November Sweepstakes, Fourteen Years Ago

11/24/2004 | W5WZ Our family was on a camping trip to Daisy State Park on Lake Greeson in Arkansas. I had hoped to spend a significant amount of time in the contest. However, as my first solo portable operation, it wasn’t as successful as desired.

W5WZ operating 2004 Nov SS SSB at Lake Daisy State Park in Arkansas (Photo by KW5MOM)

I brought an fan dipole for 80/20, and also a trap dipole for 40/15. But, I didn’t bring any soldering irons or antenna analyzers. The 80/20 antenna was up about 25 feet, on the east side of a steep slope near the edge of the lake. The 40/15 dipole had an unknown problem; it wouldn’t tune up anywhere. So I gave it a shot with only the 80/20 antenna.

My station was an IC-756 ProII, a laptop with NA by K8CC for logging and rig control, with the requisite Heil proset and footswitch, all on the picnic table at the campsite.

My family had other plans for the camping trip; as much rain was expected, during the non-rainy periods I was expected to be with them. The first evening, the temperature was falling quickly ahead of the rain, which soon followed, so I packed up and went to bed  in the RV. With 4 kids under age 7 in the RV, indoor operating was not going to happen on this trip.

The next morning, it was very damp and windy, so I decided to set up in the cab of the truck. With the 756 on the dash, laptop in my lap, the passenger seat was mighty comfortable. The kids provided plenty of interruptions, along with the nature hike and my turn at cooking for the family, so once again operating was not the priority. After all, this was my vacation! I did learn that an automobile bucket seat should be considered for an operating chair.

My operating position had one heck of a great view! And the rest of the trip was beautiful, too! — W5WZ

W0AIH SK after fall from his tower

 From Gerry, W1VE.  More information will follow:

“10/31/2018 – Paul Bittner, W0AIH fell 60 feet from the Strum tower (40m). (It was) a beautiful day and he wanted to get ready for SS SSB. No services information yet obviously and the shock has still hit me.  Please pass the word. Thanks.”

I last saw Paul at Dayton 2017 with my daughter Jordan KF5GDJ.  K8CX took a great photo of us.  He was a kind man, always pleasant to be around. 
–Scott, W5WZ

W0AIH, KF5GDJ, W5WZ at Dayton 2017. Photo by K8CX

 

QSO with W7IFG Yield Unexpected Surprise!

A late Sunday afternoon QSO with W7IFG on 2018-10-08 via 20M USB yielded an unexpected surprise!  I had just completed a previous QSO with intentions to QRT for supper.  W7IFG asked for a quick QSO, and I obliged.

Scott told me (his name is also Scott) that he had a QSL card from W1AW/5 that listed me as an operator during the ARRL Centennial QSO Party, and he also knew that the two QSOs on the card were made with me, because he had asked for my home call sign.  We briefly discussed how much fun the Centennial QSO Party was for all the participants, then signed off.

The following Friday, Oct 12, I received an envelope in the mail from W7IFG.  I was quite surprised to find not only a QSL card for the recent QSO, as well as the original W1AW/5 card!

QSL from W7IFG for QSO with W5WZ on 2018-10-08 20M USB, and QSL from W1AW/5 for QSO with W7IFG on 2014-11-xx on 17m USB, with W5WZ as the W1AW/5 operator. 

Thank you very much W7IFG!

73, Scott W5WZ

Replaced Display Unit in FT-1000MP

Recently, one of my FT-1000MP exhibit an odd thing on the display tuning bars. Notice the leftmost letters don’t display. The bars stay like this in all modes, both receive and transmit.

Failed Display Unit in FT-1000MP

The Yaesu guy, WA4GEG suggested replacing the entire Display Unit.

 

About 7 years ago, I bought an ‘MP for parts. Luckily, it still had a working display unit.

Earlier this evening, I made the swap. It took about an hour start to finish. Once again, I have two working ‘MPs.

 

2018-August NAQP SSB M/2 LP (W5WZ+WM5H)

North American QSO Party, SSB – August

W5WZ running stations in NAQP

WM5H running stations in NAQP

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

North American QSO Party, SSB – August

Call: W5WZ
Operator(s): W5WZ WM5H
Station: W5WZ

Class: M/2 LP

QTH: LA
Operating Time (hrs): 12

Summary:
Band QSOs Mults
——————-
160: 0 0
80: 113 31
40: 537 52
20: 616 57
15: 27 12
10: 0 0
——————-
Total: 1293 152 Total Score = 196,536

Club: Louisiana Contest Club

Comments:

Bands were terrible; lots of noise. And that was before the thunderstorms! Never was able to run on more than one band.

