Ice Storm #2

02/03-04/2011 — 2nd ice storm in only 2 weeks.  Rare enough in LA; this frequency is really rare.  All appears to have survived once again. 

K3 upgrades!!!

01/30/11 — Placed an order with Elecraft for 1.8kHz and 250Hz 8-pole filters for the K3.  Should receive them at weeks end.  I plan to go with 2.8, 2.1, 1.8, 400 & 250 8-poles in the main receiver.  I’ll have a 13, 6, and 1000 on hand as well.

NAQP SSB Jan 2011

NAQP SSB Jan 2011 — 

 Total Time On 10:00  (600 mins)

  Band     QSOs     Pts  Sec   NA

    1.8       1       1    1    0

    3.5      95      95   36    0

      7     230     230   43    1

     14     342     342   45    1

     21      62      62   15    0

     28       1       1    1    0

  Total     731     731  141    2

 Score: 104,533

Fun contest as always!  Some really great runs!  (I remembered to  press F1 in N1MM!)  At one point on 40m I saw the ‘Last 10’ rate hit  500.  Average of 73.1 Q per hour for 10 hours.  My recently built  Inv-L for 160m had very high SWR, so it was not usable.  Never heard anything on 10m (was listening at 28.4 first hour or so while running  on 20m).

————– Q S O   R a t e   S u m m a r y ————–

Hour     160     80     40     20     15     10  Total    Pct

————————————————————-

1800       0      0      0    141      1      0    142   19.2

1900       0      0      0     73     22      0     95   12.9

2000       0      0      0     28     22      0     50    6.8

2100       0      0      1     19     17      0     37    5.0

2200       0      0      7     69      0      0     76   10.3

2300       0      0     68     11      0      0     79   10.7

0000       0      1     41      0      0      0     42    5.7  

  

0100       0     10     64      1      0      0     75   10.1

0200       1      5     45      0      0      1     52    7.0

0300       0     79      4      0      0      0     83   11.2

0400       0      0      0      0      0      0      0    0.0

0500       0      0      0      0      0      0      0    0.0

——————————————————

Total      1     95    230    342     62      1    731

  

Gross QSO’s=739        Dupes=8        Net QSO’s=731

Unique callsigns worked = 628

  

The best 60 minute rate was 152/hour from 1808 to 1907

The best 30 minute rate was 178/hour from 1807 to 1836

The best 10 minute rate was 228/hour from 1813 to 1822

  

The best 1 minute rates were:

 6 QSO’s/minute    1 times.

 5 QSO’s/minute    8 times.

 4 QSO’s/minute   18 times.

 3 QSO’s/minute   62 times.

 2 QSO’s/minute  117 times.

Website Updates

01/02/10 — Just updated many photos and descriptions on the website.  Installed 2nd cross arm on tower at 105 feet for hanging dipoles.  Moved my 160m Inv-V to that location.

2009 Fall Contest Season

11/28/09 — W5WZ operated SOAB-ASSISTED LOW in CQWWCW.  As I only had a few brief time periods to operatate, my main goal was learning more about N1MM and the bandmaps/multiplier point and shoot while also adding to my DXCC totals.

        Band    QSOs    Pts  Cty   ZN

         3.5       5      8    3    3

           7      76     206   47   19

          14      91     238   37   23

          21      20      57   16   11

          28       8      24    3    3

       Total     200     533  106   59

  

11/23/09 — A four-man team of Louisiana Contest Club members operated Nov SS SSB HP at W5WZ – W5WZ, K5ER, AA5LA and KC5WA.  We had lots of fun!  

              Band    QSOs    Pts  Sec

         3.5      95     190   14

           7     177     354   22

          14     652    1304   14

          21     231     462   30

       Total    1155    2310   80

  

10/24/09 — W5WZ operated SOAB-ASSISTED-HIGH in CQWWSSB

         Band    QSOs    Pts  Cty   ZN

         1.8       2      0    1    1

         3.5      18      39   12    8

           7      93     231   48   14

          14     153     361   31   23

          21      64     169   39   12

          28       5      12    4    4

       Total     335     812  135   62

August 2009

08/16/09 — Just finished a full 10 hours of NAQP, from the starting gun with no breaks.  Now I know why I need some receiving antenna for 40-80-160.  Also know that I need better transmitting antenna on at least 160 and 80.

Band  QSOs  Mults

——————-

  160:    1     1

   80:   28    11

   40:  220    41

   20:  388    49

   15:   21    12

   10:    1     1

——————-

Total:  659   115  Total Score = 76,444

08/13/09 — Installed the 160m dipole on the crossarm at 75′.  I should have put it up at 105′, but will wait until I get a 2nd crossarm up there, so that I can have more options. Completed the last jumpers from my SixPack to the row of Polyphasers.  Finally have 6 independent bands worth of monoband antenna fully available in the shack.  Finished recording the various *.wav files (including the letters.wav, both letter and phonetic style) for use with N1MM.

08/06/09 — Received, modified and installed the last StackMatch controller.  I’m inching closer to being fully operational.  John WE3C gave me the tip back at Dayton to make a goal to complete at least one task each day on the station.  That was good advice; I’ve tried to do so, and the progress is amazing!

08/02/09 — Made a minor repair to my homebrewed PC-soundcard interface (Icom ProData, from QST March 2002).  Verified operation with N1MM.  Trying to get ready for NAQP SSB on August 15th.  Made a few PSK contacts.

