IARU HF World Championship

I had a fun time Saturday morning  in the IARU HF contest. I made 141 CW contacts … all search & pounce. I had a higher score this year than last year, so I did improve. I had a birthday party to attend Saturday afternoon and evening and then church on Sunday morning, so my radio time was limited to Saturday morning only.

Propagation was good. I had contacts on all bands, 80 through 10 meters. There were lots of good, strong signals. Eighty and forty were noisy, as is normal this time of year, but there were always contacts available.

I have to say that the IC-7300 was a pleasure to use. The bandscope and filters were so useful. That and N1MM+ made the contest fun! I used my 100 watts, homebrew vertical and tuner and was pleased with the results. I do wonder, though, what I could have done with a “decent” antenna? I remember the old days of paper logs, dupe sheets, and manual keying so well. No comparison nowadays.

I would encourage you to participate in contest operation, especially if you’re new to the hobby and haven’t tried it already. It can be a bit intimidating, but it’s a lot of fun. It’s a good way to work new countries/prefixes/counties or whatever. Maybe it’s not for you … that’s OK too, but you’ll never know unless you try it.

73 and Good Luck de Dick N4BC

DMR TG 31515 – Tidewater VA Weekly Net

We had our weekly net last night at 9pm EDT, and seven people checked in. This was my first check in, and I didn’t have much to contribute, so I just sat back and “read the mail.”

There were several interesting discussions during the hour. The net is primarily a place where locals can meet and ask questions of the “collective intelligence” and hopefully find answers … or at least sympathy.

We talked about DMR IDs, how individuals have programmed the function keys on their radios, POCSAG messaging, and the new interface for BrandMeister Hoseline. Some of the guys mentioned good deals they had gotten on a Radioddity RD-5R.

All in all, it was an enjoyable net and I plan to be a regular check in. I learned a couple of new things last night.

73 de Dick N4BC

Antenna Analysis

There are lots of antenna analyzers on the market now … and at all price points. Here’s an extremely affordable one … the RigExpert AA-30ZERO. Barebones, but looks interesting, even if only from an experimental viewpoint. Eric, who has a great YouTube channel covering all aspects of ham radio (HamRadioConcepts), did a pretty thorough demonstration :

The boards are available from Gigaparts for $75 + S&H as I’m writing this. I’m getting one!

And don’t forget to check out all of Eric’s videos (and he’s got a LOT!) … he talks about antennas, radios, DMR, accessories… you name it!

73 de Dick N4BC