That’s what you title a catch-all post, I think.
So the phone bands have been so atrociously bad lately that 90% of my recent QSOs have been CW, with a fair mix of countries in the group. Most of this has been on 15, but the last few days 17 meters has been a better choice in the 14:00 – 17:00 Zulu times when I am out in the truck, and most active.
Anyone who worked me on CW the last few weeks and thought my keying was a little strange? I probably was trying to merge into freeway traffic while sending. I can pull that off very well, but have to sacrifice some of my accuracy.
One happy score was today’s contact with BD4CQ on 17 meters. He must have amazing ears to pull me out of the noise.
I just recently received an Acer Aspire One from Amazon.com to be my main ham laptop. The Aspire is a neat little netbook with a 1.6 GHz Atom processor and is running VE7CC, MMTTY, Digipan, and JT65HF successfully under Windows 7. The only software that is not running correctly now is N1MM logger, which times out on the COM port. I hope to have that rectified shortly. It runs MMTTY with the EXT-FSK plugin with no problems in true RTTY mode on the IC7000, no worries about audio levels. But it also runs JT65 and PSK31 without any problems. The Dell laptop that is my main PC had big problems with RF and would freeze if the audio level was turned up too high.
I am very happy to be back into digital modes, and have already added some new countries to my count on those modes.
I will be walking around HAMCOMM in a few weeks so if you see me there, say hello.
I spent way too much time yesterday replacing a PowerPole connector whose wire had pulled out.
I have one word of advice to anyone using these: go ahead and spend the 40 bucks for the crimp tool. That’s got to be better than what I went through.
Ordered these online from Office Depot.
Talking SDR and Flex Radio
I recently picked up a TenTec R4020 to try as a traveling QRP rig. It looks nice:
It comes with battery holders so you can go true portable in the field:
The instructions say to install the battery holders with double sided tape and wire in series. Straight forward, except for one small detail:
See those crystals in the center of the board? No way, and I mean NO WAY can you get those battery holders in and clear those crystals.
Any one who has done this, I would appreciate knowing how you accomplished it.