My new QSL card holders arrived earlier in the week and first in the sleeve is VK9DNX, Norfolk Island. I'm still waiting on VP6DX and TX5C. In the meantime, the price tag on the QSL card holders? Nearly five dollars a piece. When will VP6DX and TX5C arrive?
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I can say there is no secret to downloading HamSphere. My own experience with the software might suggest placing the mouse over the PTT then right click and hold. Additionally, one may keep in mind that HamSphere is virtual radio using Voice IP (VoIP), and latency might be a problem. However, the program is supposed to simulate ionospheric conditions, according to the developer.
Likewise, HamSphere requires 128kbit/s Internet up/down; microphone and speakers; NAT firewall compatible TCP/UDP; Runs in Windows, Mac or Linux.
73 from the shack.
Keith, W4KAZ said "...Another rig that is converging down to your price level is the TenTec Omni VI."
Read comment here. A very good point and well taken. There are perhaps hundreds of superb transceivers with lots of life left in their finals. Ten-Tec reconditions their own equipment in the factory for resale as used gear. Additionally, a reconditioned Ten-Tec transceiver is sold with a "...10 day risk-free money back guarantee (customer pays shipping both ways) and a 30 day parts and labor warranty." I need to contact Ten-Tec and request their current demo/used gear listing. Thanks Keith for pointing me in this direction. 73 OM.
One never knows until the results are out and I scored my first top-ten finish within Single-op low power CW category. What a thrill that's 50-watts into a doublet at 30-feet supported by a fiberglass push-up. Something interesting is happening within RadioSport and it's called low-power.
The 7th Call Area QSO Party is a lot of ham radio fun. I remember those monster signals from Arizona and Nevada. Pulling out QSOs in the thick of 40-meter noise and having a blast on 20-meter CW where the gladiators of RadioSport compete. Then, after the electrons settle and the ionosphere returns to ham radio normal, one must follow-up.
Processing the log and submitting the log is just as important as the contest itself. I like beating the deadline and watching those log numbers roll. And if a contest breaks a log submitted record that's bonus as well.
In the meantime, take a look at the statistics, and discover that low-power operators numbered 65 versus 36 high-powered this year. CW QSOs outnumbered SSB QSOs except for 20-meters. Points favored a CW QSO at 3 whereas a SSB QSO garnered two. The game is in the numbers and CW lead the way.
Keep in mind this weekend is the All Asian DX Contest and another opportunity at having a lot of ham radio fun.
Contest time this weekend and a few helpful terms from The ARRL Extra Class License Manual (2007).
- Gray-line propagation is north-south enhancement occurring at gray line and D layer absorption decreases at sunset or not yet built up around sunrise. (p 2-29)
- Gray line a transitional band between daylight and darkness. (p 2-29)
- K index updated every three hours at Boulder, Colorado and a rising value indicates disturbed conditions while a falling value suggests improving conditions. (p 2-29)
- Terminator a band around the globe separating day from night. (p 2-29)
A few terms to keep in mind this weekend.
Reference: Wolfgang L, Reed D, and Carman J (2007). [8th ed.] Extra Class License Manual. ARRL-The national association for amateur radio. Newington, Ct. 06111. (p 2-29)
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Thanks Ed for an excellent comment regarding Elecraft's K2 as more than an entry-level transceiver with a near entry-level price tag. According to Elecraft, the K2 is straight forward kit building without surface mount assembly, given I do not have a test bench that's a great fit. And it meets my goal of moving to the next level in ham radio. That is, getting more out of and from our avocation. I want to learn and that's my geek calling out.
Likewise, one can use a digital multi-meter to align the K2, an affordable tool and a necessary one for any operator. Any recommendations on digital multi-meters for the shack?
In the meantime, I'm looking forward to the All Asian DX Contest [CW] contest this weekend and learning a little more from my FT100 as well. Thanks again for the great comment.
I'm creating notes on my blog in preparation for the Extra Class examination. Additionally, I want to learn about receiver performance before making a financial decision on a Transceiver For Less Than $1000. A good place to start is the Extra Class License Manual [8th ed.] authored by the American Radio Relay League.
"It's What's Up Front That Counts." (p 4-17)
- When thinking about a receiver think about its front end.
- Radio frequency (RF) is amplified in the receiver's front end before conversion to intermediate frequency (IF) according to the license manual.
Basic Receiver Specifications.
- Think sensitivity or minimum discernible signal (MDS).
- MDS is the smallest, detectable input-signal level and MDS sensitivity relies on two variables--noise figure and bandwidth.
- MDS has another name and it's receiver noise floor.
- Conversely, look for low noise floor figures when researching because low noise floor figures are most desirable.
Ever hear of Signal-to-noise (S/N) ratio?
- S/N is often expressed in decibels (dB).
- Noise figure relates to S/N because the definition of S/N is signal power divided by noise power according to the manual.
- I'm thinking of this as the funnel--what is the "theoretical noise power at the input of an ideal receiver with an input-filter bandwidth of 1 hertz...?" (p 4-18)
- The answer is -174 dBm as the lowest noise floor a receiver can possess.
- Now enter the funnel--the greater the input-filter bandwidth the greater receiver noise.
- When researching receiver specifications think about this one according to the manual, "The receiver noise figure degrades the noise floor." (p 4-18)
- This BIG ONE for me--the higher the receiver's noise figure then more power is needed to be heard. Quiet. Think Quiet.
I'm thinking receiver front end, minimum discernible signal, the greater the bandwidth the greater the noise, and a big noise figure means more power to be heard. Next? Selectivity.
73 from the shack.
Wolfgang, Reed, and Carman (2007). [8th ed.] Extra Class License Manual. ARRL-The national association for amateur radio. Newington, Ct. 06111. (pp 4-17, 18)