Wednesday, October 21, 2020

New QTH in EM84fm


About 4 years ago, my wife and I bought a house in EM84fn.  It was a bit of a fixer upper.  We worked on it diligently and decided to sell it due to the COVID-19 driven market conditions and the lower interest rates.  Pictured above is our new home in EM84fm. 

Monday, September 14, 2020

Scaling Down the HF Station


Several years back, I purchased a Yaesu FTDX1200.  Later, I was able to acquire a Yaesu Quadra System (1000w solid-state amp) and a Mosley triband yagi.  For a couple years, I was running my dream station!  I loved the big look of the FTDX1200.  I had a custom 3 speaker external audio setup on the rig, a SignaLink, and a Heil PR-781.  I devoted the whole room to being a dedicated Ham Shack!  

At some point, life got busy.  I was not very interested in playing on HF as much and when I did it just seemed too easy (yet cumbersome to deal with all the wires).  Then, my wife and I started planning to move.  The housing market being as it was meant we got a good offer quickly and with a quick closing date.  The new place is in a subdivision with the dreaded HOA.  

Instead of being worried or upset, I see this as an opportunity.  I got rid of the tower and yagi, the Quadra System, Heil mic and boom arm, and traded the FTDX1200 for an ICOM IC-7300.  I've been very impressed with the IC-9700 and since the perfect match to that rig is the 7300, I decided that would be a simpler and cleaner way to go.  When we get moved, I'll experiment with antennas and I'm planning a home office with radios rather than a dedicated ham shack.  I'm just using the 9700 and 7300 with their stock mics, and internal speakers.  The funny part far, I'm loving it.  I've had just as much fun and am looking forward to the challenge of figuring out the antenna(s) I'm going to need at the new house.

73 fer now de W4LSG sk

Tuesday, May 12, 2020

IC-9700 Coming Soon to My Shack

ICOM IC-9700

I've had an interest for a while in VHF SSB and FT8.  I also wanted a more robust radio for my regular FM repeater use.  Using dual band mobiles in the shack just started to feel like a compromise.  Or maybe I just want to sound like I can justify a new rig, in case the XYL is reading this!

Wednesday, April 15, 2020

Great 10m Opening to South Pacific - 3D2AG, FO5QB, VK4MA

W4LSG 10m DX

I always like to find opportunities to work something unusual.  I like to try to work all bands and modes.  As such, I look for opportunities to make contacts on 10m and 6m whenever they happen to be open.  I've noticed a few openings on these bands lately.  I recently caught a 10m opening with great conditions into South America.  I worked Brazil, Argentina, and Chile several times before the band closed and went back to silence.  A few years ago I made a couple 10m contacts in Europe which stunned be given the lack of sunspot activity.  Given that I have not been an active ham during a peak sunspot time, I think I've made some good contacts on the 6m and 10m.

Monday, April 13, 2020

2020 Georgia QSO Party - W4LSG

I decided on a whim that since the COVID-19 scare came up and we have been staying at home as much as possible that it might be worth trying to get on the air and represent my state during the 2020 Georgia QSO party from my QTH.  I had a few things to do so I knew I would not be able to work the event from start time to end time, but I thought it could be a fun thing to do anyway. 

Wednesday, April 8, 2020

Testing FT4 and Contact with WA9PIE

When I first started using FT4, I found that it would log inconsistently and made for some manual work to get all of my online logs/QSL services to match.  So I stopped using it.  At some point, Mike Carper (WA9PIE), owner of HRD, sent a newsletter advising that HRD now supported FT4 correctly.  I tested the new version on my system and found that though it did seem to log correctly in HRD and possibly if sent from HRD to LoTW, it did not send correctly to QRZ, eQSL, or  I reported my findings via the HamRadioDeluxe user forum where Mike replied and advised they understood the problems.  Not long after, another release of HRD was available that should fix these issues.  I downloaded and installed the new version and did some testing immediately.  It was actually working 100% as expected!  While I was testing, I actually ran across WA9PIE working 20m FT4!  I gave him many calls before he replied, but we did make a QSO and I have him in the log.  Neat contact!

73 de W4LSG sk

Wednesday, March 25, 2020

Worked Gabon on 10m - TR8CA

I have been messing around with FT4 some lately.  I haven't gotten much into it since it caused some logging/QSL headaches.  However I saw someone spot TR8CA in Gabon on 10m FT4.  I thought a few things...first I thought this was probably spotted on the wrong band on accident.  Then I though perhaps it was correct but the spotter was just really close.  In any case, I moved over to 10m FT4 and pointed the yagi in the direction of Gabon.  Sure enough, I began decoding TR8CA.  So I gave a few calls and was very surprised to get a response!  Gabon was not a new country for me, but it was a really awesome contact to have made at 6,300+ miles away on 10m band!

73 and good DX de W4LSG sk

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