Thursday, October 22, 2020

Inconvenient CW, resolved

 

I couldn't have predicted the spin-off effect of the measurements I've made lately on the mcHF.

For many weeks now it has been shelved and the rig-of-choice has been the Apache Labs/laptop on FT8. It will operate CW but no one in their right mind will ever describe it as a CW rig. My main rig, the Flex, will also operate CW, and will do so admirably, but I seldom turn it on.

Actually, neither of these rigs "turn on" - they are booted up, along with an attached computer - a process that hinders prevents spontaneous, or casual "let me check the bands" operation.

I was in and out of the house today, gathering bits and pieces needed to put up a 30-160m antenna (Monday, hopefully), and had several sessions on CW with the mcHF/Hardrock-50.

DX and ragchews. Ecuador, South Korea, Germany, Cuba and Maine. Dots and dashes, flying. 15 meters open. It felt like the old days.

Convenience should be one of the specs that describes radios. No tethered SDR rig would score high in that category but many of the simplest radios will.

.

.

4 comments:

  1. Lately I've had my recently re-acquired KX1 on the table and I'm with you 100%, John.

    The KX1 even has a mechanical power switch. You turn it on and *boom* you're on the air in a second. So few of my rigs do that these days--most at least require some boot-up time. (I'm not complaining about a few seconds in boot). But because it's right there and ready to play radio at a moment's notice, I've used it a ton lately.

    You're right: convenience should be in the specs!

    73,
    Thomas
    K4SWL

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hello Thomas,

      "Recently re-acquired" - I like that phrase...it gives me hope that it's possible to find my old Ten Tec Century 21 or FT-101EE.

      When the RGO One is available as a kit, I'll be knocking on Boris' door. I'm starting to eally miss a good analog rig.

      73,
      John

      Delete
  2. Ah, 15 meters. I cut my teeth on that band as a Novice in 1970. Working CW on 15 just seems to 'feel right', and I'm looking forward to the next sunspot cycle to give me good daily propagation on 15 again. I saw a taste of it this past weekend on the CQ WW. 15 was open a lot, and filled with signals. There were even a couple of openings on 10, but since I see 10 meter Es openings even on bad sunspot days, somehow it doesn't interest me as much.

    "A comfortable chair, a glass of beer, and a friendly ionosphere" -- The Ham Band

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I came along 8 years later than you and 10m was a fantastic band for a Novice. I don't know if I'd be a DXer today if my initiation into the hobby had not included so much of it. EU stations came up to 28.100 and higher, specifically to work new US ops at 5-10 wpm. I didn't realize at the time how much I should have appreciated them.

      73 - John

      Delete