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Author Topic: Any Station Changes Planned for 2013?  (Read 4971 times)
W6GX
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Posts: 3000




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« Reply #30 on: December 14, 2012, 08:18:46 AM »

Well I have no planned station changes on the horizon.  However I do have a personal goal of learning CW at 25wpm.  I'm just a code reader now and I wish to do CW the old-fashioned way.

73,
Jonathan W6GX
Jonathan,

You have assembled an impressive station in a relatively short time but the US government did not do you any favors by dropping the Morse code requirement. That was a favor to equipment manufacturers and retailers.

If you want to be a serious DXer you will need to learn CW at a good clip, such as the 25 wpm you are aiming at.

It is a commendable goal and I wish you a lot of luck.

There is W1AW, but if you want more frequent practice I'd suggest a good program or the little gizmo MFJ sells called Morse Tutor which is the size of a pack of smokes. I carry it around in the car to kill time and to help me remain proficient.

When you get ready to buy an good a good key you should look at the line by Pietro Begali.  I own the sculpture and it's more like a work of art than a code key.

73,

Chris/NU1O

Thanks Chris.  I believe that CW will get me more DX contacts than from any station upgrades  Cheesy

73,
Jonathan W6GX
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N4KC
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Posts: 288


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« Reply #31 on: December 14, 2012, 08:24:58 AM »

Absolutely true, Jonathan!  Of course, having PSK31 and RTTY capability helps, too.

But learning the code has other advantages.  See my article here on eHam:

http://www.eham.net/articles/19366

A printable version is also available on my web site at www.n4kc.com and click on the "Articles" tab.

Dah dah di di di dit   Di di di dah dah!

Don N4KC
www.n4kc.com
www.donkeith.com
 
 
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AF3Y
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Posts: 3849




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« Reply #32 on: December 14, 2012, 09:21:36 AM »

I'll be dropping off my ProIII (hopefully this weekend) with a local ICOM repair guy to take a look at fixing(?) an Rx problem. (He does some work for AES in Orlando, and they say he is very good.)

The Rx volume will just drop 80 - 90 percent rather often, and a quick tap on the key, or mic, depending on mode, with "kick it back up" to normal. The drop in Rx is not noticable in the meter, but it sure is to my ears. I ran a query on the ProII reflector and some say it is a problem with the NR button. Beats me, but I dont like sending my Call and then not be able to hear the DX well, especially if the DX has a weak signal to start with.

Wish me luck, guys.   AND PLEASE.... Put ALL upcoming rare DX on hold until I get the rig back? hi hi

73, Gene AF3Y

PS..... also thinking of getting a 3 band rotatable Dipole that I could use on a pushup mast system, to compliment the S9 vertical.
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NU1O
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Posts: 2749




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« Reply #33 on: December 14, 2012, 09:45:51 AM »

Lots of changes for 2013. I have built a very stealthy tiltable 30' aluminum tubular tower. It would be up already but it's a little too cold to pour concrete right now. I have also purchased a TGM MQ-36SR. It will be assembled and put up when the tower is ready. Lastly, the eagle has laid a load and I will make a pilgrimage to Dayton and purchase a FTDX-5000, FTDX-9000 Contest or Flex Radio 6500. I have enough time to do a lot of research and make an intelligent decision on which radio to purchase. My God, I do so love this hobby.

Guy (K2GWK)

I concur with everything W2IRT wrote.  If you can afford a $5,000 radio buy a decent antenna unless there are very good reasons prohibiting you from doing so.

73,

Chris/NU1O
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N2RJ
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Posts: 1223




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« Reply #34 on: December 14, 2012, 10:01:11 AM »

I would go even further and say that you should be spending $5000 on the antenna and tower before you spend anything on the radio. That will go even further than buying an expensive rig and connecting it to a dipole.
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NU1O
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« Reply #35 on: December 14, 2012, 10:07:06 AM »

I would go even further and say that you should be spending $5000 on the antenna and tower before you spend anything on the radio. That will go even further than buying an expensive rig and connecting it to a dipole.

Which ones are you talking about?  I have not looked at his products since I bought my Sculpture and a straight key. 

73,

Chris/NU1O
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AK4KZ
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Posts: 84


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« Reply #36 on: December 14, 2012, 10:09:50 AM »

2012 was the year of satellite. And, while I don't have the dream system I imagined (yet), I have worked satellite. That was cool. I had also planned on setting up a decent packet station but there just doesn't seem to be much of anything in my area short of APRS. So that plan was sidelined.

2013 is all about power. Going from 100 watts to 600 watts. Maybe 1K?? But I think 600W. Also swapping out the DX-CC for a DX-LB (which I'm hoping will be under the tree) so I can get some 160M.

