We have worked several times via satellite and we only live about 20 miles apart, but I was not even aware you were into weak signal work. Is there any sort of VHF club in Miami? There is a very active Florida Weak Signal club and they always have what sound like really interesting programs (such as antenna testing), but they are all in central/north Florida and a bit too far for me to attend their meetings. I usually hear several stations on 2m SSB during the QSO parties and would love to have a meeting of VHF enthusiasts in south Florida.
As for meteors, and for that matter all forms of terrestrial VHF/UHF DXing, we in south Florida are at a disadvantage due to the lack of activity outside the USA. Pretty much all of my contacts have been to the north and west.
Another problem south Florida hams,
including myself, is the prevalence of antenna-restricted communities. I was delighted to make as many contacts as I did with a stealth M2 9 element beam, but I got tired of taking it up and down each evening. And, the antenna's lack of effectiveness, which led to countless unsuccessful attempts, wore me down.
I began playing with EME and at first had more success than with meteors. I could work any station anywhere in the world, as long as they had at least a kilowatt and 4 or more antennas. But before too long I worked all of these "big guns". Then, our new son arrived last year and I pretty much went QRT on both meteors and EME.
I did pick up a Lunar Link legal limit amp in September but I've yet to make a QSO with it. Moving up from 500 watts (my old amp) to 1.5kw is hugely complicated for someone like me who is not that good at homebrewing, due to the need to protect the mast-mounted
preamp. I finally arranged for a suitable preamp/relay assembly and it should arrive tomorrow. So hopefully I'll be back on the air soon.
I do enjoy this list, the camraderie on PJ, the MS contests (I somehow even won the Eastern Time Zone award for the Perseids contest 2 years ago), and yes, the random hour when I have time (more difficult now because my older son is now playing in baseball/football/soccer leagues on Saturday morning.
If you want to test your new beam, drop me an email, and we can work via ground wave. Hope to see you and all of the PJ gang soon on the air.
73, Bill NZ5N
I'm in Miami Florida and I was on PJ several months ago. It was fun.
Why did I stop? I had serious issues with my 2 meter antenna. I guess I
was dyslexic when I first put together the antenna. While the director
was in the right place (that's not hard is it), the rest of the
elements were pointed the wrong way! No wonder I couldn't hear anyone,
although some claim to have heard me!
That antenna is being replaced with a new M2 antenna (I have glasses
now), and it should be going up later this month. That will get me back
on 2 meter SSB (with a preamp this time), and I plan to be back on MS.
I also worked a few stations on 6 meter MS, but that wasn't too
thrilling, since I can work farther than that on Es; and the band was
open while I was on PJ. I have someone who is converting an SB-220 for
me for 6 meters, so I'll have 1kw on there whenever I get it back.
As far as RH - well that's just too early for old guys like me. Plus I
don't have much experience on MS, and being that my antenna was pretty
much a wet noodle, I temporarily exited MS. Although I understand why
it's scheduled early in the morning.