Another very hot day better spent at home… Switched the radio on this morning, tuned to 20m, heard some CW… ON4UN… I remembered that call from the cover of a book I’ve consulted many times: John Devoldere was calling CQ from Belgium… this was the first time he made it into my log. Thank you John, for the QSO and for your book!
Then I turned to an interesting problem: how to QSX (indicate frequency and mode in which I’d be operating) from a remote place with no access to internet. Here are all the possibilities I have been able to come up with:
a) with a cell phone, if it can reach a tower, I should be able to make calls, sent SMS text messages and twitter any followers;
b) with a VHF radio, if it is within reach of a repeater, I may be able to talk in the repeater;
c) with an APRS radio, provided it is within reach of a digipeater, I should be able to sent APRS messages to radio-amateurs, broadcast frequency and mode in the “bubble” associated with the icon in the APRS map, send SMS text messages via SMSGTE and possibly twitter followers sending an SMS via SMSGTE to the Twitter number.
d) with Winlink I should be able to send radio e-mails, provide QSX info within the Winlink position message, and post the information in a Yahoo group, private or public. Of particular interest in this regard is the “hfnow” Yahoo group, established precisely for radio-amateurs to post their QRV information. The trick to posting an e-mail in a Yahoo group is to have the e-mail address registered with the group. If the message is a radio-message sent by Winlink, the Winlink address needs to be added to Yahoo. However, this is only possible after a verifying request gets sent by Yahoo to the Winlink address. The glitch is that Winlink mail does not accept messages from any address that has not been used before to send a message from Winlink or is specified in the “white list” of that particular Winlink address. Including in the “white list” the “no-reply” address used by Yahoo for requesting verification of the Winlink address did the trick. I have since registered my Winlink address with the “hfnow” Yahoo group and should be able to use hfnow to broadcast my QSX information whenever and wherever I make use of Winlink.
I ended the day participating in the Spartan Sprint of the Adventure Radio Society. For this I dusted off the Elecraft KX1, charged the Novuscell “Fredom E” tiny battery, and added the small Palm-Radio single paddle and a pair or Sonny earphones for a total weight of 1.5 Lbs.
The power was reported at 2W (actually, in 20m the Elecraft Wattmeter indicated 1.8W). In the few initial minutes I completed exchanges with Dennis WA8ZBT in TX, Gene N5GW in MS and John K4BAI in GA, but then at mid-time the band seemed to shut off completely. I switched to 40m (the other alive band in the KX1) but did noy hear any station calling CQ SP. Nevertheless, the QSO/Weight score of 2 is likely my highest ever in a Spartan Sprint (10th out of 18 on their “Skinny” scale…).