Tag Archives: map

Field Day 2015

I don’t recall exactly, when the last time was that I operated Field Day primarily from home. I haven’t had much setup at home lately, and have been involved with various club efforts for years and years. This year tho, I was “1 Dog from Alabama” – referring to the “1D” category of a home station using commercial power. I used this as an opportunity to exercise one radio with one antenna. I often have my tape measure tuned radial elements on display, but don’t get to use them much at home. I thought 40m was greatly improved. I use these on a Hustler 5BTV, with a Yaesu FT-897D. Conditions were good on 40m thru the night, worked nearly everybody that I called back to. I got good reports.
There had been some concern, that the recent solar storm might leave a mess, but I thought conditions were pretty good. I was pleased.
I worked only the 40, 20, 15, & 10 meter bands, SSB only.
I didn’t get in any hurry, didn’t even leave the house. Made about 50 contacts.


I appreciate N3FJP’s programs; n3fjp.com

I didn’t have a current version of http://n3fjp.com/fieldday.html, but a quick visit to the site, and an install – and it was registered and running. Shows me that ~40% of my contacts were on 7 MHz, but all together fairly well spread about the map. Hope everyone else had a good time as well.


52 contacts on a section map

Thanks for the QSOs…

2014 June VHF QSO Party

This appears to be shaping up with fairly good conditions on 6 meters, but then I am still kinda new on 6. There have been plenty of times before that I didn’t hear much. For sure I am hearing a lot more now than can hear me, but I only have 100 watts, and a home brew Squalo. I have made about 40 contacts on 6 m so far. Maybe I can get a good pic of the antennas later.


Trying to be heard in Colorado.

I use the very helpful DXmap real-time updates from Continue reading


This site has crossed my radar a few times recently, and I finally got back to it with some time to look at what all is available there. The first thing I had been looking for was propagation information for VHF, particularly 6 meters. Looking deeper, I find real-time DX contact spotting on auto-refreshing maps.

QSO map by DX Sherlock, click for bigger

Multi-band composite QSO map example

This really is a lot of information on one map ..!.. Looking at each band individually helps understand what frequencies are working and to where. I also found real-time MUF maps that show Sporadic E-skip ‘hot-spots’. WoW !
Go check out the North America 6m map on http://www.vhfdx.info – I registered with the site so that I can submit contacts and contribute to the data collection. Makes another good example of crowd-sourced science. I’ll be using this more . . .
Try it, you might like it …

Thanks Gabriel (EA6VQ)this is a wonderful site. Well done sir .!.

Madison County Tornado – 3 weeks on

So hard to believe that it has been three weeks already. Nearly a month.
Sometimes it seems so long ago, other times – like it just happened..
Took a drive last Saturday thru our ‘Tornado Zone’, to show Lenore and Shelby how bad it really was – and to get a few more photos. There was a hope that they might better understand how and why this has affected me so deeply. We’ll see.

photo locations in tornado path

Photo locations inside and around tornado paths

This map from the NWS storm survey, showing purple dots where I have taken photos – some were linked in previous blog posts. The smaller inset locates this map in a larger view of the tornado scar across Limestone and Madison Counties.

This batch of photos starts in the south-west corner of the map, near the Limestone County Prison where many of the TVA transmission towers were destroyed. You can see that this re-construction is well under way. The fields are so broad and open – the tornado was about a half mile wide here. There is a large field just north of there that is receiving a steady stream of dump trucks bringing tree debris and the remains of houses, several acres have already piled up.
The photo path winds north and east – back and forth across the chaos; Love Branch Rd, Orville Smith Rd, Smith-Vasser Rd, Lockhart Rd, Yarbrough Rd, Wall-Triana Hwy, Stovall Rd, Ford Chapel Rd. . . Thunderbird Rd brings us into the south side of Anderson Hills; Maverick Dr, and Taurus Dr. From the crest of the hill you can barely see the remains of the top of the Piggly-Wiggly grocery store on Hwy 53, under the power lines. I was working at the NAMRC field clinic,  setup in the cafeteria at Sparkman School, about a half mile south of there. (I’ve also updated http://w4hmc.wordpress.com this week) . . .

blown away

Swept completely off the foundation . . .

This one was apparently swept clean off the foundation – you can see the bricks on the left, the entire first floor reduced to nothing more than toothpicks, rubble and dust. I see not only the houses that have been smashed, but the people that can’t live there anymore, and don’t have anywhere to put what little they might have left.
I can’t imagine the horror of being inside some of these homes I’ve seen,
hiding from this tornado – while the roof & the walls are being sucked away…..

Some of these folks had not much to start with, and what little they had may now be completely gone. And they are thankful to be alive, and wanting to help their neighbors first. They are all so grateful for our help.   Please do !!
They know first-hand the value of life.

I’m sure I’ll get beyond all this someday, but I will never be the same.
I’ve heard this referred to as survivor’s guilt
I was not threatened like this,    I had no fear,    I lost nothing,
but I feel their pain and suffering …………… it is very real.
It’s actually related to post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).

I have nothing but respect and praise for all the emergency personnel;
volunteer firefighters, deputies and first-responders…
that do the hardest part in these disasters – search and rescue, and the inevitable recovery of the friends and neighbors that lost their lives. I’m sure that in that line of work, they have training, and experience that helps them to prepare themselves for these hard parts, and hopefully the joy in helping save others helps balance out that pain. It can’t be easy . . .
God Bless Them All. . .

Thanks for reading. The writing helps…  /;^)