Friday, December 29, 2006

Well, MOST of the parts are here

So, the coax and rotor cables are here. I'm waiting on my Cal-Aero balun (should be here today - I hope - Tuesday at worst) and believe it or not, new pins for the AMP connector for my rotor. Yes, my Ham IV is old enough to have the AMP commector. Tomorrow, I'll probably put the elements for the antenna together, and store them

Thursday, December 21, 2006

Antennas

Well, I've ordered the Glen Martin rooftop mount form my beam - a MP-33 which needs 2 parts (on order). The rotor (a Ham IV) is in the garage, and the mast and thrust bearing arrived today.

Next week, I'll order the coax, and the rotor cable, and I should be good to go

I think I'm going to use 9096-2a for coax

If we get some nice weather (like we have been getting) in a few weeks, I should have the beam up, the Mini - G5RV down, and a 40m Delta Loop in it's place, pluse the 17m/80m trapped dipole moved and up higher. Imagine that, a signal improvement on EVERY band I run (I can't run 12m, 30m, 60m, or 160m)

The eventual goal is still to replace the MP-33 with a Step-IR, but...

Field Day Result

I Never posted how I did on Field Day. As I predicted, I came in forst for class 1E in the NLI section. That turned out to be trivial, as I was the ONLY class 1E in NLI.

I did come in 4th in the Hudson Division for class 1E. Definately have to get the QSO count up. I had 203, where the winning effort (WA2EQF) had 561!. I guess the sleep and off hours killed me. That's the big problem with a 1 man effort

Tuesday, October 31, 2006

CQWW SSB

Didn't get much time to play in the contest this weekend, there is just too much going on in my life

Ended up running PARTS of 3 different hours - probably a total on the air time of 90 minutes or so

38 QSOs - all on 20m, all while the band was dieing at night, but what the heck

Thursday, October 19, 2006

The Beam

Last night, I got a call from Pete (W2IRT) - "XF4 is on the air and LOUD". I get on the air - just a whisper - below ESP level. Man I HAVE to get my beam up. I talked with my XYL - she has given me the OK as my Christmas Gift. Yea! I can start ordering parts before then.

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

Miscellaneous Musings

It's been a LONG time since I posted. My ham radio life has been very slow, as I've been VERY busy. Mom was in and out of the hospital and rehab (Lung Cancer) etc

Anyway, one major problem I had in my station at home was NASTY 'birdies' all up and down the band from my LAN. This is a fairly common problem. I decided to try and fix the problem. Now, as I already HAD shielded Cat-6 cables in place, I knew that was not going to fix the problem. What I did was make up Cat-5e cables that had a type 43 ferrite at BOTH ends. (small ones - 1/2 hole, about 3/4" long). I had to cut off the connectors and put on new ones. I did it scientifically - one cable at a time, one end at a time. Interestingly, at least on MY LAN, the end near the PC was MUCH more important than the end at the router! I'll guess that the LAN circuits in the PC are less balanced than they are in my router (a Linksys). I lowered the noise at the 'birdie' points from about s-6 to about s-1, so I'd say I made a huge improvement.

This last weekend, I replaced my temporary coax to my 80m/17m dipole with it's permanent coax. Now I don't have to open my rear door to use the antenna. Make me a tad more likely to actually USE the antenna

I've had a bunch of cards come in, and I'd like to thank all the stations who sent me cards.

I'm seriously thinking I'm going to order an NMO mount saw. I have a few friends (Hi Pete (w2irt) and John (KB3MTK)) who need antennas put on their trucks (both Ford Rangers...). My old truck was a Ranger, so I know the tricks with that one.

Sometime this winter (actually next 2 months or so) I should be putting up a beam. Going with a Glen Martin 4ft rooftop tower, probably a 6ft mast. I have a MA-33 that I got from the old Knickerbocker Yacht Club station (Thanks Guys). I eventually want to put a SteppIR up there, but that'll wait. Still debating WHICH coax to use. I keep waffling on that.

Unfortunately, I won't get much contesting done this fall. It's an election year, and my job is related to the elections, so I'll be working 7 days/week until after the election.

73 de KG2V - and Good DX (sunspots? What's a sunspot)

Friday, July 14, 2006

Field Day 2006

Normally I go Upstate and do field Day at WA2GUG's place. This year, due to family commitments (had to watch the children, plus Mom in the hospital), I did Field Day as a class 1E from home

Had a good Field day - 978 points, which SHOULD put me in first for NLI section.

Butt in Chair was a BIG issue - ran frm the start to about 4:30pm, then had to cook dinner for Dad and the kids, so I lost 2 hours there (3 QSOs in 2 hours). Around 2:30am, I hit the wall, and had to sleep. The BIG issue was I set my alarm wrong, and instead of it waking me up at 5:30am, I slept until 7:30am.

