54th Ham Radio Convention

I will be attending the annual (54th) Ham Radio Convention in Apeldoorn, Netherlands on Saturday November 1. You can find me in or near the stand of Whisky Oscar, where I will be assisting my fellow club members. The convention consists of a Ham radio flea market, various lectures and an exhibition of all kinds of Ham gear. I better leave my credit card at home.

TS-870S Vox and Contesting

While doing some WW CQ contesting today -without a log buddy- I decided to give my transceiver’s “Vox” function a try for the first time, to get my hands free for the logging thing. At first, I was suprised about the audio delay on my headphones. But this is actually a clever feature of this old Kenwood that will avoid first syllables being discarded from transmission. After some fiddling with the “delay”control I found vox to be working really well in contesting circumstances, despite the weird delay in my headphones.. The 870 has turned out to be a fantastic  transceiver to work with since being licensed last March. It’s a joy to operate and it looks like new despite it’s age. Works really well with Ham Radio Deluxe and always compliments about the audio. It lacks 6 meters but I’m not supposed to be there anyway with my present band plan. Until my license is upgraded, I will hold on to this radio until it breaks. And then fix it!

Hex rotator trashed by high winds

The big storm of yesterday was a good durability test for my rebuilt Hex. The antenna itself survived the high winds without any problems. However, the 70 Euro cheap-ass rotator’s gears broke and we had to emergency-haul the antenna down to minimum height in the middle of the storm and heavy rains late last night to stop the antenna from spinning out of control. Today, I dedided to go for a brand new Yaesu G-450C rotator from local ham gear supplier GB Antennas. I understand these rotators are pretty durable and provide enough strength for an antenna like this. If weather permits, I will be back on air just in time for the upcoming CQ WW DX Contest next weekend…