The Contest Computer (Cereal Ports by one Snapped puppy)

W3MM at W3MM at
Wed Dec 20 12:13:59 EST 1995

All right!  Let us get on with it!   CT ver 9 has mouse support. OK so
what?  Well a mouse requires a serial port.  No big deal, I have a bus
mouse. Well a bus mouse needs an IRQ!  Yeah but I need 2 serial
ports!  The bus mouse wins!  Well this is not really true.  The bus
mouse needs a slot. A what?  Yes a slot, the socket on the mother-
board that you plug a card into.  Which came first, the IRQ or the

Let us discuss the slot question first.  If you have a 386 or 486 computer
you may have as many as 8 ISA slots.  If you have one of the new P5
computers then you may have 4 or only 3 ISA slots!  Are slots more 
valuable than IRQ's?  That depends on your state of mind at any 
given moment.   I do not like to have to tear a computer apart before
a contest and configure it for contest mode operation.  I prefer to have
the computer guts configured for contest mode all the time and make
configuration changes that are external to the computer. 

Let us take a look at my P5-100.  The mother board was 
manufactured by Intel and the board has 3 ISA slots.  The one
nice thing about these new boards is that the mother board has
a PS/2 style mouse socket mounted on the board and the mouse
uses IRQ 12.  The mouse is not using a valuable serial port.
In slot 1 is a Colorado Tape accelerator card for the tape back-up
unit.  If you do not have tape back-up, then I presume that you
like living on the edge.  In slot 2 is the K1EA DVP board. In slot
3 is the 4 PORT serial card.  That got your attention!  A word of
warning on 4 port serial cards.  There very good cards available
and there are poor cards out there.  You can't tell the difference 
by the label. They all seem to make the same claims.  The only 
way to tell is by actually installing the card in radically different
computers and in different configurations.  I know, I have a card
which is a bummer and I also have a winner.  There will be a 
discussion devoted to the 4 port card.

Let us take a look at the port requirements for different station
1) You don't have a computer controlled radio and there are no
    packetcluster nodes available to you.  In this case you have 
    the mouse connected to a serial port and you will use the
                                     computer to log your contacts and key
the radio. You still
    have a free serial port.
2) Same as above but you lost your mind and went out and 
    bought a computer controlled radio. The radio is going to require
    that free serial port so the computer and radio can chat with 
    each other.  Well you just ran out of serial ports.
3) Same as 2 but you want to get the packet TNC talking with 
    the computer so you can get the DX spots. Well you are going
    to need a 3rd serial port.
4) Same as 3 but you want to link the computer to a second 
    computer and radio for a multi-single or a small multi-multi effort.
    Now you need 4 serial ports!   

Now it is time for a break and I must return to the basement to 
reassemble the two computers that are in pieces due to yesterdays
rigorous testing of a couple of 4 port cards.

VY 73 de Dave  W3MM  w3mm at

>From jfenster at (Jim Fenstermaker)  Wed Dec 20 18:06:37 1995
From: jfenster at (Jim Fenstermaker) (Jim Fenstermaker)
Date: Wed, 20 Dec 1995 10:06:37 -0800
Subject: Low Band Assistance

From: jfenster at (Jim Fenstermaker)
Subject: Low Band Contesting Help Request

This request is semi-contest related in that I am trying to peak (tweek) my
station prior to the CQ 160 Test.

1. I have a Old venerable Drake R4C with the Sherwood Mods.  This was used
for a number of years at the N9MM (W9ZRX) Multi/Multi operation.  I have
fired it up from time to time on the low bands and it works great...except
for the background (audio ?) noise.  There is a continual low level hissing
sound in the headphones that does not really affect the signals received but
is is annoying. Any comments about how or where I might start to clear this

2. I will be erecting a few more beverages this week as well as the EWE
described in the Jan 96 issue of QST.  I would also like to build a high
gain / low noise pre-amp for 160 / 80 meters.  Does anyone have any designs
or know of any that would work will the above configuration?  I will relay
switch the preamp off-line when I am transmitting which should save the
front end of the pre-amp and receiver.

3. I recently reworked the 160 shunt fed tower and placed the feedpoint
(gamma tuning box and bottom of the shunt at 16'.  With 4 radials, it worked
rather well during the ARRL 160.  The radials start at 16' and end at
anywhere from 6' to 14' depending on the availability of supports.  Will the
addition of more radials, say up to 16 really help my signal or should I
leave well enough alone?  
Any help or comments would be appreciated.

73 Jim K9JF/7
Vancouver, WA

>From Danny Eskenazi <k7ss at>  Wed Dec 20 18:11:57 1995
From: Danny Eskenazi <k7ss at> (Danny Eskenazi)
Date: Wed, 20 Dec 1995 10:11:57 -0800 (PST)
Subject: IC 706 as contest radio
Message-ID: <199512201811.KAA14018 at>

I know the 706 is pretty new to critique, but wondered if anyone has
CONTESTed with it, especially on CW..
Will it work QSK? is the VOX relay smooth and fast enough to simulate QSK if
it doesnt have it. 500hz filter a 
good choice. How does it like working with an amp? 6 meter performance
Would be primary radio for travel/contesting  and backup to the 850 at home.

Any comments in general would be appreciated as well.

And I am LOOKING TO BUY one, if anyone knows of one for sale.


Danny K7SS

(It sure is GREAT to be able to ask such an august group a question like
this!  No review in a magazine will
come even close compared to getting frank answers here).

>From jbwolf at (James B. Wolf )  Wed Dec 20 18:26:11 1995
From: jbwolf at (James B. Wolf ) (James B. Wolf )
Date: Wed, 20 Dec 1995 13:26:11 -0500
Subject: Losing The Peace
Message-ID: <9512201833.AA13041 at ss4.uiv>

>>I don't believe it's possible to build an FT-1000 class radio in the
>>US today ... and it won't happen ... we simply don't havbe the skills.

Yes, we do have the "capability" and technology to make an FT-1000 class 
radio but then we would be looking back into the archives.

I am willing to bet Ten Tec would be a radio much more sought after if 
they had rice box look (cast front panel) instead of a front panel that 
looks like it came from a Dick Smith kit. 

>>We give our children toy guns and miniature trail
>>bikes ... the JA's give theirs calculators.  We honor jocks and give
>>them fake grades ... they honor knowledge and earn grades.

This is the scary part!.. And it is SOooooo True.

James B. Wolf                       Phone:219-429-4638
Mail Stop:25-71  Fax:8215  Email: jbwolf at
Magnavox Electronic Systems Co.
1313 Production Road, Fort Wayne, IN 46808

>From w7ni at (Stan Griffiths)  Wed Dec 20 19:06:19 1995
From: w7ni at (Stan Griffiths) (Stan Griffiths)
Date: Wed, 20 Dec 1995 11:06:19 -0800
Subject: This Hobby is getting expensive...
Message-ID: <199512201906.LAA11783 at>

>> If his cordless phone is like all others I have seen, it is stamped
>> right into the plastic case that his phone has to endure all of the
>> interference it gets.
>Likewise our amateur equipment does NOT have such a statement stamped
>onto it. When we tune the bands and hear TV horizontal sweep trash
>every 15 Khz should we not be able to go to our neighbors and demand
>that they fix their TV or get off the air? Or maybe the TV owner should
>provide us with a filter to put on our radios. This is a two-way
>Kris AA5UO
>mraz at

I believe we actually HAVE that right and the law is on our side.  There
just isn't any way to enforce it, like so many other laws we have . . . 

Stan  W7NI at

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