May Journal

May 28th:  I got my LOTW postcard in the mail with my password.  I logged into the lotw website and entered my callsign and password.  Now we wait again.  This time for a certificate in the mail.  Snail mail is alive and well in 2018.

May 28th:  I moved my signalink over to my FT-450d and have been having a devil of a time getting it to play nice.  I think it is okay now, but I need to make a few contacts and get feedback on how I am doing.  For some reason my meter on the 450 isnt registering transmit values – so I can’t see if I am over driving since I cannot see what the ALC reading is.  I scoured the 450d manual but was not able to find anything yet.  yet.  Sooo many settings between the signalink, the radio, the PC…  Ah.. maybe I need an FT-991 for the easy button on digital?

May 26th:  I got my Jackite pole in the mail and decided to fit it up for easy use while out at the park.  I decided to simply use a PVC sleeve and some eye hooks, along with a steel stake to turn out a solution.  Essentially I can stick the stake into the ground (we are usually on grass) and then can use paracord to guy the PVC sleeve to 4 small stakes.  Its probably overbuilt, but it was pretty easy to pull off.  We’ll test it at the park in a week or so…


May 22nd:  Well I finally sat down and signed up for Logbook of the World.  Not sure why I hadn’t done this yet, but since I took the plunge with the ACLog software the timing was right to play with the big boys and do some real logging.  I installed the TQSL software and  now awaiting my email from AARL with my password and callsign certificate so I can continue the process.

May 20th:  Woke up this morning thinking (for some reason) that I need to take a road trip down to the Titan Missile Museum and operate the discone antenna before it gets too hot this summer…

May 18th:  At the EVQRP “Gathering of the Willing” yesterday, Jay/N1RWY presented the N7Q team with custom made awards for our 1st place win at Winter Field Day 2018.  These are very cool, and I promptly mounted them on the wall in the shack.  We have a great group.  Looking forward to the next contest!


May 12th:  Well the buddipole 2 element yagi parts arrived just in time to get on the 6m sprint (an hour late).  I assembled them per the handy pdf available from Buddipole, which took about 10 minutes.  Another 10 minutes of finagling on the roof and I was on the air.  Within 2min made a contact with Rick/W9JRF and another with K1IEB over in Mesa. The low and behold, one of the brand new hams I met at the EVQRP Gathering of the Willing, KI7VGZ/Remington showed up for a nice QSO.  After that things were a bit quiet.  But I am still on the band looking to do some hunt and pounce.  More on how this went tomorrow.

May 11th:  I am thinking that teaming up and doing a portable station for the Arizona QSO party in October (from an obscure hard to get county) would be allot of fun.  I’ve always been the “out of state” station trying to get the counties in the other state QSO parties.  Would be a fun (and different experience I think) to operate this one.  note to self – ping the other EVQRP guys to make sure the bug is in their ear and that we get the dates on the calendar and the location chosen.

May 11th:  Found some time today between meetings to (continue to) troubleshoot why my little RTL-SDR dongle and SDR software wont let me get good recordings.  Everything works, but the recordings always sound like chipmunks.  Googling has lead me to think its a Windows problem – which is a problem in and of itself because I prefer using my macbook and my chromebox (which I am on now) over Windows.  I have a dedicated Windows laptop for SDR, my signalink and doing psk31, and of course for using ACLog.  Everything works fine, but boy do I dislike figuring out Windows anomolies.  This particular problem of being able to record via the SDR, is so I can record our 2m simplex nets and other nets.  Not super critical, but i’d like to use the native capability in the SDR dongle.  I may punt and go about it a different way, but not quite yet…


May 11th:  Still waiting for my 2 element 6m Yagi parts from Buddipole I ordered on Friday.  Was hoping to have these parts in time for the 50mhz Spring Sprint on the 12th…  cutting it close…  I dont think it will be very successful to participate in the contest from the Windom OCF.  Hurry up USPS!  Not sure why it would go from Portland to Memphis before it makes it to Phoenix?  Arg

May 10th:  Happy Birthday to me!  I bought myself a power meter on Amazon.  More significantly, I partnered with Troy/K7TJK, Christi/KG7NAD, and Rick/W9JRF (also Ron/KF7RWE) to present “How contesting and EMCOM overlap” at the QC Emergency Communications Group weekly club meeting.  The coolest part was we brought ALOT of gear to the meeting.  Radios from HTs to the big dog 3000 and all in between.  We also had antennas from mag mounts, to buddipoles in all sorts of configs, a 6m 3 element yagi, and a satellite rig.  The turn out of attendees was “okay” but was disappointing that most of the new Hams couldnt make the meeting.  Cant win them all, but it is what it is and we motor on.  We proved we could get together in a pinch and assemble and present good content.  Troy video’ed it so maybe that can be reused.

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