Radio W4KAZ

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


The game plan was to try to run stateside on 40m and 80m, and cherry pick DX and mults during the day. This was going to be a “test” ‘test. That turned out to be a ‘Good Thing’. I wasn’t expecting much, since conditions had been so poor over the past few months. But it became a “Murphy visits” weekend right at the start.

Excluding Murphy, conditions appeared to have improved slightly from the mid winter. 20m openings into Europe actually allowed a few QSO’s for the 100w-inna-dipole set-up I have. I found it interesting that I worked stations in EU, South America, and three separate Hawaii stations back to back on 20m around 1630z on Sunday. It is totally anecdotal, but I see it as a sign conditions were slightly better this weekend than for ARRL DX SSB. I sure hope it begins a trend for the fall season.

There was also a bit of a circuit into South America on 15m. The conditions Sunday at mid-day seemed a bit better than on Saturday. Stations that were booming were easy to work on one call. There were a few QSO’s that never made it, as QSB with less strong stations seemed to be wiping me out on their end.

The elderly laptop is now officially a liability. The low quality of the sound card makes the use of recorded ‘.wav’ files a problem. This needs testing with a better computer/sound card combination.

The Good: Worked more DX than I expected on 20m. The 20m antenna seems to be a keeper. The 40m antenna was hearing well also, but with only 100w, its tough on the DX ears. (Sorry guys.) 15m was split between the rectangular loop facing SSE, and the 40m dipole, more or less favoring NNE to NE. Needed the rectangle to work Brazil this weekend. Three back-to-back Hawaii QSO’s on 20m, on the first call for each.

The Bad: The 80m dipole was dead on Friday night. This was a problem since the game plan was to operate with an emphasis on working domestic 1-point Q’s. With no 80m antenna, Friday night was lost. Too tired to deal with a system de-bug Friday, got it done Saturday AM. Still not enough sunspot activity…..

The UGLY: The 80m problem turned out to be a problem with a bad jumper. At first glance, it looked like the shell was loose, and it was a simple cold soldered joint in the shell. (I had bought the jumpers for cheap from a known hamfest vendor, NOT my own work. Turns out-not so good a deal after all, huh?) After heating up the iron and flowing the solder, everything seemed okay….until suddenly, after about an hour of use on 80m, it wasn’t okay AGAIN. So I pitched the jumper on the”needs work-probably trash” pile. Intermittent problem solved.

Things TuDu: 1) Need to make more jumpers. 2) Is dead jumper salvageable? 3) dig a decent sound card from the ‘ex-computer’ pile, and try out in the 400mhz pentium box for voice keying.

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