I bought a radio the other day from a friend of mine that was selling all his gear. It's a Yaesu FT-847. Last night I took it to my friend Steve's house, and participated in a contest called the IARU HF World Championship. Imagine hundreds (thousands?) of people all over the world, sitting in front of a microphone or morse code key, trying to talk to as many of each other as possible during a 24-hour period. I was doing morse code most of the time. A typical exchange went like this (note: my callsign is KA8I, the other person in this example is W1AW/5):
cq cq test de w1aw/5 w1aw/5 test ka8i ka8i 5nn arrl r 5nn 6 tu cq cq test de w1aw/5...
note that it took longer for me to type it than it did to send it in morse code. It was crazy.
After the contest ended, I decided to try another feature of the radio out: Amateur Satellites. I was able to talk through a satellite called RS-12/13 and hear my own signal coming back. Not a first for me, but a first with my own rig. So that was pretty exciting too.
heath and I are going to build some antennas to do satellite work this week. Anyway, enough geekout. Back to work.