A Hot Canada Day…

The “Humidex Index” is derived via an empirical formula concocted by Canadian meteorologist to reflect the temperature (in Celsius degrees) as felt by the human body. It combines the actual air temperature with the air humidity. Humidex values above 30 are related to “some discomfort” and values above 40, to “great discomfort”, while values above 45 are considered outright “dangerous”.

With Humidex Index reaching well above 40, Canada Day 2018 was to be enjoyed best indoors. Also, given the vagaries of propagation and the use of a “challenged antenna” (the vertical wire up the maple tree in the backyard), a 50W output by the ICOM 706MKIIG was definitely going to provide a more rewarding participation than the 5W output of the ICOM 703 or even the Elecraft KX3. Hence, 706 it was…

Logging was via the T-60 Thinkpad (yes, still running Windows XP…) with RCKLog v.3.2 – a superb, albeit old, piece of Windows Freeware developed by Walter Dallmeier, DL4RCK. The 706 was connected to the computer via the ICOM CI-V Level Converter CT-17 and the Keyspan USA-19HS Serial to USB converter (the CT-17 has a serial RS-232 port and the T-60, a USB port). The only change to be made for using the 706 instead of the 703 was to change the ICOM address in RCKLog from 68H (for the 703) to 58H (for the 706). As soon as this was done RCKLog was able to display the band, the frequency and the mode in use in the TRX.

Although RCKLog does have keying functions, as usual, I preferred all CW exchanges to be sent manually via the Bencher BY-2 paddle (itself directly connected to the back of the 706). Needless to say, right or wrong, all CW interpretation was via human hardware…

Operating in and out (since the long weekend brings family to the table…) VA3PCJ was nevertheless able to log 42 QSOs, 41 in Canada, several RAC stations and 19 Multi’s, but fell short of a Canada-sweep: this year I missed VY2, VE4 and VE8, but did get eight provinces and two territories. Here is the map. The only DX was F5IN, Michel from Yèvre La Ville, with a very strong signal in 40m and the readily recognizable CW rhythm of its callsign…  32 contacts were CW, 6 in 80m, 6 in 40m and 20 in 20, 10 contacts were SSB, all in 20m. Not a record breaking performance, but better than VA3PCJ’s first Canada Day thirteen years ago, when with similar TRX and antenna (but only in SSB) he managed to log 35 QSOs, but only in six Canadian provinces…

Here is a OK2PBQ map of the Grid Loc’s contacted:

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