Rambling post (written while listening to old Country music in a cold basement in Nashville)

Been neglect­ing my weblog for too long! Some minor recon­fig­u­ra­tion occur­ring along with some addi­tion­al met­rics around con­test­ing planned here.

To catch up, I have been quite enjoy­ing my IC-7600, learn­ing more and appre­ci­at­ing it with each oper­at­ing ses­sion. I am not quite set­up for SO2R, but I have added some I.C.E 419B band­pass fil­ters along with the YCCC SO2R+ con­troller. I have a sneak­ing sus­pi­cian my FT-857D-as-sec­ond-rig is going to be less than stel­lar, but I intend to give it a go before com­mit­ting addi­tion­al funds toward anoth­er radio (although that new Ken­wood sure looks like it would work great…who knows, there might be an IC-756ProI­II float­ing around out there with my name on it!)

As to anten­nas, I real­ly real­ly need to fix up my sit­u­a­tion on 20 through 10 meters. I have been think­ing about con­struct­ing a gos­samer yagi anten­na much like the Optibeam wire yagi and stick­ing up in the air on some­thing nice like a Pen­ninger mast sys­tem. In the inter­im I have my G5RV up a bit high­er and straighter and work­ing nice­ly. I have a 20M EDZ sit­ting just below it and it is a fair per­former (I use this pri­mar­i­ly for Thurs­day Night Mad­ness and the G5RV as a Mar­coni for 160M). My NE dou­blet is get­ting lit­tle play so I am like­ly to take this down. My R5 ver­ti­cal is crap on 20M although not bad on oth­er bands. That said I nev­er use it so it is like­ly to come down as well.

I am get­ting sur­pris­ing­ly good results from my G5RV-as-Mar­coni for 160M since I put down about 500′ of radi­als. I want to put down anoth­er 5001000’ before spring mow­ing sea­son starts but as it stands the cur­rent con­fig­u­ra­tion is work­ing real­ly well domes­ti­cal­ly and has even got­ten me a few EU con­tacts as well. I might be able to com­plete more DX QSOs if I had a receiv­ing anten­na of any kind (and await the epiphany of hav­ing such capa­bil­i­ty). My first mile­stone will be to fin­ish WAS need­ing only HI and AK on LoTW.

Dur­ing SS I put up a 40M wire ver­ti­cal fed against my radi­al sys­tem tuned by an MFJ-927 auto­tuner. It worked real­ly well, even on the high­er bands. That said, it sucked for 80M but it made me want to throw a longer wire up to see how it would play. Also dither­ing about what kind of N/​S anten­na is need­ed for 40M…basically it am learn­ing I can’t have too many anten­nas for 40M.

My back­log of con­struc­tion projects has grown…I need to fin­ish the Ft. Tuthill 80, get my var­i­ous Soft­rocks and what-not done. I did put togeth­er a lit­tle QRPp bea­con for 30M but have not put the thing on the air as of yet (no suit­able anten­na for 30M as of yet.) I an excit­ed to get the soft­rocks up and run­ning as they can be used as panadapters cou­pled with con­test and rig con­trol soft­ware. A secret lit­tle pis­tol con­test weapon? Perhaps…

Drake twins were sent off to WB4HFN for refurb…more about this lat­er but I am very very hap­py with the expe­ri­ence with Ron so far! Seems my R‑4C was bare­ly work­ing (if at all) and now it is restored to glory.

And with that, I think I will go try to work more straight key con­tacts toward my SKCC Cen­turi­an cer­tifi­cate.

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