NAQP SSB VE7FO Single Op LP
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Thu Sep 5 03:02:42 EDT 2002
North American QSO Party, SSB
Class: Single Op LP
Operating Time (hrs): 10
Band QSOs Mults
80: 25 12
40: 23 15
20: 224 46
15: 116 35
Total: 388 108 Total Score = 41,904
Club: British Columbia DX Club
Saturday, August 17, 2002 23:49
Missed NAQP CW as I was in Portland OR at a DX convention.
Just for fun, I looked at my Summer 2001 NA SSB and my Winter 2002 NA SSB
stories to see if I have made any real progress on the station.
Aug. 01 - Got sbdvp.exe working with TR. Some difficulty getting the levels of
the different messages the same. Too much "dead air" space in the messages.
Jan. 02 - Discovered Goldwave sound editor. Level and "dead air" problems go
Aug. 02 - Didn't allow enough time before the contest to get everything setup.
Had some audio problems which will be described later and ended up not using DVP
at all. Contest has now been over for an hour. Attempting to reline throat
SO1.5R A method of simulating SO2R with 1 MkV and TRLog. It works, but no one
using SO2R would ever be tempted to use it.
Aug. 01 - First test of SO1.5R.
Jan. 02 - Used it to get some mults I wouldn't have otherwise got. Got a little
better at listening to 2 different things at the same time.
Aug. 02 - Have been trying to finalize the documentation of SO1.5R before
putting it in the public domain. Other things keep getting in the way. Also
TRLog keeps getting improved and I have to keep checking that SO1.5R still works
with the newer version. Saw Tree at the DX convention which made me feel guilty
about sitting on this so long and have put some more work into it. To my
amazement, the ZS team used it in WRTC. They suggested some modifications so
the release gets delayed again. I didn't use it in this test due to general
grumpiness at not having DVP working.
LATE FLASH - SO1.5R is finished. It has been sent to a couple of folks to have
a look at. If all OK it will end up on a web site somewhere. Details will be
posted on the TR and 1000MP reflectors when it happens.
Aug. 01 - In a fit of exuberance, while trying SO1.5R, I was listening to the
MkV main Rx, the MkV Sub Rx and an old 75A-4 hooked up to its own antenna. 3
audio streams - 2 ears. To solve this problem I bought a Radio Shack audio
mixer. After the contest, I concluded that the $C90 could be put to better use
and returned it to RS. Had a lot of RF-in-the-audio problems which turned out
to be due to an audio lead with spiral wrap shield. Ugh. Cut it into little
pieces and chucked it.
Jan. 02 - Complaining about the annoyance of having to get at the back of the
computer to plug and unplug audio leads into the sound card, depending on
whether I'm using sound card for DVP or RTTY. Wishing I had an audio patch
panel so I could make the connections I want without messing with the back of
the computer, etc. i.e. every audio line (well, the line level ones, not mic or
speaker lines) would terminate at the patch panel. Connections would be made by
patch cords or internal connections within the panel. Found a Radio Shack audio
mixer in a pawn shop. A little beat up and no manual. They wanted $75. Good
Aug. 02 - Found the Radio Shack mixer at a flea market at the RAC Convention in
Vernon, BC. $5. Also a couple of little bookshelf amplified speakers. $10.
Found a patch panel with 2 rows of 24 mono 1/4" jacks on the front, another 2
rows of 24 mono 1/4" jacks on the back and 24 switches, one for each vertical
pair of jacks which determine, for each pair, what happens when you plug into a
front jack. All this is surrounded by an aluminum enclosure. Takes up one rack
space. Connections to the panel are via the jacks on the back instead of solder
tags. Means I have to buy a lot more 1/4" plugs but, if I decide I want to
change which line goes to which jack, I just move plugs around - no unsoldering
and resoldering. $79 new at a music store. (If you're interested, check out
Ultrapatch Pro PX 2000 at http://www.behringer.com). Wired the Soundblaster
line out plug to 2 jacks (L and R) on the panel. Two separate shielded cables.
None of this spiral wrap or braided shield nonsense. Continuous metallized
mylar Beldfoil shield. Made up another shielded cable from another jack to the
Patch input on the MkV. Right! Now I have what I need for DVP connections from
SB card to rig. RTTY cabling will be done later.
Aug. 01 - The 40 and 80 dipoles which used to be supported at the front of the
house by a stick tied to the neighbour's hedge had to be removed. Details in
the original story. For this test, they were bent around the perimeter of the
flat roof to accomodate their lengths.
Jan. 02 - The tri-bander height is increased 10 ft to 45 ft.
Aug. 02 - Don't remember when this was done but now have a beautiful 20 ft
fiberglass pole in the corner of the front yard with 10 ft of tubing sticking
out the top to which the dipoles are now attached. Next step, 50 ft of very
skinny tower in the back yard to support the other ends of the dipoles and,
maybe, serve as part of an inverted-L on 160 and, maybe, 80. Before that, take
down the TH3 and put up the C4 which should show up in a couple of weeks.
Should be able to burn up 40m with it. At the same time, remove all the runs of
30 yr old coax and replace them with LMR 400. Was thinking of heliax until I
found out how much it costs. Will be picking up a 1,000 ft spool of LMR next
week. Hard to imagine using that much on a 33 x 120 ft city lot but it's what I
need (including 1 spare run).
Aug. 01 - On the 2nd floor. 1/4 wave on 20 above the ground.
Jan. 02 - In the basement. Rig ground connection is via 3" wide 3 ft long
copper strap going through the wall and connected to ground rod.
Well, I would say there's been quite a bit of progress. Looks like DVP is under
control, the foundation for the flexible audio connections is in place and we're
on the verge of a serious antenna upgrade.
SO, WHAT HAPPENED?
Set up TR as usual just before the contest as usual. Tried to test DVP. TR
giving error messages. How could this be? Oh, I remember, sbdvp.exe was
upgraded recently as it wouldn't work with the more recent TR upgrades. I'm
still using the old version of sbdvp. But wait, I haven't upgraded TR for
several versions. Oh, I remember, during WAE CW things were so slow that,
trying to create some excitement for myself, I installed the latest version of
TR in the middle of the test. No excitement, worked FB. Well, I'm pretty
excited now. Found the new version of sbdvp.exe and installed it. OK, it's
working with TR now. Tried playing previously recorded CQ message. There's a
dreadful hum on the DVP, rendering it useless. Couldn't find a quick fix.
Looks like mostly S&P for me. How could my new, better shielded audio lines and
beautiful new patch panel have hum? Very grumpy. Start test 6 minutes late.
Unfortunately, I'm picking this up again a couple of weeks after I wrote the
preceeding stuff and can't recall anything about the contest. Usually, looking
at the log will bring things back but not this time. Sorry to disappoint,
especially after all the rambling about the station.
Haven't even looked at the DVP problem. Still grumpy.
Oh well, thanks for the Qs
73 de Jim Smith VE7FO
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