Thursday, September 30, 2004 Zulu
I did half a page of resistors on my K2, starting Part II tonight.
- posted by Leigh @ 05:27 z 0 comments
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Flying Pigs QRP Club Barbershop Contest.

Lots of fun in 30 minutes! Also heard N5ESE on 40M but not worked. Heard 3 non-ESE's on 14.061 but worked nobody on 20M.

G5RV Yaesu FT-817 5 WA5ZNU Leigh L. Klotz, Jr. 42 leigh@wa5znu.org http://wa5znu.org 838 Rorke Way Palo Alto, California 94303-4409 USA SCV 3 291 CM87wk 6 37.428833 -122.114667 WA5 Palo Alto, California Santa Clara California United States of America 291 NA 80m 3.560 CW 2004-09-29T01:18:00Z 2004-09-29T17:49:00Z 559 559 yes K6ESE Trev California United States of America 291 NA 5 40m 7.048 CW 2004-09-29T01:26:00Z 2004-09-29T17:27:00Z 579 589 yes W6ESE Tony California United States of America 291 NA 10 40m 7.04860 CW 2004-09-29T01:35:00Z 2004-09-29T17:36:00Z 579 559 yes N0TK Dan Colorado United States of America 291 NA 5 40m 7.0415 CW 2004-09-29T01:46:00Z 2004-09-29T17:57:00Z 559 579 yes NK9G Rick Wisconsin United States of America 291 NA 5
- posted by Leigh @ 01:48 z 0 comments
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Tuesday, September 28, 2004 Zulu

I finished the control board testing on my K2. It was fun. It's a lot like the KX1 in the front panel -- nice to see some the consistency. I got to try the keyer with my AZ Scorpions paddle and it worked. The internal voltmeter wasn't right, though. There's an AGC adjustment of 3.9v, and with R1 all the way up, it topped out at about 3.7 or 3.8v. Using a DMM I had I got 3.8v easily. I didn't see any adjustment for the internal voltmeter, but I hope there is one somewhere. I am glad the nightmare of Z1 is over.

I ordered a full set of inductors and transformers from Mychael's Toroids. I was going to order just the transformers, since I'd had so much trouble with the transformers on the HFPacker amp. The toroids aren't as much of a problem for me, but there are a bunch of them and the cost wasn't that much more. I still have to wind the ATU ones and I think there's some in the SSB board, but I'm not sure. (Plus I have another set to do for next year's HFPacker 100W build...) Enough rationalization...I ordered the set. The forcing function was Mychael is going on vacation and I had to decide.

- posted by Leigh @ 05:45 z 0 comments
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Sunday, September 26, 2004 Zulu
Near-Real-Time F2-Layer Critical Frequency Map
- posted by Leigh @ 17:50 z 0 comments
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Saturday, September 25, 2004 Zulu
K2 Knob
The new Z1 encoder came and it works great. Thanks to Gary and Scott at Elecraft.
- posted by Leigh @ 05:16 z 0 comments
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Friday, September 24, 2004 Zulu
PSK Visual CQ
After Rich KD6WYK told me he gets better responses to CQ when he sends a long idle tone first, I've been toying with using a Hellscreiber-like encoding of text in a PSK signal, as part of a prelude for doing CQ. I asked Erik Olson, author of baudline, about embedding images in DFTs, as I'd seen one somewhere before, and he told me the one I remembered was the aphex twin face, and also told me about Jason's work with color images using stereo channels (and Erik contributed a phase-angle idea for getting a third channel).
- posted by Leigh @ 20:07 z 0 comments
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Secret Toroid Knowledge Revealed
Photo 12Photo 11
Secret Toroid Knowledge from an ARRL QRP book I got on sale at Fry's, a sidebar by KB6FPW
- posted by Leigh @ 16:15 z 0 comments
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Tuesday, September 21, 2004 Zulu
K2 Encoder
I ordered a new Optical encoder for my K2. The scope X/Y trace showed quadrature output, but there must be something wrong with it.
- posted by Leigh @ 21:15 z 0 comments
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Sunday, September 19, 2004 Zulu
Encoder not working
The Z1 encoder doesn't work. It just says 7010.00 7010.01 7010.00. I will either take a scope to it in circuit if I can get the wires down there, or take it out and order another one. Everything else checks out except that, and I know I b0rked the thing before, so it seems likely that that's the problem.
- posted by Leigh @ 06:09 z 0 comments
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K2 Part I done (almost)
insidePhoto 05Photo 04Photo 03
Yay! My K2 turned on, passed its self-test and said "Elecraft" and "7100.00". On to the next step, the rest of the RF board (which is almpst all of it). It is nice that they make it look so good and fun early on.
- posted by Leigh @ 01:18 z 0 comments
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Friday, September 17, 2004 Zulu
Socket not a good idea
The K2 Z1 encoder apparently needs more clearance than the connector I was trying will allow. I was trying it because someone else had said he tried it, but when I checked back, it turns out it didn't fit in the chassis. I then bought a wire-wrap tool at Radio Shack but neglected to notice it said "specially modified for 30 gauge Kynar wire" so that didn't work either. Then I tried just soldering the stranded wire I originally had for the Molex connector onto the pins of Z1, but clipped the wire instead of the pigtail on one of the connectors, so I had to take off all the knobs and remove the encoder. It gets worse. When I was removing the stranded wire from one of the pins, the pin came off of Z1 itself! I took a minute to collect my thoughts and saw that I could, with some effort, solder the pin back onto Z1, as it is embedded in a small PC board. Z1 requires 5V power to work, so there's no easy way to test it with a meter; at least no way that's not just as likely to damage it through another mistake. So here's hoping it works!
- posted by Leigh @ 04:39 z 0 comments
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Thursday, September 16, 2004 Zulu
Sony MDR-E829V for Elecraft KX1
Photo 02