Watching Contest Online Score Board made the progress interesting – N5ZO was chasing us down, narrowing our QSO lead to only 16 at one point, and in the last 20 minutes came up with some multipliers to move ahead in total score.

Whew! That was a long 12 hours. 500 QSOs less than our January effort.

Posted using 3830 Score Submittal Forms at: http://www.3830scores.com/

General class “Ham Cram” July 27 & 28

My elmer, Jim W5LA will be teaching a General Class Ham Cram on July 27,28. If you or anyone you know is interested in being in the class, go to w5la.net/general/ for more information and to register for the class.

Registration is required so I can know how many are coming.

I realize the time is short so I need you to register and pay as soon as possible so I can order the General Class study guides.

Thanks and 73,
Jim W5LA

New Life for old EZ Way Tilt-over Crank-Up Tower

 

Several years ago I acquired an unidentified tilt-over crank-up tower.  Manual winches, it appeared to be about 60 feet tall.  The deal was take it down and it is yours.  So it has sat behind my shop for about 10 years.

Recently, I saw a picture on the internet of an identical tower, and it was identified as an EZ Way, not that it mattered much to me at the time.  However, the motorized trailered tilt-over crank-up tower that our club has used for Field Day for many years isn’t available this year.  Ah-hah!  Now I have a reason to be interested in the EZ Way.  Of course, it was designed to be ground mounted.  But I have a heavy trailer, and began considering the possibility of mounting the tower, temporarily and safely, on the trailer.

Short story is I reinforced the under frame at the four anchor bolt points for the tower base, and  also fabricated a support for the long end of the tower to rest on when in transit. 

All attachments to the trailer are bolted, so the installation is easily reversible to return the trailer to normal utility use.  The project turned out quite nice!

For FD, I don’t expect to need to crank up to more than 45 feet.  Exercising the KISS principle, I’ll install a flat top plate with a 3 ft pipe stubbed up.  Then, I can slide the larger diameter mast over it, and rotate it by a pull rope attached to one end of the boom.  The antenna will be a KT-34.

Many thanks to Jim W5LA, Mark K5MSB and Shawn WA5VQP for the helping hands on the labor to make this all possible. 

N1MM+ Local Area and Distributed Wide Area Networking

Networking N1MM+ on a local area network is both easy to do and functionally desirable for a multi-operator station.

Did you know that it is also possible and relatively straight-forward to do the same thing over a Distributed Wide Area Network?  Why, you may ask?  I can think of several reasons:  1) some contests allow distributed operating, such as IARU HQ stations  2) Special events – here in Louisiana we recently hosted the W5L Louisiana Purchase Special Event, and just a few years back the W1AW/5 ARRL Centennial Event.  3) For a contest where one or more participants is operating the rig remotely

N1MM Logger+ networking is automatic within a single subnet, which is usually the case in local area networks. However, if you want to network across a Wide Area Network, or in rare instances where your network involves more than one subnet, auto-configuration will not work. In that case you will need to fill in computer addresses in the “Edit Computer Addresses” table exactly as assigned by the network(s). For WAN networking you must enter the external IP addresses of each LAN and also port numbers for all the computers you wish to connect to, in the format XXX.XXX.XXX.XXX:port number}. The port number is needed to permit operators to set up forwarding through their router firewalls to the right computer. If going subnet-to-subnet, you do not need to enter port numbers and the IP addresses would be the internal IP address.

The details are found on the official N1MM+ documentation site near the bottom of the page.  The diagram by N9KT is very helpful.  I suggest using it as a pattern to create your own cheat sheet, specific to your network.

http://n1mm.hamdocs.com/tiki-index.php?page=Network+Status+Window

Your router must be capable of configuring the proper port forwarding, and your “world-facing” IP address really should be a static IP address.  As long as every station’s internet router is capable of port forwarding AND can specify the translation between internal and external ports per host, it is pretty easy to set up.  Every computer that will be included must have the same version of N1MM+, and must be set up for the same contest with the same configuration for the contest.

73, W5WZ