Friday, October 23, 2015

Its time again! Another great operating stretch, 160m QSOs, More on the Flex6300 saga, QRP and a Blogger returns

Been awhile so probable time for some updates.

Doing a lot of radio again this past month and a half. 499 QSOs for Sept and OCT. 325 CW and 174 digital QSOs.

I have made it to SKCC Tx6. So less then 100 unique SKCC C/T/S contacts to get to Tx8. Then I can start working towards my S. For that you need 200 unique T/S SKCC QSOs. Which can be duplicate call signs of those I made for my T1-8, but new QSOs. So that one should go quickly. Even though it is limited to T and S, it shouldn't take that long. There are very few Cs out there compared to Ts and Ss.

Also I meet a nice young man on the SKCC Sked page. His name is Will and his call sign is W3WKV. Obviously he is SKCC member and has just gotten his S in record time and probable the youngest to do so. Look him up on QRZ, I think you will be impressed. I know I am.

Since I have a "do anything I want" radio now, I have been starting to do more QRP. I participated in the NAQCC sprint in October and did OK. I wound up third for region 1. Here is a link to the results page  NAQCC Oct sprint results

I have been working on my SKCC WAS. I have 49 WAS and 47 WAS-C I need HI, for both and IA and NM for WAS-C.

One thing to mention, I am chasing WAS and DXCC but not real hard. Except for the NM SKCC contact, I have never really went out of my way to get a QSO. If I hear someone on the air, I will try and chase them, but other then that, not much.

Even though my OCF dipole is only suppose to go down to 80m, I have had three 160m QSOs in the last month. I wonder what the antennas SWR is? I asked the question on the SKCC Facebook group. Got a variety of answers and comments to say the least.

The October WES went very well. I had 69 QSOs and I was 18th overall and 14th in the 100 Watts or less category.The only drawback was the bonus was based on how many different key manufacturers you could get. Well I don't know my key's manufacturer because it is a Navy flame proof key, which was made by several companies and the number is not visible on the key. So every time I had to spell out Navy flame proof. My hand was a little sore afterwards.

 I have such a beautiful radio and they have to put software in it!! On going trails an tribulations with my Flex-6300. It seems like bugs in software is like "Wack-A-Mole", you knock one down and another pops up.  Last time I report that my radio would crash sometimes when I changed bands. Well that has seem to have gone away. My new mole is it has developed Alzheimer's. It seems to forget my settings when switching bands or on power cycle. Not all settings, but some. Most notable the AGC circuit. Operating CW I do not like the AGC on, so I turn it off, so switching bands is a real nonsense because it turns the AGC back on. I wounder what new horror awaits me in the next release.

But as much as I complain, it is a wonderful radio. Switching bands is as easy as typing in a new frequency or a couple of mouse clicks. If you buy a Flex-6000 series, do buy the built in ATU. I think it is only a couple of hundred dollars but well worth it, especially the memory for the settings. So once you are tuned, it will remember the settings for the next time you go to that band.

Last time I said I was going to buy the FlexControl and I did. Unfortunately my computer has issues with USB serial devices. USB serial devices don't work on my computer and I have not been able to find a solution. I know the FlexControl works because I installed on a different computer running Windows 10 and it worked fine. So I thought why don't I upgrade my computer to Windows 10?! No such luck. It complains my builtin graphics card is not compatible with Windows 10 and I have to buy a new computer. Well that ain't happening!! So I have a nice FlexControl waiting for a new computer. RSN!!

Hotel Tango November Blog:
 Is back! After a year and half of no post, Kate has started up again. She is retired now and has time to do things she just couldn't do while she was working. She is very much into NTS and was usually the source of a lot of the traffic we use to get when I was working the 2m nets in MA.

She has some real good info on wave propagation, especially for the lower HF bands. Good reading and informative. Please visit her blog here : Hotel Tango November Blog

NAQCC Anniversary Event:
 Now that I have a Radio that has a decent receiver and can adjust the power level to QRP levels, I am participating in more QRP activities. The NAQCC anniversary event was one such event. There were 10 N#A station around the country working QRP, one in each region. I was able to get 9 out of the 10, only region 6 was missing. Most I worked QRP but a couple I worked 60 Watts because I wasn't sure I would get them. It was fun hunting them down!

BTW I used both the NAQCC spotter page and the RBN web page. There are people that don't like using spots but I say, use what is available. You can only do so much by searching and looking at a panadapter.

Well I better end this here or I will never finish it

73 Dave KB1WOD

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