching receive-only or receive pre-amp configurations that might improve this slightly.

I’m doing doing my PJ2 cards at home myself but I’m also planning to get a professional printed set for my VA7DXC call. I have quite a few worked but unconfirmed DX outstanding, so I need to begin QSLing to complete my ‘condo’ DXCC!

VA7DXC @ PJ2T

I’m part of the PJ2T team in Curacao for this year’s CQ WW DX SSB Contest. I’ll be working stations before and after the contest with my Irish call as PJ2/EI8GNB. See you on the bands.

One of the patios at PJ2T

One of the patio PJ2T