My big battery died for tranmit use right around noon - pretty much all I did was get the bulletin. I did get a BUNCH of QSOs on Sunday AM

I'll admit going into the contest tired - with running to the hospital almost every night, I was averaging less than 6 hours of sleep a night

The GOOD news is that it allowed me to ALMOST finish my WAS - I'm still missing New Mexico

Weather Station Redux

The Cat-5 change of the weather station cables has worked VERY well. It has not hung up since the change

Thursday, March 02, 2006

Cards/LOTW recently received

W4KUM 20m PSK31
VE7AXU 20m PSK31

J68RI - 10,15,20 SSB - all time new

VO2NS 40m CW - New Zone - 3 to go
PJ2/WB9Z - Card for QSO already confirmed via LOTW - Thank you
K8ZZV 40 SSB

Thanks to all

Tuesday, February 21, 2006

David Gregory, I Revoke My Proxy

David Gregory, I Revoke My Proxy

Cards Received Feb 21, 2006

PJ4/KG9QX 15m ssb
XE1CQ 15m SSB - for a band fill

Thanks to both of you

Tuesday, February 14, 2006

Cards Received Feb 14, 2006

YY5YMA - 15m SSB - Thanks for the new band

Monday, February 06, 2006

Recent Cards Feb 6th, 2006

LoTW since 1/30
KL7TS - 20m
KG2SB - 20m CW
K6MM - 20M
KL7DX - 20M
C6ANM - 20M AND 40M
W2IRT - 40M
ON4AEK - 20M AND 40M
K9NS - 40M
W7VJ - 20M

One Card
5B/AJ20 - 40m

Tuesday, January 31, 2006

Saturday, January 28, 2006

Fixed the weather station

About 2 weeks ago, in a NASTY windstorm, my AAG weather station lost it's wind cups. Got around to replacing them today, and figured out why, even though my station SHOULD be a 2 pole wind sensor, it needed 1 pole to read right - helps to have the magnets closer to the reed switches

I also replaced the quad cable with Cat-5e cable - I hope this cuts down on the station hanging up when I transmit

You should be able to see the data from the station on Findu.com, or CWOP

Cards Today - Jan 28, 2006

One card today
IR7G - 40m ssb for a new band - thank you

Friday, January 27, 2006

Cards Today - Jan 27th

Two cards in the mail today - both from the NAQP SSB

K5LRS

and

W6RLL - which is wrong - has all the ight info except for being 30m CW - as I don't work 30m....

Tuesday, January 24, 2006

Cards Today - Jan 24

One card today

YZ1E - 40m SSB, for a band fill, thank you

Monday, January 23, 2006

Cards Today

3 QSL cards in the mail today
OH5B on 20m
FS/AA4V on 40m for a band fill
and
LU7HN on 10m for a band fill

Also a stack to domestic QSOs from the contest on LoTW

Thank you!

NAQP Lessons learned

A few weeks ago, I decided to enter in my first North American QSO Party (NAQP). Looking at the rules, it seemed that I had a choice - enter as a single operator, single radio station (s/1) and NOT use packet spotting, or use packet spotting, and enter as multi operator, 2 radio (M/2). I decided that I would enter as a M/2 station and use spotting. I also decided that I needed a hands free mic of some sort, so I ordered a Heil Proset Quietphone with the M4 element on the Thursday before the contest.

(Times below are from memory - will have to check the log)
Saturday dawned bright and too early, as I had stayed up VERY late in order to work CE0Z. Got my chores done in time to be sitting in my chair at 1300hrs local time (1800 UTC). Started on 20m, and worked a bit. Around 1515 hrs, 20m was slowing down, so I decided to take a 30 minute break (I had forgotten that by entering as a M/2 I could work all 12 hours). Came back, checked 20m, and it was fairly dead, so after a short period of time switched over to 40m. Picked up a fairly good rate there. Worked until about 1800hrs local, when my wife and children came home, and I took my second break of 30 minutes.

After dinner, came back and worked 40m until around 2115 local, when I felt very tired, and decided to take my second "off hour". Came back, and 40m was GONE. Now is when the fact that I do not have 75/80m capability really killed me. For all intents, my contest was done.

Sunday afternoon, I exported my logs, submitted them, and also submitted them to LoTW. Posted my after action report to the contesting mailing list. Here is the "meat" of what I sent to the list

2006 Jan NAQP SSB lessons learned
This year was my first NAQP SSB (was not even contesting this time
last year)

Again, the lack of 80m capability hurt - a LOT. I must figure out
some way for 80m

I MUST try to run more, and not S&P

My signal on 40m seems good into the upper midwest (MI, WI etc)

The Heil Proset Quietset (arrived Friday) really helped

Spotting (I entered multi2) was useless - not worth the shift in
class, in fact, I didn't even really use it

I must schedule my off time (the 10 out of 12) better - I took 30
minutes in the afternoon, 30 min in the early eve, and the rest at
9:15 - by the time I got back at 10:15, the bands I have (10-40m) were
dead here

Must get more sleep the night before the contest (then again , it
allowed me to get CE0Z in the log, so....)

It would be nice to get a better antenna, but that is on the list
anyway - low wires are not the way to contest


So, there it is

Next challenge? Peter1