Radio W4KAZ

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Sweepstakes 2008

CW Sweeps is right around the corner. The big improvement in the KazShack is obviously the K2. This will be the first time I get to try it out in a really big way. But the real test I’m looking forward to with the K2 is ARRL 160m next month.

But this weekend is Sweeps. I’m expecting to put in a lot of time for this CW Sweeps. I’ll probably start out all S&P, and look for a run freq when the initial bedlam begins to calm. Sunday would be best spent running, if I can get into a run rhythm.

I’ve been moving in several directions lately, so I have not completed a couple of shack improvement projects. The bandpass filters are on hold until I get the parts, nor have I taken the time to put together the 40m and 80 coax stub filters, and my homebrew SO2R box is incomplete. Lots of projects on hold, and the dang leaves are starting to fall.

Unsurprisingly, the station itself is again in semi disarray, but that is fairly typical. 😮

I think I’m going to toy with SO2R in a minor way anyhow. In an otherwise idle hour, I did get a run of cat5 out to the shack, and have the “new” shack computer set up for using packet spots. I’ve always looked at using spots as “cheating”. That is not to imply that it is wrong to use the spots, I just feel like it […]

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2008 CQWW DX Score

Bruce posted the N1LN score to 3830. It looks like we have a possible fourth place showing. We logged2564 QSO’s, with 131 zone mults and 460 country mults. Total Score = 3,891,144.

It really was a blast. It is gonna take some work, but I think we can move up the food chain a bit. We should be competitive with WR4M.

2008 CQ WW DX @ N1LN

This was the first crack at operating N1LN for a DX contest and a 48 hour event. Bruce has the station set up for Multi-2, and that’s the way we operated. Murphy appeared before and during the contest. N1LN was in a car accident the week before, and NT4D was out recovering from an operation. Murphy took out one of the K3’s with an AGC problem at 5:00am Sunday morning.

Beyond that, everything seems to be working according to N1LN’s expectations. It was a lot of fun running stations, but I’ve decided the most difficult thing about running stations is the boredom when things are slow. I also need to figure out how to find good run frequencies. It was very difficult at times to get a run established, especially on 20m.

I’ve also decided the CW ops are right – SSB contesting stinks! (Well, sometimes.)

It is amazing to hear stations that are normally not heard on the low wire antennas. I saw a spot for an HS0 on 20m, and sure enough I was able to hear him. I also heard the huge pileup of west coast stations calling him. Since the contest was about rate, I tried only as couple of calls before moving on.

It was fun to be able to run EU stations on 40m just after their sunrise. I was called by a ZL, and I’m still not sure if it was off the rear of the beam or a long path gray-line contact. […]

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K2 Impressions – Part 7 – Adding 160m

Finally got around to the K2 to assemble and install the 160m module. I’m not sure why they chose to make 160m a separate add-in, unless it seemed superfluous for a QRP rig in its original form. So maybe it was added as an afterthought. Anyway, after a lot of procrastination on my part caused by too many things to do, I decided to squeeze out an hour or two here and there to give it a go.

The 160m board itself has only a handful of components. These went together easily enough, but I would recommend changing the instructions to install C6 after installing the 14 pin header. It was very difficult to solder the end pins on the header with C6 already in place. I may have spent more time on those two pins than on the rest of the board. Maybe it only seemed that way.

Before beginning, my only real concern was the mechanical dis-assembly of the bottom of the K2. That turned out to be less difficult than I anticipated, but it does require a bit of patience. Since I had not done the original assembly of the kit, I didn’t really know what to expect after reading the instructions on disassembling the heat sink. This was fairly tedious, but not as complicated as it first seemed. Someone who had assembled the kit from scratch would not have had a problem.

The project took about three hours from start to final tune-up. I split that […]

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Some Assembly Required

The shack is still in disarray but there is light at the end of the tunnel. The acorns are raining down like hail, so the leaves are not far behind. It is time to wrap up the shack re-assembly before leaf raking(and contesting!) season arrives in earnest. I need to keep the leaves from carpeting the grass, or else the small amount of grass will be croaked by the carpet of leaves.

The long outstanding antenna switch has been finished. I already had most of the parts ready. The remote switch and inside switch box have been assembled for quite a while. I finished the outside enclosure over the summer. During the last couple of weeks I put connectors on the control cables and ran them from the shack to the location chosen for the switch. One of the first really pretty fall days dropped in on Saturday so final assembly of all of the components got DONE! Sweeeet.

That same beautiful Saturday was perfect for performing maintenance on most of the antennas and their support ropes. Time to adjust the 20m and 40m dipoles. They were both too short, and resonant above the SSB segments. Both are now resonant just above the middle of the CW segments on their bands.

The 15m/10m antenna is a nested rectangular loop. It is the same size or length of wire as a normal quad loop, but instead of square, the vertical sides are just a bit less than 2 times the length […]

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Novice Nostalgia

This is a pass along from a list e-mail by W4ZV.

If you like hearing the recollections of folks from their novice days, here is a trove of stories.

THAT should be good for killing time.