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[CQ-Contest] Station upgrade

To: <cq-contest@contesting.com>
Subject: [CQ-Contest] Station upgrade
From: "Rick Kiessig" <kiessig@gmail.com>
Date: Mon, 28 May 2012 22:49:30 +1200
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My interest is primarily SSB contesting on 20m; secondarily SSB on 40m and
15m and RTTY. No interest in CW at the moment (actually, I'm interested,
just don't have the skill). I'm currently using an Icom 756 ProIII with an
Ameritron AL-80B amp, Heil ProSet Plus and a 10m vertical.


My QTH is near the top of a ridge, about 100m elevation and 300m from the
ocean. After a multi-year battle with the city, I'm finally close to getting
approval to install a tower and beam, 10m above immediate ground level. I'm
hoping that the combination of being on a hill and close to the water will
help compensate for not having much height. I'm thinking about a long-boom
5-element monobander for 20m, although the 4-band 4-el yagis I've seen are
also appealing.


It will probably take 4 to 6 months more to get the tower and beam
installed, so I'm wondering whether it would be worth upgrading my radio
before then. I've pretty much decided on the FTdx-5000. Should I expect much
of an improvement in RX or TX performance with the 5K, as compared to the
Pro3? If so, is it possible to quantify it (even roughly)? I'm familiar with
Sherwood's receiver measurements, but I have no idea how (or even if) those
numbers translate into actual user experience.


I'm also looking for a good panadapter for the 5K: no sound card,
good/stable software with a waterfall display and point-and-click control of
the 5K's VFOs, filters, etc. The SDR-IQ might work, although it doesn't have
as much bandwidth as I'd like. Any ideas/suggestions/experience along those
lines would be appreciated.


I would also be interested in advice regarding an antenna, rotator,
amplifier, microphone and other audio processing equipment. I'm currently
looking at OptiBeam or Mosley, Acom 2000A and a prop pitch with Green Heron.




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