Friday, August 23, 2013

Day 5 Monday August 19 – 20m just keeps on delivering in the 0300 – 1400 UTC marathon period.

While calling CQ on 15m I experienced a microphone problem. I don’t have anything fancy like a Heil headset, it’s just the standard handheld microphone that came with the Icom IC-706MKIIG. On Bremer Island last year I had the problem of the button sticking on transmit and so I’ve since purchased a new one. Well after 4 days of calling CQ I must have worn the microphone out as the silver metal clip that compresses the microswitch when you press the push-to-talk button failed and broke. So now my microphone failure was that I’d press the PTT switch but it would not transmit. Fortunately I brought the original microphone with the sticking PTT button and so I spent my morning doing open heart surgery and interchanging parts and praying to the gods of the ionosphere for some divine intervention. My prayers were answered and it worked – phew.

The usual routine continued this day starting on 20m around 0330 UTC and working long path Europe and a little bit of short path North America until 0800 UTC when the band allowed all three major DX locations of Europe, North America and Asia to come through until 0930 UTC. I then took my meal break, commenced on 20m around 1000 UTC and began working east coast USA from New Foundland to Florida until 1400 UTC.

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