Tuesday, October 23, 2007


I intend to spend next weekend in my shack joining the great CQ WW SSB contest. I remember three years ago this time, I was in USA. I visited 5 states in that trip: Massachusesetts, New Hampshire, Vermont, Illinois and Indiana. All were wonderful, especially Vermont. Fall had given all these marvelous season colors to trees and flowers. Cold and rain were present. Halloween time had dressed towns and villages with special costumes. For a stranger it is was a really good time to be there.

But most of all these things I remember well my visit to HRO ham shop in Salem, New Hampshire. Salem is a small village just 40 miles north of Boston. I got my FT1000MP Mark Field from there! Only $1750, no VAT at all in this state. The guys were very friendly with me. George Varvitsiotis, the owner of the shop, is also Greek and probably that was an additional reason to be so good with me. Anyway I left the shop with the best impressions. I was really so happy with my purchase that all the else seemed insignificant details to me. Back to the hotel I got it out of the boxes and put it in my suitcase. And so it came all the long way back to Greece through four different airports fortunately without any problem.

Three years now I have this transceiver in front of me serving me in all great ham events. And many times, in the middle of a QSO as I stare its display, I recollect all this wonderful time I spent to USA and mostly just the time I got the opportunity to acquire it.

Friday, October 12, 2007

October in the shack

The first clouds after months appear in the sky. Some of them dropped even rain. What a nice feeling the changing of the season. Ham radio keeps me pretty busy. Unfortunately the propagation was very low. Sun spots refuge to appear to cheer bands a little bit up. So the Tara Rumble PSK contest turned out to be a great disappointment. I join Rumble every year but this was my worst one. Only 67 QSO, no USA, no Japan, no VKs this time. On the other hand some rare DX showed up the first days of October. It needed to sweat to work some of them but everything went ok after all. ACOM1000 helped a lot. Two new ones 3C7Y and H40MY among them left me happy, as I am approaching the final target of ARRL Honor Roll. Actually I have 321 countries confirmed till now in LoTW. With a little luck and better propagation I hope to get it in a couple of years. Be healthy all of you and enjoy the hobby.

Wednesday, October 3, 2007

The mother of contests

Last weekend we had a lot of fun with the CQ WW RTTY contest. It’s the biggest in the world. Every year a lot of stations participate from every place around the world. Some expeditions go there on purpose, just to have a good score. So it is a very good opportunity to work rare dx station on RTTY. That is exactly the reason I participate. I have no any chance for championship but I always enjoy it.

I always use the MixW, which it is an excellent tool for this job. This year I made 532 qso’s in all bands and 293643 points. This is my best score ever, so I have all the reasons to be happy. Rare stations on RTTY were heard and worked, like: 9U0A, HC8N, VK9LA, PZ5RA, KH6ND, D4C, KP2/NP3D and many others I cannot recollect. Some of them sent already the logs to the LoTW, which I found an excellent idea. Even propagation conditions were poor without sunspots on the sun and SFI lower than 70, I had no trouble working all these exotic stations. So let promise a sked for next year when situation will be much better. Till then we have a lot of marvelous event to join. So stay tuned.