Radio W4KAZ

Thanks for stopping by the virtual KazShack. Feel free to comment - I often approve them.

CQ WW 160

Gentleman’s band? Hardly. Maybe because it was a contest.

I have seldom heard more lids congregated together at one time. It made the antics found during a contest on 80m SSB seem tame.

I sure lacked motivation for operating in this contest. In fact, it was so bad, that I spent more time trying to decide how to tidy up the shack than operating. When I was actively using the radio, I spent much more time listening around than trying to make QSO’s. So rather than force it, I just didn’t. The tuner-uppers, never-listeners, and drop-my-call-five-timers just made the decision an order of magnitude easier.


Continue reading CQ WW 160

On Progress

I ran across this article on making progress. It seemed so accurate, I thought I’d put a link to it here. It does seem to apply to all facets of life, aina?

I’ve come to realize that side-walk superintending is one of mankind’s vices. But I like to think I’m learning how to stifle my own tendencies towards it.

12 VoltZ Not So Nominal

I suppose there is a technical reason for this to be true, but why do so many of the modern day ’12 volt’ radios actually require 13.8 volts to function?

I suppose their specifications all clearly state 13.8 volts+/-, but it sure would be nice if you could actually use the radio from an ordinary automobile car battery. I know it would sure would make life easier in a genuine emergency situation. Running the car just to maintain voltage is a waste of fuel. It sure would make things easier for quick and dirty portable operating too, and certainly be good for camping and Field Day.

I know there are radios out there that are tolerant of lower voltages. Elecraft comes immediately to mind. A couple of years back, I watched N4YDU belt out ten or so Field Day QSO’s on a TenTec Scout using a battery that was straining to supply 11 volts(ur rst 592 om…). The problem is, I didn’t realize it was a problem I should address until I already had the other radios. I have only myself to blame for not educating myself sooner. Yet another reason to go Elecraft.

As always “Age and guile beat youth and a bad haircut”(hat tip P.J. O’Rourke).


After mostly aborting an attempt to gin up interest in forming NAQP teams before the CW portion, I got interested again. I aborted my first attempt to get a few of the guys, mostly from the local PVRC chapter, when I found there seemed to be little interest and my own plans for the weekend were shifting. A last minute e-mail exchange put N4YDU and myself out there as ‘Team QLF’ for CW.

Then my power supply blew up during the CW portion. NT4D provided a loaner for SSB. Given a new lease on operating, a few e-mails to those showing interest previously in SSB teams soon had a core available to construct ‘TEAM VoxLox’, and after some rabble rousing a few late inquiries resulted in a partial second, ‘TEAM LoxVox’.


Continue reading NAQP SSB – TEAM VoxLox

Stew Perry – Mostly SWL

On a ‘better late than never’ note:

I made just a few QSO’s(only 33) in the Stew Perry contest, but it was interesting SWL’ing the run stations. I heard several EU stations on the K9AY that were inaudible on the transmit antenna. The noise on the transmit antenna was high enough to make using the K9AY on receive preferable.

Sometimes listening is more educational than transmitting, and I wasn’t being heard very well anyway.

My Power Supply

After a bit of internet digging, and a few helpful e-mails, I turned up references to the website of N0SS. Tom’s web site is a trove of good advice on a variety of things. One of those things is the Samlex 1223 switching power supply. It just so happens that the Yaesu FP-1023 is a re-branded Samlex(i.e., made for Yaesu by Samlex).

I have put together a separate page to document some of this power supply information. That page will be updated as new info rolls in. Enough said here for now.

NAQP CW Crash and Burn

Well. So much for my favorite contest this year. My power supply let all of the smoke out right at the beginning of the evening. I wound up with just over a hundred Q’s at 1900 local. Game over.

After an hour long break around 1730 local (pizza and a nice coffee), I found a spot on 40m and set off on a nice little run. Then ka-blewie. It didn’t take long to find the source of the problem. I thought about rolling the truck battery up and hooking it up to get through the contest. OK, I considered it for all of five seconds. I then decided to chalk it up as a learning experience and bag it for the night.


Continue reading NAQP CW Crash and Burn

Seeing Spots

Hmmm. It seems like the NASA guys predicting the ‘big-un’, Hathaway & Wilson, are sticking with their story(as recently as last month) even though the cycle 23 sunspot trough has been dragging on. We’ll see. Anyway, the ARRL version of the story is a good read, even if only for the “you are here” graphic of sunspot cycle 23.

related story –>

IOTA 2007 – N4A Draws Wood

The 2007 IOTA provisional scores have been posted and it looks like the N4A expedition to the South Core Banks did well in the low power category. The scores for low power expeditions shows that N4A (N4YDU & W4KAZ) placed 24th worldwide, 13th worldwide for mixed mode, and #1 in North America for low power expeditions.

The mast pictured in the photo on the right is 1.785 (45mm) military surplus mast obtained from K4TMC, The Mast Company. The N4A website has more photos of the gear used.


Continue reading IOTA 2007 – N4A Draws Wood