Special Event: USS Yorktown (CV10) Commissioning 80th Anniversary

This year marks the 80th anniversary of the commissioning of the USS Yorktown (CV10). Like I did 5 years ago for the 75th anniversary, I’m planning to run a special event station from the club room (WA4USN) on the ship.

My current plan is to get started around 10AM or so, and operate probably until about 4 or 5PM. Activity will be on 10m, 20m, and 40m, depending on how the bands are behaving that day. We’ll also be listening on the 2m repeater.

Patriot’s Point will also be commemorating the occasion with reduced admission and events on the Yorktown throughout the day.

NC QSO Party 2023

Spent a few hours playing in the North Carolina QSO party, returning the favour for the NC stations that I got the previous day.

As usual with the nearby states, all the NCQP action I heard was on 40m, and all of them were coming in pretty loud.

Ended up the day with 47 contacts, 31 counties, and all but two of the bonus stations (N4[WRIGHT]) set up to commemorate the 120th anniversary of the Wright Brother’s first flight. I was just missing N4W and N4R. I did manage to work a W4W station though, but that was a different special event station.

 Band     QSOs     Pts  Mul  Pt/Q
     7      47      94   31   2.0
 Total      47      94   31   2.0
Score: 2,914
1 Mult = 1.5 Q's

SC QSO Party 2023

Made it back to participating in the SC QSO party this year after missing it last year. Apparently, the county we’re in wasn’t activated at all last year, so several of the SC contacts I made were a bit surprised they were able to add the county to their list. Surprised me too considering how many hams there are in my neck of the woods.

We put the Half Wave Society club call, W4BXC, on the air for the QSO party this time and had some friends over to participate. Had a lot of fun and made a bunch of contacts in both run and search/pounce modes.

Most of the SCQP activity ended up on 40m with a smattering on 20m. 20m was pretty crowded with a lot of POTA activations, and I didn’t hear a lot of stations calling for SCQP. I was even able to make a contact down on the upper portion of 75m although the radio wasn’t very happy with the antenna there, judging by the SWR meter.

Ended up getting the two bonus stations as well (W4CAE and WW4SF), but the highlight stations were OM2VL (Slovakia), Connie’s dad WA4BXC, and NT7S and his boys in Oregon.

Had a good time getting back on the radio for the QSO party. Looking forward to doing again next year.

 Band     QSOs     Pts  Mul  Mt2  Pt/Q
   3.5       1       2    0    0   2.0
     7      63     184   29    1   2.9
    14      11      44    5    0   4.0
    28       3      12    3    0   4.0
 Total      78     242   37    1   3.1
Score: 9,946
1 Mult = 2.1 Q's

Orlando Hamcation 2023

This year’s edition of Hamcation was pretty good. Definitely seemed more crowded this year than last year, which was good to see. By the time I got there on the first day (about 20 minutes before the gates opened) the parking field was pretty much full. On the second day, they were sending people over to the overflow parking area by the time I got there when it opened.

Didn’t find quite as many things to purchase this year as I found last year, but did pick up a few nice things.

Begali had a table with a bunch of their keys and paddles on display. It was a very popular booth with lots of people stopping by to check things out and send out some Morse code. After stopping by the table a few times to play with the paddles, I decided on the last day of Hamcation to pick up one of their Camelback straight keys.

Begali Camelback straight key

It’s a very nice straight key with a nice responsive action and a solid heavy base that’s not moving anywhere when I’m keying. Very happy with it. Just need to wire it up with a suitable cable now.

Out in the flea market/boneyard area, there were quite a few people with tables set out. Seemed like not quite as many as last year though.

An interesting item I found out in the boneyard was this board with an LCD display on it.

Gabotronics Xminilab oscilloscope module

At first I thought it was just an LCD display module, so I bought it along with a couple ESP32 boards and a book for a few dollars. When I had a chance to take a closer look at it, I discovered that it wasn’t a display module at all, but a tiny little oscilloscope! Should be fun to get it running and see what it can do.

For the workbench, I found this arbitrary signal generator. I’ve been wanting to have one for the workbench for a while. Haven’t tried plugging it in and turning it on yet, so it might be a great addition, or it might become a project.

Pragmatic 2416A arbitrary waveform generator

Looking forward to playing with my new acquisitions when I have some spare time.

The Radio Handbook

Another radio handbook has joined the collection, but not an ARRL handbook this time.

This one comes to me courtesy of a local ham friend who’s been downsizing a bit. A very nice gesture for which I’m very grateful.

The Radio Handbook (14th ed), edited by William Orr/W6SAI and published in 1956 by Editors and Engineers Ltd. It’s a well used copy and the spine is not in the greatest shape. It’s come unglued from the book and is quite literally hanging on by the threads of the cloth covering. I’ll have to see if I can do something about that. The rest of the book seems in reasonable shape for a 66 year old book.

I haven’t gone through a lot of the book yet but based on the table of contents, it seems to cover many of the same topics the ARRL handbooks cover.

It might be an interesting and fun exercise to compare this edition of the Radio Handbook with the 1956 ARRL Handbook.

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