Monday, July 11, 2011

Sussex Hamfest

Went to the Sussex hamfest yesterday. They seemed to have a nice sized crowd (I'd say larger than the last couple of years)

Came home with a 5 port rig runner, an aluminum project box, and the loan of an MFJ 1026 from W2IRT

What I forgot to do was stock up the parts bin - I have no power connector for said MFJ Unit, I don't think I have any 1/8" or 1/4" phone plugs in the house, etc - when did I remember? Just after I left the grounds, and of course I was hot (it was extremely sunny), tired, and my leg hurt (too much walking around on it, and I refuse to use a ham-about.

The connector/parts vendors seem to skip the LIMARC indoor hamfest, so I'm hoping for something at HOSARC

Tuesday, July 05, 2011

It is almost not fair

It's almost not fair

Back when I had low wires, and a 600 watt amp (on a good day), a station from say Brazil would come on the air, and it would take me 10-20 minutes of hard work to get a QSO, if I was lucky

Tonight PY6KY pops up on 40m ssb. Now he's on LOTW, and I don't have Brazil confirmed on 40m. Turn on the rig, turn on the amp, tune the antenna, turn it and one call, and we're done

I'm actually starting to do a lot more work withthe amp off

Monday, June 27, 2011

Field Day

Now, I've never been much of a contester, and I'll never have enough of a station to be a 'Big Gun', but I do enjoy it when I do contest, and with the big station upgrade, I can actually play a bit more.

This weekend was Field Day, which was the first contest I ever played in, with WA2GUG and gang (they now contest under WW2FD)

This year, I was running at home for the first time in a long time (last year I went to W2IRT's place). I ran class 1E (One transmitter, on Emergency Power)

I think I did OK, but when I went to switch over to 80m at around 10pm, I found my 80m antenna would NOT tune, which totally killed the hours between midnight and 6:30am or so, to the point I shut the radio off around 1:30am, and went to bed till 5:45ish (BTW, the antenna tuned FINE post contest - don't ask me)

That said, if you remove the W2IRT score from the Hudson class 1E database (Pete's in Germany), I had an effort that still should bring me a 2nd place, if the scores are the same as last year (1228 QSO points, plus the bulletin, plus 10 battery powered QSOs, plus solar power recharge, plus the 50 points for submitting online - If I do the math off the top of my head right, that's 1578 points - but I have to check the rule book)

(Edit - I eventually found the problem - after Field Day 2012!  Turns out that the barrel connector between the feed line and the riser to the 80m antenna had a thermal intermittent!  Not from RF, but from the daily change in temps.)

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Poor Planning

One of those logistics/planning things that makes me NUTS
Anna's graduation is tomorrow - We have to drop her off at 8:00 in the tent next to the auditorium, with graduation starting at 9:00am.

OK, that's fine, can understand that - BUT THEY WON'T LET YOU INTO THE AUDITORIUM UNTIL 8:30!!!!! OK - so now you have a BUNCH of people who have to stand around outside for 30 mins.

WHO designed this? Really? If the people have to be there at 8:00 - let them IN at 8:00 to sit down

Monday, June 13, 2011

More Beastie photos

Two taken this weekend

And Saci (Anna took this photo)

Saturday, June 04, 2011

QRO - Alpha 78

The shack upgrade is basically complete

About 2 weeks ago, I purchased a freshly retubed Alpha-78, which I installed today in place of my SB-230

Now, there are some things I actually LIKE about my SB-230, and I think I'm going to keep it around, as it's still outputting rated power from it's admittedly rare tube. It's SMALL, it's silent, as the tube is conduction cooled to the heatsink - oh, and did I mention it's small?

The Alpha is actually a BIT too large for where it has to go, and I'm having to put a fan on the airspace on top of the amp to make SURE things stay cool there as I don't have the recommended 4 inches

Other worries is that it can actually put out more watts (WAY more watts) than my LDG AT-1000 is rated to handle (1000w SSB, 750 CW, 500 RTTY/Digital), but I switched the MkV Field over to 'Class A' drive, and I'm finding that 30-40 watts or so drives the amp to 800watts peak or so in 'bandpass' tuning mode (heck, I'm lazy - yes, the amp is less efficient, and you can't get max power out that way, but, as I said, I can't push it anyway)

I made my first 2 'QRO' (sort of - The SB-230 could, in theory put out 600 Watts CW - on a good day, plus I only pushed to 800 or so watts) today, and busted 2 pileups on the first call - Kinda nice, Chile and Haiti both on 40ssb

The big thing I DON'T like about the Alpha? It's physically LARGE - a tad larger than is really 'comfortable' for my desk (might have to build some new stuff)

