Weekend Update: It was a slow weekend on the radio. Wasn’t in the mood for the RSGB IOTA contest and given that conditions were just fair to poor, I don’t think I missed too much. I don’t track with IOTA even though I know it’s become more popular as some DXers have nothing to work until someone gets on a boat and goes somewhere so they’re filling their time with 6 meter FT8 and IOTA.

I did work ten more POTA stations which brought my total up for the year to nearly 40. Still pretty weak but bagging a hundred by year-end seems possible. And once we get into Fall weather, I plan to participate from the field as an activator instead of staying home and working as a hunter.

Half of the contacts made this weekend were CW and the other half phone. If I had to make a totally unscientific guess I’d say that more than half of the activators use phone only. Nothing wrong with that except the rule has generally been that since CW has some weak signal advantages for puny stations, you’d think CW would dominate in this field.

I guess that’s more a SOTA thing than a POTA thing. Park operators can drive in with a boatload of gear and easily use 100 watts where someone hiking up a summit is probably more inclined to take lightweight, low-powered gear where CW does indeed enjoy an advantage over phone.

While tuning around on 20 CW on Saturday morning I did happen to tune across VY2TT on Prince Edward Island and since he didn’t seem to be in the contest I gave him a quick call.

I’ve worked him a few times before and couldn’t help but notice his PEI DX Lodge that he visits multiple times each year - but he also rents it out. Hmmm. Maybe next year for vacation…

On Sunday I spun the dial in search of a few Bumblebees. Again, I wasn’t in the field (and won’t be until Autumn) but was happy to hand out a few contacts for those who were.

I used the IC-7610 dialed down to five watts. Okay, the logging software showed 5.1 watts but that was as low as I could get it to go. I worked six stations over the course of a very lazy hour:


It feels odd to hear N0SS on the air again. Tom Hammond became a Silent Key in 2011 and now his is the memorial call sign of the Mid-Mo Amateur Radio Club located in Jefferson City, Missouri where Tom was a longtime member.