My Pac-12 in its Radio Shack back-bag
My KX1 Bag
I got the idea for this from Wayne N6KR
designer of the KX1.
What a difference...
Field day is over.
20 Meters on Field Day 0530Z
Here it is now.
20 Meters on Field Day 0250Z
20M is still hopping.
I got my Olimex PIC-MT-A and Microchip PIC 18F252 to send morse code
in the speaker, LED, and relay. Unfortunately, the SDCC C compiler
is just barely working for the PIC18 and it's way too frustrating for
me to try to get anything done, so I'm putting all my PIC project
plans back on hold.
For documentation on how I got the basics to work, see here:
Spark Fun Microcontroller Forum
Indoor QRP VA7WHY
I ran a 28ft wire and a 24ft wire through some convenient cracks between
the ceiling and the wall and tossed one into a tree and the other looped
around a water pipe and listened around a bit. On 10.111 Mhz I answered a
CQ from VA7WHY
says Jim in Hornsby Island, BC, Canada) who gave me a 229 but we
couldn't get much beyond that (he was 439).
My Saratoga EZ-Charge from HamStop
came today. It has a small 16v wall wart and this box, and a Molex
connector that goes to a AA to D cell NiMH pack to charge it. I figure
it will be much better than taking my Maha C777-II on my next trip.
The prototype I saw had APP connectors on both sides, but this one has a
Molex on the battery side. I imagine they did it to make it clear which
side is which, but I don't want to make yet another adapter to lose, so
I asked if they can change it for me, or sell me the PC board pins for
the APP so I can change it myself.
EA6UN (Don't send $3, Mallorca, Balearic Islands, Spain) from Lake Ontario, New York on my KX1 and PAC-12
I set up the KX1 and Pac-12 on a pier in Webster, NY in lake Ontario
about 100m off the shore, among some fisherman. I tried to make my
Pac-12 look like a fising rod until I put it up. I listened a bit and
heard EA6UN Jurek in
Mallorca, Balearic Islands, Spain, calling CQ on 14.034. He answered someone else but
then called QRZ QRP WA5 for me an gave me a 569 with QSB. He wanted to know my
power (4W) and said the Elecraft KX1 was doing FB. He was running 100W
into a beam.
So for me that was Grid FN13 to Grid KM71 which is 9200KM or 5,750 miles,
so at 4W that's 1437.5 miles/watt or 2300 km/watt! So I am now eligible for the 1000 mi/watt club.
QSL via EC6TK (qrz.com confirms and gives more directions).
Update: I sent the $3 but never got the QSL. Don't make my mistake.
N7OG in Ogden UT
I heard N7OG Ken in Ogden, UT call QRZ after
a QSO and answered him. He gave me a 449.
He was patient and wanted to know my power (4w).
end 8:00PM EDT.
Picnic Table to Picnic Table
I worked N9IP
/4 CW on 14.028.0
who was also picnic portable
though on an ICOM-706 @100 watts into a
Hustler vertical, from his poolside table.
Ed was on vacation and had time for a quick QSO
after walking Coolonial Williamsburg, VA and before
taking a dip in the pool. Ie was 599 and
gave me a 569 when I answered his CQ. As I
was running 4W and he was running 100, by
reciprocity that means he should have heard me
about 2 or so S units down so that is about
DX Pileup or County Hunter net?
I worked W0GXQ
in a county-hunter net,
from a picnic table at Xerox in Webster, NY on 4w
with my KX1 and a sorta-vertical wire on 14.05650 2330z,,
but I had no idea what it was. I thought it was a DX pileup.
OM was 579 and gave me 449 on my KX1 at a picnic table in Xerox.
As I did not copy the call in 20 minutes of listening. I copied other QSOs and sent email to W6RLL Joe
identified it as a county-hunter net and gave me the calls he worked.
Too much stuff
I have my KX1, FT-817, K5OOR amplifier, Z100, PAC-12, VX-2 and
associated batteries and and antennas packed for a trip to Webster, NY, Grid Square FN13, near Rochester,
CW is going to the dogs
My father N5LK sent me this.
