Monday, March 4, 2013

It's About Time...

I'm almost embarrassed to say how long it has been since I've logged contacts in my trusted DX4WIN logging program -- suffice it to say years -- until just very recently.  Between raising kids, a consuming but rewarding career, and all the workaday effort that all entails, Amateur Radio has just taken a back seat for a while.  Like a good friend though, its always here, I'm happy to say.

For many years, the shack occupied a private, albeit shabby and humble corner in the unfinished basement (think cinder block walls, floor joists and insulation, and the occasional critter).  Although not the most comfortable spot, it did the trick so to speak.   When Cindi and I decided to finish the basement, the shack was broken down, the radios were boxed up, cables were coiled and put behind panels in the new drywall, and the space was turned into a "proper" finished basement -- ready for the family to enjoy.  And, bonus -- I got a new office in the process; Cindi insisted that I have a good spot to do my work -- I'm grateful for that!

With everything going on, the radios, the switches, headphones, keyers, and logs all found a new home in boxes in the corner of the basement.  Starting a new position at a new company took a great deal of my focus over the next few years, and so that's where the radios remained.   Through the next several years, the wire antennas eventually fell prey to the elements and came off the trees -- but the Rohn 45G and the yagis remained intact.  The Tailtwister (sans a connected rotor control box) stayed pointing west along with the HF yagis -- and I wondered often if everything would still work if I could find the time to set things back up.

Through a friend at work and the local Boy Scouts troop -- I found the time and inspiration to finally start getting W4QA QRV once again.  Jaymes had asked if I was interested in talking to some scouts about amateur radio -- and after some scheduling challenges -- I hosted about 7 young men and a couple Scout leaders over at the house in January this year.  It was this event that encouraged me to get my backup Icom 706mkii out of the box and onto the feedline. 

Fumbling through the menus trying to remember how to run the rig, I was on the air shortly thereafter and enjoying great 20m signal reports from W6 and W7 (no rotor, everything point west!)  The demonstration went well -- and two of the scouts are interested in pursuing a license.  (as an aside, I took a little joy in both of them saying "...Facebook is just so boring...!")  Amateur Radio has a lot of life left in it....we're just now getting warmed up!

It's a start -- hopefully this little corner of the desk will expand a good bit over the next several months...

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