Sunday, July 08, 2012

Summer is always a busy time of year for me and between one thing and another radio always takes a bit of a back seat.

First of all, it's starting to get hot here, and at lunchtime it just isn't too much fun sitting in a metal box (car) under a blazing sun with no shade. Aircon? Yes, but even aircon doesn't work too well in those circumstances.

Also propagation isn't too great. In spite of the improving solar conditions in general, during the day the D layer absorbs signals quite high up into the HF range. If there is sporadic E, the higher HF bands and 6 metres can be fun, but otherwise, choosing between talking to myself in 40º heat, or going for lunch in an air conditioned bar, I often opt for the latter.

(f you are interested in knowing more about seasonal propagation, take a look at the interesting article published in this months "Radioaficionados" magazine by Salva, EA5DY).

If you add to that, the fact that we are very busy at work (fortunately) and that for several weeks access to my normal location was blocked by the Formula 1 urban racetrack, well, it doesn't help matters.

Does that mean I am totally inactive just now? No! It just means I'm not on the air every single day. Also, I've been busy doing other radio-related things.

Next weekend is the IARU HF championship, and I have been spending time with the team getting ready. Yesterday, almost all the spanish team got together for a "dry run" to make sure all our stations are connected on a private internet link, and that all the logging programs are set up and working fine.

Also on the equipment front, our Yaesu FT2000D is now equipped with a new AC0C network solutions 3KHz roofing filter, which we are sure will improve the IMD performance and make for a generally better contesting experience. Thanks to Jose Vicente of AGV Radio for doing this delicate operation. I hope to have a detailed entry on this topic at a later stage.

And in spite of everything, I do try to get down to the pier from time to time, because even if propagation isnt great, there's always the view:

And with that, I'm going back to the IARU preparations. Hope to work you in the contest as EF5HQ on 15m SSB!

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