W4REF CW 7026.85
I heard Calvin W4REF
calling CQ and answered him with my new KX1.
I had just finished the ATU but was running it straight through to the
HFPacker amp and the Z100. There was a lot of crashing QRN on my end
and Calvin with his 44 years of CW only had a fine signal from his
Drake TR-4C and dipole, but I missed a good half of it.
Things that bug me about the KX1
- Zero beating is hard. The sidetone test mode blocks out the RX so you can't beat the, you have to swap them. I might try turning off the TX and sending dits to beat, but there really ought to be a one-button solution to mix 600Hz with the received audio, especially since the TX offset is fixed at 600Hz. Wayne N6KR said that the sidetone is wimpy because it is mixed from two PIC output lines with a couple of resistors and is "wimpy" so he has to mute the RX, but I still think a one-button zero-beat could be done. I'll have to get my scope out, but it sounds to me like the harmonic content is fairly rich (i.e., it's probably a square wave) and makes it harder to tell right. Narrowing the filter and peaking the RX audio first helps, as it puts you in the right ball park.
Another thing I do is to tune the carrier to 0Hz and then go up or down 600Hz but that's kind of a pain as there can be QRM 600Hz away and it's hard to remember whether to go up or down as the injection is different on the different bands.
- The chorded-hold key combinations (menu-band-hold for Tune, menu-RIT-hold for display mode, etc.) are hard to get to, because if you hold the first button for > 0.5s then it does the unchorded operation right away. That is, if you do menu-hold-band it just does menu-hold, which is enter edit menu. To make matters worse, once you're in edit menu mode, the chorded menu options aren't available any more, and you have to tap menu once to get back to VFO display mode. I complained about it, but apparently I am the first, and the K1 and K2 do the same thing. Still, I think it shouldn't perform the hold operation until you release the keys, and at that point it can decide whether it was chorded or not.
QRV with KX1 on 30M; no contacts
I finished my KX1 30M option. The installation instructions weren't making sense. It turns out
I'd put one of the "G" wires in the wrong "G" through-hole on the board. It does say not to do that, but I thought it was referring to the G near the 2003 on the main board, not on the option board. Duh.
It went together fine but didn't work; it turns out I'd put the nylon shoulder washer for the final transistor back in the wrong place when it fell out. It is supposed to go between the tab and the standoff, not between the tab and the case. The case insulation is provided by the Sil Pad. Once I fixed that it worked great and re-aligned quickly.
My G5RV hears little and gets out even less on 30M, so I took two pieces of teflon wire (24 ft each) like it says in the KX1 FAQ
, and used my Z100 to load it up with a bananna jack and an alligator clip, on top of a hill at work at lunch time. I had forgotten to bring two pieces of Coax, I hooked the Z100 to the rig with a stack of BNC->UHF->BNC adapters, and then the power/swr meter with the coax, and then the antenna. It was difficult to find a match on 40M but it would match on 30M and 20M.
I called CQ a few times on all 3 bands and answered a few, but no takers.
First QSO with Elecraft KX1
I finished my KX1 #712 and it was late, but I heard J1DOT
on 7.083.25 5x9,
running 1KW into a 4EL beam up 26 meters high. He made a cross-mode
contact so I gave it a try, but he didn't answer me, so I turned on the HFPacker
amp and he heard me at 50W on my G5RV and gave me 589, and said he would QSY down
later for US CW stations. 2004JUN06 1040z
First time on 60M 5731.5 USB.
I hooked up my Pac-12 with the 40m coil, a 4ft aluminum extension, and
then the 20m coil, and lowered about 2 top sections. I added the
longest elevated radial I could make and put the Z100 tuner at the base
of the antenna, and ran the coax to the shack. I could get about 1.8:1
out of it, so I turned on the HFPacker Amp and talked to WB6MLC
Ken in Fremont and
Beach, CA. Neither could hear me or each other very well, but I could
copy them Q5 with my Autek QF-1A audio filter. I talked to Ken a little
more after Bill went QRT and he could copy my 5x1, probably NVIS he
said. Probably I should tune some radials for 60M and wind a coil for
it, hi hi.