Member Burlington County ARC
TS-2000, TS-930SAT, TR-751A, FT-726R
80 Meter Dipole @ 48 feet
Homebrew Yagis 50 & 144 MHz up 12 & 15 feet
18 Elements 70CM up 18 feet
CHECK MY LOG:
View my on-line log, or check if you're included. Just enter your call and press send. If you press Enter, the area will go BLANK, in which case, just refresh your screen and the log will re-appear. I kind of like this!
Bands have been interesting as can be seen from my log. KC4AAA -- Antarctica, 3D2AC -- Fiji and HV0A -- The Vatican are in the log on 30 meters. The Vatican has been confirmed via LoTW - but there will be a card sent direct for that one. Even managed a couple of FM contacts on 10 meters with YW5D and HR1/K2LCT. Both were well over S9 with HR1/K2LCT pinning the meter -- thought he was just outside the house.
Tuning around tonight I found myself in the phone portion of 17 meters and was listening to the hiss of the quiet band when I picked up a signal just above the noise - KC4AAA is again in the log on a new band. I think my spot of his appearance was picked up on by a dozen or so within seconds after I posted him on the cluster. It's nice being the first to work a piece of DX on the first call than to have to fight through the pileup just to get a quick report and thank you. Actually had a chance to speak with Joe for a couple of minutes -- nice QSO.
Got busy with the antenna project that I needed to complete. Dropped a 40 meter vee off the feed for the 80 meter dipole. Rig now 'happily' works 80 through 10, and will also tune on 160 and 6. Yes, the 160 works -- Put W1AW/1 in the log on CW on 26-August. Looking forward to contest season!
After battling with Schmidt (Murphy was an optimist!!!!) and nearly going crazy, I found the problem with the skyhook! Seems that after less than a year of ups and downs due to the storms, I didn't check my connections at the feed point to the dipole. Had a feed to one of the connectors go bad, so I was loading the coax and one side of the antenna -- the feed was broken.
So, a little time to drop, check, repair and get the wire back up in the air and W-O-W..... Sure does sound a whole lot better. Signal strength is up where it should be now! Stupid damn Hungarian operator!!!
The TS-2000 is back in it's home!
Reworked the wires with my son, Bryan, and got the fan dipole up 60 feet at the rear of the property (lots of tall trees back there) and 40 feet at the front -- best I can do there.
Now, thanks to N2XK I have obtained another 100 feet of RG-8 -- just have to pick it up -- so I can extend the feed line so it gets to the rig! The extra height and the antenna back further in the yard by about 40 feet really chewed up the feed line. Get that tonight and hope to be back on HF by Monday morning.
Ready for the VHF Contest this weekend. Don't expect much but I'll give it the old college try.
CQ CONTEST, CQ CONTEST...
After hearing nothing about the repair to my TS-2000 for a week, I followed up with Kenwood Repair, East via e-mail and didn't hear anything. On Sunday evening I penned another e-mail to them with hope of an answer this past Monday. When I got home from work and checked, nothing again -- very disheartening with June VHF and FD coming up.
I was planning on calling down there on Tuesday during lunch, but left the telephone number at home and decided to call after work upon my return to the homestead. When I arrived, the XYL said I had a message on the phone. Guess who? My friends at Kenwood. I had just finished listening to the message and decided to call as soon as I cleaned up a bit. Having just left the confines of the inner sanctum after washing up, the telephone rang again. Guess who? Yep, Kenwood Repair, East.
It seems there was a foul up there and I was never contacted regading the repairs to the rig. There was a problem with filters in the receive section that Kenwood took care of under the warranty which ran out years ago -- I got the rig in 2007 -- but it was somewhat of a 'recall' and they are replacing the filters and paying the return shipping to boot. The problem I was having with the autotune was caused by a transcient, lightning, or an extremely high SWR at the antenna that cooked a few components. So, time to check the wires for problems and retune them.
Now, it's hurry up and wait. Here's hoping the rig is back for the contests.
For those who might be the wee bit interested, here is my claimed score for the ARRL CW DX Contest:
Band QSOs Pts Cty
3.5 25 75 20
7 125 375 55
14 191 573 61
21 171 513 58
28 177 531 66
Total 689 2067 260
Not too shabby for 100 watts and wires for all the bands. Wish I could have stayed awake to work 160.
Operated the ARRL CW DX contest over last weekend and all I can say is WOW!
Having had limited operating time in 2010 and 2011 and poor antennas in 2012 and 2013, it was nice to get to operate with something a bit more reasonable -- a fan dipole with the feed point up 20 feet. Conditions were fairly good to me allowing nearly 700 Q's and in excess of 525K points claimed. Now if I can just convince the XYL that I need to get a tribander up in the air -- even on a rooftop tower -- of course along with something for 6, 2, and 70cm...
Quite happy with my result. Waiting to see what the final outcome is for all the contests since CQWW CW last fall.
