Saturday, February 25, 2012

Yaesu FT-818 fact or fiction??

I just came across some info regarding a replacement for the road warrior FT-817 it's the mystery FT-818? I have read some comments on blogs that wrote about the FT-818. Some seem to be drooling while others see it as wishful thinking. I did try a link on one blog that boasted of a Yahoo group for the FT-818 but it did not exist. The "up coming rig" sure does boast of some very impressive improvements.

Friday, February 24, 2012

Eham reviews the Elecraft KX3...but it's not out yet???

Unbelievable.....there is a review out on Eham regarding the Elecraft KX3. I was doing a Google search of the KX3 last evening to see what was new. I came across a link to Eham Matt Zilmer, W6NIA posted a great field tester review of the up and coming KX3. Now please correct me if I am wrong but how many of the "other" ham radio manufactures field test their rigs with hams who are not employees?? Ok I get it if you have read my blog I am just an Elecract fanatic... guilty.....but do post a comment if you can come up with a ham gear manufacture who field test rigs with fellow hams or were emails are answered sometimes within the hour or that day....I'm getting side tracked.....Matt gives a technical overview of the rig then moves onto his opinion and finally the nuts and bolts of operating the rig and bragging of his contacts. If you are a follower of my blog then you may have read my post KX3....need or want....there I decided to stick with my Elecraft K2 rig and not spend the bucks on the KX3. But as time goes on and as the rigs get the hands of the eagerly awaiting hams its going to be hard to resist one!

Monday, February 20, 2012

ARRL DX CW contest done for 2012

Action on 20m
Since my setup does not allow me to be even close in the top running I try to come up with some goals before each contest,I find it makes the contest more interesting. Since this contest hosts a load of DX and the ARRL is offering a Diamond DXCC  challenge certificate for 2012 I decided to begin my DXCC country collection. During this contest I was not concerned with the number of contacts, concerned about spending to much time on making a certain contact or my hourly QSO rate. I was set on DXCC country hunting and working toward the 2012 DXCC award.

Saturday, February 18, 2012

Day one (for me) of the ARRL CW DX contest

Relaxing and contesting
Well as you know I was not on the air on Friday as the speed and pileups were just out of this world. So I managed to get things done around the house and hit the air on Saturday at 9am local time. At that time I found 10m to be dead but 15 was great! I was able to make 10 contacts on 15 meters with 500mW''s funny I am contacting folks who give me their power as 1KW and I am getting to them with 500mW's. Any way the conditions were great but I did take a break at around 1800 UTC as things were slowing down on 15m at that time and not yet picking up on 20m's. At around 1930 UTC I was back at it again but this time on 20m's for some reason I did try 500mW's but it was just not doing it so I slowly made my way to5 watts. That seemed to be the magic power for 20m. The bands were alive and healthy out this way and I had a blast!! I have been on a total of  7.43 hours and made 252 contacts (all DX contacts that is) that breaks a record here of almost 34 contacts per hour. I have not started to log contacts for the ARRL DXCC diamond jubilee so this was the contest for me to get that rolling. Up to this point I have 50 contacts toward the certificate.  Sunday is another day and I plan to get up early to pounce on some 10m contacts and 50 more DXCC's......dreams are free as they say..........

Friday, February 17, 2012

Opening thoughts about ARRL CW contest

Before you knew it 00:00 came and the ARRL international CW contest was a go. During my first 1/2 hour 20m was open but only to non DX to me. So it was off to 40m's and it was alive and hopping! Here at VE3WDM the contest power is 5 watts or less. The band was crowed and the pileups long I did give a few DX stations a call but the KW powered stations going back to the DX really gave me no chance. I did hang in for the whole 1/2 hour but it was just not happening to night. I shut the rig down for the evening just to crazy out there, once the contest adrenaline cools I will get back on. I am looking at Saturday to give 10m, 15m and 20m a go for some DX soup.
Until then....contest on!!

Super computer + ham raido =??

It was not to long ago I read in either QST or CQ magazine about a group or University working on a super computer for ham radio contesting. I found it to be very interesting but have not been able to find anymore information about it on the Internet or in magazines. The idea was to

Sunday, February 12, 2012

So what's been going on.........

The repaired key ready for action
I have not been able to get around to putting a post out there the last couple of days but I have been busy getting stuff done around the shack and shack related stuff. Some of the action here was been wanting to settle the Begali key issue. I found it to be sending dot's and dash's on it own now and then. The right paddle was sticking very badly so I took it apart. Low and behold  the coffee that splashed some weeks ago here at the operating desk also got on my key in a very hard to see place. So it's all cleaned up, working great and waiting for me to use it!!!
RufzXP happy again
On my laptop I have Ubuntu 11.10 and up until Friday RufzXP was working just great. It was installed using Wine (a program that allows Windows programs to run on Linux machines) along with Netframe 2.0 but for some reason it just went funky and would not load. The error message said Netframe 2.0 needed to be  installed BUT IT WAS!! I tried many times to reinstall it but with no avail. Yesterday I

Monday, February 6, 2012

Things are a changing..........

Lots of changes
As those of you know who have been reading my blog that I have no problem selling items that are no longer being used here at VE3WDM....and it would look like I am not done but that is a whole new subject. Since I have sold and bought items, things here at the shack have changed a lot. This afternoon I was looking at the pic on my blog of me sitting at the op desk and boy is it out dated!!! Some of the gear in that picture no long find it's home here but are being used at other op's. Just some of the items that no longer call it home are the LP-Pan (along with it the external sound card) that I built and was very hard to let go seeing it

Sunday, February 5, 2012

Almost got some radio time in today.......

Center conductor to braid reading
In my last post I commented on not finding the time to get on the radio, so Saturday night I penciled in some radio time for Sunday. All was going well and I was able get the chores done I had planned to and now it was radio time. I sat down at the K3 on went the computer and then the K3 and my CQ began.....then Murphy paid me a visit. I noticed my SWR was bouncing all over the place from 1.2 up to 4.1 and so on!!!! I switched over to

Is it just me............

I am very excited about ham and have a great time in radio contests,  calling CQ on QRP frequencies, outdoor op's , sitting down at the work bench and building projects and last but not least reading radio blogs.  Is it just me or am I the only one that has a hard time finding the time during the week to do the above radio adventures!!! I'm up at 4am during the weekdays to head out to work and home around 5:30. Then there is the lunches for the next day to be made, the dinner to get going and some house cleaning heck I'm in bed around 9pm so not much time left to do anything else!! There have been times when I do sit in front of the