First the shack update. The shack walls are up and the taping is progressing. No I am not doing any of the work. I really don't enjoy that type of work and when I do the work, I don't like how it comes out. Maybe by this time next month it will be done. They will probable have to wait until next spring to finish the outside. Too much snow on the ground right now and they wouldn't be able to paint anyways. When the shack is done, I will post some pictures.
In the mean time, my station is setup in the basement. Doesn't really work all that well. At the moment I am only working 15 and 10 meters. If I try 40 or 20 I get way too much RFI into everything. I think mainly because of lack to grounding. Basically, there is none!
I have a fresh air ex-changer in the basement and when I key up on 20 meters, the fan motor in the ex-changer starts to run faster and faster! So I don't use 40 or 20 meters right now.
|This is my temporary station.|
So I decided I wanted to try a semi-automatic mechanical bug. So I bought a Speed-X off of eBay. It works OK but the dits are too fast for me. I was thinking of buying a second weight to slow it down. My other option is to add a length of rod to the end and move the weight further out. I have also seen a swing arm device that you can attach to the weight arm, Interesting but I don't know if it will slow it down enough. Forgot how much I spend for this. I think it was $50.00 total. Needs a bath though HIHI!
Since I am limiting myself to only 15 and 10 meters, I have been doing a lot of JT65 HF mode. Interesting mode to say the least, basically it is "Hi and Bye". No real rag chew. But sometimes that's OK. I won't get into any discussion about "The True Sprite Of Amateur Radio!" or the purity of one mode versus another. It is all just good fun and if you learn something along the way, well great!
|My E. F. Johnson Speed-X key.|
I tried several different JT65 programs and settled on jt65-hf-hb9hqx-edition. To me it had more bells and whistles then other programs. A lot more information in the display area and semi-automatic. which means you have to press a few buttons now and then. and it works the serial port PTT, which some of the other programs did not do. It also has the clock sync build in which is a great connivance.
This mode allowed me to get my first Japan QSOs, so I am happy with it.
I also have two 10 meter CW QSOs. I did not work any 10 meters when I was in Wakefield, because I didn't bother to put up an antenna. Oh well!!
Since I moved, I had to changed my QTH for both LoTW and eQSL.cc. The problem was, I forgot to do it and starting uploading QSOs with the wrong QTH. It took awhile and a few emails to get the information correct. but not to painful. For eQSL.cc, I had a little trouble figuring out how to combine the two logs for the awards. It would be a shame to lose all those QSLs that I had with the other QTH. There is still an issues with LoTW on this, but I get it resolved.
|JT65 software running on my computer.|