Tuesday, January 03, 2012

A perfect day: work, social and soldersmoke

The weather has turned in Sydney and we have very pleasant sunny days with a refreshing wind.

Today I woke early and went for a brisk walk listening to a podcast. In the morning I worked, doing a geospatial project converting a Django project from Google Maps 2 to 3 as well as working to handle complex polygons efficiently (tens of thousands of points) with holes in them.

Lunch with Jonathan, then some more work followed by some quality shed time.

A kit arrived from QRP Kits, it's a DC40B CW transceiver. I'm still struggling to learn CW and I thought that having a CW only transceiver might help with my motivation. Instructions are good and it was lovely working in the shed with a breeze through the window blowing the solder smoke.

Over the past week there have been numerous visitors to the shed. Dave, VK3ASE, George, Bob, Dave VK2HLG, and Indy (ham call coming soon).

I'm on 20m WSPR and band conditions are really good. I'm running just 1W (the minimum my rig will go down to) and getting spotted right around the globe including by K1JT himself.

My reception seems quite low in noise and I'm also hearing lots of stations.


Peter Parker said...

Great stuff Peter. I notice the kit appears to come with a 7040 kHz xtal.

7040 is too close to WSPR and you won't hear CW there now (it used to be an American QRP freq). And VK CW operators won't tune that high so your calls will probably go unanswered.

Instead save the 7040 xtal for a homebrew WSPR rig. Order a pair of xtals for 7030 and another pair for 7015 from somewhere like Expanded Spectrum (see http://www.expandedspectrumsystems.com/prod4.html ) for a few dollars.

Connect xtals for each frequency in parallel and put in series with RF chokes (experiment with values) and a variable capacitor to get 10 - 15kHz VXO shift on each range.

This will make it a usable frequency agile rig that covers most of the CW segment. And plenty of CW to hear for practice.

Peter Marks said...

Thanks very much for the tip Peter, I will order some alternate xtals.