My KX1 headphones are Sony ear buds, MDR-E829V and are on SonyStyle for $14.99 though I bought them at Long's drugstore.

They also have the MDR-E828LP, which appears identical except for not having a volume control and are $9.99. Those are probably a better deal if you can find them.

The important point is to look on the back of the headphone box and it will say in teeny-tiny print

   Specifications: Sensitivity 108dB/mW

Also in the 108 dB/mW category they have the MDR-ED2ILP, which are $19.99 and bigger, for bigger ears I guess, but they lack the wind-up carrying case which is so useful for QRV portable.

The MDR-818 is like the MDR-E828LP and a dollar less ($8.99) but also lacks the wind up case, so I don't think that is a good deal.

So it looks like the MDR-E828LP for $9.99, or if you can't find it in a store and have to order and pay shipping, look for the MDR-E829V at drugstores such as Long's, Target, Wal-Mart, or Walgreens.

- posted by Leigh @ 20:53 z 0 comments
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Wednesday, September 15, 2004 Zulu
K2 Front Panel
Done with my K2 front panel. I put a floppy connector on the encoder, but reading the instructions (which call for shaving off 3mm of the encoderleads), I am worried it may not fit. I may have to take all the little knobs off and try again, but for now this part is done. Next step: RF board.
- posted by Leigh @ 16:19 z 0 comments
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Monday, September 13, 2004 Zulu
HFProjects Power Pak kit done
My HFProjects powerpack 12v 7AH is done. Thanks K5OOR Virgil.
- posted by Leigh @ 18:53 z 0 comments
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Saturday, September 11, 2004 Zulu
PAARA Field Day PAC-12

Here is a PAARA Field Day photo of Andy KR6DD and me trying a Pac-12 antenna to move the GOTA station to 20M for PSK activity.

Me and Andy KR6DD
- posted by Leigh @ 06:09 z 0 comments
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Thursday, September 09, 2004 Zulu
KX1 protective case for waist pack

I have started using a plastic box inside the pack to protect the KX1 pots. I have lost 3 pots through compression in my waist pack. The reduced space means I now have to carry the extra battery in a pouch on the side (photo 3). Someone on the Elecraft list recommended the exact plastic box to use -- I found it at Walgreen's drugstore for about $2.00.

The erasers on the knobs keep them from bumping into the box.

- posted by Leigh @ 16:56 z 0 comments
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Monday, September 06, 2004 Zulu
At 0500z talked to K6ACJ, WB6MLC, WB6W on 7296 USB and Oliver KB6BA who was visiting Glen. Ken is working on his APRS tracker and he and Bill plan to use them to send the frequencies they are operating HF on when backpacking.
- posted by Leigh @ 05:20 z 0 comments
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HFPack 7.296

I just talked to WB6MLC Ken in Milpitas and K6ACJ Bill in Huntington Beach. Bill was running about 500W but off the end of his low dipole and was 5x7. Ken was about 5x4 or so. They plan to meet again at 0500Z for an HFPack gathering.

