I gave up on getting the EARCHI to tune up on 20m for now. As it is, I was able to make enough contacts on PSK31 (50 unique callsigns) to qualify for PODXS070 membership. I was awarded number 2497, in the off-chance we cross paths on the waterfall at some point. If I want 20m, I just run into the attic, move the feedline back to the dipole, and hoist it back into the rafters. Another piece of coax and an antenna switch would be pretty useful. I’m good for all bands between 80m and 6m (except for 60m, which the EARCHI can’t seem to do either).
Also had my first QSO via CONTESTIA the other day. It’s an interesting mode, and the users seem to eschew the macros that pervade PSK31. Had a nice chat with a guy down on the FL panhandle and will be on the lookout for more of those. So between JT9/JT65, PSK31, and the oddball other thing now and again (I saw a THOR-16 alert pop up the other day), I’ve got plenty to do. And I haven’t even really explored RTTY yet, beyond “reading the mail” and trying to get a sense of the QSO etiquette.
In other non-radio news, we’re in the midst of a late-season cold snap that’s had the bees hunkered down for a few days. We should be clear of it by the weekend. I’m looking forward to seeing them get back to work. Weather permitting, I’ll try and do a quick inspection of the upper brood boxes to see what’s up, with an eye to splitting into a third colony once things are warmer and drones are flying again. I’ve got supers with frames ready to go, though I won’t install the wax foundation until the last possible minute. It’s still sitting here, boxed up in my office. No way am I letting the wax moths into it. Swarm season will be upon us soon, so I’ll be putting boxes up in a few places and crossing my fingers for free bees.
Books: still working my way through Etienne Gilson on Aquinas and Anthony Esolen’s translation of Dante’s Purgatory.