[CQ-Contest] Zero Beating - slovenly operating

Steve Harrison k0xp at dandy.net
Sat Jun 2 00:24:51 EDT 2007

At 04:52 PM 6/1/2007 -0400, Pete Smith wrote:
>There may be another variable.  I am fairly close to tone-deaf -- so I have 
>a good deal of trouble hearing when my transceiver's sidetone and the 
>incoming signal are at the same frequency.

I'm hard of hearing, but definitely not tone-deaf. This is either a
blessing or a curse... Until I got this TS680S with its 10 Hz digital freq
readout, I was never aware just how finely I was tuning weak stations (the
most-fancy radio I've ever owned until now is my TS-130S). During the
recent slurry of DXpeditions, I've often found my touch on my VFO knob to
be too sensitive, and wished for 5 kHz/revolution  ;o|  Compounding that
problem is my audio filter. In the olden days, it's measured 50 Hz
selectivity was sufficient unto whatever tasks I put to it. Last winter, I
found myself wishing I could narrow it down even further. But of course,
amongst the summer static crashes, it doesn't matter a whole lot and in
fact, as I mentioned earlier, for the first time that I can rember, I
actually operated most of a whole contest with the selectivity opened
considerably. This was both in response to those calling off frequency as
well as seeming to be able to copy weak signals easier amongst the static

Would also be very nice if this 680 had provision for "spotting" (it's a
mod that I've been meaning to investigate; I built an interface box years
ago for one of my TS-120Ses to utilize an external spotting switch and it
worked really nice). The spotting switches in late-model radios are what
I'm certain is how so many others wind up on exactly the same frequency as
the station I'm calling, and I have to go by my 1+ kHz sidetone frequency
then try to offset my RIT or VFO-B. When I do this properly, then as often
as not, tailgating works the first time.

But during a contest, one doesn't have time to perform all those fine
tweakings  ;o((((((

I have to admit that because I used my RIT extensively during the WPX, I
occasionally found myself calling someone way off frequency when I didn't
notice how far off the RIT really was. That didn't result in too many Qs
right off the bat, though.

Steve, K0XP

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