Archive for September, 2015


September 18, 2015

My favorite season of the year is just about here. We’ve already had a couple mornings with lows in the 40s. Right now, we are still seeing highs in the 80s but the humidity is fairly low.

A couple new Low-Power FM stations are coming on the air here. I got a chance to tour their facilities a couple weeks ago. Congratulations to all involved.

I still operate a lot of digital modes, especially JT65 which I have discussed before. Another mode that Joe Taylor invented is JT9. It works quite well, and uses a smaller bandwidth than JT65. A fairly new digital mode described in the September issue of QST is called FSQ “Fast Simple QSO”. It is sort of like an IRC chat room on the air. It also shows promise for public service work. Learn more and download the software here:

Shortwave band conditions have not been very good lately, but I think things will improve as we head into autumn. Tamitha Skov is an astrophysicist who periodically  publishes an excellent video about solar conditions. It is well worth subscribing to her reports:

I had a bunch of QSL cards checked by ARRL card checkers at the Lexington Hamfest. I have now completed Worked All States (WAS) on 30, 17 and 12 meters. That gives me WAS on 8 different bands. I now have over 300 grid squares confirmed on six meters. For DX Century Club (DXCC) I added a couple of 150 endorsements, 10 meters and 20 meters.

I continue to review recordings I made of the AM broadcast band back in March using my Perseus Software-Defined Receiver. I’m still finding stations I’ve never logged before. You can see the results on my YouTube page.

Trying For A Repeat

September 17, 2015

Ohio State was a consensus #1 to start the season, as the Buckeyes look to be loaded with more than enough talent to repeat as national champions. The first two games came out OK, but one could nit pick if so inclined.

The Bucks came flying out of the gate in the opener at Virginia Tech, taking a quick 14-0 lead. But the Hokies stormed back to go up 17-14 at halftime. OSU scored on the first possession of the second half to go back up 21-17. VT quarterback Michael Brewer then broke his collar bone. The Hokies’ offense was never the same after that, and the Bucks won 42-24. I think the result could have been a lot different if Brewer hadn’t gone down. He had a great game last year in beating Ohio State, and had no fear of the Buckeyes.

Ohio State fans expected total domination of the Hawaii Rainbow Warriors and the defense was indeed superb in a 38-0 win. So, there is plenty of second-guessing about the offensive play calling and performance. Only time will tell if there are major issues to be resolved.

The headline game of the weekend was Oregon at Michigan State, won by the Spartans 31-28 in a good game.

First SEC Road Win Since 2009

September 16, 2015

Kentucky’s third season under Coach Mark Stoops has begun, and so far it looks like the years of good recruiting are starting to pay off. After a close home opener against a good Louisiana-Lafayette team, the Wildcats went to South Carolina and held on for a 26-22 win. It was Kentucky’s first conference road win since November of 2009 at Georgia.

UK’s offense looks pretty good, and the defense is better. So far I have seen fewer missed tackles. But more work needs to be done. After taking a 24-7 halftime lead on ULL, and later a 23-point lead, the Ragin’ Cajuns came back to tie the game before the Wildcats scored a game-winning touchdown. In Columbia, the Cats once again took at 24-7 halftime lead. But their offense completely disappeared in the second half. Kentucky’s defense saved them, several times holding the Gamecocks to a field goal after they had driven deep into UK territory. Kentucky ran back a muffed two-point conversion attempt to take a four-point lead in what could have been a tie game had South Carolina completed the conversion.

So, the Wildcats need to develop more consistency if they want to win games against the SEC elite. With the strength of the conference being down a bit this year, some more SEC wins are a possibility. This Saturday Florida visits Lexington. The Gators have a multi-decade win streak over the Cats, one of the longest streaks in Division 1.