Today I have made the brand new Elecraft K3 ready for our next venture, the CQWW-CW contest 2008.
This year we have chosen Madeira (CT3) as our battle filed. Last time I was there was in 2004. The crew is the same as last year's succesfull M/2 operation with some additions (more on that later), one of them being Andy, DJ7IK whom I accompanied to Lybia and Tunesia.
The K3 is the ideal contest rig. It is fittet with a 400 Hz roofing filter and keying and rigcontrol can be done via 1 RS232 cable. That cable was a story in itself. According to my new philosophy, 'you don't have to make what you can buy', I had tried to buy a serial extension cable to do the job. Nowhere in town could I buy one. The girl in the largest computer shop of the Netherlands looked at me with compassion. "Well daddy, you are 5 years ouit of time for this... serial cables have been OUT for several years, they don't exist anymore".
O.K., there are times that you have to admit that you are a bit detached from reality. So I found an internet shop wheich still had a few of those old fashioned cables in stock, and ordered 2 (you never know)... Delivery time 2 working days, so just in time for the trip.
The cables were delivered nicely in time (of course we were away shopping in Belgium when they came, but most delivery crew know that they must put the stuff into the wooden shoe at the back door when we are not at home). The cable connects to the laptop o.k., but I had a problem with the female connector for the K3. The K3 male connector has 2 protruding nuts, the same type of nut the female connector has, so they just don't fit together...
So we had to go back to the old workshop, with screwdrivers, stanley knives and metal saws. When we had cut off the plastic from the connector we saw that that the nut was bolted to the connector. Moreover this was also the connection that held the metal shield of the connector.
The only way out was a visit to the junk box... find an old female connector and fit it to the new cable.
Now I have rigctl working, and also CW. Strangely enough, PTT does not work. I does not return to inactive after the first time it is switched on. This does work ok with the USB cable. Strange.... Fortunately the VOX circuit of the K3 takes this lightly. It has to be ON anyway for the internal keyer to work.
Do I need to mention I also packed the old parallel interface? You never know....