Something unexpected in todays mail

So I get home and check the mail. What to my surprise should appear but a QSL card.

A QSL card for you non-hams is a way to acknowledge a contact. I’ve got quite a few from people I’ve conversed with over the years. But anyhow, this wouldn’t be so unusual except for one little fact. I haven’t been active on the amateur radio bands for a good five years now. Well, with the exception of every now and then firing up on 2m or 70cm bands.

My first thought was, “Uh oh, someone is using my callsign on the HF bands (High Frequency, then there’s VHF and UHF, I’ll let you figure those out. A hint though, VHF is where the 2m band lives (144-148MHz) and UHF is where the 70cm band lives (420-450MHz).

While IM’ing with a fellow ham buddy, I noticed that the card indicated that we ‘conversed’ on 26-11-06 at 14:28GMT, which in my time zone would be 9:28AM. It happened on the 20m band on 14.001MHz and my RST (Readability, Signal and Tone) was 599 which is pretty much excellent.

The conversation mode was CW (Continuous Wave) or morse code for the uninitiated.

I’m afraid that DL6IAN didn’t copy a callsign correctly, else I’d not have gotten his QSL card. But here’s the thing, he needs RI to get his Worked All States certificate, so I’ll send him a nice QSL card. Least I can do for the guy, particularly since he did spring for postage and included an SAE (Self Addressed Envelope).

Oh, a bonus:

The formula for getting the band wavelength in meters is 300/f where f is the center frequency of the band. So in the case of the 2m band which runs 144-148MHz I’d take 146MHz as my center and 300/146 = 2.05m. Other bands don’t work so nicely, 70cm is actually more like 66 or 67cm. But we abhor lots of decimal places if we can help it, so we round it up to70cm.

70cm btw is ab out 27.6 inches. That’s the distance it takes for a complete sine wave to occur.

Can you tell we hams like acronyms? And to my regular readers, sorry I went a little technical there. Had to do it though and you likely learned something reading this post.

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