Sunday, April 6, 2014

K5JAW Operating Notes, 2014 Week 13 &14 (March 23-April 5, 2014)

On The Air: 
It's been a busy couple of weeks around Station K5JAW, but very little of that busy time has been amateur radio time!  Only 42 contacts were logged in this two-week period, and most of them were for activity in various nets.  A few days out of town for work contributed to the lack of radio time.  Additionally, I've been spending evening time working on getting a small garden up and going.

For my 2014 QSO 365 project, the first three months of the year have been a great success.  396 contacts were logged in January (166), February (91), and March (139), with 16 new DXCC entries logged.  That averages out to just over 4 contacts per day, if you like running averages.  Certainly there were days with only one or two contacts, and a few days with multiple contacts.  My highest single-day tally was 35 contacts on March 1.

Are you doing a QSO 365?  Or have you considered taking up the challenge?  How are you doing so far?

Top 5 Distances This Period:
RK9UN - Russia, 6400 miles
UA9MA - Russia, 6200 miles
R7DX - Russia, 6100 miles
S58N - Slovenia, 5200 miles
OE3XMA - Austria, 5100 miles

International Contacts:
Asiatic Russia, Austria, Cayman Islands, Costa Rica, Cuba, European Russia, Slovenia, US Virgin Islands

States Worked:
Mississippi, New Mexico, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Vermont

QSL Cards Received this week
None

QSL Cards Going Out in the coming week
No cards this week, I'm waiting on some new QSL cards to be delivered.  I'll catch up as soon as I get them!

Sunday, March 23, 2014

K5JAW Operating Notes, 2014 Week 12 (March 16-22, 2014)

On The Air: 
Aside from the routine nets that occur each day of the week, I've enjoyed some DX activity on the HF bands.  Four new DXCC entities were logged this week.  That brings my 2014 total of new DXCC entries to 16, if I counted correctly!  It has been fun, and quite a challenge to break through the huge pileups that come with DXCC's that aren't heard that often.  I can tell you it is very satisfying to hear the DX station call back "Kilo 5?" or "Juliette Alpha Whiskey?" from among the big guns that are trying to call him.  The new DXCC's logged this week were Greece, Latvia, South Korea, and Kuwait.

Top 5 Distances This Week:
9K2QA - Kuwait, 7300 miles
HL5FUA - Republic of Korea (S. Korea), 6800 miles
RT0F - Russia, 5900 miles
SV2CXI - Greece, 5700 miles
YT0W - Serbia, 5500 miles

International Contacts:

Aruba, Bahamas, France, Greece, Kuwait, Latvia, Republic of Korea, Russia, Serbia

States Worked:
Arizona, California, Hawaii, Mississippi, New Mexico

Bands Worked this Week:
80m - 5 contacts
20m - 5 contacts
17m - 1 contact
12m - 5 contacts
10m - 2 contacts
2m - 6 contacts

Around the Station:
The highlight of the week was receiving my Worked All Continents award!  I had my cards checked and the application sent off about two months ago.  Since that time, I've "worked all continents" on 10 meters in one day, as well as truly working ALL continents by getting Antarctica in the log a couple of weeks ago.


QSL Cards Received this week
None
QSL Cards Going Out in the coming week
No cards this week, I'm waiting on some new QSL cards to be delivered.  I'll catch up as soon as I get them!

Sunday, March 16, 2014

K5JAW Operating Notes Weeks 10 & 11 (Mar 2-15, 2014)

On The Air: 
Well I missed publishing Week 10 Operating Notes, so you get a double-helping this week!  Such is the ebb and flow of this hobby; sometimes we don't get to spend the time on it that we plan.  Over the past two weeks I've been subject to that ebb and flow, with my on-air time ranging from quick visits to the shack for participation in regular nets, to spending a few hours at a time working DX contacts.

I won't recap every little bit of the last two weeks, other than to say that I've added new DXCC entries to the log.  Although they're not yet "confirmed" for awards purposes, they're in the log!   Probably the biggest highlight was logging Antarctica with a SSB contact to RI1ANT, just over 10,000 miles away on the "far side" of Antarctica from the United States.  That meant my signal went over the South Pole, or pretty dog-gone close to it.  I've got confirmations on the six major continents, and now I can say that I've got all seven in the log.

Top 4 Distances This Week:
RI1ANT - Antarctica, 10,157 miles
RT0F - Russia, 5700 miles
YT0W, YU1JW, and YT0A - Serbia, 5500 miles

International Contacts:
Antigua & Barbuda, Argentina, Aruba, Bahamas, Bonaire Island, Brazil, Canary Islands, Chile, Croatia, Cuba, Curacao Island, European Russia, Italy, Jamaica, Japan, Mexico, Morocco, New Zealand, Nicaragua, Puerto Rico, Spain, Turks & Caicos

States Worked:
Mississippi, Texas, Virginia

QSL Cards Received this week
W4V - Virginia

QSL Cards Going Out in the coming week
No cards this week, I'm waiting on some new QSL cards to be delivered.  I'll catch up as soon as I get them!