Now, off to the comfort of my easy chair and some desert before it's time to get horizontal.
The VHF Contest is over and I did get antennas up and operational just in time for the start of the festivities on Saturday afternoon. The pictures below say it all.
18 elements on 70 cm at 18 feet
8elements on 2 meters at 15 feet
3 elements on 6 meters at 12 feet
Make note of the quality workmanship as well as the quality design and materials in use. Thank goodness this is only temporary but it did work. Now if the bands would have only done their part...
My son did the "upstairs" work!
Note the multi-purpose "rotor handle / brake mechanism.
Well, the basic design has been laid out, but took an extra couple of steps.
In order to get SOMETHING up for the January VHF Contest, I began design of a 2 & 6 meter antenna on the same boom. Six was originally going to be three elements and two was to be 6 elements on a basic 60 inch boom. I'm using 1 x 2 wood stock for the boom to keep the weight down and since the installation will be temporary (for the contest) until I can build something completely of aluminum. In the business I work, I have access to aluminum "scraps" for the elements and can readily obtain round or square tubing through our suppliers, but not the time to obtain what is required -- other than the scraps.
Looking at the design, I did some quick calculations and discovered that I could add a fourth element on six without drastically increasing the weight of the yagi. In adding the extra element on six, I took a look at the possibility of adding another element on two and discovered that I could. The only unfortunate thing is that it started to rain heavily and I don't have the room in the one car garage for the 6 meter elements, so I suspended operations until I can carry things outside and add the six meter elements.
I've got a 16 element yagi for 70cm that will be stacked above the 2 / 6 combo. I'll be feeding the 70cm and 2m antennas with 9913 and the 6m with good quality RG-8. Six and two will have baluns to help in the match. If the six doesn't give me the coverage I'm looking for, I can go back to the 20/40/80 fan dipole that loads well with very little assistance from the tuner.
Doubt any of the skyhooks will be up more than 20-25 feet, nor will there be an electric rotor involved. I'll be achieving the movement of antennas via the old "armstrong method", so please be patient if I have to "tweak the yagis" before moving up the bands during the contest. It's a bit of a run up the stairs from the basement, out the kitchen, through the laundry, across the deck, around to where I believe I'll be setting up the yagis, and back to the basement again. AND...
Direction finding will accomplished with the use of a compass and a W-A-G.
Look for me on the bands next weekend -- and good luck in the contest.
Home from work today for a couple of reasons. One is a battle with some crazy stomach bug that took me out of operation for a good portion of last night and also the fact that about 9 inches of snow fell on us. The bug lasted less than 24 hours, but really hit hard -- the snow will be around for a while.
The day gave me the opportunity to start working on the antennas for 144 & 432. I have to scavenge more aluminum from work to complete the 2 meter yagi -- deciding on whether it'll be 5 or 7 elements -- pretty much for armstrong method to get me on the VHF contest in a couple of weeks. The 432 just needed a cleanup and to set up the 9913 to feed it with a couple of N connectors. Fun attaching one to coax after having not done so in a while.
Also figuring out the 50 mhz antenna -- tuning the wires will not do the trick. So...
A little dinner and back to the drawing board.
Station has been operational since November 10th with the TS-2000 running to a multi-band dipole / vee from a single feed, up about 30 feet at the ends. What a wonderful feeling to be able to work DX, in most instances, on the first or second call rather than not being heard at all with the previous two years of indoor antennas.
Finding 80 / 75 to be a great deal of fun -- never really operated the band in the previous 42+ years, only short stretches here and there. Now finding that I CAN work DX with 100 watts and the dipole. Maybe not the really hard to get stuff, but still more than I had in the past.
Working on trying to get something up for 160 quickly so I can operate the contest, but only available time will tell if that will come to pass. Keep an ear out..
Noticed this when I was checking for the location of the venue for soccer matches today. Been there a few times and don't remember seeing this when I looked previously. Interesting that Mother Nature is a ham! Wonder why she hasn't helped with the sunspot cycle?
And, as can be seen from my information, the address has been updated. Seems that I neglected to fill out the information in the ULS system. CORES doesn't cross over. My updated ticket took less time to get to me via the mail than it did for me to figure out what the hell I'd done wrong. But it's corrected and life goes on.
Now to try to put together at least one antenna before I head for soccer matches..
200 feet of 9913 and about 150 feet of RG-8 as well as about 400 feet of 12 gauge stranded are in the garage awaiting my time to build a couple of dipoles and get them into the trees here. Will be doing something about that this evening -- IF -- I can find my soldering irons and solder!
Start listening for me on the bands shortly.
Went on line at www.fcc.gov and changed my address BEFORE I MOVED AND A COUPLE OF WEEKS BEFORE THE SHUTDOWN and there has been no change here. Previously address changes were noted here within just a couple of days. But...today I changed my e-mail address, so MAYBE I'LL SEE SOME CHANGE BEFORE CHRISTMAS? That is unless our wonderful government does something STUPID -- AGAIN!!!!!!!!!!!
