[VHFcontesting] "Ideal" Contest Rig Continued..

Duane Grotophorst n9dg at yahoo.com
Tue Feb 4 09:26:31 EST 2003

--- "Mark S. Adams, P.E." <msadams at acsu.buffalo.edu>

> I am imagining N9DG's setup in my rover using say a
> Jupiter and DEMI 
> transverter for 6M.  I could have the N4PY program
> running in a window 
> while I work stations on 2M and log them in
> RoverLog. The band scan would 
> clearly SHOW new stations calling on 6M and a click
> of the mouse would put 
> me on frequency to work them. This sounds really
> cool!

To be clear the spectrum sweep sensitivity is rather
modest, it won't find the really weak ones out there.
Although it was interesting to see some ever so small
persistent blips on the 6M sweep display and to then
check them out to find some new weak stations to work,
if your location is noisy this will be less likely
because there will be lots of small blips. It is
primarily a way to visualize the band instead only
listening to it, makes for a better general overall
situational awareness of the band. In a sense it
replaces audible/squelched scanning with a visual
representation, the main difference being that you can
now easily ignore the strong locals because the
sweep/scan need not stop on them.

The main reason I described this approach in the first
place is to show that it is possible to do things that
are not traditionally/commonly done, even by using
gear not specifically optimized for these things. And
to also illustrate that the VHF/UHF gear available
today is really rather limited in its capability,
especially in terms of how much information about the
bands themselves that that they give you.

When pursuing the notion of the “ideal” rig (contest
or otherwise) we hams collectively really do need to
stand back a few steps rethink the whole concept of
how a “radio” really should look and work, plus how we
interact with it. It may also be prudent to start
thinking of our shack/station as being more of a
“system” that is comprised of interactive functional
building blocks rather than a collection of mostly
standalone feature stuffed gadget boxes all trying to
be a "station" in and of themselves. 

> Of course I have questions.
> 1. TenTec,m and some reviews I have read, say it
> takes 2-3 seconds to do a 
> band scan. N9DG indicates that it takes 5 seconds.
> Obviously quicker is 
> better.  Maybe the Pagasus/Jupiter and computer
> combo that N9DG uses is a 
> bit slower than others have used. Comments?

If you do a sweep with the Ten Tec software it is
indeed about 2-3 seconds to do a 150KHz sweep.
Unfortunately it also draws "sawteeth" on the spectrum
sweep display. Carl opted to sweep a little slower and
make the display somewhat coarser to avoid the saw
toothing effect. Ultimately though this limitation
really needs to be addressed in the radio firmware
itself, perhaps a new "mode" that is solely for
sweeping purposes and not demodulation could be
implemented. I think a realistic, no sawtooth speed of
the Pegasus/Jupiter could then be in the 2 second
range for a 150KHz sweep.


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