Sunday, March 2, 2014

K5JAW Operating Notes 2014 Week 9 (Feb 23-Mar 1)

On The Air: 
What started out as a slow week radio-wise certainly ended with a bang!  Most of this week's activity was centered around routine nets on 2 meters and 80 meters.  Work and personal obligations have overtaken most of my radio-leisure time, resulting in quick visits to the shack to participate in a couple nets each evening.  The good thing about measuring time according to UTC is that as I get home from work, one UTC day is ending and another begins, thus giving me two "days" that I can operate spread over just a couple of hours.  This is very helpful with the QSO-365 project as well.

The highlight of the week was Saturday, March 1.  I hadn't consulted the various contest calendars, so I was surprised to find all the activity on HF before I realized the ARRL SSB DX contest was being held.  I don't normally participate in contests for my own benefit.  Instead, I'm happy to dial around and reply to contestant's QRZ calls and give them the points they're looking for.  It's an easy way to pick up locations you may need for Worked all States, Worked all Continents, or DXCC awards.

For a few hours' worth of leisurely operating, I logged 33 DX contacts, including 3 new DXCC entities.  One unexpected outcome was that I worked all continents in those few hours, all on 10 meters!  While I've got a application pending for the Worked All Continents award, I may try to get QSL's for today's contacts so I can get the 10 meter WAC endorsement.

The take-away lesson here is this: even if you don't participate in contests for the contest's sake, take time to work through some of the pileups.  You may be surprised what you can do with 100 watts, and your log will benefit as well!

One final highlight of the week involved the ARRL's Centennial QSO Party, when I was able to work ARRL President Kay Craigie N3KN on 20 meters.

Top 4 Distances This Week:
ZM1G - New Zealand, 7988 miles
JK1YMM and JH1GBZ - Japan, 6775 miles
JE1LFX - Japan, 6682 miles
JA1BPA- Japan, 6659 miles
RT0F - Russia, 5966 miles

International Contacts:
Antigua & Barbuda, Argentina, Aruba, Bahamas, Bonaire Island, Brazil, Canary Islands, Chile, Croatia, Cuba, Curacao Island, European Russia, Italy, Jamaica, Japan, Mexico, Morocco, New Zealand, Nicaragua, Puerto Rico, Spain, Turks & Caicos

States Worked:
Mississippi, Texas, Virginia

QSL Cards Received this week
W4V - Virginia

QSL Cards Going Out in the coming week
No cards this week, I'm waiting on some new QSL cards to be delivered.  I'll catch up as soon as I get them!

Sunday, February 23, 2014

K5JAW Operating Notes, 2014 Week 8 (Feb 16-22)

On The Air: 
Well I was on the road again this week, so the home station was relatively quiet, and subsequently this week's Operating Notes are brief.  However, I was able to keep up with the QSO-365 project and maintain at least one logged contact each day.  Since the beginning of the year, I've only missed one day in the log!

Top 4 Distances This Week:
FO4BM - French Polynesia - 5256 Miles
PJ6/KB1ZOJ - Saba & Saint Eustatius Islands - 2054 miles
K4PDX - Florida - 815 Miles
W0JH - Minnesota - 809 Miles

International Contacts:
French Polynesia, Saba & Saint Eustatius Islands

States Worked:
Florida, Minnesota, Mississippi

QSL Cards Received this week
W6LSX - Alabama

QSL Cards Going Out in the coming week
No cards this week, I'm waiting on some new QSL cards to be delivered.  I'll catch up as soon as I get them!

Monday, February 17, 2014

K5JAW Operating Notes - 2014 Week 7 (Feb 9-15)

On The Air: 
With no out-of-town work trips this week, I had more time to be on the air, and my log looks better than it has for the past couple of weeks!  I'm continuing to participate in a lot of local and statewide nets, so that constitutes a notable percentage of my logs this week.  A few DX stations were logged, as well as a number of states.

Top 5 Distances This Week:
CT7AEQ - Portugal - 4415 miles
ZZ80CW - Brazil - 3935 miles
CU1EZ - Azores - 3634 miles
NM1JY - New Hampshire - 1255 miles
N7ERU - Arizona - 1251 miles

International Contacts:
Azores, Brazil, Portugal

States Worked:
Alabama, Arkansas, Arizona, California, Georgia, Indiana, Maryland, Missouri, Mississippi, New Hampshire, Oklahoma, Texas, Wisconsin

Bands Worked this Week:
2 meters - 6 contacts
10 meters - 3 contacts
15 meters - 2 contacts
17 meters - 2 contacts
20 meters - 5 contacts
40 meters - 11 contacts
80 meters - 5 contacts

Around the Station:
This week parts of Mississippi fell under the influence of a complex weather pattern that produced about two days' worth of adverse winter weather.  Total snow & ice accumulation at K5JAW was one-half inch, but that's more than enough to cause havoc for drivers who are more accustomed to the South's more balmy weather.  I worked from home for two days, but was still able to accomplish everything that I would have gotten done at the office.  Being professionally involved in the public health aspect of emergency management, I was expected to monitor and report changing situations and conditions to our administrative personnel so they could make daily determinations on agency operations.  In addition to that, we supply ongoing situational awareness to licensed healthcare facilities, so they can adjust their operations so they can mitigate any impacts they may experience.