Well, it's done! The station has been completely dismantled -- sigh...
Ready for the move and some OUTSIDE skyhooks!
The only thing not locked up now is the laptop. That will remain until the Verizon Fios install at the new digs on Thursday.
LET THE FUN BEGIN!
Although the address doesn't show it yet, the new digs are located in the "Detail" section. Have to wait for the FCC and QRZ to get on the same page -- updates take a little bit of time.
ARRL and eQSL have been notified, but still have to set up the VUCC stuff for the new GRID! I've been operating VHF / UHF from FN20 since around 1988, so this is going to be a tough one to get used to! Shack is moving from FN20ob to FM29ox. Hope to be operational in a couple of weeks.
After tearing down the station, I remembered that the ARRL September VHF contest is this weekend. Oh well, with soccer matches both days this weekend and packing up the house to begin the move on Monday, there really isn't time for me to spend chasing grids. I'll be ready for January!
Climbed up into the attic and brought down some packing material to get ready for our move. Yes, I pulled down the rig boxes, but I'm procrastinating -- the last time I tore things down I was about 12 months early -- that isn't happening again!!!
Been operating a bit, but not all that much. I hear a lot of GOOD DX that could bolster my country total, but CAN'T %(^*$# WORK THEM! The pileups are just too big and most, if not all of the stations are MUCH STRONGER. I'll spend 1/2 and hour on a station and then just give up, figuring I'll hear them again during the week. Sooner or later -- most times later. But, recently has been very poor.
So, you'll hear my on the air probably through mid-next week, then it's tear down and box it up.
My entry from May of this year is incorrect. To quote the entry, "What happened to the period between January 2003 and the end of November 2005 is a mystery..." is, I have found, off by just a bit -- like a year! As I looked at it again today, I have ONE Q in January of 2002 -- then nearly FOUR years of nothing! I normally work the ARRL contests -- DX CW, VHF (all three if I can) and the SS -- and send in my logs no matter how poor the score. Nothing shows in the contest archives of the League. I'm at a loss where SO MUCH OF MY LOG WENT. Oh, well...
But, I'll not worry about it since in the next few weeks the homestead will be moving from Homestead to Mt. Holly to a nice rancher on over an acre with plenty of trees and no restrictions!!!! Hopefully I won't have to fight as hard in pileups and I'll be able to work the 'garden variety' DX with better than a 539 to 559 as my HIGH reports. Looks like the vhf stuff comes out of storage and I start saving my spare change for another tribander.
Closing on the new digs is thusfar scheduled for September 16, so I figure it's ALMOST time to start tearing down the station and getting it boxed up for the move -- NOT QUITE YET!!! I will have a ton of work to do to get situated in the living quarters and deciding exactly where the station will be placed as well as what antennas to build and get in the air, so I don't expect to be back in operation until around Halloween. I'm working to have something in the trees before CQWW -- CW portion -- or the SS. Much depends on how many soccer matches I agree to.
Anyone getting rid of a small tribander at a reasonable cost, drop me an e-mail.
Finally checked my submission for the 2013 ARRL CW DX Contest and found that I had done better than I had expected. Figuring that I was running 100 watts into antennas that are far from suited for DX purposes -- all indoor at about 15 feet in the attic -- the score isn't too shabby. Maybe next year...
Just looked closely at my log and see that I'm missing logs for nearly three years!! What happened to the period between January 2003 and the end of November 2005 is a mystery to me. I know there are contests and other operation that transpired, but the logs are GONE from my files.
Anyone that can fill in some of the "hole", please contact me via e-mail.
Bands are just full of activity this evening! They are just plain O-P-E-N!!! A report from a station in Portugal gave me a 599 plus 20 on a short G5RV in the attic and 100 watts. Even managed to up the country count on 17 Meters with the addition of JH7PKU. Already confirmed on e-QSL, so just waiting for it to hit LoTW to add to that band's totals. Just can't seem to add to the total on 10!!! Want to finish out DXCC there, but stuck at 87 confirmed via LoTW.
Next step is to get a different computer into the shack. Using an old Dell Laptop thats causing problems -- not enough RAM for all the work the software wants it to do. Plus, it causes an S3 noise level and will either lock up the rig or lock itself up on certain bands. Can't use all the wonderful Logger 32 functions with this happening. So...will see if the mini-tower and a new wireless card will help.
Not much time tomorrow -- two matches to referee and three on Sunday, so there's not much time to work. Will try my damnedest to do so just to give me peace of mind!
I think the impetus to upgrade is beginning to get to me -- AGAIN. Been toying with it for years, but still haven't really started studying for the Extra. Of late, the posting of many NEW dx countries on the clustersfor me in the Extra CW portions has gotten me thinking about taking the plunge. Additionally, there is a gentleman at work who is interested in joining the hobby. I made a deal with him that I would take him to a hamfest for his exam when he is ready to go. He's never been to a hamfest and I haven't attended one in years, so it might just be a win-win-win in general.
