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 takes a lot of fun out of operating for me. So it’s actually “cheating myself”. Kinda like cheating at solitare. Anyway, I’m going to be class U, and use the spots for both Sweeps this year. Just because….. I’m gonna take one for the club.

But the SO2R will help keep me less bored while trying to run stations. As SOLP combined with a rather low CW speed of 20-22 wpm, the run rates are never very high. There should be plenty of time to click spots with the other radio. I expect to put the high band antennas on the FT-920, and 40m down on the K2. I have filtering for 40m through 10m, so I should be able to S&P up for most of the day on Sunday while trying to run on 20m or 40m. On 80m I can use the rx antennas, so I should be okay down there too.

The plan is to also have a couple of alternate antennas for 20m and 40m. On 20m I have an end fed half wave. For 40m I’m eyeing up a well sited tree for a 20 foot NVIS dipole for N/S. The permanent 40m dipole does well to Europe and the western US, but the change in orientation on 40m caused my coverage between New England and Illinois to decrease. Not ideal for Sweeps from here in NC, so the NVIS should be just the ticket to fill that void.

That last will be a last-minute-Saturday-morning project. Just to set the mood. 😮

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