Wow – I’m having a big ham radio and maker weekend. This is exactly what I have needed to re jump start my hobby. I almost stopped blogging because after I “made the grade” with Honor Roll and DX-pedition of the Year goals in the bag, I really thought that I was done.
A few years ago I tried to get into Arduino, but the little starter kit I bought sat mostly in the box after putting together a few little projects. At the time I was going to automate an old Ten Tec 238 Tuner, but got lazy and just purchased a Palstar AT2K for the shack.
Yesterday I almost “flinched” again and started to think about just purchasing a Palstar AT-Auto for the shack, but since it was $770 more than the AT1500A, and also wasn’t really the best circuit for the Mod Bob, I decided to stick with the AT1500A automation project. I decided to start the project seriously and get my butt out back and start building, and to also get my Arduino and Raspberry Pi development environments up and running (which I have done).
Just for laughs I decided to participate a little bit in Field Day, and 40M was so good last night I did some search and pounce and even with just 100 watts, I was working everyone from coast to coast. This morning KH6 is pounding in bigly. Its been a little bit of fun. I don’t care for contests, and will never go on a DX-pedition, but its fun to goof around in a contest every now again. Its a good way to check propagation and antennas.
I will be getting my SWODXA DX-pedition of the Year plaque tomorrow and will give Bob, KK6EK the coax spool “end cap” VK0IR and VK0EK commemorative piece that I made a while back. Bob and this spool of coax are the only two people / things that have been to Heard Island twice for these two DX-peditions, and both won DX-pedition of the Year. I only keep the awards that were significant – I don’t plaster my walls with too much stuff, and have more art than ha radio stuff on the wall, but the little space above my radio bench and desk is big enough for 4 awards. I’ll post a new shack picture tomorrow after the plaque goes up – and my shack has been recently been upgraded and looks great. I can do more with a bench of equipment that is much smaller than it used to be.
I’m very proud of these accomplishments because they took a lot of work, but I’m very happy that at this “turning point” I have a new interest that could lead to more big successes. I’m goal driven and also like to learn something new every day – that’s what my antidote for burn out is – and I’m feel re-invigorated with the new possibilities and projects ahead.