Take a friend to attack the Tech, attend a hamfest after about 15 years, and hopefully pass the Extra. 35 years as an Advanced is long enough! No, I won't change my call. I've become accustomed to it after nearly 32 years -- and don't wantto have to go through all the associatedhastle reintroducing myself to my ham friends!
And those doubters who would say that I'm not a REAL Extra because I didn't have to pass the cw proficiency portion I could utter a few choice phrases, but this should suffice -- I OPERATE 99% CW AND HAVE BEEN FOR 42 YEARS! I would be happy to have to take the cw proficiency portion -- and have passed and could pass it again. Now if the theory would stay in my head long enough to pass I'd be golden.
Let's see what happens come Summer.
Got a bug in my butt yesterday to try to set up my station with RTTY, and having little luck. Figured what better time to see if I could receive RTTY and get set up than during the RTTY contest with plenty of signals to be had. When I think I've got it licked I find I'm way off course. I did manage to receive ONE station yesterday -- for a couple of minutes, but the remainder was simply gibberish. Going to have to dig into the manual for the TS-2000 and the logging software I'm using and see what I'm doing wrong. Probablyjust a setting I've got screwed up, or a switch that should be in the on position off.
Probably after Futsal this morning I'll give it another go, but forright now, it's hit the logging program information and study to see what I'm missing.
Wish me luck!
For those of you who had a bit of trouble with my signal on 2 & 70cm -- real engineering here for certain! This is why I told all of you that I had to switch feeds since EVERYTHING is in the attic! I've got R-E-A-S-O-N-A-B-L-E VSWR on both bands -- getting about 85-90 out on 2 and about 35-40 on 70cm.
Old curtain rods are wonderful for this -- just cut and bend!
1241Z I'm enjoying my second cup of coffee and planning my VHF contest weekend. My operation will be interrupted somewhat on Sunday for Futsal, but if last year is any indication of the activity around this area, I won't be missing much.
Going to try to fashion a 70 cm loop to add to the other on 2 meter so I have 3 bands to operate. Even one or two q's would be nice on the band -- think 6 & 2 will be the stalworths.
See you on the bands.
JX9JKA -- Jan Mayen -- is in the log again, this time on 17 SSB.First call got a response to the KC2, and a quick fill fixed me up. This time the signal report was 5 x 9, but that appears to me to be a bitexaggerated -- or just easier for the dx station! Either that or I've got a remote antenna farm near there with lots of satellite connections to the site AND one helluva an amp! Believe me I'm not complaining -- I'll take it and say thank you and hope the confirms come through.
JX9JKA -- Jan Mayen -- is in the log on 10 SSB!! Had heard the station a number of times on CW on other bands but was unable to make the connection. Funny, most times I don't make the Q on SSB, but do on CW. Plus, worked the guy on the second call -- turned on the rig, saw the callout, tuned the antenna, and thirty seconds later -- in the log.
Getting a 5 x 5? No problem! With the makeup of my station, a 5 x 5 is like being 20 OVER! Doesn't really matter so long as it's in the log and a confirm is pending.
Now, off to a few Futsal matches.
Well, it took a minute or two, but I've got a new counter -- above. Saw it on a couple of pages and decided to go with it.
Additionally, I've now got a full wave loop in the attic on 2 meters that seems to work and I'll be putting something together for 70cm shortly. The openings on six recently got the juices flowing again, so I'm trying to be somewhat prepared for the January contest. Going to wait for June to go to Stone Harbor to operate -- just too little time and it's too cold to enjoy anything else in the area -- like fishing and a swim.
Look for me during the January VHF Contest on 6 and 2 with a definite possibility of 70cm -- the upper two will be very weak!
A little antenna work completed and some modifications required.
The attic mounted short G5RV wasn't tuning on 17 meters, so I did a quick build and climbed up into the attic to install a dipole for the band. Additionally, due to constraints, i.e., renting this home, I mounted an inexpensive coaxial switch near the pull-down stairs so as not to have to climb up into the attic to switch between the G5 and the dipole for 6 and the other for 17 meters.
The dipole was prompted while watching the call outs over the last couple of months on the dx clusters. I've had time to actually get some operating time in during the period due to a plant closing and being out of work. Was seeing so many that I finally just got disgusted enough to build the antenna so I could enjoy the band -- at least for a few days.
Found that I have a feed problem with the G5since it'snot fed directly and the short section of coax used is throwing off the match on 40 and 20 meters.So working on a new feed line is in the plans for some time today or this weekend. But, the 17 meter dipoleis working fine. Added three new countries to the worked total on the band. Should have gotten it up in November!
