Season finale

by Antony Chazapis

It always feels like the season ends at the last weekend of July, with the IOTA Contest. August is for relaxing, thinking over the past months and planning for after September – when it starts to cool down enough for the brain to start functioning again. In Greece, the summer is hot and it is common to take your vacations during its last month. So here I am, next to the beach, thinking over all the excitement ham radio had to offer in the last year: building useful gadgets, chasing awards, and upgrading my equipment.

Running SZ9ERK

Moreover, this year’s IOTA participation was unique in another extent: with a few fellow hams we ran the contest from the local radio club with the club’s callsign (SZ9ERK). This took several months to organize and prepare, and besides proving a very effective team-building exercise, it gave us all the satisfying experience of running a contest with better equipment than we had at home. I was actively involved in the arrangements, and I am thankful to all the people that helped to make it happen. I certainly look forward to teaming up for more contests in the future.

The coming season may also find me with new antennas. I have collected all the necessary hardware and will hopefully soon replace my trusty dual wire dipoles (20 and 15 meters) with a rotating three-band dipole (20, 15, and 10 meters) and an inverted-v for 40 meters. What keeps the project back is that I have to put new cables up to the roof to connect everything, and am still missing a rigid mast to support both antennas.

So, it looks like Crete is becoming my permanent home. It’s been two years here and since I am thinking of installing a “proper” antenna system, I decided to request an address change in my license as well. This means that my callsign prefix will become SV9. The new season brings new equipment, new antennas, and a new callsign. The time may be right for a new blog as well.