At one point, I had two laptops running.  One was connected to our work network so I could have email and file server access.  The second was connected to my personal email, through which I communicate similar weather & situational conditions to a host of friends and family.  Also, it was serving as a live connection to our local National Weather Service office, using a system that allows us to interact directly with the forecasters to report and gain information.  Finally, I had an open chat going with other co-workers around the state, through which we were able to communicate a volume of data rather quickly.  In addition to all of that, there were radios monitoring our statewide networks, our local county fire system, and our local amateur 2-meter repeaters.

At some point in the midst of the winter storm, I recalled being an exercise controller/evaluator for a multi-state hurricane exercise in 1995.  I recalled that in one of the many planning meetings leading up to the exercise, one of the objectives was to "test email as a means of rapidly communicating from forward disaster areas."  Remember, in 1995 the fastest and most accurate means of relaying printed information was via FAX.  We were just learning how this new world of email worked!

How far we have come in some 20 years!  From "testing email" to having two computers up, connected to multiple pathways to share information to both fixed stations and mobile telephones.  Wonder where we'll be 20 years from now?

But what makes it all fun for me is knowing that I can go from that, to talking to someone in another part of the world with little more than a wire and less energy than an average light bulb uses!  Key up, talk on!

QSL Cards Received this week
WQ4S - Florida
AJ4YV - North Carolina

QSL Cards Going Out in the coming week
No cards this week, I'm waiting on some new QSL cards to be delivered.  I'll catch up as soon as I get them!

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Tuesday Winter Weather Update

WINTER STORM WARNING for Bolivar, Carroll, Holmes, Humphreys, Leflore, Montgomery, Sunflower, Washington until 12:00pm February 12, 2014
Accumulations 0.25 to 0.75" of freezing rain and sleet, with 1-2 inches of snow possible late this afternoon through mid-day Wednesday.  Bridges, overpasses, roads, and trees could be coated in ice that will create very hazardous travel conditions on top of those encountered today. Power lines will also likely have ice on them this evening and overnight, possibly causing power outages
 
WINTER WEATHER ADVISORY for Attala until 12:00pm February 12, 2014
Occasionall light freezing rain and drizzle could occur overnight through Wednesday morning with a transition to snow tomorrow afternoon.  NWS Will continue to monitor trends for this advisory through tomorrow, and an extension may be needed.
 
***Second round of more significant freezing rain expeted this evening into Wednesday morning***
- Main are impacted: NE Louisiana, SE Arkansas, MS Delta
- Accumulations 0.25" to 0.75" of freezing rain
- Some isolated locations could have close to 1.0" of icing
 
*Freezing rain could transition to snow/sleet on backside of precipitation axis as colder moves in across north half of region
 
Expecting precipitation to start in west Delta late afternoon/early evening (4-6pm).  Shield of precipitation may last until noon Wednesday for some areas.
 
PRECIPITATION POTENTIAL
Bolivar-Washington-Sunflower counties: snow more likely with some freezing rain further east/south; 1-2" snow totals in some areas, 0.25-0.75 freezing rain/sleet further south/east for these counties
 
Leflore, Carroll, Holmes, Humphreys, Montgomery counties: mostly freezing rain, with 0.25-0.75" freezing rain/sleet
 
Attala County: Rain/Freezing Rain/mix with 0.10-0.25" rain/freezing rain mix
 
***NOTE: This is only a general idea, it could change***
 
IMPACT SUMMARY
All but Attala: Greatest potential for freezing rain/sleet accumulation, heavy icing of trees, elevated surfaces and roadways.  Power lines could be downed due to ice weight
North of a Greenville-Minter City may see more snow, as previously indicated, mixed with some sleet/freezing rain.  South of that line will see more sleet/freezing rain than snow.
 
Attala County: More freezing rain/sleet with lighter accumulation amounts, which will cause travel hazards on bridges and overpasses
 
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As we've mentioned earlier, don't focus on precipitation estimates.  For driving safety, there's practically no difference in the amount of ice under your tires.  Also, power outages may be more likely with this second winter weather threat.  Be careful, and stay safe!!
 
You can find all of this information and more at www.srh.noaa.gov/jan.  Additionally, multimedia video briefings can be accessed at http://www.srh.noaa.gov/jan/?n=multimedia_briefing


***DO NOT USE THIS WEBSITE AS YOUR SOLE SOURCE OF WEATHER INFORMATION, ESPECIALLY WATCHES AND WARNINGS. THIS WEBSITE DELIVERS FOCUSED INFORMATION FOR A SPECIFIC GEOGRAPHIC AREA AND IS NOT INTENDED TO PROVIDE TIMELY WEATHER WARNING INFORMATION***