Bill and I are talking about an HFPack gathering in San Luis Obispo, CA, perhaps some time after Pacificon...

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Saturday, September 04, 2004 Zulu
HFPack 18.157.50

I called CQ HFPack on 18.157.50 at and K6ERO John answered but it was hard to hear him due to QRN and QSB.

John called CQ and KQ6XA Bonnie answered. I could hear Bonnie better on her 4.2MHz ladder-fed loop, and John could hear her better on the dipole.

John faded out and Larry WA0GWA/M answered around 1807Z, and said he had a Buddipole and was planning to try HFPack operation from an observation tower.

Bonnie called CQ again for Europe (gray line) but I had to QRT.

John gave me a 5x5. I gave Larry a 5x4. Larry wants a QSL card. Sent

- posted by Leigh @ 18:15 z 0 comments
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Friday, September 03, 2004 Zulu
OH4LRP Olli in Rahula, Finland

I turned on the PSK-20 and there were not many signals and quite a bit of noise to my G5RV but I saw a fluttery CQ DX at 14.072.4 or so...I answered and OH4LRP Olli got my call on the first round with the HFPacker amplifier.

Olli was running 30 Watts from his ICOM 751A in Rahula, in Finland, and I got about 50% of his copy over a very fluttery, probably polar, route. Olli's station looks FB in his QRZ.com picture; you can even see the Icom rig in it. I missed the antenna -- maybe a beam? "Ant: / E eem otead @15-2to m", though it appears he has a nice tower. I did get that he built his own interface and was using MixW on Win98, and that it was 15C there. QRA appears to be KP31QQ or so -- about 5300 miles.

When I modulate the PSK-20 with AF below 1KHz I have to crank it up a bit; otherwise the PSK-20 vox flutters. Maybe I should look at the interface I built and take out that DC blocking capacitor, huh?

Queued for buro Olli requests QSL via bureau.
- posted by Leigh @ 17:51 z 0 comments
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Thursday, September 02, 2004 Zulu

I set up my KX1 on NiMH AA's at 4W at the espresso bar between Xerox and PARC but it was too close to the building and it is in a valley anyway, so I moved out a ways, still in the valley, but with a bit of a view to the north. I threw the 28ft wire up thee hill into a tree and the wire was parallel to the hil about 4 to 10 feet up along its route, and put a 40m radial 90 degrees away along the valley floor -- 180 would have been better but there wasn't room for 33ft.

I heard W7YCW and W7VA? in QSO and when that ended W7IML called them but no response, so I called him...Clark could barely hear me so I stood up on the fence and that helped a lot -- with his pre-amp on and filters on his ICOM 706 he could hear me on his invrerted vee. He was running 100W and was 559, and gave me a 449 with QSB, QRN, and QRM. He worked hard to pull my puny signal out of that!

Clark is in Snohomish, WA and got interested in ham radio in 1933 and got his ticket a few years later. He was enjoying the warm weather there, but for me standing in the sun it got a bit hot and I had to QRT and head in to my office, but I will look for Clark on the bands again.

QSL Sent
- posted by Leigh @ 17:33 z 0 comments
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I heard W9ZN calling CQ on 7.035 and he had quite a strong signal, so I turned on my HFPacker amp and answered him with my FT-817. He gave me a 559 and said it was armchair copy on his FT-1K and ground-mounted vertical in the Hyde Park Shore area of Chicago. Bill was running 1KW from a home-brew amplifier!

It turns out that on my one trip to Chicago in junior high school, I went to the Museum of Science and Industry which is only 4 miles from Bill's QTH -- I thought I recognized the area from the name and he confirmed it. Mapquest says it's 2.8 miles away! Not that I have an encyclopedic knowledge of Chicago...

We had a nice long QSO and I hope to work Bill again. Bill got his ticket at 13 and was in the Navy by 17 doing CW!, and so he was very kind about my rusty CW. Even though he is right handed, he was practicing sending with his left hand on a J38 most of the time...it was better than my right!

QSL Sent
- posted by Leigh @ 06:11 z 0 comments
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