And while it's not ham related... exactly.. it IS in the shack. I'll definitely be getting rid of my Bearcat BC15XT scanner and stepping up to the digital scanner. I've really enjoyed the analog but there's a significant amount of digital (unencrypted) voice in the area.

Whether or not I get rid of the Yeasu FT-736 and the IC-7000 and combine that functionality into the IC-9100... well.. it might happen this year. Maybe. Not sure I'd call it a plan per se.

I'd really like to get my coax buried this year too.

I've GOT to be better about returning QSO cards this year too.

Huh.. apparently, it's going to be a busy radio year.

73 and Merry Christmas,
Chris
AK4KZ
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N2RJ
Member

Posts: 1223




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« Reply #37 on: December 14, 2012, 10:24:46 AM »

Which ones are you talking about?  I have not looked at his products since I bought my Sculpture and a straight key. 

73,

Chris/NU1O

To be honest, last time I looked at Begali was in 2006 and they had a limited selection and it was very expensive. I think they only had one or two keys. Now they have a wider selection and some more affordable ones. I think I may buy one for my next key. The Bencher BY-1 does OK but doesn't feel so good.
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K2GWK
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« Reply #38 on: December 14, 2012, 02:42:42 PM »

Lots of changes for 2013. I have built a very stealthy tiltable 30' aluminum tubular tower. It would be up already but it's a little too cold to pour concrete right now. I have also purchased a TGM MQ-36SR. It will be assembled and put up when the tower is ready. Lastly, the eagle has laid a load and I will make a pilgrimage to Dayton and purchase a FTDX-5000, FTDX-9000 Contest or Flex Radio 6500. I have enough time to do a lot of research and make an intelligent decision on which radio to purchase. My God, I do so love this hobby.

Guy (K2GWK)

Guy, if you've got the scratch for a high end radio, I would suggest diverting some of those resources into something higher-performance than the TGM. I use one of these every year for CQWW-CW at a friend's house in Toronto. It's better than his old dipole -- barely -- but that's as much good as I can say. Extremely narrow banded on 20 (absolutely requiring a tuner), and very little front-to back and front-to-side rejection. It's the kind of thing you only buy if you want to convince your neighbours that you aren't really transmitting from home, it's just a fancy TV antenna to pick up a cleaner signal to watch football on your big screen. It's also something I'd use as a secondary antenna, DXpeditions, field day, etc. Not to dump all over the TGM, but if you're spending close to (or over) five figures for a transceiver, you certainly won't get the most out of it if it's connected to a compromise in the air.

Obviously I don't know your home situation, whether or not there are town or wife ordinances in play or whatnot, but I'm quite serious about this. I'd rather have a 25 year old transceiver with nothing extra except a 250 Hz CW filter and a second VFO in it but connected to as much aluminum in the air, as high up as I can get it. If that's not possible (and for many it is not, sadly), then spending massive coin on the highest-end transceiver seems like overkill. A big part of these transceivers is the ability to separate nearby overloading signals. This won't be a factor unless you have a few high power DXers/contesters in your neighbourhood.

What I would suggest is a K3 (with the second VFO added) or the FT-5000 without all the bells and whistles. The reason being is that you're not going to be hearing as well as the guy down the road with 3 elements at 75', but if he's running something with triple conversion and phase noise and you're on a dead-quiet K3 you'll hear better. Not sure what the stats are like on the Flex so I can't comment there. But the basic point I'm trying to make is put money into antennas to the biggest degree possible.

You guessed the exact reason I went with the TGM antenna. I live in a CC&R unfortunately. The TGM antenna actually looks like a TV antenna and there is actually another Ham in the neighborhood that has one up. The neighbors think it is a TV antenna and do not object. That is also the reason for the short tower. I figured since I can't have the best antenna I would go for a rig with a good receiver. I didn't mention it but I am also considering the Elecraft K3 so point well taken. I have a Yaesu 950 now and it is time for something better now that we are empty nesters.
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Guy
Lawn Guyland, New York

K2GWK Website
KH6DC
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Posts: 663




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« Reply #39 on: December 15, 2012, 09:18:58 PM »

Gave up my Traffie Hexbeam and SteppIR BigIR to move to a CC&R community.  Still unpacking and changing out the plumbing so a stealth antenna is next.  Putting up a N6BT Bravo 5R if that doesnt work out maybe a stealthy dipole.  The CrankIR looks good.
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73 and Aloha,
de Delwyn, KH6DC
WD4ELG
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Posts: 877




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« Reply #40 on: December 16, 2012, 01:41:31 AM »

XYL got me a HiZ 4 antenna system.  I LOVE that woman!  Worked XU1A SSB LP on 80 meters Friday night.  Still can't believe it works so well.
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