Radio W4KAZ

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ARRL DX SSB 2010 – Who Is The Competition

This year N1LN has been able to find enough operators to be able to host a M/2 effort for the ARRL DX SSB contest. Â I am fortunate enough to be part of the SSB team this year, and I’m excited about the opportunity. Â This is a great DX contest, as the DX stations are seeking to work the US stations. Â If we are fortunate enough to have good operating conditions, it should be a blast. Â Good 15m or even a chance 10m opening would just make everything better. If the conditions are anything like this past weekends’ DX CW, we are going to have a great contest and a lot of fun operating.

Looking at the 2009 results, it appears we have a real shot at creating ripples in the M/2 pond. Â For 2009 the top 10 in the W/VE M/2 class were:

1 WE3C 6,019,992 4,167 484 EPA 2 N3RS 4,507,461 3,461 441 EPA 3 W4RM 3,431,106 2,857 406 VA 4 K8AZ 2,759,328 2,308 402 OH 5 NR4M 2,565,171 2,170 399 VA 6 KB1H 2,518,431 2,191 391 CT 7 NE3F 1,984,140 1,861 365 EPA 8 K0TV 1,793,412 1,623 372 NH 9 W5WMU 1,654,044 1,459 388 LA 10 NK7U 1,312,464 1,491 296 OR

Operating during the CQ WW SSB contest, we managed just over 3000 QSO’s. In better conditions, it is likely we can do better than that. But so will everyone else.

After looking at the descriptions of some of the other stations[see links […]

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2010 ARRL DX CW – What A Difference A Few Sunspots Make

The propagation conditions were better to EU than its been for quite a long while. That made the contest a lot more enjoyable than the DX contests have been over the past few years from here in the “cheap seats”[low power into low dipoles]. I’m sure the scores at the big stations will reflect the changes.

For my own part it went quite well-even with a small station

In the week before the contest, conditions were sounding good, with good openings on 15m and 20m. There was no real plan to put in a heavy effort here, but instead to have fun and get in some CW practice. Check. Mission accomplished.

Overall, with conditions so much better it was easy to stay in the chair longer than planned. 15m opened early on both days, just after local sunrise. 20m was hot in the early afternoon, and 40m and 80m both opened to Europe earlier than I usually notice. There were even a few QSO’s on the edges from 160m and 10m. The 160m Q’s were early in the evening, when I was hearing a few EU stations, but they weren’t hearing the dulcet tones emanating from the Kazshack. The 10m QSO’s were very fluttery, with lots of QSB, but worth chasing anyway.

The operating plan quickly morphed from “Search and Pounce” into finding a place to try to run. The original idea was to operate “unlimited” and play “S&P2R”. The network connection never got connected after tuning around a bit […]

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New BlogBox

Surfing over to the Dell Outlet last week resulted in a moment of weakness. There were several bargain buys on Inspiron 537’s, 545’s, and 546’s. I settled on a nice Inspiron 545s, boasting 4gig of ram, 64 bit install of Windows 7, and a Dual Core Intel CPU. No extra “flufware” was installed on the system by the folks in Austin. The 545s is a low profile slimline system, so there not much room to add junk into it later, but at the Outlet price it solved an itch that has been begging to be scratched for a couple of years.

New Hotness.

After almost 10 years, the old Dimension 4300 is really dragging on normal day-to-day usages. So it is well past time where it should be put to pasture. It runs Ubuntu Linux well enough, but I have a lot of windows applications I use frequently, so XP has been king. The 4300 has a 1.6Ghz P4, but it is memory constrained at 512Mb max. PC133 memory(its that old). XP runs a lot of things well enough despite the system constraints, but is hard pressed to run the modern antivirus/firewall packages and be able to run a modern internet browser with all of todays’ superfluous and gratuitous visual content. Bloated OS, bloated security, bloated browsers, bloated web content. Itty bitty memory. Not conducive to a good user experience.

Old-n Busted.

So the Dimension 4300 is going to be a great file server, Linux experimentation platform, and all around […]

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MyCrowFonie Maybe?

The idea of a wireless headset that can be used for contesting is one that I have discussed with several folks over time. Â Kicking around ideas, none of the Bluetooth sets seemed suitable. Â Battery life and charging options with most Bluetooth headsets seem too limited for use in a contest setting.

So, where might something more suitable be found?

It would appear that the online gamerz have a similar need, and at least one vendor is going to scratch their itch. Â Creative Labs has a headset being marketed to the “WoW” crowd*. It is called the “Creative Sound Blaster Wireless WoW Headset”. Â The “Tom’s Hardware” computer site has a short review.

The review indicates it is a comfortable headset, uses USB for computer interface/charging, and is 2.4Ghz wireless technology rather than Bluetooth. Â The Creative spec sheet shows a 112db SPL in the cans, and there is a volume control on the headset itself. Â It would probably make an ideal wireless set for the contest operator – except for the $160USD price tag(listed$159 @TigerDirect). Â But these gaming headsets have a tendency to drop in price over time, and if another vendor follows suit that price will likely drop.

I’m assuming that many “WoW” Â gamers remain attached to their entertainment nearly as long as a contest operator keeps his Butt.In.Chair. The features description indicates the headset can operate while attached to the USB charger. Â It should be a trivial hack for a […]

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Hell Done Froze Ova

The Who Dats rejoice. Â Bag Heads no mo’. [at least until August]

….Billy Kilmer….Tom “Gut” Dempsey…Archie Manning….Danny Abramowicz….Ricky Jackson……Sam Mills….Bob-bey…..Fears-Stram-Phillips-Mora-Ditka-Haslett-Payton….vs.Rams_vs.49’rs_vs.Falcons……Campbell-Rogers-Hilliard-Gajan…,,Superfoot, Morten Anderson…..Lots of interesting players, and interesting moments. Â And all too many moments best forgotten.

And after only 43 years, an entire year of highlights all in the same year.

Home Sweet Home…..

Bo-Leeve Dat….

Front pages…..

New Blog Theme

After a few weeks of off-and-on dorking around with themes for the Cape Lookout Expeditions website, I think I finally found one I really like. So its going to turn up here soon too.Â

Right now the hold-ups are desired customizations to the theme. Unless I find a widget closer to what I’d like to see, getting the sidebars to display links ordered the way I’d like them is problematic.Â

I like the expedition photo banners, but there are a lot of shots I can add from around the KazShack.