Radio turned on! QSOs made on 6!

It’s been close to a year according to my logbook — I finally turned on my TS-2000 again.

It started out just as a check on my VSWR for my antenna system.  Amazingly to me, both the 6m M2 loop and my 17m rotatable dipole both seemed unchanged by the ravages of a snowy cold winter and many wind storms (and a guywire encounter with a lawn mower some months back).

Then, on 6m, I caught a glimpse of CW as I was spinning the dial.  Oh 6m, you tease!

True to the “magic band” name, the signal magically vanished, never to be heard again.  And just like that I got hooked back into radio.  I started listening for band openings on 50.125 in the background while I was working on other projects (non-radio).  And, nothing.  Now I was really hooked.

That was yesterday.  This morning I turned it on and wow, signals!  At least 2 SSB QSOs were heard right away around the .125 watering hole.  I quickly made two contacts with stations down in Alabama.  They were running 3el yagis and pulled me in as an S9+ with my 100W into the loop.  I wasn’t able to pull them in quite as strong but they were loud and steady.

I told one ham that I hadn’t been on the air in many months (since August apparently).  He said that I hadn’t missed much, that HF had been fairly atrocious, but that 6m was showing signs of early-season openings.  So I will stay tuned and see what I can do.

I have a grid square map on my wall and I put stickers on the grids I’ve worked.  I enjoy seeing the bulls eye pattern that eventually forms, showing graphically the single and multi-hop QSOs. I haven’t made enough QSOs to even round out the single hop ring but I may work on that with this year’s opening, especially if it does end up being above average.

No other ham radio activity to report, except for very minor antenna inspection and maintenance (bascially sweeping away leaves and checking connections).  I always hope to get back to my projects and blog again.  I might get some of that done this summer but I’m still going to be busy with school-related and other activities.  But, all the stuff is still there on the bench and waiting to be played with given half a chance.

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