I’m happy to say that I’m back in the air at least on VHF/UHF.  Things are a little makeshift (The antenna is vip-tied in a tree) but at least I am on the air.

145.350 (WIldflower Mtn)

442.150 (Mingus Mtn)

October 20, 2017
Categories : Stuff

My house in Phoenix is now officially sold and the proceeds are in my bank account.  The closing/escrow process on my new home in Mayer, Az is moving along and I expect to be handed the keys in about 2 weeks.

The vague outlines of the new ham station are taking place:

  • My tried and true Kenwood TS-590sand Hy-Gain AV-640 vertical for HF.
  • Yaesu FT-8800R and Diamond X200A for CHF/UHF
  • My Kenwood DM-710 will get moved to my car to help me through the commutes down the hill to Phoenix.

I’m most likely going to build a bench like the one I had 10 years ago.  I used the Simpson Rigid Tie Connectors to create a super-strong bench.

September 16, 2017
Categories : Station wiring

Heathkit has just announced a new ket: a rather sleek and sophisticated power meter. I want it.

There was a time when everything in my ham shack was Heathkit. My hf rig was an old tired HW-100, and I learned a lot about electronics keeping it running.  Sometimes I went to the local Heathkit store and bought something just because I wanted to build another kit.

Now, as I plan my move to a new QTH and envision setting up my ham station there, I want this power meter to be a part of it.

July 27, 2017
Categories : Dreamin

I’m preparing for a move. I’m 64 years old. My Sweet Lady Wife is 62. Time to downsize from this two-story 2200 sq ft house into something single story and smaller.

We’re planning to move to the Mayer, AZ area. (Actually Cordes Lakes) I’ve done my research. No HOA. No antenna restrictions in the CC&Rs. I’m looking forward to having a real antenna for the first time in 10 years.

One of the two places we are looking at is on half an acre and would certainly allow for a tower, but for now I’m planning on putting up a Hy-Gain AV-640 vertical.

I’ll be on the air from the new QTH in 2-3 months.

July 23, 2017
Categories : Stuff

I’m a Mac user and have been using Aether for logging my contacts for several years.  I love aether.  It’s nice and clean and for the most part is very intuitive.

The trouble however started when I got my vanity call.  Aether does not know how to handle the fact that contacts prior to date XXX were made using my old call (WB7OBG) and subsequent contacts were made using my new call, K7RPM.  The only workaround I came up with was have two log files. Also, Aether seems to be unable to connect to QRZ.com for callbook access.  I give it my callsign and password and it says “Login Failed”.  I’ve manually logged in to QRZ.com with no problems.  Multiple callsigns (and certificates) is also problematic when interfacing with LotW.

A couple of days ago my frustration level was to the point I was ready to drive a marlin spike through my monitor.  I decided to look at alternatives.

So far, MacLoggerDX seems to work pretty well. The ‘two callsigns’ problem is solved with the ‘Operator’ field. MacLoggerDx’s integration with LotW is a little looser:

“MacLoggerDX supports LoTW and eQSL with Ham standard ADIF files. QSO’s can be exported by ADIF, signed (using the ARRL supplied applications) and uploaded to LoTW. MacLoggerDX also uses LoTW and eQSL ADIF confirmation files to update the QSL received status of your logged QSOs”

MacLoggerDX also seems to have no problem connecting to my Kenwood TS-590s

73’s

Dave

October 17, 2016
Categories : Stuff

I ordered a CrankIR today.  I ordered the full 80M version even though I’ll probably never operate 80M with it.

My main motivation for the CrankIR is day trips up into northern Arizona.  My Sweet Lady Wife loves to get out of the PHoenix heat in the summer.  In the fall she loves to get up into the pines and see the fall colors.  I figure that I can haul and antenna, a battery, and the TS-590 up north, operate or a few hours, and meet her needs as well.

I have a second motivation (scheming here).  I live in an HOA with antenna restrictions. But I can have a flagpole!  I have the spot picked out for the ‘flagpole’.  As a test I’ll set up the CrankIR on that spot and see how it performs.  Mostly I want to make sure that when I operate I don’t make the TV go crazy (or my neighbors’ TVs go crazy).

September 21, 2016
Categories : Antennas

I’ve started making plans for some winter antenna projects. Of course, I’m in Phoenix Arizona, so our definition of winter is “The temperature allows for outdoor activities.”

  1. Get the raingutter antenna working again.
  2. Use the long narrow strip of vacand land behind my house to erect a beverage receiving antenna.
  3. Erect an end-fed 17M dipole anenna vertically-oriented in the tree in the back yard.

I’m also designing a shortened 40M vertical that I can hang from the tree but I don’t know if I wil get that far.

July 25, 2016
Categories : Antennas

k1n

June 6, 2015
Categories : Uncategorized

Please indulge me while I walk on air for a bit.  I just finished a contact with K1N, the Navassa DXpedition.

Navassa Island is on the air for the first time in 22 years and won’t be back on the air for at least another ten.  I was determined to bag this one, even with my very modest station:

Kenwood TS-590S
100W
Attic dipole

I figured that 10M would be my best bet.  And today little ol’ me did it.

I want to thank my fellow members of the Central Arizona DX Association. Without their help and encouragement it would not have happened.

February 11, 2015
Categories : Dreamin

The K1N Navassa expedition is going one and I’m bound and determined to put them in my logbook.

I’m just a little 100W ‘wires in the attic’ station so some scheming is in order.

I’m figuring that 10M RTTY later in the week when all the big boys already have their contact will be my best shot.

I’ve used FLDigi for PSK31 but not for RTTY so today I configured it for RTTY and made my first RTTY contact with a ham in Oregon.

February 7, 2015
Categories : Digital Modes