Radio W4KAZ

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A PVRCNC “Night Before Christmas” de Will, AA4NC

The following poetic adaptation is by Will, AA4NC. I’m just preserving for posterity.

‘Twas the night before Christmas, when all through PVRC, Not a creature was stirring, on CW or eS eS Bee; The antennas were strung from the chimney with care, In hopes that some sunspots soon would be there; The contesters were nestled all snug in their beds, While visions of Top Ten scores danced in their heads; And ‘QPL with his Orion, and I with my FT, Had just settled down for a QSO on 40, When on the bottom of the band there arose such a clatter, I tuned the VFO to see what was the matter. Into the pileup I flew like a flash, Fired up the amp, sent a dot and a dash. […]

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Sleep Avoidance for Life(or Contesting)

The subject of sleep schedules comes up often in contest circles. Conventional wisdom says that sleep should be taken in 90 minute chunks. Most sleep research I’ve read seems to corroborate conventional wisdom. The Jan. 2008 issue of “Wired” magazine sent me off again on a bit of digging on the subject, specifically on “Polyphasic Sleep”.


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The Logikey

Here are a couple of snaps of my LogiKey CMOS4 kit from Idiom Press. It was a joy to build and it is a FB keyer. It was one of the easier to assemble kits I’ve fooled with, and the supplied instructions are detailed and complete.

This keyer is also available fully assembled. In my opinion, soldering the kit requires a fine tipped soldering pencil. My smallest soldering iron was almost too big, but with a magnifier and bright lighting at hand, I muddled through.

They Seem Innocent Enough…..

Every year, Thanksgiving week coincides with the beginning of a mass migration that is a pestilence upon mankind. Taken as individuals these migrants are benign. They travel no great distances in their migrations, yet they do tend to congregate together in an unseemly manner. All year long they bide their time, picking the worst possible moments to make their vertical pilgrimage. There are those among us who make a great fuss over their inherent beauty, right up until the moment that they show their true nature.


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ARRL 10m

Such a masochist I am not. I planned on using the ARRL 10m weekend as family time, so for the few minutes I turned the radio on, I found my decision to be justified. O’Course, just two weeks earlier, the W3LPL crew logged 6500+ Q’s in CQWW DX – but only 150 Q’s on 10m.

I suspect the antennas and ops at ‘LPL are somewhat more adroit than ‘KAZ, so the decision was EASY.

I made 6 Q’s in about 15 minutes. I figure that to be 6 more than my goal of ‘zero’ . Hot Dog!

Modulation Devices

After struggling with mastering the use of ‘paddles’ and ‘keyers’ for the purposes of Modulating the Continuous Wave, I decided to upgrade both my paddles and keyer.

For some reason it never occurred to me to try using my paddles with the radio’s internal keyer. When it finally did occur to me recently, it turns out I had less trouble sending legible CW using the internal keyer in the radio than with my “Common Brand” keyer. Go figure.

So, having found a good bargain on a set of nice Kent paddles, and having a thumbs up from trusted sources on the Idiom Press Logikeyer – I made those two items my xmas present to myself.

I got the Logikeyer CMOS4 kit, so some assembly was required. I got the kit put together last week. The Logikeyer is a well done kit. I got lucky and it worked on the first try. 🙂 I’ve been eyeing up the Idiom Press SCAF-1 audio filter, and now I’m pretty sure I’ll get one of those too, sooner or later. I’m sure it will be a high quality item also.

Anyway, it sure is easier to send CW with a good set of paddles and a keyer that works! (I’m no paddle expert, but I really like the Kent paddles.) I’m still a lid, but I might actually be able to learn how to use paddles now. If I can, then I work on the second long range goal – training the left hand […]

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Sweeps SSB 2007 – Hindsight

Thinking back on the event, it seems like the 80m and 40m antenna moves were good. Propagation was just a bit unusual, favoring longer skip paths than I normally see at the KAZland QTH. I think that these antennas, in their current orientations, will play even better when conditions are more ‘normal’. It is also clear I’d have done much better on 20m had I debugged the shack problem with the 20m antennas earlier.

The other operating change I will make is to plan on S&P during the first two hours of this contest. My S&P rate will be higher than any runs I might have during the bedlam of the start of the race. It will also give me a better chance at nailing some of the mults I should have found this year.

750 Q’s seems like a reasonable goal for this contest with these same bottom of the cycle propagation conditions. I wonder if 900 or 1000 Q’s are possible when conditions improve. Maybe.

ARRL 160 Meter

Summary: Total: QSOs = 122 Sections = 38 Countries = 2

Total Score = 10,000

I only got on for a few hours of casual S&P this year. I had fun with it last year, and this year was no different. I’d really like to put in a larger effort into this contest next year. That just didn’t pan out this time around.


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