I've not had much time to post lately, work obligations and some health issues have taken precedence. Hopefully both will taper off soon.
I was a little disappointed to not receive a single comment or reply about my last post regarding which rig-control/logging software folks like to use. Either no one is reading my blog, my writing skills suck, or everyone else has been busy too. I'll try and do a better job on my end.
I did a little operating in the NAQP. I initially set a goal of working all 50 states, which seemed reasonable, I thought. Then Murphy intervened and I discovered that my LDG tuner had quit working. Seemed to be getting power, lights lit up, no crunching sound from the relays though. So, I had two options, switch over to the MP1000 or run the K2 in QRP mode and use the built-in tuner. I really wanted to use the K2, I just love its receiver, so after about 45 minutes of removing the KPA100 and installing the original top that includes the KAT2, I was back in business. But, 10 watts just wasn't cutting it. I gave more thought about switching to the MP, but by that point I was feeling the effects of the new medicine I'm taking and I shut things off. 32 states for about 2 hours of contesting. OK, I guess for 10 watts.
Then, this weekend I had hoped to do some operating in WAE CW. I had found and repaired the problem with the LDG tuner (wal-wart transformer was only delivering 7 VDC - apparently enough to work the lights but not energize the relays - its now connected to the rig's power supply). But then Mr. Murphy struck again. I fired up N1MM Logger (yeah, I know, I should've done this well in advance...) and proceeded to change the contest parameters. Uh-oh, what's this? Everytime I changed to WAE and clicked "OK" the program crashed and closed. That's not good. A few rounds of that and I decided to reinstall N1MM. I noticed that my version was 7 point something or another and the most recent was 8. So I downloaded the newest version, applied the update, and all seemed fine. OK, change the function key messages that I'd altered for NAQP, since most didn't seem to get "Ed" on the first go-around. Here we go.
Hmmmmm, Winkey doesn't seem to be responding. Ah, there it is, I'd unplugged it at some point from my USB port and whenever I put it back in, it was recognized on port 6 instead of port 5, which N1MM was expecting. Try again.
What the heck? So I spent about 30 minutes fooling around with Winkey and couldn't find the problem. Enough of that, where's my serial key plug? Found it...ah, much better. Messages flowing now. By the way, remember to turn down your power before you test. Sorry to those that I interrupted during my testing - it won't happen again.
Here we go. First call, first contact, that's the time! What? What the devil is QTC? A scramble to look at the contest webpage and I tried understanding how that works. Seems awfully complicated. Can't I just send a "NIL" and be done with it? No, that wouldn't be right.
Long story short, I gave up. Lesson learned though. Read the rules and understand the rules, Ed. A little better planning too. Later on in the evening I checked 40 meters and it sounded just awful. A check for some DX on 30 meters was even worse. When you live in NC and all you hear are W4's calling CQ, conditions must be bad!