I worked LZ1QI this morning with CW on 6 meter. I did hear Italy and Portugal amateurs as well.
WSPR on 20 meter tonight. Not really bad. Papua Indonesia, Australia, Singapore, Japan and Cameroon. But there was a CME tonight... you know what that means.Paul Stam, PC4T, is a regular contributor to AmateurRadio.com and writes from the Netherlands. Contact him at [email protected].
The operation to migrate this blog to a new generation Blogger template has also been completed. Comments are now working again, but I'm not happy with the header graphic. I had to go with what I could make given my absence of artistic skills, rather than what I would like to have done. So there may well be some more changes in that area to come.
I had hoped to use a smart looking template from a free templates site. But at first I couldn't find how to load it into Blogger. So I started off with one of the standard Blogger templates. As I was customising that I accidentally stumbled across the option to load a template from an XML file. Working in Blogger is like being in a maze, remembering seeing the tool I wanted but going round in circles until I located it again.
The problem with the custom template was that I found it contained some things I didn't want, and the Blogger visual design tools didn't allow me to remove them. It would probably have been necessary to edit the XML, but that is a step beyond my expertise. So in the end I went back to the modified Blogger template. I'm happy with the layout now, and commenting works again which was the reason I was forced to change. In fact I now have Google+ commenting which if you haven't tried it is much better. But I'd still like to find something more radio-themed for the header graphic. Julian Moss, G4ILO, is a regular contributor to AmateurRadio.com and writes from Cumbria, England. Contact him at [email protected].
The amp is $700 and the tuner is another $300.
At this point, I don't think these are in the cards for me, for a couple of reasons.
1) Price - I just don't have an extra thousand bucks laying around. Of course, I could always part ways with something, like my K3, but I'm not too crazy with that idea. I bought it soon after my Mom passed, so it holds a lot of sentimental value.
2) Practicality - I like the idea of having two rigs. My K3 and my KX3 are mutual backups. If something were to happen to one, I still have the other. If I were to sell the K3 in order purchase the KXPA100 and the KXAT100, I would no longer have a backup. I also like having a main station rig and a dedicated portable rig.
3) Personal - I need to be happy with what I have and not always be on the lookout for "more". I am very fortunate to have what I already own, and while it may be less than some, it's still a lot more than even others. I need to enjoy what I have and get off the "consumer hamster wheel" of always wanting more.
72 de Larry W2LJ
QRP - When you care to send the very least! Larry Makoski, W2LJ, is a regular contributor to AmateurRadio.com and writes from New Jersey, USA. Contact him at [email protected].
I don’t often look for PSK warbles on 6m but am glad I did this evening. Obviously others were looking for someone as well I1YTO and I ended up having a brief QSO before he faded away again, up to 599 then down to nowt in a matter of seconds. Nice whilst it lastedAlex Hill, G7KSE, is a regular contributor to AmateurRadio.com and writes from Cumbria, UK. Contact him at [email protected].
KIO2 AUX I/O module
KBT2 (purchased 10/10/2011 installed spring of 2012)
KNB2 Noise blanker
73cnc.com machined weighted vfo knob
VFO knob with tuning dimple as a spare knob
All manuals for the above options and K2
EC2 enclosure with
K102 host control Aux I/O
KPA100 100 watt amp
All interconnecting cables between K2, EC2 and PC.
K6XX visible LED tuning indicator ( it has not been installed but it’s the complete kit ready to go)
A&A Engineering 1 amp smart charger for the KBT2 keeps the battery topped up and ready to go.
At this point I am trying to come up with a fair price for all the above.
As I have written before there are several strategies for the QRP DX'er to employ, not the least of which is to call needed DX entities during a contest. The reason being that demand for any given station is diluted by the fact that there are so many stations on the air. Accordingly the pileups are smaller, generally speaking. As I look at my QRP needed list, many Asian countries are on the list simply because there is reduced activity from these entitites and the paths are tough. Normally, when openings occur, the pile-ups are huge and the operators are on for a limited time. I've learned to ignore spots for DX like HZ, JT, VU, etc.., at least from South Texas, as jumping into those pile-ups, with QRP power levels, on a normal day is not fruitful. Contests however are different.
Saturday afternoon I fired up my QRP log and logged into the cluster to look for needed countries. I switched my Log Periodic to be in-line with my KX3 and started looked for DX. The first to pop up was 7Z1HL. I had decent copy on him on 15 meteres with a little QSB. The pile-up was relatively small, but for 20 minutes or so, no joy. I had him in the open on several occasions and he wasn't hearing me well enough to answer. Then all of a sudden his signal went up a couple of S-units as the band improved very quickly. The second call after his signal built-up and I was in the log. Wow, I said to myself, 7Z on QRP.
I chased a couple of others after that, 9V and HS, but I couldn't get through the pile-up on 9V and I don't think the HS0 could hear me.
On Sunday morning, I fired up the KX3 again. There was a spot for JT5DX on 15m, honestly before I tuned to his frequency, I wasn't hopeful. When I tuned him in, wow, a solid 59. Maybe the best signal I 've ever heard from JT. First call, in the log. Wow!!
Again, I chased a few others, but suffice to say, I was happy with the weekend. Two relatively tough DXCC entities now safely in the QRP log. QRP IS!! Mike Crownover, AD5A, is a regular contributor to AmateurRadio.com and writes from Texas, USA. Contact him at [email protected].
It also makes it possible to make a graph of the distribution of age. I had 62 contacts this weekend, of which 55 were unique. They were mainly in Asiatic Russia and Japan. The average age of the operators was 51.6 years - 7 years younger than me - and the graph shows the distribution. The bar for e.g. 54 is the percentage, 20 in this case, of operators in the bracket 50-54 years and so on.
The graph actually makes me quite optimistic concerning the future of ham radio. There are many young contest operators out there, at least in Asia. This resonates well with what others are saying also. Never before has there been so large activity on the bands as during contests these days. Sverre Holm, LA3ZA, is a regular contributor to AmateurRadio.com and writes from Norway. Contact him at [email protected].
I’ve harped on enough about the Fred Whitton but I thought I’d share this. There were a few photographers around the course. catching you at your finest moment. I’d looked for one of me and there wasn’t one to be found in the original batches sent round. Apparently the camera’s weren’t happy with all the rain and they lost a few photo’s.
Luckily for me they recovered a few and I was in one of them, so here I am struggling up the 3rd pass out of 6. Newlands pass, near Buttermere. Its one of the easier passes and only hits about 25-30% at the very end. Not like Hardknott that is like that for most of it!
Anyway here I am in all my uphill-ness. 50 miles in and 60 to go! It ended up taking me 8 hours and 8 minutes and 50 seconds. If I’d been 8 minutes and 51 seconds quicker I would have got a 1st class time. Maybe next timeAlex Hill, G7KSE, is a regular contributor to AmateurRadio.com and writes from Cumbria, UK. Contact him at [email protected].