Spring is here!

Testing a new build of WSJTX for K1JT I hopped on to 10m and was surprised to see a strong signal. It soon revealed itself to be SM6NZV who gave me a +8dB report on my 5 watts.

This reminded me that it is May 1 today, the start of Spring and usually also the start of the Sporadic-E season. I tuned around on 6m and heard a couple of weak stations on my dipole, also a couple of stronger GMs working stations I could not hear.

I thought about installing the SDR-4+ as a panadapter for the K3 which had been one of the things I had intended to use it for. But something was amiss and I didn’t have control of the receiver’s frequency. I think the settings had got hosed, probably when I was playing around with using a USB DVB dongle as an SDR. I have no idea how to get it working again and I started getting stressed about it so I decided to abandon the idea.

SDRs are not for me, or at least not those that use a PC for a user interface. Windows is just too fragile, though if Linux is any better it’s only because there are fewer things to install on it in the first place!

Instead I will set up scanning on the K3 to scan a section of the 6m band. I always forget how to do this so I had to dig out the manual. Load the start frequency into VFO A and the end frequency in VFOB, make sure the mode and frequency are what you want and store it in a memory. I used memory 6 for 6m scanning.

To start a scan you just recall memory 6 (M>V, 6) and press and hold SCAN. I’ll probably forget that sequence of button presses as well so I looked up the CAT commands in the K3 Programmers Reference (SWT23;SWT29;SWH41;) and stored it in a KComm shortcut. I’ll probably make one for 2m as well though the chances of hearing any 2m Es up here are slim indeed. Last year I don’t think here was a single opening that extended this far north on 2m.

Julian Moss, G4ILO, is a regular contributor to AmateurRadio.com and writes from Cumbria, England. Contact him at [email protected].

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