IC-7300 Firmware Upgrade

I upgraded the firmware on the new rig from ver. 1.14 to ver. 1.20. The procedure was painless … fully detailed in the manual. As far as I can tell from their description, there were no changes that affect my operation, but there were “bug fixes and enhancements.”

Conditions were pretty grim whenever I turned on the rig today. Lots of noise and few signals. The propagation charts all show “unsettled” and poor to fair conditions, so it’s a good evening to work on other things. Sunspot count is still at zero. As an aside, I did hear quite a few signals on 160 meters this evening, but my antenna will not tune to that band. The ARRL 160 contest is going on this weekend.

73 and good DX de Dick N4BC

Winner! and Winter

Oh, I forgot to mention it, but I won a drawing for a Wolf River Coils Silver Bullet Mini. Bob Plank, KK4DIV, had a drawing to celebrate reaching  1000 YouTube subscribers. My name came out of the hat (literally!). Gonna have to do something mobile with it. Check out Bob’s channel … he’s got some interesting stuff.

This morning when I went out to the truck to leave for work at about 0530, it was in the low 30’s and I had a nice coating of ice on the windows. We didn’t even have a chance to do frost first … directly to ice! My trusty spray bottle with rubbing alcohol and water did the job, though. Take that, ice!!

73 de Dick N4BC

Neat trick

2-inch speaker mod

I saw this somewhere (can’t remember where) and said to myself, “That can’t work very well.” Today I was in Lowes and picked up a 2-inch elbow to give it a try. Place it right above the speaker. Hey, it makes a big difference, especially on CW. It redirects the speaker audio towards the front. Well worth the $1.88 (+ tax) I paid for it.

73 de Dick N4BC

Propagation blues

You know times are bad when 20 Meters doesn’t have a single CW signal  audible during a major contest weekend. I just tuned up there and couldn’t hear ANYTHING! NADA! Forty and eighty are really active … lots of contest activity.

I haven’t done any contesting this weekend. I just worked about 15 stations on FT8 with the new rig, and I did make a couple of QSOs to check out how it handles on CW. As far as SSB, I haven’t even taken the mic out of the box yet!

The IC-7300 is a SWEET rig to operate, but I’m still stumbling a bit with the  controls. It’ll get better with familiarity.

73 de Dick N4BC

Website Issues

I had an issue over the holiday where I couldn’t write any new posts. I take that back … I could post using my cellphone, but that’s not an ideal situation. So I submitted a ticket to NameCheap, my hosting provider. Several hours later, the problem was resolved. It was a WordPress update that somehow just didn’t go right. Good job, NameCheap! They’re a great provider, by the way …

73 de Dick N4BC