Wednesday, February 20, 2019
Before we talk about the nuts and bolts of condo ham radio lets deal with some of the basics. I have always found it avoids condo board letters if you read and understand the rules and guidelines of your particular condo. Yes get used to it if you are going to move into a condo there are rules and expectations. What does this have to do with ham radio.........well if you are seen as a respectful owner (or renter) of the condo board, residents and property it can go a long way. For example most condo guidelines (nice condo word for RULES) do not allow "permanent antennas" on the balcony. This rule is yes for Amateur radio antennas but I believe the condo is concerned about the mini satellite dishes springing up or HD antennas. Just one of many challenges a condo radio op has to creatively deal with. In my case I have the MFJ 1788 mag loop and in my newest condo (6 months now) the antenna is portable and it not "permanently" mounted on the balcony. In my humble opinion having a low key antenna is important. Having whip antennas extending over the balcony or wires making their way down the side of the building just invites a letter from you know who from the office of your know where!! Like it or not we are all human and once this happens you have the microscope on you.....not a very nice situation to be in.
In a condo your fellow "condo-ites" are very close to you and that means RFI on your part but also on their part as well with all the unfiltered electronics on the market today. The positive outcome to this is you will become very knowledgeable on dealing with RFI. Oh and a word of advise.....I have read this in the past "go see your neighbor and suggest installing filters on their electronics" Up here in the land of snow and proverbial "thank you" we always say to apparently to everything......there is no thank you response from someone you are asking to tamper with their electronics. Rigs these days have excellent filtering and that are some accessories you can purchase to knock out the worst of offender.
Well that is enough for today....in posts to follow I am going to look at RFI, power output and no as a condo dweller you are not a QPRer for life...........nothing wrong with that either!! What antennas I have had that work, some of the better modes (not just digi either) to work and last but not least what happens if your in a situation were absolutely operating is possible, well I am here to say that you will still be able to get on the air in you condo on HF working DX!
Monday, February 18, 2019
As for the contest I was running 60 watts (not sure of reason for the 60 watt number) and my antenna is the MFJ 1788 mag loop. I am in a condo so it’s a balcony antenna about 180 feet up facing south east. The software was N1MM+ and MRP40 CW decoder for the super fast fisted contesters. On Sunday the winds for some reason really picked up and my MFJ loop was moving around the balcony. I shut the radio down and took it in I would rather save the antenna from damage than taking a chance on getting more contacts.
I made only 25 contact and a score of 1575 BUT my intention was not to blow the doors off with a great score. Instead after I made contact with a station I would look them up on QRZ.COM and read about either the individual or the contest station. Over all the limited time I was in the contest I had a blast and was very please with the Icom 7610 and the ability of my balcony mounted Mag loop antenna.
Sunday, February 17, 2019
A screen shot of the ARRL DX CW contest
I will see if the propagation gods are smiling down on me today as I give the contest another go this afternoon.
Sunday, February 10, 2019
I found this site that offers some great FT8 tips:
I did remove the tick from the "auto Seq" box as by doing this it did give me somewhat of a feeling of interaction with the QSO. This evening it's going to be a cup of Earl Grey tea and go over the WSJT-X 2.0 manual very closely and see what I can glean from it. Also search out some writeup's on the internet for more tips with this mode.