Saturday, August 16, 2014

KX3 troubles

A happy looking KX3
I decided to take the KX3 out and about on my day off Friday, it was an overcast day so I thought it wise to do my operating from the mobile rather than taking the bike. I set up the mobile whip antenna on my car and situated myself in the passenger seat and was ready to go.(note….this time before the trip out I made a list of things to bring so I was not without important items as happened in the past)  Brought the KX3 up to the 20m QRP watering hole (14.060) and just wanted to check the SWR on the radio before sending out my 5 watts of raw power. The KX3 gave me an error message but it seemed I was still able to transmit and I did for a short time. Then I noticed as I moved up and down the band my
Not so happy KX3
SWR stayed the same at 1.4:1 no matter where I was on the band….even up into the SSB portion. It was then determined something was wrong and I had a fast look at the antenna and coax but all seemed ok. I then switched to my 15m whip antenna and the error message was gone but I still had this strange low SWR across the 15m band as well. So it was time to pack things up and head home. Once at home I put the KX3 on a dummy load and tried it out and all was just the way it should be. I then put the rig on the MFJ 1788 loop and again no problems. So I suspect it's the mobile setup and I did post the problem on the Elecraft reflector and was given advice to check the mobile setup. When at home I did want to give the KX3 the full workout and to do so I started to call CQ on 20m. Terry WA0ITP came back to me from Iowa and our signals were in around 339 and conditions wee not that great but we were able to carry on a decent QSO. So the KX3 is working good but it's just another "project" I have on the burner that has to be worked out.  No time today as I am on call  this week and the phone has not stopped ringing with calls for me to go in!

Sunday, August 10, 2014

Supermoon photos

 Julie and I were out this evening taking pictures of the Supermoon. These were taken over Lake Ontario with Toronto peeking through the center photo. The camera was the Nikon D800 and the lenses were the 70-200mm with a 2.0 tele converter and 24-70mm lens. Not really a ham radio post but a great way to spend an August evening.

Monday, August 4, 2014

Some fast 20m contacts.....doing the happy dance!!

Today was a holiday out this way in Canada I just relaxed today and for some reason thought I would give the radio a go again this afternoon. I have not had to much luck of recent with making any contacts...put it down to the conditions. 20 meters seems to be a good starting point for me and I tuned up the MFJ 1788 and spun the VFO on the K3 to see what the propagation gods would have me work. I heard 6Y5WJ booming in and I gave him a go and he came back to me with a 559 report. I was thrilled to make it into Jamaica considering yesterday I tried the NAQP CW contest for a short time and U.S stations were not even hearing me. This was a very short contact as he had a number of prospects waiting to contact him. I then just moved a short distance down on 20m and came across VO1DD from Newfoundland calling CQ. I came back to him and we had a very nice QSO until some threatening thunder storms started to roll in this way. Doug is from Heart's Delight and  was running the FT 1000 a rig that I had before my K3 and it's a fantastic rig and still very very popular. He was running 90 watts into a dipole antenna. With just these two contacts in under 10 minutes I am very happy to see the MFJ 1788 is doing a fine job with only the 5 watts I pump into it.  It's now time to get the steaks on the BBQ and relax.

Sunday, August 3, 2014

Time for some shack cleaning and putting items up for sale.

As I am doing my operating from the condo there are a number if items in the shack that have just been gather dust. My feeling is if Im not using it someone else can! So the following items are up for sale…….
1. Balun designs balun model 1110cu it's called a QRP balun but is rated at 300 watts. It's a 1:1 isolation balun I did use them at my old place to make sure not unwanted RF was radiating from the coax. Since I only have one antenna now I no long require one.
The price is 25.00 including shipping within North America.

2. Elecraft N-Gen this is a kit that I put together myself and works great. It is very good for many RF and IF alignment tasks. The price including shipping is 50.00.

3. LDG AT200pro antenna tuner I am no longer in need of a tuner as my K3 and KX3 all have on board ATU's this unit works and looks great. Price is 150.00 shipping included.

4 Hendricks 41dB step attenuator, I put this unit together myself and works great. Price is 50.00 including shipping.

The selling of these items will both clean up the shack and give me some ham bucks to clutter things up again!