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September 22nd, 2008

September weekend

This weekend was a busy one and I never did get that extra sleep that I wanted to catch up on!

On Saturday, I visited my neighbor, who is also an amateur radio operator. He was working the QRP Afield contest. It was lovely weather for it. I had a lot of fun learning about QRP (low power) operation and practicing my CW (Morse code). Looks like we might arrange to meet on the air sometime, so I'm pretty excited!

On Sunday, I spent some time at home tuning around to see who was on the air. I had my mind set on talking to someone. Well, the first person I heard found another person to talk to. I couldn't hear the other station and got bored waiting, so I went on. Another station was working too fast, and I am not sure what he was chatting about. I also ran into some contesters. I chased them around for a while, trying to catch both sides of the exchange. In many cases, though, I could only hear the first station and so I wasn't sure what I should send as the exchange. After a while, I did go look it up online, but by the time I came back, the contest had ended! Oh no! After the MARC net, I went back and tried again. Many of the signals kept fading, though, and I couldn't copy them well. *sigh* So after all that, I have a basket-full of excuses and my homework (to contact somebody using CW) is still not complete! Maybe tonight I will try again. I am considering sleeping instead, though.

I was able to practice my CW receiving, at least, so it wasn't a complete disaster. I'm getting the hang of using my filter and tuning into signals. I can find people a lot faster than I used to be able to. I copied a whole bunch of call signs yesterday and found that I was hearing people from all over - Washington state, Massachusetts, Georgia, Indiana... That's the first time that I heard anyone from Washington state. They were having a state QSO party called the Salmon Run. (That is such a great name for it!) I heard the contesters calling CQ SR CQ SR. The guys from Georgia were a part of another contest where the exchange was a signal report and your name. I thought that was a nice exchange.

Besides radio, I did do a lot of work. We're restructuring some things in the taxonomy and so I had to do some data analysis on a couple potential relationship types. I have more of this kind of work to do this week. I also managed to clean up the kitchen, but the laundry is still not done. Guess I will spent tonight doing that.

I still can't believe that the weekend is over already. I hardly even got started on all that I wanted to do!

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