Wednesday, February 10, 2010

PSK contacts on 15m

What a difference a few sunspots make! Today the 15m band was open bringing lots of signals on PSK31, though I was tinkering with KComm and wasn't devoted to making contacts. Just before lunch I briefly heard A71CV (Qatar) and tried to call FM5AA (Martinique) who was running a pileup 0.1 to 0.5KHz up. Patience is not one of my virtues and I eventually gave up. It is not the first time I have heard FM5AA and I'm sure one day I'll get him in the log.

After lunch it was wall-to-wall Ukrainians. Amongst others I worked Vladimir UR4LME from my wife's home city of Kharkiv where I lived for several months. It's an attractive city if looking a bit neglected, with an abundance of beautiful girls.

Although I tried to strike up a conversation Vladimir stuck to his macros. English-speaking hams who disparage the use of macros in PSK31 often forget that many people don't speak English. For them, using macros and sticking to a set format is the only way to make a contact. The number of Ukrainians I met who could speak English was definitely a minority. I should probably set up some macros in Russian, but then I would need Olga to translate the replies I got!

After 1600z many stations were heard from the eastern USA, though none were very strong. I managed to work Tom VA3TVW and Jim N4ST. I wonder how long before 10 metres comes alive?
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