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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.

Except for the abrupt end, things were going pretty good. I got off to a really shaky start, and was really fat fingering everything. NT4D and I moved through all of the bands right at the start of the contest, and I could scarcely type the same exchange correctly. But things settled down to my normal slow CW grind. I was able to set up shop on 20m and run at about 22WPM. That was pushing the upper bounds some, but I feel like it was starting to come along. The 20m dipole was just fine, I had a couple of EU stations check in.

The good: The 20m dipole was just fine since everyone else was limited to 100w. The 40m dipole too. I never made it down to 80m. My CW copy was slow to kick in, but started getting better as I plugged away. Had a nice mug of fresh ground coffee with dinner. 🙂

The Bad: Running at 20WPM is not too productive, and 30WPM still feels like a future goal. No backup power supply on hand(big problem). Had a nice mug of fresh ground coffee with dinner. 😮

The Ugly: Dead as a doorknob, the FP-1023 power supply. A charred carbon cinder sat in the space previously occupied by a capacitor across the output terminals. Looks like it must be an RF bypass, its too small to be anything else. Whatever its purpose, it failed as a dead short on the output terminals. “Interesting” construction technique, but I got the board out of the enclosure. Anybody know what value capacitor ‘C24’ might be on an FP-1023? Got a schematic?

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