Let's Call CQ - QSO Today Episode 184 with NW7US

Discussion in 'Amateur Radio News' started by NW7US, Feb 13, 2018.

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  1. NW7US

    NW7US Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    I got a Skype call a few weeks ago from Eric, 4Z1UG--the creator and host of the QSO Today Podcast--during which he asked me about how and why I got into amateur radio. Here's the result.


    Eric writes,

    "We talk a lot about the band conditions due to the Sunspot cycle. Most of it on Facebook and other places is about how "dead" the bands are at this point. We all can't wait until the cycle starts to rise and we will be making contacts with little effort. I remember in my conversation with Chuck Adams, K7QO in Episode 58, that he really enjoys operating is "Pigrig", one watt, CW transceiver on 20 meters. When I asked him, (I liberally paraphrase) "but Chuck, the bands are dead. How does that work for you?". His reply was that while most hams are listening to the bands, he calls CQ until he gets a reply. Works every time.

    My QSO this week is with Tomas Hood, NW7US, who has years of expertise in propagation and Solar activity. He is the propagation editor of more than a few radio magazines and websites. In our post-recording conversation, we discussed this phenomenon of listening and not calling CQ. I even had this idea that maybe one of the reasons that the digital modes are so successful is because they "beacon", as part of the whole digital experience, the same as calling CQ. This is why they make contacts. From what I see, looking at PSK Reporter, hams are making lots of contacts worldwide using the digital modes. While SSB may not be working so well, CW and the digital modes seem to work fine.

    I like to work on my bench or make the podcast while listening to the bands. Jeff Damm, WA7MLH, in Episode 177, says that he will put his keyer in CQ mode while he is working on a new radio. Invariably, sometimes after many minutes, he gets a reply. Great idea Jeff!


    Eric, 4Z1UG"​

    Episode 184 can be found here: https://www.qsotoday.com/podcasts/nw7us

    Highlights of Episode 184:

    Tomas Hood, NW7US is the propagation editor of a number of shortwave and amateur radio magazines and has a wide variety of websites, that grew out of his love for all things radio, and for listening on the bands to far off DX and commercial broadcast stations. Tomas shares his understanding of propagation and the lessons we can learn from listening, really listening to the QSOs and exchanges during contest operation.

    All of the QSO Today episodes are great. I enjoy hearing about many different hams. Do check out all of the episodes that Eric has published.

    73 de NW7US dit dit
    K2NCC, AK5B and W1YW like this.
  2. K3LI

    K3LI Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    Interesting. I consider solar minimums to be the best time in radio. When bands are "good", its too easy. When bands are like they are now, its challenging and fun.
    K5WW, OZ1T, KE4YMX and 4 others like this.
  3. W4JF

    W4JF Ham Member QRZ Page

    As usual an excellent guest and interview. I love how Eric allows his guests to tell their stories largely uninterrupted. Many other podcast hosts, both on video and audio-only, have an irresistible compulsion to hear themselves run-off at the mouth. Well done Eric, you set the bar for the rest.
  4. KE4YMX

    KE4YMX Ham Member QRZ Page

    That was quite enjoyable and informative! Great advise, "remember it's a hobby" :)
  5. W8AAZ

    W8AAZ Ham Member QRZ Page

    I agree that some challenge is good due to lighter sigs, however nowadays we got the double barrel blast of weak sigs and more and more RFI garbage to keep your S meter well away from S 1. I used to tolerate atmospheric noise and regular background stuff but the RFI sources often make for a nerve grating grind or other artifact that makes for short listening sessions for me.

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