Saturday, August 20, 2016

Very brief visit to Barry VK2BJ shack.

Quick phone call from Barry that he is being visited by Allan VK2GR and Dave VK2WQ to have a quick meet after the NSW Wombat stint in RD contest.

Barry's antenna. 

 Barry, Allan and Dave

The antenna again, but no apologies, it works so well for him.

Sunday, August 14, 2016

Remembrance Day Contest 2016

It was a mixture of fun and frustration.  I intended to join another group as a CW op only.  However Heidi needed me so there was no excuse to be absent for more than 24 hours.  I decided to operate part time.  Then I got an email from Allan VK2GR that he is setting up a group of three CW operators.  Himself then Barry VK2BJ and me VK2PN as NSW Wombats.  Well then I had to commit for "more than little" effort.

Trent VK4TS indicated that SD logger by Paul O'Kane EI5DI has the proper scoring and timing for the contest, so I've downloaded it and set it up.  I had used it many years ago and liked it's simplicity.  To set it up was not difficult, but I've made quite few silly errors while doing so (grrrrrr).  However it was ready ready to go few hours before the start of the test.

I think I've made 14 QSOs and then the disaster struck.  I've must have pressed a wrong sequence of keys or two/or several at the same time and the program went crazy.  Could not get it going properly again.

OK back to the old trusted N1MM logger.
Alan VK4SN had written UDC for the RD test, so I've downloaded it set it all up (in meantime the test outside was going well and my time was being wasted with "fiddling".
Fired it all up and the entry window did not work properly.  The boys at VK4TS were using it and it worked well for them.  I can only point finger at myself...  boooooo.

Finally I decided to do the right thing (should have it done at the beginning) and downloaded the latest version of VKCL, then programmed the messages into my Winkeyer and all worked well then.

  The VKCL is simple and above all it works for this contest.

The hart of my little station is the Elecraft KX3.  A little box with huge muscle inside.

Supported by the matching PX3 the panadaptor.

As you can see, the band is visible and when you S&P you can with the little knob (right and bottom) bring the cursor on the signal and press.  You are on the signal and start calling.  No more twirling on the tune knob.  Magic.

The muscle was supplied by (again matching) 100 watts amplifier.

Amazing setup and as good or better than radios three times larger/heavier.

This and two fingers did the job.

Antenna was my old and trusty G5RV... worked a treat.  It even loaded on 160 m.  Allan VK2GR told me that I have almost decent signal on 160.  He had a top signal here with his full length 160 m dipole.

I can't give you the claimed score,  the log I've sent is painstakingly concocted cabrillo file using text editor from three fragments.

After all it was fun.

till next year RD 

The results of the Commonwealth contest were published.

  As I member of the team Australia 2, I was quite pleased with the result.