October 30th – Worked Ducie Island on FT8 – It had been awhile since I was tinkering with FT8, but since there was opportunity to work the rare DX of Ducie Island, I dusted off the digital settings and was able to make the rare contact on both 20m and 17m – thanks to some solid spotting by my EVQRP friends 🙂
October 27th – Hamfest, portable park operations, and CQ WW contest – Today was a pretty fun day in Ham radio. It started out with a road trip to the Maricopa Hamfest (a.ka. https://www.copafest.org/ ) and then continued with setting up portable radio gear in the park to log some contacts for the CQ World Wide Contest. Both of these two events turned out to be highly successful for fellowship, but not very successful otherwise. The hamfest was quite small and I only picked up a few jumper cables, and then at the park doing portable operations, I raised my OCF dipole but forgot to connect the banana plugs. So there I was listening to great signals across 20m calling CQ, but nobody could hear me :(. All my fault as user error. I didnt realize it till I was taking down the OCF from the Jackite pole and did a forehead slap at my stupidity.
The day did end on a cool run of contacts from the home qth however. At 5pm (UTC0), I sat down at my station and had a sweet run of contacts for the contest and picked up 3 new countries in the log. It was 52 minutes of awesome fun. Check out a snip from ACLog.
October 14 – AZ QSO Party – This past weekend was the QSO party. Posted details here: http://kg7kwg.us/817-2/
October 2 – SDR troubleshooting & MFJ T/R Switch
Now that everything is wired up and connected according to the plan that Jay/N1RWY and I collaborated on, and now that I have had some time to poke at the configuration – I ran into an issue where the AM carrier wasn’t activating the tuner meter and allowing me t tune. Turns out it was either a bad port on the tuner (I have to test) or more likely one of the coax jumper cables was faulty. At any rate, everything is working well now and the T/R switch is firing using the Ft-990 amplifier PTT cable when I key up. At first the “clank” of the relay switching when I key up and let go seemed a bit obnoxious, but after a couple of days now I don’t even notice it now. Sure is nice to “see the band activity” and hone in where I want to listen. I still have a bunch to learn in the SDRuno software, but I like it better than HDSDR so I am going to stick with it. There are a TON of SDRuno and SDRPlay docs and videos to tap into for learning, so its just really about finding the time.