Greetings and salutations to GCARC members and friends of the Club. We have finally made it to June, which means that the biggest ham radio event of the year is almost upon us. That of course being Field Day. To those of us who are absolute Field Day fanatics, this month is the most important month of the year, and the one we start counting down to starting around January first. We are excited to be able to field another large "Alpha" class entry again this year, and of course we are hoping for good weather. I hope that all of you who have not experienced Field Day will come out and see what it is all about, and find out why some of us love it more than any other aspect of the hobby. For me, it is THE reason I got my license in the first place, almost 46 years ago. It is still my favorite event to this day, and I cannot fathom why any active ham would want to be anywhere else on the fourth weekend in June!
So maybe Field Day is not your thing. Well, we have lots of other activities going on too, that cover just about every aspect of the hobby that you can imagine, and I am willing to bet, a few that you can't! Our GCARC, like our hobby itself, has so many facets that it would be nearly impossible for any one ham to do them all. We have a few members who are trying, believe me, but there are only so many hours in a day! Education and experimentation are major activities for our Club, and on just about any given day, you will find something related to these activities going on down at the Clubhouse. Have you stopped by lately? You probably should. I know I have not been by often enough myself. Such is the curse of the working ham! Maybe when I retire I can take on more projects and get involved with more activities, but please don't tell my XYL!
So how's DX? If you have been on the upper HF bands lately, you must know that DX has been great! The Solar Flux Index has been in the 150 to 165 range for sustained periods, and even hit 180 for a day or two. What this means is that 15 meters is open all day, 20 is open most of the night, and even 10 meters has had some unusually long distance openings. Solar Cycle 25 is off to a rousing start, and is beating all predictions by a mile, proving that solar cycle predictions are a lot like weather predictions! I personally have recently completed an HF mobile setup in my truck, and I have been working all over Europe every single day on 20m SSB with 200 watts and a modified Hustler center loaded whip. It is a simple, cheap antenna, but it really works. Contact me for details.
I have wanted to have a mobile station on the HF bands for years, and these initial results are just blowing away my greatest expectations. I am also surprised to find out just how much mobile activity there is on 20 meters. Just another surprising facet of the hobby that is there for the taking. If you are stuck in some no-antennas HOA prison camp, by all means, consider putting together a mobile station. There are some special challenges with today's vehicles, but right now at least, they are worth the effort. And when you drive out to some RFI-free quiet area, and shut off the engine, it is like magic! The band suddenly fills with weak signals that don't even move the S-meter. As one who lives adjacent to a noisy commercial strip, this makes all the expense and the effort well worth it.
That's all I have for now, but do not miss the June General Membership Meeting on Wednesday, June 1, 2022. It is our Annual Field Day Preview, which in itself is worth coming out for. If you have not been out to a meeting for a while, this one is not to be missed. I hope to see you there.
In the meantime, please join me in welcoming new members Henry Ammon, KD2YZS, of Pennsville NJ; and John Mostello, KD2ZKP, of Sewell. Welcome gentlemen! We are glad to have you with us. It is going to be a great summer of fun!