Big things left to do in the shack? Get the Digital wattmeter (vs the tuners built in analog meter set for peak mode) setup, and get RTTY/PSK31 setup (it's been setup in the past, just isn't right now)

It's been an interesting month, to think I went from an Alpha Delta DX-EE at 30ft to a Force 12 C3SS and D-140 at circa 40ft, and from 400-600 watts to "how much wattage to I dare dump through the tuner" (I guess I could totally bypass the tuner for 10-15 and 20, but it's needed on 12,17 and 40)

Friday, June 03, 2011

It's the economy, stupid

There is one lesson our President really needs to take from Bill Clinton

"It's the economy, stupid"

Back when Bill was in office, I never thought I'd say this, but I miss him. There were things I hated (his gun control stance for instance, and his wife's med plan stuff), but...

GWB was no great shakes (trust me, I'm a Republican, and I had no real love for him), but the bunch of folks we have running the place now...

I would have voted for Hillary over McCain - but this Bozo? (Actually, that's insulting to Bozo)

Sunday, May 29, 2011

New Ones for today

Well, yesterday and today
Had a nice QSO with OX3KQ on 20 SSB for a band fill. I remember when I was trying and trying and trying, and just could not be heard by stations up there, and now I'm able to have a nice QSO (not a bang/bang, but actually chatting - nice to do sometimes)

Today, so far, it's been V51GB for a band fill - 1 call

Friday, May 27, 2011

Today's QSO

Yesterday/Today, I got 4 band fills
RW2A - 20m SSB
ZL1BD - 17m SSB - still not confirmed, even though I have more than one worked
DL5GA - 17 SSB

Won't play in WPX CW - my CW is NOT good enough to contest - yet

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

A92GR Received

QSL Request sent 2011-05-13 via email, with return postage via paypal

No QSOs yesterday

Yesterday was the first time since I put up the antennas that I went a day without a QSO. Bands were dead.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Another all time new one

After last night's post, I stayed up for a while, and ended up working another all time new one


Brings me to 193 without deleteds - Guess I'd better start sending out QSL cards

Monday, May 23, 2011

New Ones for 5/11

Had a nice QSO with MI0MVP on 15 SSB. Yes, I worked him last week, but he was calling CQ with no one answering so I figured I'd say 'Hi'. It's nice to have a real QSO once in a while. Towards the end, the signal started to fade, but

for bandfills

IS0RXF on 20SSB for a mode fill! I'm NOT much of a CW guy (understatement of the year there) but I had Sardinia on CW, and not phone. Nice to fi;; in the phone, even if it is a band I already had (actually the ONLY band I have)

Brings my DXCC stats (with deleteds) to
10m 33w/27cfm
15m 65/49
17m 57/41
20m 175/159
40m 78/63
80m 24/15 (hey, it's a low wire that makes up for it by being short)
160m 1/1 - QSO from a friends place (not sure which Pete)

194/182 overall (2 are deleted, so have to work at least 8 more this year to hit 200, and then get them confirmed - 200 is my goal for the year)

Some more new ones

Had some fun on the radio this weekend. There are advantages to having aluminum up in the air

I worked East Kiribati and India for all time new ones. I also got South Cook Islands on 20m and FJ/O1ST on 15m for band fills (That brings my band totals to 3 on FJ/O1ST - 10, 15 and 20 - all SSB)

On my list of chores - record my files for Field Day, and get RTTY and PSK31 working, and work on re-learning my CW

The Mets

Let's see - they need some pitching, relief pitching, fielding, and some hitting. Aside from that, they're pretty good

Friday, May 20, 2011

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Books I'm reading

I received the book Fuzzy Nation written by John Scalzi

So Far, I'm really enjoying this book, just like I did his entire "Old Man's War" series

Monday, May 16, 2011

New Antennas

Well, the Alpha Delta DX-EE is gone. Oh, it wasn't a BAD antenna, (in fact I liked it), but I got the chance to put up a beam and a rotary dipole

I now have a Force12 C3SS and a D140.

No, the neighbors are NOT happy

In the last 5 days, I've worked SIX all time new DXCC entities, plus an additional 5 band fills

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

The State of the Union speech I'd like to see

President says to the media ahead of time "It's going to be a short speech"

Back when this tradition started, it was important for the President to give an annual State of the Union address, because, well frankly, it was hard to gather up all the information about the state of the union.

Today, with 24/7 media, organizations like the Government Printing office, and all the press secretaries out there, you already KNOW the state of the Union.

The State of the Union address has become a Pep rally/Campaign speech, which I do not feel is necessary, so I bid you all a Good Night

exits stage