08/01/09 — Mounted a cross arm on the tower at 75′ from which I can suspend two dipoles, etc.  Installed my 80m dipole as inverted Vee at that point.  I had been off 80m since early April, when a limb fell and broke the old dipole which was up 30 feet.

June 2009

June 2009 — Much of my ham time was spent preparing my insurance claim resulting from the lightning strike. I did build a new operating desk.  Using a borrowed transceiver, I learned that the AL-1500 that I bought at Dayton in the fleamarket was not functional and “only used for three months” as I was told.  Sent to Ameritron for repairs (labor bill of over $250 to correct some “strange modifications”).  It is in 100% condition now.  

Coasting the rest of May

05/30/09 — Installed coax to top C51XR; installed power and control wires to M2 Orion 2800.  Tested rotator- it appears to have survived the lightning strike.  Also tested all feedlines, control lines, etc. – all test OK.

05/26/09 — On Tuesday May 26, the station was severely damaged by a lightning strike.  Apparently entering via the AC power mains, very little gear that was interconnected survived.  As it turns out, another ham ½ mile down the road took a direct hit on his tower, which appears then to have back fed thru his solar power/battery inverter system and then to the power transformer to his home then down the lines toward my home.  

  

05/25/09 — Installed connectors on shack end of hardline.  Installed SixPack.  Installed terminal strips for control wiring junctions from 4 StackMatches.  Installed feedline up tower to middle C-31XR.

05/18/09 — Installed the new StackMatch, made up the control cables for the four StackMatches.  Climbed up to the bottom C51XR and installed the feedlines in a temporary fashion.  Now need to install connectors on the shack end of the hardline.

05/12/09 to 05/17/09 — Attended CTU and Dayton Hamvention.  Acquired a used AL-1500, another used StackMatch, several connectors, some repair parts for 3 Heil headsets, EZNEC 5.0+.  Participated in the Kansas City DX clubs CW Pileup event for the first time.   

Antenna Party

05/09/09 — Antenna party!  With a group of friends and a crane, we mounted the 3 large Force 12 antenna to Tower 1.  Certainly no one in our group had ever handled antenna as large as the C51XRs.  I thought the crane would be safer and save time – however it was on site for 7 hours.  W5KGT and WX5CW were up the tower first to change out the top section (I had pre-assembled a complete top section with rotator, thrust bearings, guy brackets, and mast.) and mount the top C51XR.  On the ground, we had much difficulty tuning the 40m portion of the 1st C51XR; took 1.5 hours, with the crane lifting and lowering the antenna a couple of dozen times.  We also had difficulty with the crane boom being in the way of the elements as the 2 C51XR were raised and mounted.  The C31XR install was pretty easy.  W5WZ and W5PEM were on the tower to mount the lower 2 antenna – with W5WZ working on a tower for the first time.  A nearby late afternoon thunderstorm brought everyone down the tower before the feedline could be run.  

05/04/09 thru 05/08/09 — Wow!  What a week!  Many final finishing touches from gathering final nuts and bolts, assembling comlete top section, installing last PL259s, installing baluns, assembly of 40m sections of both C51XR, verifying lengths of coax for the up the tower runs, gathering tools, electrical tape, etc, etc ad nauseam.  I did the very best that I could to plan ahead so the install would be smooth.

05/03/09 — Climbed a tower for first time – my tower – to the top!  Assembled 2/3rds of the C31XR.  Made a mast plate for the C51XR boom truss cables.  Made 2 plates to sidemount the C31.  Met with a crane company foreman to evaluate the antenna raising next Saturday.  Found a broken element tip on one C51XR – will order tubing tomorrow.  Wound the final 15m helical hairpin.  Assembled the last balun for a F12 antenna.

05/02/09 — Helped take down my F12 C31XR from a tower at K5ER and put my KLM KT34XA up in its place.  The C31XR will reside as my middle antenna at 85′, locked down to Japan.

April – T-minus 30 days until antenna stacking

04/25/09 — Assembled 11 LMR400 flex coax jumpers for rotator loops with PL259s.  Installed baluns on first C51XR.  Primed and painted mast.  Fit the boom-to-mast cradle to the top C51XR.

04/23/09 — Pulled control wiring in conduit.  1 – 12/2 UF; 4 – 18/4 w/grd; 3 – 18/4; 2 – RG59, a total of 2,000 feet of control wire.

04/18/09 — Cut 11 lengths @ 125 feet of LMR400 type coax for my StackMatch feeds to the antenna.  Installed PL259s on one end of each cable, using the K3LR method of soldering the shield to the connector body. During the past week, I’ve continued gathering the myriad of bolts & nuts, truss cable, electrical tape, etc. that we will need to install the antennas.  I borrowed an AIM4170, swept both antenna on 10, 15, & 20 — they do look and perform in a reasonable manner, considering they are only 3 feet above ground.

04/06/09 — Assembled the second Force 12 C-51XR.  Now both C-51’s need the 40m linear elements installed and tuned, all 4 bands baluns and feed lines installed, 20m driven elements lengthened for separate feedlines, and the truss cables inspected.  Then, a thorough inspection of each antenna, and they will be ready to fly!

04/05/09 — Installed three StackMatch relay boxes in telco pedastal box at tower base.  Parked M2 Orion 2800 at 0 degrees with South stop.  Installed studs in 2800, grade 8 bolts in mast clamp.

04/04/09 — Assembled the first Force 12 C-51XR, and laid out the parts for the second one.  The antenna party is getting really close now!  My daughter painted the 3/4″ plywood.