19 December 2014

Using the bureau

As of now, I'm setting up myself to use the bureau for DX QSLs.  I'm starting to catch up on my huge backlog of QSL requests.  I'm printing my own QSL cards and unless otherwise specified by the DX station, I'll be sending my cards via the bureau.  It's a lot cheaper for me and I don't mind waiting even if it is up to a year for a QSL card.

My parents are going to let me set up an antenna so I can have my little shack in the basement.  I'm working on selling my ICOM IC-706MKII to a friend and then buying a Yaesu FT-450D.  I've set up my personal computer with Slackware 64 Linux.  I've been tinkering with xlog and fldigi too.  So far so good.  I do have CQRLOG setup and am trying it out.  I've been peeking at Clublog also.

The antenna I'll be setting up is my Mosley RV-4C vertical that has the optional 80 meter coil on it.  Right now, though, I need to get a new base mount for the antenna.  When I had it up on my parents' house roof last year, the antenna broke at its base, so I'm waiting to hear back from Mosley on the pricing and availability on the part.

I can't wait until I can get back on the air regularly again.  I've really missed my ham radio hobby a lot, especially when coming home from a long day at work.  Chasing DX for an hour or two is a great way for me to relax.

02 December 2014

Quiet...

I've not done too much on-the-air activity in quite some time.  I have a full-time job now that is keeping me busy.  I also live in a basement right now and there's no practical way for me to put an antenna up so I've just not been on the air.  I'm saving up to get a Yaesu FT-450D so I can put my ICOM IC-706MKII into my little SUV for mobile use.  Once I'm able to get a home that's above-ground, I'll probably be back on the air as soon as possible!

23 September 2014

Cleaning up the log...

I moved my ham radio activity from a desktop computer to my little but useful Gateway LT31 netbook.  In the midst of doing this, I discovered much to my dismay that my paper log and computer log were missing hundreds of calls I'd thought I'd recorded.  Thankfully, many of them are on my QRZ logbook but until I can afford to get a subscription, I can't download the ADI file from there.  So it looks like it's going to be a very long reconciliation process between the paper log and XMLog, the logging software I decided to use because it's very simple.  Hopefully I can keep everything straight from now on.

21 September 2014

When you just gotta chase DX...

So I decided to chance the rain and set up my station out on the back porch.  Worked W1AW/1 in Connecticut, OK2RZ in the Czech Republic, and KP4OUH in Puerto Rico.  Rain-soaked ground is great for an earth ground but lousy to try to operate in.  I took a movie with my digital camera (Apple QuickTime is required to watch) that I thought you might enjoy. I've uploaded it to YouTube for your viewing pleasure.

It figures that I start working some good DX with very little QRM on my signal and it starts to pour...

20 September 2014

More on the antenna supports...

I am working on building supports for the two poles out of a 2x4 tomorrow.  I'm hoping that I will have the supports finished by tomorrow afternoon and be able to have some pictures to post.  Oh, yes, and be able to work some DX too!  I just discovered I can't find my beloved G5RV Junior.  I am not sure where it's at.  I know I have it though.  I guess I'll have to build another one when I can afford some more wire.

Been looking at getting an ICOM IC-7200 someday.  That looks like it'd be a fun radio to take out into the woods to operate.  I also like that you can plug it directly into a computer to control it, no special cable needed.  Speaking of computer, I found my Gateway LT31 netbook today and am installing a fresh install of 64-bit Windows 7 Professional on it.  Can't wait to get it done.  It'll be nice to have a small computer to take with me when I operate portable.  I'll probably keep it in the shack too.  It'll save precious room in my tiny shack.

18 September 2014

A little further

Last night, I went and bought the rest of the parts I need to finish up everything but the bases for the poles: a cap and eyehook for the top of the second pole (to attach the antenna) and eight eyehooks to screw into each pole for guying.  The bases can hold the poles just fine but guying will make them a lot more stable and safe if I'm going to be using them for more than an hour or two.

17 September 2014

Building a new antenna system

Now that I know I can setup my radio on the back porch, I'm working on setting up a new support system.  I was given eight fiberglass poles (think surplus military antenna poles).  I have to put a "top" on one of the poles so I can hang the dipole from both sets of poles and build a support base for each set, but when I'm done, the poles will be high enough for me not only to put my 20 meter dipole up but I will also be able to put up my beloved G5RV Junior dipole.  I'm pretty happy about this and for an investment of under $20, not bad for doing what I want to do.

Here's a picture of the G5RV Junior installed at my former residence.  It was about 50' or so in the air.  With the antenna support system I'm working on now, it'll be around 35' in the air.


I've discovered over the years I really enjoy building wire antennas and finding creative ways to get my signal out, to include loading a gutter system on a former apartment building I lived in.

I'll have more information about the antenna system as time goes on and hopefully a few pictures too.

Hmm...

I completely forgot about this blog.  I guess I'll start using it again.