|2013 KL8DX Total QSO's as reported by Clublog|
2013 was the year of change for this ham. From leaving Alaska to changing my callsign, this was change in the extreme. If departing remote Alaska and arriving to busy Boston was not enough, having to learn a new callsign and change all of my information kept me pretty busy. We are still unpacking boxes and sorting through the years of accumulation with a goal of downsizing by at least 50%. It's also an adjustment going from a 4 element tri-bander at 43 feet with an Icom IC-756PRO to a Yaesu FT-857D with 100 watts or less to an indoor Buddipole. I went from finding a clear frequency calling CQ and dealing with contest pile-ups and running stations for hours to 100% Search & Pounce.
On a personal note, we went from living nearly tax free to tax overload here in Massachusetts. I've not sat down and compared apples to apples as it really doesn't matter as we are here. It's not all bad as we live next to New Hampshire and like many folks who reside here, we can shop north of the border saving some of that tax burden. So many cities and stores within 25 miles of our home and we have been enjoying the selection. And when it comes to radio, it's very different here. The biggest change is propagation. I'm no longer under the aurora curtain so there is normally something on the radio 24/7. I sure enjoyed the ARRL 10 Meter Contest and to date, I've worked a whopping 47 entities with my low power indoor antenna set-up. I had to create my submission log for the ARRL 10 Meter Contest manually, so after returning home from our holiday travels, I managed to finish up my log and submit it. Gives one a new appreciation of contest software that does all that paperwork for ya. I have plans of upgrading my shack computer so once I'm done with that task, I can hopefully get back to using Win-test. I have a few more computers to recycle and it will be time to get working on the shack computer upgrade.
Anyhow, the photo at the top of the page is from Clublog of my 2013 activity as KL8DX. Only worked a bit over 2,400 QSO's with most being contest related from Alaska. I was not chasing DX, as I had while living in Ohio but my total while living in Alaska is also reflected by the Clublog DXCC overview.
|KL8DX DXCC Alaska|
I started working on my next QSL card prior to the holiday's but now that we are settled back into the new year grind, I will be continue working on my next design. I've already received a few QSL card requests so for those that might be reading my blog and sent a card, I hope to have some new cards printed soon. I also have two huge bureau drops for KL8DX to deal with as well. I'm hoping that since we are entering the coldest months of the year, I will have a bit more time for the ham radio administrative side of things. I've had visions of GlobalQSL and it is certainly worth consideration. From those I've heard that use it claim it puts more fun in ham radio as you're spending less time on QSL duties.
|AK2MA Clublog Overview|
I have no plans or milestones set for 2014. I hope to do more portable operating and we will be on the hunt for out of the way places to camp and break away from the general public. If you had been following my KL8DX blog you will know that my Ameritron Amplifier has been out of service for the last few years. Carl, WL7BDO came down to my house while we lived in Alaska and helped me troubleshoot and diagnose my case of Ampluenza. I hope to send that off for repair and then as mentioned earlier, get my shack computer upgraded and rebuilt. I also need to start thinking of a new affordable (keyword) HF rig. I will hang onto my Icom IC-756PRO until there are no parts available but my goal is to set it up for digital contesting. I would like a main CW rig, that being a Elecraft K3, Icom or Yaesu HF rig. I'm not even sure when I will have a tower up again (won't be one at this QTH) but when I do, I want to have the station ready. In the mean time, I have my Icom 703Plus, Icom 706MIIG and my Yaesu FT-857D to play radio with. Unless I'm participating in a mult-operator setting at another QTH, my operating here will likely be casual and more Search & Pounce than anything. Once I find my data cable for my Icom's, I'm looking forward to getting back on digital.
Now that we have entered into a new year, I'm hopeful that my adventures both on and off the radio continue. I'm sure 2014 will continue with some changes but I'm hopeful it will be less dramatic than 2013. I think my theme for this year will be less. I plan on much more QRP operating as conditions here are more conducive to low power operating. Not that Alaska wasn't a QRP contesting hotspot but many times even 100 watts would hardly make it across the state border. Both KL7AC and KL2R have posted some pretty nice numbers while operating QRP from the 49th. My station however lacked the exterior metal work that would help that 5 watt signal make it much beyond the neighbors house. Even though I no longer have my tower up since moving, ham radio is very much alive in our house. With the feedline running from the rig on our kitchen table, through our kitchen and living room, up the stairs and connecting to the antenna in the hallway during the weekends, there is no doubt ham radio is happening around here, just on a much smaller scale.