Five months in
It's been five months since I first got licensed and I have a confession.
I haven't had a single QSO.
Yes, it may be shocking but it's the truth. I blame it on a variety of reasons/factors.
- Work and Time: I've worked an odd schedule for the past half year, working from 1700 to 0130. As many hams are driving home, I'm driving to work. It doesn't give me much time to talk as most non-retired hams are in the middle of their work day when I'm just waking up. Plus while working I obviously I can't talk on my radio.
- Location: I live in Lynn, Massachusetts. Lynn has odd geography, it's flat near the ocean and the Saugus River, but other parts of the city are very hilly. I happen to live in the hilly section. The only problem, the slight hill I'm on is surrounded by taller hills, so in essence, I'm a valley. My club's main repeater is located in Danvers. Which while only separated by another city is about 10 miles. As VHF and UHF radio is line of sight, it has to traverse those hills to reach the repeater. I can receive the repeater just fine on my Yaesu VX-6R, but transmitting is another story. I've listened to myself via Echolink on the repeater and I've heard nothing but static on Echolink despite kerchunking the repeater with my Yaesu, and this is with an upgraded Diamond SRH320A as the antenna.
- No Local Repater: Lynn has a couple repeaters according to the New England Repeater Directory, RFinder, RepeaterBook and even the New England Spectrum Management Council, the repeater coordinators themselves. There's only one problem, they're offline according to a couple of sources and have been since before I got my license. This would make it a lot more easier to talk since I'm right down the road from the repeater and would have no issues, that is unless.
- Repeaters Are Dead: Some of the repeaters are just dead. D-E-A-D. Not all of them, but a good majority of the day, which plays into issue #1. Some are active, but again, they're usually active when I'm at work, or they're out of transmitting range.
But I haven't given up hope.
I'm studying for my General and furthermore looking at getting a mobile radio to put in my Jeep so I can talk while driving to work or when I'm up near Danvers. Furthermore, I'm trying to schedule an Echolink QSO with some of the guys from the #RedditNet IRC channel of Reddit's /r/amateurradio subreddit.
I'll get there, eventually.