So far in 2013, I have not had a chance to get on the air. All I have had time to do is to occasionally listen. Perhaps this weekend I will finally dust off the key, warm up the equipment, and make some contacts.
Earlier this month, NMX was fun to attend. The conference covered many facets of social media including web video, podcasting, and blogging. Many of the talks revolved how the evolving social media technology is being used in business today.
It was good to see a couple of new confirmations on LoTW. On mixed and CW, PT0S was new for me, and on SSB and digital, TT8TT was new. Also, there were some band countries, which are fun to track as well. Thank you to the PT0S and TT8TT for the contacts & QSLs.
In a recent DX news letter, there was a listing of QSL cards received. Of those listed, 22 were received via LoTW, 8 directly through the mail, and none via the bureau. Slowly more and more people are moving away from the familiar hand written paper cards to using electronic data to represent the event. We rely on bits stored on a computer we cannot see or touch.
This week I finished scanning in pictures from an old album that had been in stored on a shelf. When visiting with others, we went through some of those pictures on the computer. Some of the older pictures are now posted on a web site for other family members, however distant, to see and read the information (that was written on the back of the photos).
I enjoy picking up an old QSL card. or an old photo, and seeing the original handwriting that someone took the time to write. My handwritten logbook contains notes regarding station changes, times I operated as part of a club event, or even scribbles I made as I tried to make that new rare contact. It even contains the stain from the coffee I spilled when they came back to me. Using the sense of touch to actually hold a memory in my hands is far more fulling than looking at information on a screen.
I clearly see the changes I have made in the way I confirm contacts. Although it may take me a week or two, my logs are regularly uploaded to LoTW and eQSL. This is done about as often as I used to fill out paper cards in the 70′s and 80′s. I do not send nearly as many paper cards as in the past. Today, I used a computer to request a paper card from PT0S using their online QSL request service. I have even been delinquent in responding to a couple of direct cards. (I never used to be so slow in responding.)
I will miss the era of hand written cards with occasional mentions of the events surrounding the contact and postage stamps still on the back, slowly peeling away over time.
The September 2012 CQWW RTTY contest was fun. I started into it with a late start and thinking I was only going to make a couple of contacts. Not having practiced with the new contest & RTTY software, I kept the old fashion way – with pen and paper. By the end of the contest, I had logged 86 contacts, and wished I had used the software for logging. My online log will be updated soon; once I manually transcribe the log!
This weekend, I updated my DXCC records, and submitted an application for additional endorsements using the LoTW pending credits. In addition, the web page was updated to add a pull down selection under DXCC that displays my current status. Also, this new status page has a link to the detailed listing of what countries I need, in which mode, and on what bands.