Tag Archives: ssb

Last Saturday was the Georgetown Hamfest held by the Grant Amateur Radio Club.

I noticed that during the CQWW contest, I could only get a response from others if I yelled into the mic.  I'm sure my wife didn't care too much for that, and it isn't good for me, either.  So naturally, I went to the hamfest looking for a good mic.  I stumbled on a Heil Pro.  This is a very small mic, but since it will eventually be attached to an arm, that's no big deal.


So now I have a mic with a 4-pin XLR connector and need to take it into a 1/4" stereo jack.  I have to deal with impedances (possibly the problem with my current mic, so I may not have truly fixed anything by buying a new mic).  Fortunately, I have some known devices to get an idea from.  Expect that next week's blog post will talk about this more in detail.

In the meantime, the mic smells like cigarrette smoke, so I've got it sitting in a container of baking soda and will do more later in the week.

First CW QSO... Almost

The big part of getting into the shack Sunday was to do my first CW QSO with another SKCC member that is hunting the prefix award. I couldn't hear him at all, and he couldn't hear me. After checking multiple times, I had my daughter hold down the key and I listened on my truck's radio. I didn't hear a tone (though I did hear a carrier) and I didn't see my on the Reverse Beacon Network, so I feared the worst. I checked some of the voltages in the Omni, and finding nothing amiss (and after talking to a few on Twitter about it), I put things back together and looked at things via the Softrock SDR. I was greeted by the sound of a tone, so I guess things are working okay and there was probably another perfectly valid reason why my truck's radio wasn't making the tone.

Incidentally, one of the big things I WAS concerned about was that the sound of my rig on the air would be poor, mostly due to the fact that the sidetone generator on my rig is generating a sawtooth (see the video below) instead of a sine wave.  Looking at things in SDRSharp put that fear to rest.  Hopefully next weekend.

Category: Equipment
Tags: , , , ,

I've had a few "duuuh!" moments recently:

  • I tried to test SWR with the mic on SSB without whistling or saying "heelllllllooooo" (I realized I shoulda known better and got a 3.5mm plug to use as a redneck key)
  • I saw something on the Internet about using a butane torch to solder PL-259 plugs.  One of those plugs just popped off the wire it was supposed to be soldered to.  Another had the center insulator shorted to ground.  Each time I've done this, I've burned insulation and other stuff.
  • I got my work computer banned from http://www.hamqsl.com/solar.html trying to make a Rainmeter skin for it.  Fortunately, I did this on Friday and the ban was lifted by Monday.

I've had a few smarter moments, too:

  • Since I bought a pair of the HTX-100s, I joined the Yahoo Group and just started watching messages.  A recent message by another group member indicated that the display would be back if you let a certain capacitor charge.  The supposedly-broken rig is now working again.
  • I joined the Milford Amateur Radio Club.
  • I started playing with MPM Morse Factory on my Android phone to practice sending in CW. Unfortunately, it appears that it has disappeared off the Play Store.
  • I wanted to see Ham Nation on a big screen, so I used my Blu-Ray player to pull it up on YouTube.
  • I dropped by a truck stop on my way home from a meeting in Frankfort, KY to grab lunch.  While I was there, I browsed through the CB aisle and picked up some RG-8.  Probably not the greatest stuff, but it'll work in the pinch I'm in.

Category: Operating
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