New radio

My new Yaesu FT-450D is working nicely. I spent a couple of hours last night getting to know how to operate it. So far, so good. I’d like to get a desk mic or a Heil headset with a footswitch. I’m taking my Yaesu 2 meter rig out of the Pathfinder and will put it in the shack so I’ll have that to use. I’m looking at extending my wire antenna out several feet. It needs to be re-shot into the tree I’m using for the support on the far end. There’s a lot to be done in the shack. A lot of small but important improvements.
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Coming back alive…

I purchased a used Yaesu FT-450D last week in excellent near-new condition. It should be here tomorrow. I’ve also purchased a new (to me) computer for the ham shack and am setting up my Signalink for use with the 450D. I can’t wait to get back on the air. I’m installing the ICOM 706 into my 1995 Nissan Pathfinder for DXing out in the woods on the fly. I did work a station on 40 meters Saturday during the West Virginia QSO party. Now, though, it’s time for bed. Looking forward to having the new shack configuration up and running in time for Field Day. I found my key for N3FJP’s Field Day logging program so I’ll be set.

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Still alive

I’m still alive just not very active on the air. My work has really taken up a lot of time, especially in the past month or so. I’m working 60+ hours a week currently. But this should end by Christmas. I’m wanting to buy a larger EFHW antenna and mount it on the roof of the shed so perhaps I can cut down on the QRM that’s all over my incoming signal. Hopefully the next two months will slow down a bit for me and I can get back on the air and start catching up on QSL cards too.

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More antennas

I’m thinking about buying a larger end-fed half-wave dipole antenna that uses a 9:1 UNUN, perhaps something like this. I know I could build one myself but right now, I just don’t have the time nor the patience to try to build anything. I’m also going to try to get this mounted on the shed roof using a tripod and a tallish pipe to mount the UNUN on. I’m figuring if I can get some more height on the antenna that might help with the RFI that I’m getting in the received signal. It certainly can’t hurt.

I’m also considering buying a Yaesu FT-891 instead of the FT-857D. I really don’t use VHF/UHF that much and the 891 is considerably cheaper than the 857D. There’s a possibility that I might be moving into an apartment with a friend/possible roommate so the smaller I can keep my shack, the better off it will be for me later on.

It’s supposed to be a little cooler this weekend so Dad and I are hoping to get the door on the shack. If that happens, I’ll be on the air more often with a nice cool air-conditioned shack. Might even bring Felix in with me to hang out in the cool air.

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Cold at last

I bought a small A/C window unit and installed it in the shack this weekend.  Now to get the door installed and I’ll have the walls up on the shack.  It’ll be nice not to melt inside of the shack during these dog days of summer.  I haven’t done much on the air work since propagation has been rotten.  I’ve been looking into changing antennas for when it gets cooler and I will start to get on the air more often.

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Fixed TQSL problems

I had recently upgraded TQSL from 2.0.3 to 2.3.1 and I was getting this odd error:

tqsl: symbol lookup error: tqsl: undefined symbol: tQSL_ImportSerial

After much hair pulling and teeth gnashing, I discovered that I needed to compile TQSL with the “static library” option instead of dynamically generating the library using the “-DTQSLLIB_STATIC=YES” modifier when calling cmake.  Lo and behold, TQSL works fine now.  I had to get a new security certificate since I recently put a fresh install of Slackware 64 14.2 stable on my laptop.  I’ll try this on the shack computer to make sure it works.

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Some activity on the shack

Yesterday my dad and I completed the last wall on my little 8’x8′ shack.  Now I need to finish insulating the walls in the room and putting up drywall.  I need to go under the shed and insulate the floor under my shack so I’ll stay cool in the summer (I’ll be putting in a window A/C unit soon) and warm in the winter.  I am hunting locally for a few old solid doors that I can turn into a workbench and a desk. It is a small room but once I get it organized and get shelving on the walls, I’ll be able to utilize that room just fine.

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Just passing through…

So I decided to turn on the radio and spin the dial around earlier today.  I wound up working Orelvis, CO6LC, by accident.  Glad the radio’s getting out.  Just a lot of local QRM from storms.

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A little activity…

I worked W9IMS tonight on 7.243 and 3.840.  That’s good for me because those QSOs were the first contacts I made on the TS-430S.  The propagation is so bad I didn’t know if anyone would hear me.  Both stations gave me a 59 heading into Indianapolis, Indiana.  There’s a huge line of thunderstorms moving in so lots of static on the bands but I was able to copy both stations just fine.  The audio on the Kenwood is really, really good.

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Adding to the collection

I picked up a Kenwood TS-430S for $275 shipped online tonight.  I’ve been wanting one of these for a long time and the price I couldn’t beat.  It’s being shipped Wednesday so hopefully should get here late this week or early next week.  Now I’ll be able to use the 706 for a “go” radio and start operating out in the sticks more often. 🙂  Here’s a picture of the radio:

That’s from the ad.  I’ll post a picture once I get it set up in my shack.  Really looking forward to the “new” radio: no menus, no computers, just control everything from the front panel.

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