Haven't Got Time For The Pain

Having suffered through solar cycle 24 with its deep and extended minimum that resulted in lousy HF band conditions for what seems like forever, we now await the next cycle (25) that’s expected to be every bit as bad. It’s enough to make a shortwave enthusiast consider how many cycles remain to enjoy the hobby.

I turned 60 this year and can’t help but notice that many of the long-ignored activities on my ham radio bucket list take place at VHF and higher – frequencies where the Sun doesn’t dictate all the action. 

Satellites, EME, meteor scatter, and VHF contesting are but a few of the things firmly stamped on my list of radio things that I want to explore before concluding my ham radio life. The way I see it, I’ve been licensed and on the air continuously since 1977 and have spent almost all of that time at HF and forty-plus years is enough. 

I recently purchased a new ICOM IC-9700 around which I intend to assemble a new station. It’s useless to me at the moment because I don’t even have an antenna to use with it but that will be quickly remedied. 

Most of my HF equipment will be sold though I intend to keep the IC-7300 for its 6 meter capability. In fact, the first antenna I plan to install will be for 6M. That will probably be followed by a LEO pack for satellite work. There’s no script for where to go after that but I expect to find as much joy in the pursuit of radio adventure at these higher frequencies as I enjoyed at HF.

There’s much to learn and experience. In many ways, this will be akin to starting over from the very beginning. I’ve resumed blogging because I think chronicling this transition might be interesting. Plus, I’d really like to leave a record of this final journey.

Hello (again) World

Let’s call this the obligatory first post of a new blog. Even though it’s really another incarnation of what’s gone on here for decades. Still, considering the last round of blogging concluded here some three months ago, this does mark the beginning of another opportunity to solve the great mystery, so “Hello World!” 

This time I’ve shed the admin responsibilities. No more server to endlessly tweak, tune, and play with. That was fun and interesting for twenty years but I’m over it, and all it took was a credit card and a visit to WordPress.

I turned everything over to them, domain registration, my email service, and the hosting. That should take a load off, and having the ability to update, manage, and post articles from any platform promises to be a nifty convenience. 

But things have changed a lot since I last used WordPress as the CMS on my own server and it will no doubt require additional tweaking to get comfortable with a themed rendition that behaves properly. (In other words, expect some changes ahead). 

I considered keeping the site under wraps until I got everything just so-so but I’ve generally found that’s easier done “live” than undercover.

Besides, it was important to get rolling before the end of this year because several new ham radio goals for 2020 will become the primary subject of this new treatise and time is running out to get started.

Stay tuned.