Photograph 1 re-purposed garden fence supporting 20 and 15m quarter wave radials.
Photograph 2 illustrates my ugly choke in addition PL259 connectors are grounded against radial plate. Hardware needed to improve connector to ground plate interface.
Photograph 3 taken from the ground plate facing toward the northeast as seen from antenna lab.
I deployed both antenna systems for an S-unit comparison against WWV and WWVH signals. Surprisingly, the difference between the vertical and doublet, was an S-unit. The ridge line running north and south may explain less than optimal RX performance. Likewise, given noise polarization, both antenna systems are relatively quiet.
I'm experimenting with CW pitch this weekend with a 700 hertz tone instead of five hundred. I listened to K6MI's mp3 file recorded during Sweepstakes CW for several minutes. My signal pitch was low unlike other competing signals whose pitch was high.
My goal is straightforward that is have a lot of ham radio fun and work lots of DX this weekend. Best results to everyone participating in the event!
Preparation is nine-tenths sweat and the remainder? Practice. Practice. Practice.
Sweepstakes 2009 was a teaching year in terms of station preparation and operating behind a microphone. I did not anticipate a dismal CW effort however watching N1MM 10-minute rate meter peaking at 170 during our multi-operator effort was encouraging; there is another level to RadioSport beyond the condo contest station.
Giving up did not enter my goal equation instead I focused on re-building and continuous improvement.
I purchased an Acer Aspire 5532-5535 notebook which interfaces with my Yaesu FT100 transceiver. Its price was budget friendly and its specifications are within the scope of my operating needs for example; the processor is an AMD Athlon 64 processor with a 1.6 GHz clock, 3 giga byte of memory, and Windows 7 operating system.
I can grow into the notebook for three or more years at best.
Additionally, I downloaded VOACAP as my propagation prediction program, because it offers an opportunity to learn in greater detail. The best propagation tool for learning is K9LA's Amateur Radio Propagation website; Karl offers 1.) Basic concepts, 2.) General, and, 3.) Tutorials for entry-level RadioSport operators. Additionally, one can download VOACAP and follow K9LA's how-to instructions in his tutorial section.
Propagation and antenna system(s) are inseparable. I recommend pushing yourself and learn how propagation interacts with our radio spectrum -- go for the difficult. I followed K9LA's Using VOACAP tutorial yesterday evening with positive results predicting maximum usable frequency between Shell Beach and Japan.
Budget and thrifty like propagation and antenna system(s) are inseparable.
I re-purposed garden fencing because I cannot bury the radials for my 3-band trapped vertical. Our adobe soil is like cement until the rains arrive. I'm learning from the spirit of RadioSport not to settle for just-good-enough. I had a just-good-enough signal going into Sweepstakes CW, now, I want a quality signal; whatever one's circumstances just-good-enough is not enough anymore.
What seems like an impossible situation is not necessarily one's circumstance at the time.
Improvement is a continuous process, learning is fun, and RadioSport spirit is greater than Murphy sipping corn whiskey on a bar stool at the Last Chance saloon.
73 from the shackadelic on the beach.
- W6NF | 286 | 65 Mults | 12hrs44mins | 37,180 Points [NCCC].
- N0UNL (WD0BGZ) | 1252 | 77 Mults | 21hrs | 192,808 Points.
- K2CC | 469 | 80 Mults | 24hrs | 75,040 Points.
- N9GTC (WW9R) | 253 | 66 Mults | 3hrs | 33,396 Points. [SMC].
- N4PN | 1430 | 80 Mults | 24hrs | 228,800 Points [ACG].
- K1BX | 1262 | 80 Mults | 24hrs | 201,920 Points [YCCC].
- K0RH | 1233 | 80 Mults | 22hrs | 197,280 Points.
- VE3MGY | 624 | 77 Mults | 96,096 Points [CCO].
- VE3RZ | 500 | 80 Mults | 12hrs | 81,000 Points [CCO].
- K0AD | 500 | 80 Mults | 12hrs | 80,000 Points [MWA].
Look at receiver specifications prior to purchasing a new transceiver. The use of filters can make or break one's level of enjoyment and/or mitigate operating fatigue.
Fave moments during the event included successful contacts with club and school stations. I still believe, clubs and schools, are the backbone of ham radio that 2010 needs to be dedicated as the Year of the Club Station.
73 from the shackadelic on the beach.
Dick, W6TK spinning through 80m searching for a clear frequency. The band was lots of fun and was not gridlocked like 20m where the Titans of RadioSport roam.
Fred, KI6QDH observing the action while Dick, W6TK begins the evening on 80m as band conditions went both long and short. I enjoyed hearing for the first time the voices of many NCCCers going into our multi-operator log. Sweepstakes is all about rate and keeping the Qs flowing.
Fred, KI6QDH in the pilot's chair getting ready for his first 'run' on 20m before moving to the low bands. His smile captures ham radio spirit and the thrill of RadioSport.
Rate! Rate! Rate! It was my mantra going in front of the microphone for the first time in a decade. I watched N1MM Contest Logger 10-minute counter peak at 170 on 20m Sunday morning. There is nothing like the swarm after my first cup of contest coffee. Please note the position of our multiplier bell. Team W6TK achieved a Sweepstake's clean sweep late Saturday night.
160 | 0
80 | 220
40 | 139
20 | 592
15 | 158
10 | 0
Total = 1,109 Qs
Sections = 80
Total Score = 177,280
I had a lot of fun where the Titans of RadioSport roam and getting behind the microphone was a big hoot. Great operators were found everywhere this weekend.
Thank you Dick, W6TK for the opportunity in the pilot's seat.
Pour on the CQ!