Tuesday, January 30, 2007

A new philosophy for CW...

"If you can't learn to do it well, learn to enjoy doing it badly."



Monday, January 29, 2007

Wow, my head really isn't into Morse Code this evening.

One 10th place and one middle of the pack on RufzXP.

And only 17 contacts in 15 minutes on Morse Runner.

Yuck. Better go to bed.

At least I have a Request For Quotation into www.thewireman.com for my new doublet.

Night night!

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Sunday, January 28, 2007

It's been a pretty good weekend.

Four main things to do:
  1. Unpack and smoke test the TS-790A
  2. Bring up the Dell sx/260
  3. Spend a bit of time in the RTTY Sprint contest
  4. Spend a bit of time in the CQ 160m CW contest.


I was able to open and smoke test the replacement TS-790A. All the lights came on. I would really like to rearrange the shack some to make "real" space available for this radio. It is too nice to be "hacked" into place.


Second I wanted to bring up the Dell SX/260 that I bought via ebay. Locals Jeff and JV had purchased a couple and deemed them a good deal. After playing with one, I agree.

The Dell sx/260 is pretty nice. Older machine. About the size of a college hardback dictionary. ~$250 on ebay. Moved all of my ham radio software over to it last night and this afternoon.

It maxes out at 144W rather than 300W (need to actually measure the draw). Should be much cheaper to run. It is also Windows XP, so it should be more stable than the other machine.

Installed and since I've been dealing with it on pretty much every computer I own it went flawlessly.

N1MM with CW
Same here.

AGWPE and TelPac
Pretty painless as well. Need to contact the AGWPE people to get another license key for the new computer.



My results from playing around in the BARTG RTTY Sprint. Again, not serious, basically checking to make sure my MMTTY set-up was working right, and to hand out points.

BARTGRTTYS Score Summary Sheet

Start Date : 2007-01-29

Band : ALL
Power : LOW
Mode : RTTY
Club/Team : Northern California Constest Club
Software: N1MM Logger V7.1.1

Band QSOs Pts Cty Sec Cnt
7 7 7 0 1 0
14 18 18 4 11 2
28 1 1 1 1 1
Total 26 26 5 13 3

Score : 1,404


CQ 160m contest

And here are the results of my 160m hacking. This was far from a serious attempt.

CQ160CW Score Summary Sheet

Start Date : 2007-01-27

Power : LOW
Mode : CW

Club/Team : Northern California Constest Club
Software: N1MM Logger V7.0.0

Band QSOs Pts Sta Cty
1.8 27 57 9 0
Total 27 57 9 0

Score : 513
Most of the CW seemed "slow" and all of it was cope-able with. I felt fully comfortable engaging a contact without needing to listen to the exchange first. (Although it was nice if I could.) There were several times when I could make back-to-back minute exchanges.

I need to significantly improve my 160 antenna though...

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Wednesday, January 24, 2007

The AL-80A arrived, as did the dummy-load/watt-meter. Paid a bit more than I wanted to for a Ten Tec 238B on ebay, but they're a little rare in the used market. It should get here in a week or so.

The only antenna I trust using the amp on without a tuner is the 15m dipole. It's pretty close in tuning and has the advantage of not being close enough to any trees to burn them down.

My wife is a bit afraid of the amp. I have a history of "explosive" incidents and my comment about burning the tree down seems to have sensitized her somehow...


Monday, January 15, 2007

Note to self:

Self, in your quest for worked all states on CW, please note the following:

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Saturday, January 13, 2007

Holy cow! Perhaps I'm getting better at this?

UTC Call Recv Sent Pref Chk
00:00:24 OE3PFW 599 0001 599 0001 OE3 RST
00:00:48 W0QE 599 0001 599 0002 W0
00:01:56 NS2X 569 0004 599 0003 NS2
00:02:29 SV1MF 599 0003 599 0004 SV1
00:03:21 UA9SI 599 0002 599 0005 UA9
00:03:39 W0GHZ 599 0003 599 0006 W0
00:04:09 DL1EIZ 599 0007 599 0007 DL1
00:04:32 LY2UF 599 0007 599 0008 LY2
00:05:26 RA3WJ 599 0005 599 0009 RA3
00:05:58 W0JA 599 0004 599 0010 W0
00:06:47 W5SB 599 0017 599 0011 W5
00:07:12 SP6KFA 599 0004 599 0012 SP6
00:07:50 N9BVA 599 0006 599 0013 N9
00:08:24 NA1Q 599 0005 599 0014 NA1
00:08:49 DL6UHU 599 0011 599 0015 DL6
00:09:41 G3JCU 599 0001 599 0016 G3
00:10:24 DL3BAL 599 0009 599 0017 DL3
00:10:40 W0ARK 599 0002 599 0018 W0
00:11:09 ON5UM 599 0007 599 0019 ON5
00:11:33 K9JS 599 0010 599 0020 K9
00:12:33 UA3QQQ 599 0006 599 0021 UA3
00:13:05 W6TKV 599 0037 599 0022 W6
00:13:39 LX1HD 599 0030 599 0023 LX1
00:14:23 IR5B 599 0039 599 0024 IR5
00:14:45 I8JIT 599 0005 599 0025 I8

That's 25 contacts in 15 minutes. Now if only I can do this in the NAQP!

hi hi hi

Friday, January 12, 2007

OK, long day.

Checked into the Gordo net. Late, as usual. My mobile mount has some sort of intermittant in it. Also checked into the 9am talk net.

Set up the downstairs computer and MicroKeyer. It seems to be working for rig control and WinKey keying. We'll see tomorrow.

Doing ok on Morse Runner. Consistently better than one Q/minute.

Time for bed.

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Thursday, January 11, 2007

Boy do I need to catch up here!

(Will fill in as time allows.)
So, I was looking for a good VHF/UHF multi-mode rig because I want to work satellites at some point. After doing some research it seems like the TS-790A was a really good choice and superior to most modern rigs on the market. So going on the used market I found a complete set-up, rig, power supply, speaker, and negotiated a $1200 price for it including shipping.

Background on Conrad - The seller was a long time ham who was having some sort of unspecified family issue that required selling his stuff for cash. I knew this, and certainly didn't grind him on price. Just made sure that the payments were correct and timely (even picked up the $200 shipping tab to help out).

It was clear that the seller REALLY loved the radio and was only selling it under extreme duress.

After some time I received the rig and got it on the air. The reviews are correct. It is a VERY sweet radio.

So light/dark another day. Sure enough about a 1/2 year later I get an email from Conrad asking if he can buy the rig back. I don't want to lose the radio, but it is "Golden Rule" time. And it doesn't count if you only apply it when it is easy...

Finding another rig
The hunt for the manuals
Waiting for the check.
Noise is biggest
No further progress on antennas
Amp(s) on order
Grumpy old men and clueless teenagers on the repeaters
Greg and some guy on 20m SSB
Abandon: More RTTY RU
Joey goes to town!

Early results
Grumpy wife
The next morning
Leaving for Kid's Day

Original plan
Change in plans
Run to radio shack
Fun with a sling shot
It just won't tune
Two contacts

The ambassador and Christmas cookies
Calling the manufacture
Recalling the home owner

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