Tuesday, 14 August 2012

Early morning drive to Berne

My passport has been in the renewal process for a few weeks now and, typically, I have an urgent need to travel. The passport service on the internet is one of the most "round and round in circles" web sites I have ever been on...such contradiction from one page to another. After finding out the requirements on obtaining an emergency passport and booking the only available time slot for an appointment, I had to plan for an early drive across the north of Switzerland to the capital city, Berne.

Phased? No chance! The opportunity to see what might be about so early was likely to be fun. And it proved so too! 20M hadn't opened when I started driving so the first half hour of the drive was listening to a band slowly coming alive. And then, very audible for me, was what turned out to be my first contact into ZL. I was really chuffed and now only have Hawaii to complete my "you really should have done these by now Robert" list.

Radio wise, the drive back was not as busy. I did have a great chat with GB2012OLY. It turned out that Chris was on the mic (M0DOL) and we nattered on for a few minutes........me wondering how annoying it must have been for those waiting to exchange with the Olympic station :) 

Friday, 10 August 2012

VKs up the ying-yang

I have to say, I am really pleased with the FT857D and LT2 antenna!

For so many years I had to make do with so many restrictions that hampered my radio experience and chipped away enough at my enthusiasm that I eventually found other pastimes to engross myself in. Here in Switzerland, not being in the best location and having neighbours that don't take too kindly to their surrounding blighted with metal (or wire), I have to make do with a compromise antenna. Even so, with this short vertical dipole, I have managed to work several stations from locations I had never heard before.....including a couple from Australia. I know that's probably not a big deal for some of you but we are not all blessed with space to take advantage of.

But from the car....WOW....what a difference! The mornings have undoubtedly been good over the past months, so good that VKs are predominantly the most common callsigns I hear on my drives to work. I am sure the /M has a lot to do with my success in managing to get their attention....and I am not complaining :)

I have been totally enthralled with the 2012 Olympics and, as a Brit, I am really proud of what the country has produced and the superb efforts of all our athletes. With such excitement and euphoria, it makes me really miss home. So, in an attempt to try and stay close, I make a real effort to exchange with as many UK stations as I can. The Olympic special event stations are currently the focus of my attention and I particularly like the 2O12 prefixed calls (2O12L from London, 2O12W from Sth Wales). I hope to work a few more before the games finish.

Footy season only 1 week away.......hoorah!!