Posts Tagged ‘n1mm’

LHS Episode #196: What’s Old Is New Again

Welcome, everyone, to another very late episode of Linux in the Ham Shack. This time around, our topics include the ARRL, the ARRL, the ARRL, patent trolls, tax evasion, Solus, PyQSO, operational best practices, the N1MM logger, peat, peat and peat. We hope you enjoy this and all of our episodes and we look forward to your feedback.

73 de The LHS Crew

Texas QSO Party Fun

I spent a few hours, yesterday and today, playing in the Texas QSO Party. As annual QSO Parties go, this one must be one of the best.

With Texas being such a large state, there seemed to be a correspondingly large amount of activity. As well, Texas is a nice single-hop from here on HF and most signals, even from the numerous mobiles, were loud.

I entered in the low-power, single- operator, CW-only class and without spending huge amounts of time, ended up with 185 contacts in 117 counties. There was a very active fleet of mobile operators as well, moving from county to county and sometimes setting-up on county borderlines to provide two, three or even four counties at a time. Thanks to the dedicated mobilers ... you fellows really add a lot of interest to the contest.

Mobile stations also provide extra 'bonus' points, with 500 additional points gained each time you work the same mobile in 5 different counties. Two of them were worked in more than 15 counties, while five were worked in 10 counties. Two were worked in 9 counties, missing the extra thousand points by one more from each.

My weekly QSO Part activity has been a good way for me to ease back into contesting and an aid in improving my ear-brain-keyboarding skills ... it's been helping a lot. One area that doesn't get a lot of practice is in the 'run' mode, since most of these QSO party contacts are in the 'search and pounce' (S&P) mode. Hopefully something will come up soon where I can get more 'run' practice as this requires a higher level of alertness compared with S&P. In reality, either mode is a great way to keep your CW skills honed.

The old laptop, running Windows XP, continues to work well as does the N1MM logging software driven by the K1EL USB keying interface. Further scrubbing of the laptop's unneeded files and start-up programs has sped boot-time to about 90 seconds. Quite an improvement over the eight minutes it was taking before tackling the cleanup!

If you are interested in getting started in contest work, or getting back into it, the WA7BNM Contest Calendar is probably the best source of information ... descriptions of all of the major contests (and some not so major), as well as links to contest-sponsor pages, may be found there. As well, the same site provides the '3830' board, a place where contesters can share their claimed score totals and discuss the event immediately following a contest. It's always fun to see how you compare with other submissions in the same category.

State QSO Parties

I spent a couple of hours again this weekend playing with the N1MM contest logging software and getting back into the contesting groove. My new K1EL USB interface continues to work flawlessly, even on my ancient XP laptop ... gone are the occasional keying stutters produced when previously keying from the serial port. N1MM is one of the most widely-used contest loggers and is freely available for download here. I still run the older 'Classic' version as I don't think my laptop could handle the newer 'N1MM +' edition ... I'll upgrade when I get a newer contesting laptop.

Both the Colorado and the Tennessee State QSO Parties were held this weekend, providing me another round of CW contest practice. Both activities are pretty low-key affairs when it comes to contesting but hey, every bit of practice helps.

I found surprisingly little action in the CO Party, making just 18 contacts ... 12 on 20m CW and 6 on 40m, with 17 sections worked. There seemed to be more activity from TN amateurs though, with 38 QSO's in 33 sections, 28 on 20m and 10 on 40m. All contacts were made on CW. All of the 40m contacts were made several hours before local sunset here, surprising the heck out of me that the W4's could even hear me in broad daylight ... the stations worked must have very quiet locations.

The state QSO parties are a good way to enjoy a short round of contesting without blowing an entire weekend, which I don't think I would really like to endure, and there seems to be at least one or two of them each weekend ... an easy way to ease into contesting or to keep up your on-the-fly contest keyboarding skills.

LHS Episode #081: Chicken Licker Bumpy Bumpy

Welcome to the latest installment of Linux in the Ham Shack. It’s almost time for Hamvention 2012! We hope that we’ll be able to see our listeners and friends at the Hara Arena in Dayton, Ohio from May 18th through the 20th. With your donations, the thermometer at left has almost exploded. If you can spare a dollar or two, we’ll be at our goal in no time.

In this episode, our trusty [sic] hosts talk with an Ambassdor. Richard’s interview with Ronny is so good it would make Anderson Cooper–well, throw up probably. They also discuss Linux topics like Mint-based distributions and irssi, an IRC chat client, as well as ham radio topics from HSMM to Winlink to contest loggers. The guys respond to a bunch of listener feedback and talk about some new features of the show.

A quick heads up: The interview audio is a little rough with some weird background anomaly. It won’t drive you mad, just make you wonder what was going on on Ronny’s side of the line. We suspect dinner and a seance.

73 de The LHS Guys

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