Sunday, December 9, 2012

News from Amateur Radio W8MDE

After recently taking possession of the fine ZN-HK straight key serial no. 002 I have been looking forward to this month's Straight Key Century Club Week End Sprint.  It's been a while since I got a new key and putting one on the air for the first time during the club sprint is always a cool experience.
Unfortunately I was feeling s bit under the weather for the kick-off of the sprint last night but that's not a problem because the sprint is a 24 hour event and that leaves plenty of time to agitate some electrons and say hello to some Friends around the continent via Morse Code.
I've written a bit about radiotelegraphy, contesting and antennas and stuff on my blog so if you're new to my little pigeon hole of the web and want to learn more you can follow my amateur radio activity by clicking the "Amateur Radio" label at the bottom of the post.
After a good nights rest I was feeling better and headed down to my basement ham shack with a hot cup o' joe.
December 2012 Week End Sprint
7.054  KD2JC  New Jersey
7.055  K2DEP  Maryland
7.057  W4CUX  Georgia
14.054  W7GVE  Arizona 
14.049  AA5VE  Texas
7.051  W9DLN  Wisconsin
7.049  VE3FUJ  Ontario, Canada
7.052  K1LEE  Connecticut
7.115  KX1NH  New Hampshire
7.112  N0CVW  Kansas
7.058  W9HLY  Indiana
7.052  WB0PYF  Missouri
7.049  KE5PRL  Mississippi
3.554  WA1OTZ  Connecticut
As I make contacts I jot down the information on a legal pad.  From left to right: Time, Watts, Frequency, Call sign worked, Signal report received, Signal report sent, State/Province, Name, SKCC #. 
I am a casual contester. I like my radio contesting like I like my cycling; Laid back and never in a big hurry.  Serious contesters will log hundreds even thousands of contacts during a contest but I just take my time, have fun and work  a few stations at my own pace.
Speaking of cycling I can only sit a radio desk for a few hours a time before I go nuts and have to bust loose.  It's been raining on and off for the past three days so any kind of mountain bike riding in the dirt is pretty much out of the question so I took off this afternoon on my other dual-suspension bike for a recumbent ride on the road.
The weather was less than perfect; cold temperatures in the low 40's, windy with occasional light rain showers. Great weather if you're a duck but not completely terrible for a cyclist.  Recently I picked up a new pair of insulated tights from Performance and they are super for cool weather riding here in Ohio.  New cycling duds for me is a big deal as I will use stuff for years until it literally falls apart.  Lucky for me black Spandex never goes out of style!
Candlewood Lake Loop
Bike:  HP Velotechnik
Ride Time:  1:49:51
Distance:  25.04 miles
Average Speed:  13.6 mph
Max Speed:  32.3 mph


  1. Small world. I took possession of ZN-HK #003 this week too!

    73 de Jeff KE9V

    1. Hey congrats Jeff! It's a sweet little key. I'm having a good time with it. One of these days we may very well meet up on the air. Your call is distinct and if I ever hear it I'll give you a beep. I'm most always on 40 meters.