Radio W4KAZ

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Gustav Radar Imagery

The local station(WWL) back home has a radar map centered over my hometown. I’ll get to see if the eye wall passes through the old stompin’ grounds. As the coast subsides, the flooding gets worse with every storm. I think Port Fourchon and Grand Isle are both in jeopardy of being cut off soon. An excellent time to be “from” Louisiana rather than “in” Louisiana.

Good luck y’all.

K2 Impressions – Part 6 – K2 vs K3

After spending some time operating the K3, I’ve been trying to decide how I liked it. Truthfully, I liked it a lot.

But I must also admit that I still feel like the K2 is a better fit for my own purposes.

Unfortunately, I haven’t done a side by side comparison, and all of my judgements are subjective and anecdotal rather than measured scientifically. But one does not operate a rig scientifically, one hunkers down and spins the dial, looking for the pearls amidst the flotsam and jetsam.

The K3 variable bandwidth and bandwidth shift features are outstanding. I really enjoyed operating the NAQP with the K3. Its receiver is every bit as good as anything else I’ve heard. But I think the K2 holds its own against big brother. Without a side by side A/B test, it seems the receive quality was very similar.

The K3 has many features the K2 lacks. It will have a true second receiver. There are also the RTTY and CW features. Etc., etc. Some of the ergonomics are better on the K3. But for my own uses I won’t normally need most of the additional features. The K2 receiver, with the DSP filters, is very close to the level of the K3. So, for my own part, an upgrade would not pay for itself.

None of that is really a knock on the K3. It is more an indication of how much I’m enjoying the K2. I just prefer the simplicity of the […]

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2008 NAQP SSB – M/2 as NC4KW @ N1LN

Many thanks to Bruce and Laurie for hosting the group. I know I had a great time operating their station.

For NAQP SSB I was part of that group, including N1LN, N1YXU, NT4D, KA1ARB and myself, W4KAZ. We operated Multi-2 from the N1LN station under the NC4KW call sign. Final score 195,880 with 1180 QSO’s and 166 mults before log checking.

Bruce let us show up a bit early to give us a few quick lessons on the station. This was the first time any of the group has guest op’ed at their location, so its going to take a few stabs to get all of the ducks in a row. Despite the new situations, everything seemed to go pretty well. Murphy refused to put in an appearance, despite the green ops. The easy station layout helped.

The equipment was all functioning as expected, and the antennas seem to play as well as I expected, i.e., much, much better than my few simple wire antennas strung out from the KazShack. We didn’t do a lot of jockeying the antennas, but it didn’t really seem necessary. Conditions were the least cooperative aspect of the weekend, as 10m and 15m did not open as we had hoped they might. The low band noise levels were high, as the storms seemed to be plopped right in our

At the outset, we started on 20m and 15m but the lack of any signs of life on 15m made that seem a futile waste […]

Continue reading 2008 NAQP SSB – M/2 as NC4KW @ N1LN

Zero, With a Mean of….

From todays K7RA propagation forecast:

“”Sunspot numbers for August 7 through 13 were 0, 0, 0, 0, 0, 0, and0 with a mean of 0.””


Whoop- tee -doo….

And odds are several months more of that excitement is sure to follow. Ick.

First Multi at N1LN/N1YXU

This Saturday is the first time I’ll get a chance to operate from the station at N1LN/N1YXU. We will operate using the call NC4KW. The operators will be N1LN, N1YXU, KA1ARB, NT4D and W4KAZ.

N1LN operated the CW NAQP as an SO2R. Conditions were not so good, and the WX accounted for unusually high noise levels in this area. It looks like we may have better WX over the next several days. That would sure help, because high noise on SSB is much more difficult than for CW.

I expect this will be a good shake-down operation for the guest ops. It will give us a chance to get accustomed to the set up over at Bruce & Laurie’s. Time to browse the K3 manual a bit.

I’m really looking forward to it.

2008 NAQP CW – August

This turned out a bit better than I expected, despite the pop-up T-storms in the area all afternoon.

I’m always a bit leery of the August NAQP’s. My first radio in the shack after re-licensing in 2000 wound up being zapped by a nearby lightning strike in the midst of NAQP in 2001. It turns out one of my neighbors had more three houses over had a lot more damage. We think it hit the utility pole in front of his house. It seemed to come into everyones house via the CATV lines. My CATV boxes were shot, and the CATV lines cross the shack where the antennas come in. But the radio was toasted via the connection to the computer. The radio’s CPU was shot.

Come to think, NAQP has been an expensive contest. I lost a power supply in January NAQP. Hmmm…

So the T-storms always give me cause to pause. The WX at 1800z wasn’t looking good, but I decided to give it a whirl. I checked 10m first, and there were signals. Hot Dawg! After three quick Q’s, There’s a loud static crash on the radio followed by a distant rumble of thunder. Plug Pulled PDQ.

THAT didn’t last long.

After a few hours but-not-in-chair, around 2030z a check of the local WX radar seemed to show the KazShack QTH would be in a hole between the scattered storms, so I hopped back on. After a short bit of S&P, I got in a […]

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IOTA 2008 – Final Damage

Update, Aug 1st 2008: New photos added to N4A website

The N4A trip with N4YDU and K4CZ was great. (Check out the N4A website for more photos, more to come soon.) Having K4CZ along made the set up a snap, and we had good weather too. Outstanding. The calm weather had the ocean calmed, and the water at the beach was postcard perfect all weekend. While checking in for our room, the ranger noted that the previous week’s tropical depression had washed lots of shells ashore. The conch shells near the campground had already been gathered, but the tide line was covered with all sizes of clam shells, some of which were five or six inches across. Hugh.

“Good” weather is relative. It was still hot, pushing 90ц, but the humidity was somewhat less than normal because of a cool front in the area. We were able to set up in relative comfort for July at the NC coast.Instead of suffering from near heat stroke, we were merely hot and sweaty.

The station set up went well enough. Propagation conditions did not really open to Europe very well, so most of our QSO’s were with domestic stations. The noise levels on 80m were high, and 80m wound up being almost entirely useless. 40m was similarly disappointing, with high noise to signal ratio’s.

K4CZ and I had a chuckle about Saturday evening. After a long day, with little sleep the previous evening, and then running stations for […]

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