Finally back on HF
Well the basement has been finished off apart from a few small touches. Last weekend I moved the HF equipment back into the shack and ran cable through the access point. The map to the right shows I have been making contacts again. The HF setup is not complete, but good enough to get back on PSK.
As for the computer, I have concentrated everything onto one machine, the old Athlon (Thunderbird processor I believe) and using Xubuntu 9.04. To get three serial ports I have to use a USB to serial cable, but this allows me to use the Icom IC-2200H with D-STAR, my TNC-X and the K3 with the computer.
Contacts so far have been mostly on 80m. I returned to plotting HF contacts using Platial and was surprised to see a pattern forming with my North American contacts made over four days; take a look.
You can see of the nine contacts, eight fall closely on two lines (one contact was in Ottawa, near to where my station is located). The one outlier was W4/KL7GLLlocated in Reston, VA and he was a weak signal to me. My doublet is running approximately North-South, so you could view that this is showing the major lobes of radiation, as well as the density of amateur operators (with few in Northern Ontario and Quebec). Well, that is a theory, but it is an interesting pattern to see emerge nevertheless and I am sure it will break soon with more contacts. By the way, most of these contacts were on 80m except for the Oklahoma one which was on 17m. If you look wider on the Platial map you will see I have made contacts in the Netherlands and Russia, too.
It is good to be back on HF!