We had a good field day in spite of the low turn out. KARS usually has 8 or 9 stations, but this year we only had 5. Still we made around 1400 contacts as 5A KB5TX. My setup with the Energizer 2200watt generator worked great! I got 10 hours on the eco setting running my radio. I was able to work digital on 15 and 20 meters. We had an issue with N3FJP late in the contest, with about 15 minutes left.
Finally had some QSL cards made. I didn’t really want to go overboard, so I went with cheapqsls.com and have been really happy with the quality and speed of delivery. Coupled with some #6-3⁄4 envelopes I was able to get the first batch out. I sent a bunch to places where I wanted a card back or needed one for DXCC, since I didn’t have a confirmation via LoTW. Remember, I you want a card, and send me one, I will send one back!
Finally got the radio I wanted, an Elecraft KX3 with the KXPA100 amp. I also got a few of the addons: the roofing filters, realtime clock+charger, and ATU for both the amp and the radio. I think I will order the KXPD3 soon and try to figure out how to make a desktop base for it. I’m very happy with the receive quality and having the RX i/q out is awesome.
Cheapham.com had the LDG S9v18 antenna for $35 and the ground plane plate for $25, so I got that with some RG213 and put up a vertical! Such better reception than with the dipole on the roof. I know the roof was absorbing most of the enery on the dipole, because reception wasn’t an issue, but getting out was. The dipole also always had a 1.3-1.5 SWR. The vertical however is awesome on 20m.
I’ve got a Turtle Beach X12 gaming headset. It comes with a digital interface for the XBox and PC. Works on the PS3 as well. It’s a really nice headset, one of the only ones I’ve been comfortable wearing. Most over ear headphones tend to smash my earlobes and that gets painful after a while. These ones fit nicely over my ears so I don’t have that problem. When I plug them into my computer I need to plug the mic and headphone connector in, as well as the USB connection.
Data modes really interest me, especially PSK31. When I got my FT-897D I surveyed all the options for how to connect my radio to my PC. Upon purchase, I got the RT Systems CAT cable (USB-62), but that only provided remote control and programming. My options at this point were to purchase a SignaLink, RigBlaster or the like OR build something myself. What I had read seemed to indicate the FT-897’s “Data Port” was simply a way for the audio to get to the computer w/o being affected by volume or the headphones or speaker plugged in.