Cretan Blog-June 2015

Hi again. As some of you may have noticed last month, we finally have the new call. I have been trying to use it on the bands each day, just to spread the word and it has been nice to get comments about the call from readers of this piece.
Of course just changing your call is the easy part, even with the Greek bureaucracy, however the really hard part is letting all the organisations and groups that you belong to know that you have a new call and email address.

With the new call it has been easier to use JT65 and give SV9 away on the mode. Of course there are others out here who use all the digital modes but recently I seem to have been quite popular on 14.076 and 10.138 . . .
On CW the call has been difficult to get used to. I can send my old call and the contest call quite quickly when I need to but the new call is taking some getting used to at anything above about 16 WPM, but I’ll get there – and no, I do not use any of these automatic CW sender things that you can use in contests. All CW from this QTH is hand-sent (hence the errors) and is, of course, RoHS compliant.
As some have said, the ‘E’ at the end of the call on CW can be troublesome when the band is noisy or full of QRM but so far I have not had a problem – but early days yet . . .

Had the car MOT’d recently? If you have, and the car is a few years old, you know that it can be a bit of a worry.

If you have ever driven in Greece or especially Crete, you may have wondered how some of the vehicles on the road have ever passed an MOT (or the Greek equivalent, called K.TEO).
About 12 months ago, a friend out here bought a second-hand car from a rental company. The car was being used by the Managers XYL and was in good knick. This month the MOT was due again (every two years out here) and so he went to a K.TEO testing station just outside Aghios to see what the procedure was and when he could book it in.

The receptionist spoke good English and said “Where are the keys?” He held them up and the mechanic who tests the cars took the keys and said that he would do the test there and then. My friend protested that he had not cleaned the car inside or out, had not checked this or that as he has been away for a couple of months.
A while later the mechanic returned, gave him the keys and said the car had passed but needed a new nearside headlight bulb as it did not work!

So with only one working headlight, it passed the Greek equivalent of the MOT. This just confirms the apocryphal sayings that all old cars and pick-ups sail through the MOT out here because when they were put up on the ramp, the mechanic would find a 50 Euro note tied to the exhaust pipe!

Accident 1:
Some of you will know this, but just before the XYL left for the UK, she had an accident in the car. She hit something.

Now, you can sit and try and guess what she hit but I don’t think you will get it. She hit a church. Yes, you read that correctly, she hit a church.

There is a small church just on the corner outside the QTH and we often park behind it. The exit to the road is a bit narrow but if a pick-up can make it easily, we can. Well, I can, apparently she cannot and so we now have a nice large dent in the offside rear door and some large scrapes down the car . . .

I am pleased to say that the church is undamaged.

Accident 2:
With the XYL away I have been eating out a lot.

A couple of weeks ago I drove down to Plaka, parked up outside my favourite Taverna and entered. My beer had arrived and I was waiting for the food when there was this crunch. An old guy was driving through the village when, for some reason, he hit the car in front of him and then drove across the road and into the front of my car. This spoilt my evening a bit.

As is the way out here, you call the Police who eventually arrive, take statements etc and you contact your insurance people who send someone out to you there and then to take photos etc. This was a new version of the word ‘fun’ I didn’t know before.

Oh yes, when the police arrived and looked at everyone’s paperwork, they asked for my driving licence. No problem with that but as I was getting it out of my wallet, the policeman said ‘Sorry Sir, but I do not need to see your licence as you were not driving at the time of the accident’

Can’t see that happening in the UK somehow . . .

Free Awards:
There are a plethora of free awards these days. These are the ones you print off yourself after sending off the QSO details. Most are ok while some leave a lot to be desired.
However, just chasing the award can be fun and during May there was a German award for working at least 20 countries within Europe and any mode, band or combination would do.
As I had just received the new call I decided to have a bash and have completed more than the number of countries required on JT65, RTTY, PSK and CW. Note that I did not try SSB!

I wait to see if I get one award endorsed four times or four awards!

June RadComic:
This arrived and after a quick shufty it now sits under a wonky table leg.

Question: If 25% of RadComic readers think that the content is not technical enough, why do they get a special ‘RadComic Plus’ edition (Page 7), what about the 75% who must think that it is too technical? The report of the solar eclipse (Page 72) made awful reading with its tempestuous seas etc and the report on GB2RN could have been so much better – they only had to ask Marc!

With all the callsign apologies and the QSL man moaning again, the magazine is now not really worth the paper it is printed on and if the Skelton chap wrote for PW, there would be nothing of interest at all in the thing at all.

I have sent a piece in to the Contest Section of the magazine. It asks for a mention of the Kulikovo Contest in early September. The unique rule in this contest is that if I work someone and that station does not send in a log, even a check log, then I get NO points for the QSO. The contest is only CW and only runs on 20m.

I await to see (a) if it is mentioned or (b) I even get a response from the RSGB.

Thought of the Month:
You will have seen our politicians on the TV and the fact that in order to appear ‘normal’ they do not wear ties. I saw this comment the other day and it just about sums them up:

“A gentleman without a tie is neither properly dressed, nor is he a gentleman.”


Dick. SV9RPE.

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