Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Alien QSL Bureau Announced

Headlines raved this week, perhaps erroneously, that the United Nations was preparing to name an official ambassador to represent earth in preparation of alien contact. While some have guffawed at the idea of an ambassador to aliens, the idea is not without merit. If an alien ship parked itself in orbit around earth and sent out a "Take me to your leader" message, who would we point them toward? While I'm sure there is no shortage of political potentates who would self-nominate themselves for the position, the scramble for supremacy would look like, well, a typical UN meeting . Appointing a nominal talking head to be the face of earth would hide what a bunch of squabbling children we really are for probably at least an hour to two.

Nevertheless, we applaud the UN for being so far thinking, even if they weren't. The collected members of the Lost Island DX Society have never been accused of being deep thinkers, but we know how to ride the coattails of a good idea when we see one. So the LIDS are announcing the establishment of the first Extraterrestrial QSL Bureau to assist The Deserving in getting confirmations for (future) extraterrestrial QSOs. With the price of domestic and international postage going up every year it seems, one can only imagine the postal service's rates for Alpha Centauri. An SASE might bankrupt an individual.

The LIDS Extraterrestrial QSL Bureau will assist in bundling terrestrial QSLs and transporting them to their destination via rocket ship or whatever means is most cost effective. It will likewise receive, sort and distribute incoming QSLs from extraterrestrial locales, making it cost effective for our extraterrestrial ham radio friends to confirm all those W4 cards.

Don't send any envelopes to the LIDS Extraterrestrial QSL Bureau just yet. Details of the bureau operation will be forthcoming after initial Contact.

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Pirate Contest

September 19 is the annual Talk Like A Pirate Day. It is a celebration of all things Pirate and Pirate-like by spending the day talking in your best Pirate vernacular. To help fly the skulls and bones (figuratively), the Lost Island DX Society (LIDS), who's logo should be the skull and bones, is sponsoring the first Talk Like A Pirate Radio-Sport Contest, running from 0000Z to 2359Z, September 19.

Pirates be found on all HF bands, and no, we're not talking about that P5 that showed up on 20m. Use phone only, pirate slang is a tough row on cw. Call "Sea-Q ye Scallywags!" or "Ahoy Pirates!" Exchange is Aahhrr-ST and your Pirate name, e.g. Buccaneer Bob, Peg-leg Pete, etc. Romeo, while a right clever pirate name, is not allowed in this contest. If you work any land lubbers, try to clue them in, but if not, just wish the bilge rats "Ahoy" before making the squiffy walk the plank.

Score is the total number of unique pirates worked, work 'em once per band, times the total number of Pirates and landlubbers ye work. Count any beauties ye work double. Triple if they "Aahrrr" you back with a lassie pirate name.

Any Son of a Biscuit Eater found paddin' his log, looking at the cluster, or other sich clever biz'nes will be properly keel hauled and left to Davy Jones' Locker.

Submit all scores and lies in the comments below. Send any pieces of eight to the LIDS, it might help your score. Judging will be by a council of Pirate LIDS and will be as fair an' honest as the Poisson d'Avril contest. Deadline for entry - when we say it is.

Thursday, September 2, 2010

A Meeting of the Big Guns

Word has reached the Fi-Ni Report of an unprecedented meeting of the minds among the contestcenti. Several months ago the heads of the Five Families of American contest clubs met in a top-secret location identified only by the code name Aytonday to discuss a dire threat to amateur radio-sport, aka contesting. The Dons and Capos of the five largest contest clubs gathered in secret to address the sluggish Cycle 24 and potential remedies. In attendance were the heads of the Yankee Candle Contest Club (YCCC), the Primarily Virginia Radio Contesters (PVRC), the Funky Radio Contesters (FRC), the Sorta-inda Middle Contesters (SMC), and the No Chance Contest Club (NCCC).

News of the secret meeting was smuggled out via carrier pigeon and NTS traffic nets. The cabal discussed ways to address the sputtering performance of the current Cycle 24 solar cycle in an effort to increase contest activity and scores.

Suggestions ranged from asking for a federal bailout for Big Gun stations to a proposal to inquire of the Louisiana family, uh, contest club if they had connections with the New Orleans voodoo community who might be able to do something to address the problem. It was suggested that the residents of 14.230 would be suitable for human sacrifice if needed. A suggestion to move all the contest stations to the Caribbean was deemed impractical, at least at this point.

The most promising proposal presented was to attempt to resurrect the Palos Verde Sundancers to see if they can breath some life in a asthmatic sun spot cycle. However, last seen, the Sundancers were doing an afternoon review show in a Reno casino for the seniors catching the Early Bird special at the buffet. Its uncertain if they can be coaxed back to their old dancing grounds, especially since it now resides in a gated community that probably won't look kindly on such shenanigans.

Unable to reach a consensus, the heads of the Five Families departed and went in search of amplifier tubes with handles.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Preparing for the Contest Season

Jumping Jehoshaphat! Here it is the first of September. Summer is semi-officially over and we're staring down the barrel of the 2010 Contest Season and the Lost Island DX Society hasn't gotten even one of the summer antenna projects completed. Plans for the pair of rotating 200' towers with stacked mono-banders ran into a snag due to a lack of space and money, so we're now trying to get a tribander up on a rusty old Rohn 20 tower we found in the weeds over on the neighbor's property. The SB-220 is still sitting in pieces at the club station waiting for the magic smoke to be put back into the power supply. Macho Cueso and Leche Dinero have spent the summer touring with a Lucha Libre troupe, so their preparations to dominate the Xtreme division of CQWW have been put behind schedule. It's time to start getting serious.

To get you in the proper frame of mind at least, make sure you've got your stocks of Lost Island DX Society paraphernalia. Whether you're a Big Gun or a Pea Shooter, attitude is everything and the LIDS have plenty of that. Whether its at the next hamfest or club meeting, come out of the closet and proudly let everyone know you're one of the LIDS.

Sunspots or no, the big contests cometh. Let's make some RF!