Of course "It" is the ARRL Phone Sweepstakes contest
and it starts at 3 PM Saturday afternoon and runs tell 9 PM Sunday night (local times CST)
It is going to be fun, new gear and more antennas at KG5VK's qth to play with
Computerized voice keying that even gives the contest exchange including the serial number automaticly and even if you need to present a fill that can be done by the voice keyer !
Yeap we could almost lock the microphone away, almost.
I have added dual monitors for increased "computer desk top space"
Band maps for the spots rcvd thru AR user Dx cluster software are clickable
I also added F Keys for a single mouse click to the rate graphs and the multiplier chart as well as change Operator tool all theses buttons are in one small but easily found box at the bottom right of the log entry window
And of course on that seperate computer monitor desk space is ACE HF prop software showing us the status of propagation on each band by color code....
Green (path supported on this freq)
yellow (path about to open or starting to open)
and red (band not yet usable)
on the left radio we have automated rotator support for 15m/20m and 40m
push one keyboard button the antenna will point to the call area for the callsign in the log window
the right radio power band is 75 meters with a beverage antenna and Four Good antennas just for that one band, the right radio is capable of all bands 10/15/20/40/75
the antennas for the higher freqs on this radio are Kt-34xa tri bander at 40 feet and a 4el 40m at 18 feet
The 75m antenna choices are from a low Moxon pointed West, a Hy Gain Hy Tower vertical with a very good ground plane, a long OCF Dipole sloping from 70 feet to 15 ft above the ground to the North West and a large Delta loop broad side favors East and West.
Left Radio is my new "found" Icom 775 DSP you guys are going to love this rig !
she of course drives the Henry 3K amp to legal limit
Right Radio is the famous FT-1000MP that Bobby KF5XV found for me
it is a really neat rig and I have it setup as our primary radio for 75m
The contest software (WriteLog)
auto switches the mike line (and the Voice keyer) to the correct radio based on where you have the mouse there are Two log entry window lines the top one is the left rig and the bottom is the right rig
We can manually select rcv audio from a SO2R switch box
this audio can be left rig in left ear and right rig in right ear
Or audio mixed or even right rig in both ears or left in both ears
easily done with one toggle switch and a pot on the Top Ten Devices DX Doubler Box which sits between the two rigs -- sounds more complex than it is !!!!!!
one radio can CQ by itself while you look at another band for an opening or multipliers on the other rig - I spent about $800 making it so we can use two radios at the same time (one transmit and one rcv with I.C.E. auto switching Band Pass filters
almost all band switching is automated like last year when you change bands change the band switch on the appropiate amplifier
This year we will probably start out the contest on 40m, then move to 75m
and the next morning get started on 20m as the sun rises
Of course with the two radio configuration we can work more than one band at a time
the rigs are set-up so that there is ONLY one Transmit signal at any time per the ARRL rules
There are no band change limits in sweepstakes so we can change bands as often as we want but we of course need to concentrate on high a High Q rate.
Our Goal is 1800 QSO's which comes out to which is a minimum of 75 QSO's per Hour
if we find ourself hunting and pouncing our rate will suffer, one way to keep the rate up is to USE the Two radio configuration while the Voice Keyer is CQing do the Search and Pounce on the other rig - just make sure you listen to both radios and answer any calls from our CQ !!!
The Tennessee contest team that took first pplace ARRL Dekta Division last year from us is K4JNY and they had 1570 Q's with a sweep
KG5VK team had 1,033 Q's with a sweep
So the 1800 target is just that a target
less than that we are looking at a need of 1600 Q's to be in the running for 1st place delta
Remember last year we were 5th in the ARRL Region
yes we made the region box and that was the first time in a long time that our team has made the region box top scores (they only list the Top five)
so even if we don't push ahead of the K4JNY crew we will make the region box again and move us a notch to fourth or third in it - iow I am really happy with the team we have !!!!!!!
The Fun is this week-end please come join us and operate
if your ears are not up to the ssb chatter you can still be an asset to our team
help us not miss that Ten Meter opening and look for multipliers on the pkt cluster spotting computer etc....
The coffee and the sodas as well as the munchies are on me
Marsh KA5M has genrously volunteered to buy the Clean Sweep mugs for our operators
and I greatly appreciate that !
Man are we going to have Fun !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Ops may start showing up at my QTH any time after 12 Noon