I’m back……

                                My dual VFO setup on the 7610

I am back and it's not that I have been anywhere but summer is here and well blogging takes a sideline as I have outdoor jobs to do and after all it is summer. I do keep up my readings on the blogs that I  follow but for posting my time has been allotted to other things. Also, there have not been too many radio-related exciting things going on. Now having said that this weekend I took part in the ARRL field day function. Since selling my KX3 and K2 I have no rig to bring into the out of doors so I entered again as indoor and house power or 1D  category. 

The ARRL field day contest is more relaxed and not as intense as other CW contests and yes before you ask I entered as CW  only. The speeds are in around 20-26wpm but you do find the occasional OP hitting 30 plus. I used my faithful Icom 7610 at 100 watts into my  Hustler 4BTV. The conditions were tough at times with deep QSB. At one point a signal was S7 and then gone so most of the time you had one chance to get the other stations' info. This is my third year taking part in this "event" and to be honest, I am not sure why in the past I never took part. 

This year I decided to add some flair to my participation, I used both of my Icom 7610 independent receivers. I have always wanted to do this but some CW contests are very let's say busy for me and to juggle a second VFO on a different band would let's say stretch my abilities. BUT radio contesting is all about learning, isn't it? For the field day contest I used VFO A as my running (calling CQ  contest) VFO and VFO B on a different band to both see on the waterfall if the band was opening and to search and pounce strong stations. When doing this you have VFO A in one ear and VFO B in the other....now that takes some getting used to. But the field day contest is the ideal contest to do that as it is a relaxed event. It seemed to work for me as I doubled my score and contacts this year compared to last year's field day. 

Some of my contest simulation software allows me to set things up as dual VFO and believe me I need practice at it as at times I was transmitting on the wrong band, confusing left ear/right ear to which VFO it was and forgetting which VFO  I was controlling.....note to self look into the external VFO knob  Icom offers....another note to self....it is way overpriced for what it does.
The main thing about a hobby no matter what it is....have fun and learn. I am doing both and the hobby gives me great joy.

Mike Weir, VE9KK, is a regular contributor to AmateurRadio.com and writes from New Brunswick, Canada. Contact him at [email protected].

6 Responses to “I’m back……”

  • Greg K7GAN:

    Awesome job. I love my 7610, nut it seems every day I am learning some new or how to….do something. A friendly beast. I did not get as many qso’s as you, but it was still fun. Since I am not close to 20 wpm, I did not do cw. Hope to next year though thanks to LICW. Did you use a keyer?

    73 Greg

  • Bob VE3ETE:

    Hi Mike, I have been using FT8 for the last couple of years. Before that I told everyone I talked to, that FT8 had no soul! But experimentation is what ham radio is all about, and since I have a lot of experience with computers and logging programs, it was inevitable that I would try FT8. A new chapter has arrived: using FT8 in the Field Day event! I had to figure how to reconfigure WSJT-X to work making FD contacts. My first time was not impressive, but I managed just over 100 QSOs this year. I didn’t spend the entire 24 hours but took plenty of breaks. Before the contest I came across my 2023 log with 11 entries using SSB, so in that aspect, I improved over last year. I have tried CW contests, but my reading speed needs much improvement! Hi! I enjoy your blog and reading about your experiences as you continue learning as well. 73 Bob VE3ETE

  • Mike VE9KK:

    Good morning Greg and very nice to hear from you, yes the 7610 is a great radio. The LICW is a great group and I too am a member. They have so much to offer all CW ops no matter what your skill level is. I do use my key in contests it is the Begali signature key. I use it when I need to send an exchange or my call again. Also when I am running and need to send out part of a call because I was only able to copy some of the incoming call.
    73 and enjoy your CW adventure Greg.

  • Mike VE9KK:

    Good morning to you Bob and nice to hear from you. Yes the digi modes were very busy during field day. I noticed on my waterfall just a blur of signals on that portion of the band. I too have had my fair share of FT8 contacts manly when I was living in downtown Toronto. I was in condo and it was very hard to make CW contacts. When I first started out in CW contesting I used a CW reader, the one I used was MRP40 and it worked great. The main thing about ham radio is to have fun and try to stretch yourself.
    Have a great week Bob and 73,

  • Howard AC4FS:

    I finally got to work CW at Field Day! I tried last year, but between the thunderstorms, me being the club’s Field Day chair, and us only having our Field Day site until 9:00 AM Sunday morning, I only managed to get 3 CW contacts. This year we only had one thunderstorm to deal with, and while I was still the club’s Field Day chair, the president of the club swapped off with me every now and again, and that allowed me to get way more BIC time. This year I managed to get 50 CW contacts, and I’m hoping to more than double that next year.

    73, Howard

  • Mike VE9KK:

    Good morning Howard and very nice to hear from you. That is excellent CW time. Live action in a contest style surroundings. 50 CW contacts is excellent and a nice way to end Field day. Always nice to hear from folks who are making their way up the CW ladder.
    73 and have a nice week,

Leave a Comment

Subscribe FREE to AmateurRadio.com's
Amateur Radio Newsletter
News, Opinion, Giveaways & More!

Join over 7,000 subscribers!
We never share your e-mail address.

Also available via RSS feed, Twitter, and Facebook.

Subscribe FREE to AmateurRadio.com's
Amateur Radio Newsletter

We never share your e-mail address.

Do you like to write?
Interesting project to share?
Helpful tips and ideas for other hams?

Submit an article and we will review it for publication on AmateurRadio.com!

Have a ham radio product or service?
Consider advertising on our site.

Are you a reporter covering ham radio?
Find ham radio experts for your story.

How to Set Up a Ham Radio Blog
Get started in less than 15 minutes!

  • Matt W1MST, Managing Editor

Sign up for our free
Amateur Radio Newsletter

Enter your e-mail address: