Monkeying around…

It was an unusually rainy morning and it took some persuasion to get out and get to work. On the way, I received a call from the XYL and she told me that we had a problem; a monkey was sitting atop my antenna tower. He was comfortably settled at the mount point of the HF yagi and was trying to shake the tower. When the XYL tried to scare him away, he got very agitated and went on to wrench off my 5/8th VHF GP. He then hurled the fiberglass-clad radiating element at her! No injuries, but my antenna count is down by one. This must be a monkey’s version of road-rage!

The VHF GP with the radiating element missing.

The ripped off fiberglass enclosed element

On inspection this morning, he seems to have vented his fury only on the VHF antenna and seems to have left the others alone. However, I will have to lower the tower and make a closer visual inspection this weekend. Thankfully, I did not bump into this antenna-throwing primate up there!

Time to install my new MA-3000 VHF/UHF collinear!

India on 6M?

An amendment to the rules allows VU hams to operate on 6m – the “Magic Band”. However, before all of us had a chance to settle down after the initial euphoria, we realized that the licensing authority in India, in their own wisdom, have allowed 6m operation on FM only! The skewed logic that we later heard was that 6m was considered VHF and hams would have to use FM only.

However, this restriction to operate on other modes on 6m has not affected an individual from blatantly operating on CW on 6m. Needless to say, this operation has been evoking a lot of interest from DXers worldwide and I suspect a lot of them are working this VU in a “work first, worry later” mode. A discussion was initiated on the VUHams Yahoo group about this “illegal” operation on 6m and a lot of folks were pretty vocal that this was an abuse of the privileges we have. The ham in question actually responded to the group with an apology and feigned ignorance of what the rules allow. And, this is an experienced ham known to the DX community! Unfortunately, the same ham is being spotted on 6m on CW even now.

Anyway, the Amateur Radio Society of India has taken up the issue of 6m operation on other modes with the regulatory authority. Initial feedback that we hear is that the request will be considered and we VU’s will be given privileges to operate on CW and SSB on 6m soon. A few of us are getting down to home-brewing our antennas for the “Magic Band”

Till then , I suggest that Dxers do not waste their time and money (yes, quite a bit of it is being demanded for a QSL card for those illegal QSO’s).

The VU4PB Andamans DXpedition

The Andaman and Nicobar islands (VU4) were activated by a team put togerher by the ARSI. This was a good chance to work this entity on all bands and modes. The operation was good, as expected, as we had some pretty good ops out there.  I managed to work them on 13 band/mode slots.