Saturday, April 28, 2007

Greetings all,

I've been working CW seriously a bit over a year now, with a couple multi-month gaps due to real life getting in the way of the hobby.

I'd set a couple goals and it's time to assess where I stand against them. The overall objective is to get to the point where I can "head copy" like an OF at about 30-40 WPM and/or be able to run a frequency, at speed, in a standard CW contest.

The goals?

500 CW contacts

My log currently records 302. Initially contest QSOs weren't going to count, however; since they force me to improve my speed, they count now.

100 different FISTS contacts
There isn't any automated way of checking this at the moment. My guess is between a dozen and two dozen. I haven't been making it a strong focus of QSOs. It turns out that I've worked a lot of FIST members without getting numbers on the air. Working a FISTS contest would probably help.


34 worked / 31 confirmed. Still need the following: AL, AR, CT, DE, GA, ID, MD, ME, NH, NY, RI, SC, SD, VT, WV, WY. Contesting is probably the best way to pick those up.

I've picked up two more goals along the way: DXCC CW and WAS RTTY.


Very early on for this one. It is a friendly competition between AE6RR and me. Who can get to DXCC CW first. Worked 11 with 7 confirmed.


Pretty much a target of opportunity due to having fun RTTY contesting. 47 states with 46 confirmed. I still need the following: DE, ME, VT, WY.

My record on RuftXP is 37 WPM and 24 valid QSOs in 15 minutes on Morse Runner.

I am reasonably confident in my CW skills for normal QSOs, but fast contest exchanges and/or fast DX stations still leave my head spinning.

On the whole I'm still having fun and still motivated. We'll have to see what improvements the following months bring.

73 all!

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Tuesday, April 24, 2007


I *know* the rule is to always listen for a long time before jumping in, but when I heard nice strong RTTY signals on 40m tonight I just had to try.

And got trapped into 2 rounds of the 3905 net as "fresh meat."

No macros set up or anything... I adapted what I had as the net went on, so by the end I shouldn't have been too liddish.

Now to send out a BUNCH of RTTY QSL cards to those gents.

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Wednesday, April 11, 2007


So, I believe I got N8S on the following:

14.195 4/12/07 03:30
3.791 4/12/07 06:21
7.005 4/12/07 06:23

80m was pretty weak, so I'm not COMPLETELY completely sure, but I had the amp turned on and it was the first call into almost no pile up...

And 40m? I had been calling for about 2 hours at that point (heck only 5 to 7 minutes un-split) so it really caught me napping when something like my call came back. But I did send 5nn and got a tu.

Oh well, perhaps try again tomorrow night "just to make sure."

P.S. The microKeyer isn't a legit way to key my amp. It doesn't key for the Icom's internal keyer, or then transmitting RTTY via the front panel transmit switch. Naughty naughty!

Sunday, April 08, 2007

Hello all,

Finally got to to participle in my first RTTY contest running power. 500+ Watts (as opposed to 100W) makes running a frequency marginally more productive.

Anyway. The amp gets warm... really warm... when "running."

I've got the drive dialed back so the amp is only putting out about 500W, but it still gets plenty warm on top. I'll need to see if adding some additional cooling would help.

The system also "locks up" in transmit mode on 80m. Sorta weird.

Went through and added clip on cores to all of the leads attached to the microKeyer. They seemed to help... Perhaps tripling the power required for a lock up.

My next step is to get real torrides, or perhaps "double up" the cores.

Not sure what my rate is going to look like. Also seems to be a new noise source.

The 3.1 MHz noise source is still there. At this point the smart money says it is in the SLVWD plant.

Zzzzz, Good night.

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