Still trying to figure out how to operate the January VHF Contest from here. Need ideas on easily 'armstrong' rotatable antennas that will fit in the limited space of the attic and don't require me to be climbing up and down the attic pulldown- too often! LMAO! But, I'll figure out something to get me on the three bands I would normally operate - 6, 2, & 70cm. Any ideas?
Anybody looking for a decent contest op with CW skills and a good ear for a multi-op effort someplace?
Drop a line!
Reached somewhat of a milestone today. Received my 4,000th confirmation via LoTW today!
Number 4,000 was confirmed by:
DG7RO QSO on:16-Feb-2008 20M CW.
And...I'm running better than a 33% return on Q's loaded to the system. Don't think that's too shabby a feat, either.
Think I'll celebrate by working a new one tonight!
Something I do believe in and follow, even with my 'puny' station. Think it might be easier for those like me if all would follow this.
And, to an on-air acquaintance who admitted liking Taz safeguarding my station, the whole family has been pulled from their storage box and returned to their rightful place in the shack, with the addition of Tazmanian Claws! Unfortunately, Claws will only be with us for a short time, then it's back to wherever it is he arrived from. Think he returns to storage to safeguard the Christmas tree ornaments!
Funny, as soon as all of them were together again, I started making Q's in the 10 Meter Contest! Prior to that, I was having one dickens of a time putting points in the log.
Got to take some time today around refereeing Futsal matches and the contest to get some work done on the grandson's Christmas present and formulate some plans for the January VHF contest -- maybe portable in FM28 or 29?
A NEW ONE IN THE LOG!!! ZL9HR on 20 cw about seven minutes ago. I am truly amazed that I'm working these stations -- find it amazing that they can pull me out of the mess -- even working split. Additionally, 5T0SP is in the log again on 12 ssb and shows in the log on their website. Thanks to the op on the other end for pulling me out.
A NEW ONE IN THE LOG!!! 7P8D on 15 cw last evening. Considering my less than adequate situation when it comes to antennas (short G5RV in the attic about 15 feet up), I wasn't expecting much since I was having NO LUCK with the 5T0 nearly 5,000 miles closer. Add to this the fact that I was copying his signal about a 439 through the QRM, QSB and QRN -- left little hope of my meager signal getting through.
Low an behold, after my second call, through the mud I hear my prefix. Could be another station? Maybe, but try it again. Hear my prefix again, so I gave it a shot, sent my call twice followed by the report and behold, through the cans came my call and report! Confirmation of it was solidified this morning on the Dxpedition website -- I'm in the log with a contact on 15 CW!
Being in this hobby for nearly 42 years, I am still in amazed that there will be times, when you least expect it, you confirm a station that you thought wouldn't be able to hear you.
ADDITIONAL @ 1955Z:
5T0SP WORKED FIRST CALL ON 20 CW!!! Been trying to work them for the past week it seems. Now if the opening on six would get up into this area, I'd be one happy camper!
Took a little time off after the Sweepstakes -- had a blast, by the way -- and did some work on the computer systems around the house. Two new Acer 20" flat screens in the offices, and the old Dell taking up residence on the station table.
But, the breather didn't last long.
Thanks to Oleg, RI1ANF for working hard to pull my peanut whistle signal out of the mud and give me a new one with South Shetlands!!! Just waiting to get this one up on LoTW and e-QSL. Something like 165 confirmed on CW via LoTW. Now, if I can fill out the few I need on 15 and 10...
With an assist from PJ2T -- and his quick posting to LoTW, I've finally filled out my LoTW DXCC SSB! Mixed and CW have been completed for a number of years. Operate much more CW than SSB, hence the time difference. But, now I can say that I've got three of the dxcc's completed. Now to concentrate on filling out the 5BDXCC.
Got a bug in my bonnet and tore down the fan dipole in the attic and got busy. Built a 'short' G5RV that is good on all bands from 7 thru 50 megs, but bypassing 18 megs.
Additionally, the problem I was having with the computer locking up due to RF getting back into the shack has been cured. Max SWR without the tuner is 3.5:1. First Q on 20 meters with a station in St. Joseph, MO -- in his car on the way back from having coffee. Think I'll give it a good workout this evening after dinner.
The NEW shack -- at least the beginnings of same. Still have to laminiate the edge of the table, but it will do to get me closer to active in short order. The TS-930 has a problem, but I should be able to straighten that out and have both it and the 2000 available. Forgot how heavy 1980's vintage rigs are -- almost didn't get it on the shelf! Plus, forgot about the dado cut in the sides and was about 1/16th of an inch shy of being able to get the speaker NEXT TO the 930.
Note: Scan down and check the changes in the shack since the early pictures.
Notice something very important? Check the location of the liquor cabinet...
Next -- another attic antenna system.
Oh, yes -- Taz will be back in his place of honor very shortly.
The update finally hit! NOW?
