I’ve neglected my blog for the past couple of months, with no posting since January. We had a great time on our cruise to the eastern Caribbean in February, so my excuse it that I was having so much fun I had no time for blogging 😉 .
However, I did want to chronicle my success with moving to the world of 6M and HF Ham radio. I posted here in January that I’d upgraded my antennae for my 2M/70CM radio, and I’ve been doing a lot of communication on the 2M band, including becoming a regular participating member of the Possum Trot Net, Possum number 3571! I wanted to add the capability to use high frequency (long distance) bands to communicate to more and different communities. I added a Yaesu FT-450D radio with a 7-band Buckmaster OCF dipole antennae to my “shack.” I plugged it in Monday of last week and tried to communicate with the local 10M net, but did not have any success in transmitting though I could hear the net traffic. Don’t know if there was just a pileup, or something with local conditions. I reached out to a local Ham to give me some assistance and coaching. KM4MDR came over today and spent a couple hours with me, validating the SWR of my antenna with his MFJ analyzer (it did very well on the supported bands, ranging from 1.2 to 1.8), and showing me a few tuning tricks. I’m very appreciative of John’s help! We participated in the 40M 7.772 Ragchew and talked to Net Control in Maryland, and talked to the 20M 14.300 Mobile Maritime Net (you don’t have to be a boat to participate!) Net Control near Houston TX. Signal reports were good. So, great success, and now I can operate with the confidence that I can hear and be heard.