Friday, 27 April 2018

The 2018 Western DXpedition…..preparations continue

There are fifteen days left till I leave on this years version of the great western adventure and I've been pretty busy getting the van, radios, and camping equipment sorted out and ready to go.

The long range weather forecast does not look the best, but the last time I did this trip in 2014 it rained nearly the whole way, so I expect this year to be not much different.  In fact I'm expecting snow on the first night on the road.

I have my FT-897D and my FT-817ND ready to go in their Go-Boxes, along with the LDG tuner.  Power for the radio will be provided by a 12v 82 amp deep cycle battery that will be kept topped up with a solar panel.   

The plan is to operate portable each night from my campsite, and I'm especially looking forward to seeing where I can send a signal once I get out west.

Mounted in my truck I have an FT-8800, and all the repeaters along the routes I will be taking are already programmed in it.  Once again, much like in 2014 - the last time I did this trip, finding all of those repeaters took quite a bit of research as no matter what list you find on Google or Repeater Book, you'll find another one tomorrow with different frequencies, different off-sets, and totally different PL tones.  Just like last time I had to search out each local club on line and use what their websites listed, and it’s amazing how many of those club links now lead to “Error 404” messages.

For HF antennas, I'm taking three.  The first one is my portable 31' Chillycon Special, and the second one is my Buddipole system.  I've also packed a 66' long wire and a 9:1 balun.  These antennas should do me just fine in my quest for DX.

There are a few more things to pick up this week, such as my CAA package, and some Blue Cross coverage….just in case.

Sunday, 15 April 2018

Durham Radio

I have just received this sad news.....

"We regret to inform you that Durham Radio Sales & Service Inc. after nearly a 25 years in the industry - closed its doors forever at 3:00 PM on Saturday, April 14th. We would like to thank our dedicated staff, loyal customers and friends for your continued support and for many great years in this hobby. Unfortunately, times have changed and it has become impossible to remain competitive in this industry without making drastic changes to our business model. We have decided that it would be better to close the business rather than change the products we carry and reduce customer service.

If you need product support please contact the manufacturer.  If you've recently ordered something and it did not arrive, please track your shipment to make sure it's on the way. If tracking is not available please contact your credit card company for a refund.

Sunday, 8 April 2018

QRP to the Field 2018

QRP to the Field is an annual operating event to encourage QRPers and SOTA stations to get out of the house and operate portable from the field or a local summit.  Find a nice operating location for yourself, or combine it with some buddies for a day-long adventure. QRPTTF encourages participation by QRP hams of all skill levels. 

Both CW and SSB is used in this event.  CW speeds are usually in the 13-20 wpm range. 

It takes place Saturday, April 21, 0800 to 1800 EDT.

The event uses the standard QRP frequencies, and the Nebraska, Michigan, and Ontario QSO Parties are being held the same weekend, so there should be lots of traffic to work.

For more details see HERE.