March Madness?

Well this has definitely been an interesting month. 

With COVID-19 spreading all over the place WVU has switched to online-only instruction for the remainder of the semester. They have also asked that students not return to Morgantown. This has pretty much put an end to all of W8CUL's projects. We are however, looking into possibly hosting an online version of our Tech In A Day course if there is enough interest. Classes are definitely going to be interesting transitioning to the online stuff.

Now that I’m homebound in Blaine I’ve set up my IC-7300 with my G5RV and have been working quite a bit of FT8 with a little bit of FT4 for fun. I haven’t really worked any SSB since I’ve been home. One thing that I noticed after using the 7300 for a bit (this is the first time I’ve had the 7300 at home) is that the interference that I had of 40 meters with the IC-706mkiig is no longer a problem! Sometimes at night I can just barely hear it but it seems like the 7300 is really taking care of business!

Since my last post I’ve earned a few new awards from the FT8 Digital Mode Club. I earned the Worked Brasilian Prefix Award (Class III) for making contacts with 5 station in Brazil, each one having a different prefix. The next two are both Worked US Grid Square Awards. On is for 25 grid
squares the other is for 50. I also got a second Worked Prefix Award. This one is specifically for working 100 different prefixes on 20 meters. Finally, the last award is the Worked Cuban Stations Award for working 5 Cuban amateur radio stations. It’s been fun trying to see what awards I can earn with the FT8DMC! It’s definitely an awesome, free club you should join if you like working FT8!

Speaking of awards I’ve added an Awards page on the website. It features a Google Photos album of all of my awards (except the ones from QRZ). I also added a few things to the Logbook page. There is now a log from at the top of the page. It’s a little larger than the ones from QRZ and Clublog. A interactive map of all of my QSOs is also on the page now as well. I found and immediately uploaded my log. It accepts an ADIF from my logging software and combines that info with a QRZ looking and displays everything on a nice map.

I made my 300th QSO on March 20th! It was on 40 meters using FT4. The QSO was with AB1WG in Chittenden county, VT. He was also my 200th confirmed contact on QRZ. I'll most likely send him a QSL card when i pick them up from Morgantown.

I decided to work on a project that I’ve wanted to do for a while last week, a pneumatic antenna launcher. I’m basing it off of Spence, WT8WV’s launcher he used at Field Day. It’s a pretty simple build made entirely out of supplies from my local Lowe’s and one part from O’Reilly Auto Parts. It
only took two days to build (with the exception of the projectiles, I haven’t decided what to fill them with). I was going to dedicate a blog post to the build but there is already so much out there about building one I decided not to. I’m already thinking up ideas for a version 2! I’m going to use the launcher to move my G5RV further up the hill behind my house and get it into a flattop configuration instead of the inverted v.

Well I guess that's all for now. Stay safe and wash your hands!




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