2022 – The Summer Trip

St. Mary Campground, Glacier National Park, Montana

Another summer trip has come and gone. This one did not feature any new locations or set records for being away from home for the longest time. We did discover some new trails in Yellowstone as well as getting to know older trails in Grand Teton in different ways. The consensus for favorite hike was the out-and-back we did in Paradise Valley, not far from Fishing Bridge in Yellowstone. Ask me some time about the Solfatara North trail with the grizzly who wanted to take us out to dinner (take us out as in kill us… and then we’d become dinner). Or maybe it is best not to bring that hike up at all.

At times it seemed like the odds might be against us. Primarily with the June 2022 flooding in Yellowstone potentially putting a large chunk of our summer at risk. A new menu prevailed with a few winners and a general request for less potatoes.

The wildflowers were sensational, as always.

The culminating event, when we were down to Emily and myself, was a hike around Jenny Lake. What a blast!

Something new this trip was my increased attempts at getting on the air this year. Usually I do very little amateur radio work on the summer trips. To be honest, I am normally either too busy or too tired to get on and enjoy radio. This year I made an effort to get on the air and see if I could make some CW contacts. Although I had visions (and most all the equipment) to setup an operators position at the back of the station wagon, I ended up making all of my contacts from the driver’s seat. Helping me was my J-45 leg key and my Field Notes memo book for handcopy. When I did get on air, I was generally successful in making contacts. My best luck was on 20M around the SKCC watering hole at 14.055 MHz. An enjoyable aspect to making the contacts was sending each one a postcard from the national park I was at… using the postcard as a QSL card. Overall, I made eleven contacts – beating any previous year by quite a bit.

Today I upload the contacts to LoTW after figuring out how to add the locations from where the contacts took place into my LoTW account (three separate locations). Then, after I had entered the contact information into my fldigi-based logbook, I exported the contacts, using the correct location, into LoTW. It was nice to see many of my contacts had already confirmed the contacts.

I do need to make some modifications of my HF vehicle installation. The display heads up front are great! Using the Ram setup really made things organized and solid. The FT-891 in the rack tray needs to be adjusted to mitigate its ability to bounce too much on a bumpy road. I also need to repair the feedline into the radio. This fall, I would like to try out a back-of-the-vehicle setup.

As always more and consistent Morse practice will always yield dividends.

Notes from the shack

Over winter break I have been putting in a lot of time behind the radio. Here’s the wrap up:

First – more DX. In general, this is a good time of year to catch hams behind their rigs. Some contacts that I am particularly proud of:

4U1WB, The World Bank in Washington D.C.
ZD7DL, St Helena Island
WH6S, Kauai
C5YK, The Gambia
9H5BZ, Malta
MI5AFK, Northern Ireland
FG5GP, the island of Guadeloupe
ZS6TVB, South Africa
EA8DAZ, Canary Islands
VP2ETE, Anguilla

Second – working a lot of DX. There is the 90th anniversary of the International Amateur Radio Union (IARU) special event activations. Plenty of good DX participating in this and working multiple bands.

Cuba
Bermuda
Finland
Germany
Aruba
Venezuela
Jamaica
Ireland
Italy
Slovenia
Brazil

Third – working Santa (aka AA4EE) on Christmas Eve. The girls really enjoyed telling Santa what they wanted. Thank you Santa!

Four – joining the OMISS and the 3905 Century Club nets. I am not sure if I fully understand these nets. I get the convenience in pursuing Worked All States awards. That makes sense. However each club also has an additional bevy of other types of awards. The actual contacts during the nets seem a bit unfulfilling. But I may not yet fully understand these nets. I need to thoroughly read all the literature.

Five – Log of the World: I have uploaded the vast majority of my logs. I mentioned before about uploading my YI9MI logs. I also went back and uploaded my log from KD7PJQ back in Virginia. The logs from Korea (HL2/AD7MI and HL9MI) are now uploaded. All my logs using AD7MI have been uploaded.

The Final Courtesy

Finally!

I have been known to procrastinate now and again. One thing on my to do list was uploading my log from Iraq (YI9MI) to Log Book of the World. When I initially tried to do it a few years back (my operation was 2007-2008), I had difficulties getting a certificate despite having the correct paperwork from the Iraqi government approving my operation.

Now that I am on my Winter Break, I decided to re-engage and was met with extraordinary help by ARRL’s Norm Fusaro, W3IZ (aka Mr. Log of The World). I emailed him my paperwork and he immediately turned around and emailed me back my certificate. Huzzah! But not quite yet….

I tried to upload my log, but none of the entries would parse. 🙁

At the time of my Iraq operation, I was using HRD for my logging and had an HRD generated .adi file. I decided to load that file into fldigi and then export it back out as an .adif – not sure if that was the trick, but the log parsed! Hazzah!

Hopefully I delivered early Christmas presents to any individuals out there who were waiting for a YI entity for an award. I am so relieved to finally get that log uploaded and into LoTW.

Every now and again I still get a QSL card to confirm. I have a nice hard copy of the log printed out which allows me to confirm the contact and record that I am sending out the confirmation QSL card.

If you think I still owe you a YI9MI confirmation either by QSL card or LoTW – please let me know.