Well, I'll begin work on setting up the station -- have enough plywood and a number of good sized pieces of laminate, albeit, black -- to build a nice resting place for the TS-2K, TS-930SAT and the FT-726R, and probably still have room for the old 2M Kenwood multi-mode and the 10 meter ssb/cw rig.
Definitely going to rework the antennas to see if I can sneak one outside and into the trees behind the dwelling. A tough deal in an over 55 community with "shortwave radio transmission" restriction, let alone the "outside antenna" one.
Give me a couple of weeks and look for me on 70 cm to 160M. One can dream, no?
Finally have time to get things updated here. Just sent the FCC my change of address and awaiting the update to QRZ.com. Moved all of about .2 miles; still in Homestead, but now in larger digs costing less money not only on rent but utilities. New coordinates equate to the new address. Hopefully the next update here will show:
58 Deep Hollow Lane Columbus,NJ 08022-1025
Now, to get the station back on the air!
Getting geared up for the January VHF SS. Going to be an interesting contest with all the antennas in the attic! Going to see if I can get the 7 element 2 meter yagi up there and armstrong it during the activity. Figure I might be okay with the 6 meter inverted vee and something directional on 2 meters -- even a shortened yagi on a 4 foot boom. 70 cm would be a bit of a stretch, and I don't have the desire to run ROVER -- to dang cold!
Going to give it a shot unless I get an offer to operate with someone for the contest. Haven't done that since operating @ WC2F during the early to mid-90's. But, that event is highly unlikely to occur, so I'll begin working on the antennas and see what develops -- hard part will be to figure how to rotate without constantly going into the attic.
Look for me on 6 & 2 meters and IF you should hear someone down in the mud on 70cm -- it's probably me!\
Look for me this weekend in the ARRL 10 Meter Contest. CW only for this old brass pounder as always in the past. Will be on Friday night and most of the day on Saturday and Sunday. Looking forward to a reasonable showing considering what I did in the CQWW a few weeks ago.
North Cook Island on 10 meter cw -- 4th call. Not bad for a dipole in the attic and 100 watts. Damn, I do love CW -- probably wouldn't have worked them on SSB!
Update!!! Samoa 2nd call -- barely audible here, but got it in the log. Two new ones in about 15 minutes!!
New profession training session this morning for about an hour and a half, then off to soccer matches. Upon completion, going to sit down at the rig and try my hand on the ssb portion of the November SS. Only once have I had a relatively decent outing in the SS on SSB -- that was back in either 1973 or 1974.
Look for me on the bands -- I'll be the guy down in the mud!
Toyed around in the November Sweepstakes for the first time in a few years, mainly to give out a few points, but mostly to try out the N1MM logging software running CW. Would have been a lot easier if I didn't have some sort of problem causing the rig to go into "tune" mode on bands below 20 meters. Works fine from 70cm to 17 meters, then bananas the rest of the way down.
But, learned a lot about the software and my limitations -- takes me longer to WARM UP than it used to. Soccer matches still get in the way of prime operating time, but I don't make extra change operating contests, so...maybe one of these days I'll take a contest weekend OFF and just operate.
On Friday evening I worked A65BP through the noise -- thought I had gotten a 'thank you-73' from him. Saw the confirm this morning on my e-QSL page. I hope that I see that one in LoTW shortly -- give me another on CW.
Next, SS and CQWW (phone) -- maybe. Still don't do well on phone contests -- maybe because I don't try enough?
T32C in the log on 30 meters!! FIRST CALL -- this impresses me. Took me a few days to put them in the log the first time, now I've heard them & worked more times than I thought I could. In the log now five times.
Ten meters HOPPING this morning -- to bad I've got to get out & referee soccer matches -- I'd be at the rig all day!
T32C now in the log on 12 meters cw!!! Took all of about 30 seconds to get through this evening.
The sweet joy of seeing that indoor antenna farms DO work -- given patience (that I sorrowfully lack), but I have managed to fight to keep while chasing this dx. A 559 from a KH6, T32, 3D2, DL, whatever, is nice knowing that I was OFF for over a year and missed the relaxation of pounding cw at 20 to 25 wpm!
Have little luck -- as before -- on SSB, but that's okay. I enjoy CW too much.
Now, I wait for the CQWW and the November SS.
Worked on the mobile whip last night and found out something that I wasn't paying attention to -- the antenna is about 18 inches taller than I am. Unfortunately, due to the headroom in the attic area, the blasted thing doesn't fit!!!!! So, It's back to the drawing board -- with really no room to string any more wire, in all honesty.
Maybe next I should work on 2 meter and 70cm loops?
Gotta leave room so I can walk around and prune things...
3D2R AND T32C BOTH IN THE LOG ON 10 CW!!!!
After three or four days of trying, cussing, hearing them well enough to work them with a wet noodle or aluminum comb, I finally got these two in the log! 3D2R puts a new country and T32C puts a new Band country in the mix. Can't really complain since the attic dipole did what I hoped it would -- just took a little longer than with a tribander up 45 feet.
