Friday, 1 March 2013

Getting ready......

This weekend is the ARRL International SSB Contest and I've spent the last few days putting the finishing touches on the shack and getting it ready for the first BIG contest of the year.

I've had an issue with the 80m OCF dipole that I have up in the air.  It works extemely well from 6m to 80m, with the exception of 15m which it just refuses to load on using the ATU on the FT-950.  So, obviously 15m will be a big player in this contest I had to do something........

All attempts to get a dedicated 15m dipole in the air this week has been sabotaged by heavy snow and freezing rain.  The only answer I could come up with was to go digging in the garage through some of the still unpacked boxes from the move, and dig out my trusty MFJ-949E manual tuner.  No sooner was it connected and I was having a 15m QSO with Elana-RC5A in Moscow and almost right away with Larry-VP2/KE2VB in Tortola, British Virgin Islands.  Things seem to be working good enough for this weekend.

Speaking of the weekend....have you seen the SFI numbers?  Currently at 2245Z the SFI is 113; the SN is 63; the 'A' Index is 28 (!!!!); and the 'K' Index is 4 (!!).  One can only hope that those numbers will improve as the contest progresses.

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