A relaxed and mellow effort. Had to make a quick trip to w-mart for some CD-Rs and McD's for wireless to download a copy of N1MM because the shack computer harddrive was toast, internet was also not working do to a recent DSL issue. TMcDs had really slow wifi, 20 minutes to download the software and the updates. Were is a Starbucks when you need one?
Used an old Sony Vaio Laptop to log with. It crashed once when I was getting things configured. No problems once I got things running. Found out later that one of the heat sink fans was unplugged. Can you say overheating?
Just got a piece of wood in the mail, not bad for the amount of time I put in. You just never know with contests if conditions or going to be good, better, or super freaking fantastic, so plan accordingly. Looks like my 40 country total held up, but I lost ~20 or so qsos. Pretty good for single-op part-time distracted mode. Thanks to K8MK for the use of the antenna, Elecraft for the still fantastic K2 and WA1Z for the award.
ARRL DX CW is over for another year. I was working all weekend, and could only find enough time to work the tail end of the contest tonight. In any case, it was a blast and actually made me feel a little better about the sunspot situation. Without much effort, I worked most of Europe on 100W with ice-damaged antennas.
I have a very large tank circuit 4-811A amplifier. It was built by local ham (and legend) Art W1KK. It has an accompanying 1500V rack-mounted power supply that has a 120V junction box and two outlets that I use to run a few shack lights and accessories. The amp weighs in at around 40 or 50 lbs and the power supply weighs a hernia-inducing hundred or so pounds. Needless to say, this unit produces quite a lot of heat -- and quite a lot of power.
The ARRL might be surprised that such a low number of hams currently use their Logbook of the World. I'm not surprised, and neither are a lot of other people who just don't "get it". The ARRL, in their search to keep things "ligitimate" have created a program that is overly complex and unnecessarily manual. What do I mean by that? What other computer program requires first-time users to wait for someone to MANUALLY and in REGULAR MAIL send them a postcard? That's a little ridiculous.
In response to some requests from hams locally and a few long-distance friends, I'm going to do a basic HF setup primer video for YouTube. It will go over how to setup a simple HF station for the newly upgraded ham, and answer some simple questions (i.e., "What do I ground?").
It has been a while since I've set up my first HF station, so I am trying to remember what really stumped me. If you are new to HF, or just have questions, please send me an email so I can answer them and make the video better.
So this entry isn't about radiosport per se, however it is about emergency communications. This may seem out of the ordinary for me, since those who know me also know that I despise repeaters and nets, but we contesters are allegedly contesting to get better at passing emergency traffic. Some don't take this to heart, and I usually forget about it, but when it boils down to it, we're all very trained and very ready with big stations -- and we know how to use them. This post will ruffle a few feathers; feel free to tear into me in the comments if you must. Here are some recent gripes:
With CQWW CW approaching in mere hours, I thought it might be prudent to post some of the "golden rules" for winning contests. These rules are applicable for any station, any category, and any contest.
STAY IN THE CHAIR! You aren't making points if you're in the hottub or walking the dog. Remember the equation: butt+chair=points.
Randy K5ZD, WPX contest director, announced that preliminary rules for this season will change the multi/single class to a true single transmitter class. Although I do not believe the new rules have been made 100% official yet, I would imagine they will stick. After all, it is about time the multi/single category actually was a multi/single category.