The other day I put together the Hustler mobile whip with the 75/80 meter coil. Picked up a piece of sheet aluminum from the recycle bin at the plant and drilled a few holes to mount it and have it ready to go in the attic this evening. The bandwidth is limited, but with the tuner I should be able to obtain the CW portions.This will give mecoverage of 6 thru 80 meters.
Still have a bit of pruning to do on the 40/15 part of the fan dipole -- just not quite right on either band yet -- still a bit long due to the interaction of the other bands.
Having a ball on 30 meters -- turning into one of my favorite bands. Local and DX contacts SEEM to be fairly easy with reasonable reports from the other side of the pond and locally. So, going to try my luck in the upcoming dx contests and the November SS -- cw portions only of course.
Also, have to cure the only rfi problem experienced thus far -- sigs getting into the xyl's computer in the office. Feel pretty sure it'll take a couple of turns of the network wiring on a toroid to cure the problem.
Previously I wrote about pictures of the new shack. I figured I'd get them up after uploading the logs of today's opening on six before shutting down and relaxing a bit before going horizontal. Well, here it is in all its meager glory. That being said, I got a compliment today when I told a station in SC that I was running 100 watts to a dipole in my attic -- "definitely a strong signal from a dipole in your attic!"
Please note that TAZ still has the place of honor!
Will have to get some pictures of the new "shack" up. Don't think it's quite right yet -- still working out some bugs and discomforts that I can handle in the short term. Still requires some sprucing up -- parts are pretty much catch as catch can, but will do for the time being. Our Florida room is turning into my office and shack, but still has a couple of fairly comfortable chairs to sit in to enjoy the cooler evenings.
Just replaced the com cable between the laptop & the TS-2000 and things are back to normal and Logger32 is fine! Now, just have to get used to the new setup and find a more comfortable method of holding the key to the desk.
6, 10, 12, 17, and 20 meter up and operational -- with reasonable swr readings -- and relatively wide banded. First Q on 20 CW a little while ago was with Hungary, so DX is possible with 100 watts or so and attic antennas. Even more amazing is the feedline!
There was just no way for my 59+ year old body to get into the crawl space necessary to run a new line down through the wall between the dining and Florida room. However, there was an unused and unconnected cable tv drop. Checking the line -- good Belden 9916 -- 75 ohm, double shielded stuff -- I figured what the hell. A PL-259 and adapter sleeve at the antenna end and a jumpermade from another short stretch in the shack area with another PL-259 and sleeve and voila! ON THE AIR!
I've been off for just over a year and can't wait to get the 30 and 40/15 wires run -- a bit of a job considering all that's in the attic since the house is built on a slab. The 440 fm has been my savior the past couple of days -- reacquanting myself with some friends I hadn't spoken with in those 12 months is truly a blessing in disguise.
Realize it won't outperform the yagi at 50 feet, but...
Took the plunge (?) -- can one 'plunge' into an attic? -- and started the process of putting up the "stealth" antennas. Going to take a bit more time than was in the original estimate since I've got to work around a vaulted ceiling in the living / dining area as well as some rather tight quarters that need to be navigated to get the wires run.
I've got wire cut for 6, 10, 12, 17, 20, 30 and 40/15. Should all be in pretty much "fan" inverted vee configuration. Working the 40 / 15 meter wire first, followed by 30, 20, etc.,up the line to the 10 meter. Figure I'll get all the crawling around done early in the game when I'm not too beat up. The wire for 6 will be separate. May play around with a small yagi for 2 and 70cm just for the heck of it.
If I can get a relatively decent match on the bands I'll be extremely happy. Just having a way to get on the air and make a couple of q's will be refreshing.
Think I'll take the opportunity today to climb up into the attic and begin working on setting up things for the indoor antennas.
The new QTH, as covertly stated here previously, is an 'over 55' community with lot restrictions that I have to work around. One of these is to request permission to operate since 'short wave radio transmissions' are not allowed. I have written the request and have to drop it off to the Association for review. Requested an assist from an old and dear friend, N2TS, since he went through the process in Florida a number of years ago, so his insight will be valuable.
But, in the meantime, work will begin -- antenna configuration, setting up the 'shack' in the FLORIDA ROOM -- lots of windows and I can close the sliding door from the kitchen and windows from the living area to seal things up during peak operation periods. Thinking hard about putting up a flagpole (allowed)in the front of the property....)
Just changed my address thru the FCC so what's shown right now as location does not match the grid square or other coordinates -- the new address should hopefully show up here the next QRZ update from the FCC.
Now to get busy and continue the packing process.
The decision has been made and the papers are signed -- the QTH will be changing come June 1st and the radio operation will be curtailed for a bit while I figure out some stealth / clandestine antenna designs. Moving into an "over 55" community that frowns upon towers and antennas. So...the mind is occupied working on different ways to get things up and running. Moving from a four bedroom colonial on over 1/2 an acre with a full basement and two car garage to 2 bedrooms on a 75 x 125 lot with a one car garage and no basement definitely has it's challenges!
