Post-Holiday Season

I hope everyone had a great holiday. I was off from the Thursday before Christmas until the day after New Year’s Day … didn’t do much operating, though. Too much other stuff happening.

I did work some FT8, though, at least on a couple of days. Conditions variable … some days good, some days bad. At least I kept my hand in.

We’re expecting our first significant snowfall, starting Wednesday afternoon … three to five inches, they say. That’s a SWAG, though. They’re seldom right. If it’s bad enough, they’ll let us work from home or cancel work … two inches will shut thing down here in the South. If I’m at home, I’ll try to fire up on CW.

So, best wishes for the New year, and I hope all of your resolutions come true!

73 de Dick N4BC

ARRL Ten Meter Contest

Well, I hope you had better luck than I did! Just before bedtime on Friday night, I listened a bit on 10-meter CW and I heard a beacon and two stations within 20 miles of me … nothing else, and I went on to bed. Saturday and Sunday, I tuned around several times during the day and evening, and … nothing. Just a couple of unreadable maybe signals down in the mud on CW.

So, it looks like it was not to be for me. I think ten meters had a dagger through its heart this past weekend. But, I’ll see you on the lower bands!

73 de Dick N4BC

Forty Meter Propagation

Propagation was not great last night. Here’s where I was heard on 40 meters FT-8  last night about 1630Z. I was running about 40 watts to a vertical.

Only North America … no South American, European or Asian stations reported hearing my signals. Eighty meters was super noisy and twenty meters was not cooperating with the propagation fairy either. Not a worthless endeavor, but definitely not a great evening on the air.

This evening, we’re expecting our first winter precipitation … snow/rain/sleet mixture. No accumulation but it’s going to be nasty and chilly, for sure.

73 de Dick N4BC

Pretty Much Key-Down Capable

From the specs and what I can research on the internet, the Icom looks to be a pretty rugged rig. Max power on SSB/CW/RTTY/FM is 100 watts. Obviously, it’s not a good thing to run it wide open on the heavy duty-cycle modes like RTTY for great amounts of time, but I’ve pushed it up to 50 watts on FT-8 (15 seconds on/15 seconds off) down on 80 meters and the temperature meter on the display barely went up one teeny division, and I didn’t detect any speed increase on the temperature-controlled fan. AM mode is 25 watts max … that’s pretty standard! I also didn’t detect ANY ALC being generated, so the output should have been undistorted and linear.

Lovin’ this rig!

73 de Dick N4BC

Early Operating Impressions for the IC-7300

Oh, man … this is one smooth rig. Now I’m asking myself why I didn’t buy one of these IC-7300s months (or years) ago. I’ve gotten a bit of cockpit time on it and I am impressed. I’m sitting here reading the mail on some 40-meter SSB nets this evening, and between the PBT, Notch, RF Gain, Noise Reduction, and BP filters, I can tune out pretty much most interference and heterodynes.

Earlier, I was doing some digital operations, and it’s just so effortless. One cable – USB-A to USB-B. Setup was easy … plenty of documents and YouTube videos to help you along. G3NRW has a resource page with loads of information. Click on his callsign to visit.

The audio is superb. It’s pleasant to listen to and not tiring at all. I’ve been listening to SSB nets this afternoon while doing some other tasks in the shack, and I’m not irritated yet!

Tuesday evening is our club Holiday party. We’ll be having dinner along with one of the other clubs in the area. Unfortunately, it takes two clubs to muster up enough manpower to come up with sufficient numbers to reserve a banquet room at the restaurant these days.

More later!

73 de Dick N4BC