NAQP RTTY Preliminary Results & NAQP SSB

The preliminary results for NAQP RTTY were published recently. My listed score was 10,200 with 170 contacts and 60 multipliers. I have to check to see how this compares with my claimed score.

NAQP SSB is going on right now. I had briefly flirted with operating in it; but I picked up an IC-7300 about two weeks ago and I not only didn’t do any prep as far as software goes…but I didn’t get familiar enough with the rig to work in a contest environment. I did have success in getting N1MM connected to it…and I actually was able to program CAT commands to fire off the voice keyer.

But CAT control, PC connectivity, voice keyer…these are all wayy too new for a guy that has operated a IC-725 for the last three years. If I do play around with it later tonight, I might submit my low-scoring log. Otherwise, the 4 contacts I’ve made thus far are getting submitted as a check log. Though I’ve read through the 7300 manual before, I think maybe I need to re-read it and play around with N1MM more.

Field Day: N6F – Snowstorm Ranch – CN90tq

Just like last year, I’ll be heading west again to take part in FBOM’s “epic” Field Day just outside of Horse Lake, CA.

So why is this epic? Because a bunch of us are all leaving our corners of the country and converging on the other side of the country (for some of us). We’re a fraternal radio club…so it’s about hanging out with each other as much as it is the radio. We’re literally all scattered around the country, and it’s once a year the “core” of our group gets together face to face.

I fly out on June 19th from the DC area to Vegas, get a rental car, then haul ass to make Reno by morning. By evening on June 20th we’ll be pulling in to the ranch, cracking open beers, starting our bullshit sessions early, and just happy to be there. Our radio setup is much like last year; a K3 with diversity receive capability running in to a SPE 1.3k amp.

We’ll be running N6F event call for this as well as running a 1E station. We decided on E for one simple reason; we want to play with the radios early. We want not only extra time to make sure our setup is going to work and figure out any problems; but we also want to play. Some of us don’t get to put our voice behind a kilowatt on a regular basis…some of us need brushing-up/warming-up on the quasi contesting environment of FD. Choosing to run as a home station means we can set-up when we get there and work every station during Field Day. Alpha stations aren’t allowed to set up outside of a designated time, so running as a home station on emergency power seems like the best trade-off; it also allows us to count contacts with every station unlike other classes that have restrictions.

It’s hard to imagine this year possibly being better than last; last year was absolutely fantastic. I mean, I left out of there waiting to do it again. The time is approaching, everything’s booked. 9 days from now, we’re gone!

Old Blog Lost

The hardware containing the old Spurious Emissions blog suffered HDD failure, which I knew was imminent.

Anything that was there has been lost forever. Offhand I can remember I had a page about interfacing aftermarket CTCSS in to an old Kenwood monobander. There was another piece of information I wrote that I can’t remember.

I guess it wasn’t important.

FIELD DAY!

Last year I started on an adventure to meet up with some fellow hams from my online club to head to sunny California for a field day vacation. A completely remote location where we could play radio and enjoy ourselves.

This year I’m doing it again! We’ll be operating from grid CN90tq as W6F.

June can’t come fast enough.

Antenna Saga

I’m sure many of you are aware of the Nor’Easter that came through. While they got massive snow up in Boston….those of us down in DC got winds…massive winds.

The gusts of 30 to about 70 mph blew for about 36 hours. While I was worried the antenna itself would break….the trees holding it up gave way. The problem is it was the last “suitable” tree by the shack with any decent amount of height.

I was pretty much ready to hang up HF for a while…that thing is a PITA to put up. But I got pissed off enough at myself that I bought a couple hundred feet of rope and was determined to put it back up.

I found another tree that wouldn’t change the direction of the antenna…it just was deeper in the woods and I had to trudge through a briar patch.

I hate paracord. Its great stuff…but it would get caught on EVERYTHING while pulling it over the tree. This meant a ton of back and forth…getting fustrated with every prick and scratch.

Long story short…I got both lines reshot and got the antenna up in the air. The center is closer to the shack which allows my feedline to hang straight for a longer segment than before. It is also higher than before. It changed my tunings for the better and it still performs well; 10mW of WSPR got me in to Europe.

I was angry I missed the DX contest, but I’m ready for VAQP next weekend.

But damn…I really hate paracord.