Give me a month or so and listen for a weaker cw signal from the new digs.
Using my altenate e-mail address until we get set up with Comcast (since Verizon FiOS is not available) but don't expect much of a change in that address from the @verizon.net -- will probably remain with the KC2TA, but @comcast.net instead.
More to follow...
Who would have thought? Never expected anything like this considering the antenna I use is a 7 element homebrew job with poor SWR! Where was everyone else???
Think I may finally be getting over the blues when it comes to some gain on 6 meters. Going out Saturday to 'hopefully' obtain a five element yagi for the band and try like the dickens to get it on the tower for the June VHF contest. Been saying that (6 meter antenna for VHF Contest) for too long. Might just get it done this time.
Now, to find help with the work...
The ARRL DX CW is over! Had a great time and conditions were better than I had expected -- and should (hopelfully) -- continue to do so. I also finished better than I could have hoped.
Let’s look at the results:
254 Q’s 126 Mult’s Score: 92,232
578 Q’s 163 Mult’s Score: 282,642
Finally worked Saudi Arabia and broke through the pile-up of West Coast ops to work a couple of JA's well after propogation to this side of the States was nearly shot.
Tried to get the wire up for 160 & 80, but that wasn't to be -- working long hours (3:15 am wakeup calls)six days a week for the last 1-1/2 months has put a damper on available time -- seems if I'm not working I'm snoozing! But, the 40 meter dipole (up about 20 feet) did me well on the band.
Nice to hear 10 open up on Saturday. Was hoping for a repeat performance on Sunday to bolster the score a bit, but that didn't materialize.
Probably the most fun was being on the receiving end of an 89Q hour on 20 meters! I hunkered down as the rate went from 51 to 57 to 68 to 74. Just when I thought it was about to quiet down, the big rush came. (NOTE: I'm still working on getting the CW keying problem worked out since the P4 I installed in the shack doesn't have an LPT port and an parallel to serial converter doesn't work. So, I was bound by three small memory channels in the rig, and had to send most of the exchanges via the key rather than preprogrammed in the software with keyboard control.)
At the end of that hour I really began wondering how the guys that run thousands of q's each contest can handle the load! Laudits to them!
Can't wait until next year -- and even better conditions.
A New Year and I still haven't gotten around to doing the maintenance on the yagis. Truly did me in on 2 meters in the contest.
Running at 50% power (or there about) due to a bad feed line left a few extra grids off the log. The dipole for 6 metersworked fairly well, but I needed to do some pruning that had to be put off since it went up about a half hour before the contest started. As luck would have it, the strong winds that came through early this week blew down both it and the 40 meter dipole, so I can do the necessary modifications before pulling both back up.
There was little that I heard that I didn't finally work along the way, but oh, how I miss the activity levels of the mid 90's when I first got interested in VHF/UHF contesting. Many of the stations worked are in the log on the three bands I have available. Little was heard on 432 except the stations 'worked up the bands'. Believe I found one station calling CQ there that was already worked on the band previously.
Maybe I'll be able to have the antennas repaired before June --which may coincide with better conditions on the bands?
Was as active as I could be for the 10 Meter Contest, which was down form what I had hoped, but I did operate. Q's and multipliers down from last year and I was far from pleased with the result of my efforts.
Really never had a run of stations as in the previous effort, which makes up for a reduction in operating time. Spent more time tuning and scratching for station not already in the log. Didn't hear much DX until Sunday afternoon and didn't work a station in 7 Land or California. Heard one CA station, but couldn't break through the pileup or hit the conditions just right.
Also, change the computer in the shack to a P4 from an older P2 and had forgotten that it had NO LPT PORT to attach the CW interface cable to the rig, and I never did get the opportunity to order the correct interface cable. So, no computer keying of the rig and the ergonomics of the keyer controls on the 2000, etc., made things interesting throughout.
All in all, I had a good time but disappointed that the score wasn't up to previous attempts.
Planning to be active on CW during the 10 Meter Contest next weekend, but have to get a parallel to USB converter for the cw keying w/CT. Must order that this weekend.
Got my WAS and filled out the 20 meter DXCC via LOTW.
Just checked my LOTW account and found that I've finally filled out a CW Only DXCC. Now to work on the SSB portion.
THE CALLS I'VE USED:
KC2TA: Since October, 1981 or so, and of course, currently.
KB4AP: 1978 thru 1981
WD4PWA: About three months of 1978
WB2SXD: 1973 thru 1978
WN2SXD: 1971 thru 1973
TS-2000, TS-930SAT, TR-751A, FT-726R. A few of the old 'boat anchors' didn't make the trip to the new digs!
Kids Day,01/09 w/my Grandson
The OLD shack.
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