Cretan Blog-December 2014

As this is the last Blog thing of 2014, may I be the first to wish you Happy Christmas!
It does not seem twelve months since I last wrote that – where does the time go?

Well, all is now quiet out here. The last of the tourists have left and we only have the odd independent traveller wandering about. With no tourists, the roads have returned to normal and the time it takes us to drive anywhere has been halved.

However, we too played at being tourists recently when we stayed with some friends in a villa near Rethymnon. We went out and about, saw different things and visited various places despite the pouring rain. The best bits were when we went out for meals and the XYL ordered everything in Greek! Our friends were very impressed as were a lot of the waiters who wanted to know where the XYL learnt the language, where we lived and how long we had been here etc. Good Stuff!

The villa had WyFy and so one evening, with a lot of help, and a lot of swearing, the XYL finally got her eyepad thing working. It took three people over two hours and I lost count of the number of password resets they had to do but they got the little bugger working in the end. I was not involved in any of it and stayed well away. Anyway, she is happy but I still do not know what she is going to do with the stupid thing as we do not have WyFy at home and the places that had WyFy down in Elounda are now all closed for the Winter…

As you know, my efforts to get going on JT65 and similar modes have all ended in failure due to the fact that I cannot time the computer exactly. So I was very pleased to see that Dave, M0TAZ, says in his article on working VK with 10 watts on the LEFARS Blog page, that timing needs to be within 0.5 of a second. Maybe he should send the article to Andy (I know best) Talbot of RadComic fame as he still thinks that five seconds either way is ok . . .

Back in September I played in the ‘Kulikovo Poyle Contest’. This is a Russian effort and only runs for 24 hours on the 2nd Saturday of September. I only played for a short while and the twist to this contest is that you only receive points if the chap you worked also sends in a log. I think this is how all contests should operate, but I digress. (See the Contesting Points bit below) Anyway, a few days ago an award arrives from the organisers saying I was 1st in Crete! This was unexpected as there are far better CW ops on the island than I . . . Anyway, I go to the Contest Web site thing and look at the results. Here you can download all the results and also your UBN reports (as well as those for everybody else!). Here I see that 20% of the people I worked did not send in a log and so I lost points for those QSOs. The annoying part is that three of the ‘culprits’ were Russians and it was their contest!

Not wishing to boast here you understand, but in last years’ CQ WW CW event at the end of November, I came 1st in Crete for my 10m single-band entry. This was a surprise, but my surprise then turned to astonishment when the CQ people tell me I had set a new points record for the Band and Country!

Contesting Points Comments:
The RSGB, and others, are always saying that you should send in a contest log even if you only had one or two QSOs. This is fine but in order to facilitate this, they must be prepared to accept logs of, say up to 10 QSOs, which are on paper as the sender may not have access to software that produces a Cabrillo log or even have access to t’internet.

Now comes the interesting part: Let us say you are in a VHF contest from the only hill in Essex…  In the contest you work 100 stations, you exchange your LOC Square and serial number and while handing out number 56 you are given 002 by me in KM25uh. This is worth, say, 10 points to you and is some form of multiplier. You go away happy and continue to work what you can for the rest of the contest.

At the end of the test you work out that you have 100 Qs, 300 points and 20 multipliers. A nice round total of 6,000 points.

I may have worked only 10 stations in the contest but if the points I gave you and the multiplier are not counted because I did not send in a log, then your score automatically drops to 5,643 points. A similar drop in score would be the same for the other nine that I worked, be they handing out large serial numbers, or small ones, so it would be incumbent of me to send in some form of log.

The RSGB Contest Committee were thinking of giving extra points for a flawless log but what if they accepted the idea that if I do not send in a log, then the people I work do not get their claimed points?  The comments in RadComic Contest Section about the difference between 1st and 2nd places were determined by just one QSO or one multiplier could no longer apply and the separation between entrants would be decided by those who did, or did not, send in logs.

This, to me, seems a better way. This might also even up the scores in contests like the IARU where people often only work one station, mainly to give their National Society some points and where a UBN for a National Society station does not apply.

At the time of sending this to Deez, my copy of the latest dumbed down version of RadComic had not arrived. However, I took my courage in both hands and looked at it on the RSGB web site thing.

I assume the editor person has just about run out of decent copy and has had to revert to doing a ‘review’ on this stupid Quadcopter toy, as sold by Lynchie. What the hell this has to do with Amateur Radio, I just do not know. However, you know what this means, don’t you? We will now be in for other ‘reviews’ of items sold in other emporia, such as a Sony TV review because Waters & Stanton sell ‘em, or, and this is the one I’m really looking forward to, a review of the latest Premier Drum kit as sold by Nevada . . .

People like Pat Hawker must be turning their graves . . .

Is it not time they got rid of the current editor and put someone in charge of the magazine who actually wants to make it better and a renown magazine again?

Seasonal Thought:

‘Co-workers are like Christmas lights.
They all hang together but half of them don’t work and the other half aren’t so bright.’

Happy Crimble


de Dick. SV0XBN/9

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2 Responses to Cretan Blog-December 2014

  1. Missthemse says:

    Merry Christmas and a happy NewYear

    Wishing you and your Family all the best.
    Your old friends
    Patrick, Helene , and Nicole from Germany

  2. Dave Taz says:

    Dick, Merry Crimbo to one and all.

    I was a little concerned reading your comments about the Quad Copter. The Quad has a number of connections with amateur radio, most notably the 2.4GHz and 5Ghz links. Apart from testing out the GHz bands imagine this problem, you have installed that 5 E beam for 7 MHz on your 80 ft tower and you really wanted some cool pictures to add to your QRZ page, drum roll please….enter the Quad Copter. It really does solve problems you never even appreciated you had.

    I say adopt that new technology, embrace POV flying, you never know you may even have fun 🙂

    On the subject of JT65 and other time critical modes may I suggest you add a radio controlled clock to your shack. These are available from German style discount stores for under 10 pounds. You may need to pick one up on your Christmas trip to the UK, but they can be set to use the UK or German time signal.

    Embrace the new technology, and now the joke.

    A wife send her husband an sms on a cold winter evening: “Windows frozen”. The husband send answer back: “Pour some warm water over them”. Some time later husband receives answer from his wife: “The computer is completely broken now”.

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