Sunday, June 3, 2012

Besides the news about rescuing an orange cat,

 Mrs Pic informed me that my QSL card just came in from South Dakota which is aggravating as hell because I busted my ass for a couple of weeks until I finally found another SD ham to QSO with and who send me a card. The one that just got here should have arrived months ago.
I could have had my WAS award some time ago but I had to chased down SD again.

Of course, this is to be expected. I figured the guy from SD was going to send me a QSL eventually but certainly not until well after I had made another SD contact. Guys like him irk me because I fill out my QSL cards as I go along and before I turn in for the night they are stamped and ready to go out in the morning mail.

My next project is to start DXing (Distant eXchange) and see if I can get 100 countries which will be a long, ardous, expensive task because in order to do that I am going to have to send these International Postal unit dealiebobbers with my cards.

I have a couple and at least Brazil, Northern Ireland and England were with my PRC-320 field radio which is a feather in my cap. I bagged Alaska and Hawaii on the little field set, too. Pretty neat.

Overseas postage is expensive and simply asking a foreign ham to send a QSL card is like asking a stranger to give you 2 or 3 bucks.

While most hams worldwide are not tightwads with things like contact confirmation, the price of postage has gone up over the past few years and is now a serious consideration. When you bring the fact that some of these hams from overseas create pileups and are fielding calls at the rate of sometimes over 100 or more an hour that adds up fast.

While I could likely eQSL and get an award from the eQSL people it is not the 'official' association of the hobby The American Radio Relay League (ARRL) is and they either accept their own electronic QSL or paper QSL cards.

Some foreign hams either do not have internet access or are not ARRL members so I guess I'm going to have to go the paper route. Frankly the ARRL makes signing up for their electronic QSL bureau a pain in the neck. It is an ardous task and I suppose they are using the utmost in security to make sure nobody cheats.

I wonder why they go through all the security stuff to do that because even PayPal and eBay can accept a sign up in a few minutes. The ARRL makes you wait until the secret code they send you on a postcard arrives before you can get the program on line.

This isn't money that someone would steal, and we are only talking about a hobby here so relatively few people that would lie. On the other hand I suppose there ARE prizes out there so that likely changes things. Still, you can sign up for financial things with a whole lot less. Whatever. It's their bureau.

As usual things here are screwed up. The weather has screwed up our schedule and I'll be getting home off schedule which is no really big deal. Only newbies and dumbasses schedule things for the day after they are supposed to get off. One thing about being a seaman is that you have to be flexible.

This tour I come home to a vintage backpack, 500' 0f antenna wire, a pair of canteen cups and a wall mounted bottle opener. The latter of which ought to save me a little grief. Next to the under the porch reefer I have a nail with a bottle opener hanging on it but everyone and their cousin keeps moving it and keeping tabs on it is a pain in the neck. After I bolt the thing to the wall with a couple of TapCons I won't have to chase all over hell looking for the damned opener.

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