There's plenty of stuff which could be taken out of new radios. My pet hate
is general coverage receive, not because there's anything wrong with it as
such, but because of the constraints it places on receiver design. You
up-convert and then pass the signals through a crappy roofing filter wide
enough to pass FM signals and then have a hard time getting satisfactory
performance out of the second mixer.
FM isn't totally useless to a contester, because of the scope for working
EA/LU stations up the top end of 10m, but the wide first IF explains why
manufacturer's measurements for third order intercept are typically done
at 50kHz spacing. We contesters are interested in strong-signal handling at
spacings nearer 1kHz.
Making a ham-bands only receiver would also allow the rig to include front-
end filtering. I have nothing against ICE and Dunestar but it would be much
neater if the rigs had band filtering built in.
We contesters aren't a big enough share of the market to get the major
manufacturers back to ham-bands only rigs, but they could include bandpass
filters for the ham bands which were bypassed on general coverage receive.
This filtering could be used on transmit and replace the low-pass filters.
And I have never understood why they could not provide switchable narrow
bandwidth filters at the first IF, maybe using SAW technology.
Another item high on my wish-list is usable QSK. The FT1000 is particularly
bad in this respect. QSK CW from an FT1000 is very clipped, because of the
time delay built-in to allow for switching synthesizer frequency between
transmit and receive. This delay is longer than it need be, to accommodate
daft requirements like switching between 1.8 and 28MHz *while running QSK*
There are several possible design alternatives to this "problem" but up to
now the designers haven't cared enough about CW users to give it much
priority. Does anyone know if the new FT1000 or the TS870 have good QSK?
>From email@example.com (Glenn D. O'Donnell) Mon Aug 21 12:21:09 1995
From: firstname.lastname@example.org (Glenn D. O'Donnell) (Glenn D. O'Donnell)
Subject: N3BDA NAQP Score
1995 NCJ NORTH AMERICAN QSO PARTY
Call used: N3BDA Location: PA
Category: Single Op All Band Mode: SSB Power: 100W
Callsign of Operator: N3BDA
Hours of Operation: 09:12
band QSOs points mults
160 11 11 9
80 73 73 26
40 6 6 5
20 57 57 24
15 0 0 0
10 0 0 0
TOTAL 147 147 64 SCORE: 9,408
This was my first NAQP and I thought it was great! The timing of
the contest doesn't leave much room open for 40m phone because of the
broadcast QRM. I figured 15 and 10 would be bad but I never thought
they would be completely dead! WOW! Poor antennas kept my score
low, but that's all about to change.