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CQWPX... Down and out in Seattle!

Discussion in 'Ham Radio Discussions' started by WG7X, Feb 9, 2019.

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  1. WG7X

    WG7X Premium Subscriber QRZ Page


    For days, our weather forecasters have been predicting record or near record snow for Friday and through the week end. So what, we thought, usually when they forecast disaster, they're wrong.

    Not this time, darnit! Right now we have seven to eight inches of heavy wet snow. This is relevant soon enough.

    So, this week end is the running of one of my favorite on-air activities, the CQWW RTTY contest.

    A little definition for those who don't know... Or care, but here goes anyway.

    CQ magazine is (or was)the sponsor of this contest. WW means literally that it is a World-Wide contest, which means every one works everyone for score. RTTY is radio-teletype, an old legacy digital mode that I happen to enjoy as do a lot of folks.

    So, starting at 0000 UTC on Saturday morning, we all get on and have at it. The format of this contest, just in case anyone cared, is that everyone tries to contact folks with weird call sign prefixe's like mine for additional points. That makes it much more interesting for us weird call sign holders.

    Well anyway, on Friday afternoon, the snow started falling, just as predicted. ...And a lot of it too!

    So by the time of the contest start, which is about 1600 local, we already had about three inches of wet snow. But, it did not seem to affect my antenna, which is an eighty meter full-wave loop in a fir tree. Sometimes when it snows, the snow builds up on the feed line and causes problems. Not this time.

    So far, so good. I continued to play contest until bedtime, which was about 2200 local. It's not like a had a lot of contacts in the log either, only about 60 or so.

    Woke up at the usual ungodly time (for a Saturday) of 0500 local. Fired up the rigs and checked the SWR just to see where it was. Looked OK, despite the fact that it was still snowing and apparently had been all night. Remember, at 0500, its still dark around here, so I could not got out and actually look at the antenna.

    So, I went to contesting and put a few more into the log. While I was doing this, we began to experience small power surges. My main PC is on an UPS, so no problem there, but I decided to close down the station and go shovel snow. Make the XYL happy and all that.

    Holy Crap! We did have a lot of snow! Heavy, wet snow. About 7.5 to 8.0 inches by measurement. I cleared out a bit of the driveway and only then did I look up at the antenna.

    Well, the whole thing was so droopy that it was touching or almost touching the roof, and I had been using it all morning or at least until the power dropouts...

    So, that's it for me. I spent two hours or more shoveling snow, then trudged through the snow to my support ropes to loosen them enough so that the wind, which was beginning to blow, could do no further damage.

    Spent an additional hour knocking snow off of some of our trees. One of the trees had at least one broken branch.

    ...and as I am typing this, we continue to experience outages, which has now stopped the washing machine and the cable box...

    So yeah, the weather man says this will keep occurring through the week-end and into next week. So much for radio activity this week...

    Whats, a man to do? BTW today is also the XYL's B-day and we were gonna go out. Not now. Even she gets that.

    Would some of you folks in the mid-west mind taking your weather back?
  2. K7MH

    K7MH Ham Member QRZ Page

    How much snow ya got down there in Tackyoma? A good 6 inches here.
    My rotor is at the bottom of the tower and covered in snow. Stuck on EU for the while!

    I'll have to go out and see how droopy my quad is!
  3. N7WR

    N7WR Subscriber QRZ Page

    Here in central Oregon we are also getting snow and it is predicted to stick around for much of next week. Not a huge amount yet but it is the wind that is troublesome. Until next spring/summer when I plan to put up a small tower I have only a vertical and a couple of dipoles in the trees (we just moved here last summer). Fortunately I guyed the vertical or it would have been bent over by now. Did have to shovel a little bit this morning where the wind caused snow drifts on the deck and I roof raked the flat roofed car port just to be on the safe side in case we get feet rather than inches of snow.

    Plenty of wood for the wood stove and an emergency generator in case power goes out so we should be good.
  4. WG7X

    WG7X Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    Seven and a half of wet snow... Funny thing is that the antenna still worked. I loosened up the support ropes so that when to snow melts I can resume operating.
  5. W7UUU

    W7UUU QRZ Lifetime Member #133 Administrator Volunteer Moderator Platinum Subscriber Life Member QRZ Page

    Here's the view just now out our living room window - winter wonderland indeed!!


    NL7W, N0TZU and WZ7U like this.
  6. K1VSK

    K1VSK Ham Member QRZ Page

    Very pretty. I won't attach a picture from our backyard showing the palm trees:):)
    AC8UN, K7MH and W7UUU like this.
  7. WA7PRC

    WA7PRC Ham Member QRZ Page

    Here in Everett, WA, my only regret is that I can no longer snow ski. While Mt Baker gets YUUGE dumpings of snow (often, several feet at a time), Mission Ridge was my favorite:
    (click for bigly image)
    That's looking Northeast, w/ the mighty Columbia River in the background, winding past Wenatchee, WA.
    N0TZU likes this.
  8. K8BZ

    K8BZ Ham Member QRZ Page

    Wow, When I was a kid I loved the stuff. But can live without it now. Hope that WX trend doesn't continue for you the rest of the winter.

    It was all freezing rain and ice here the last couple of days, but it's sunny and trying to melt a little now. I had a hip replacement Jan 30 and have been pushing a walker around the house since then. Planned ahead and moved the generator into position and plugged it in to the exterior plug in I installed last summer. Went through a training program with the XYL and it was put to the test on Wednesday night. I leaned on the walker and supervised and she went out in the dark at 15 degrees and wind gusts of 30 MPH with a flashlight and got the generator going on ran extension cords to another building that we have keep heated. She did a great job! I usually do the CQWW RTTY contest but this year I can't set in the chair long enough. But should be back in great shape by spring and jump back in after that.
  9. WA7PRC

    WA7PRC Ham Member QRZ Page

    When I was a kid (60s-70s), Western WA used to get snow almost every Winter. In recent years, not so much. And, Summers seem to be warmer and drier. The bad news is, the snowpack in the Cascade Mountain Range (that divides OR & WA) has often been less than normal. Much of our potable water comes from there, and wildfires have been more prevalent. IMO. less snowfall here is BAD.
    N0TZU likes this.
  10. KY5U

    KY5U Subscriber QRZ Page

    W7UUU likes this.

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