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.
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!!
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.
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.
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 …