There are now 3 separate cables running from the house wiring input into the shack, carrying 3 phases of the mains. That is enough to stop the lights from flickering all the time. The crew built an extra vertical fro 10 meters. We don't know if it will be necessary, as Luis, CT3EE told us that 10 meters is dead in CT3. Further south they seem to have a better path into USA, we can hear some stations from EA8 and 3X5 running on 10, and we cannot hear the other end of the pileup. Maybe the contest will bring some propagation? We will know monday morning.At least the sun is shining at the moment!
During the contest I will be on 15 meters running 6 hour shifts together with DL3HAH.
CT9L is ready for it.
Rein CT3/PA0R/P (CS95A)
Our pre-contest station is now operating on all bands. Most of the anternnas have been fixed, only thye 40m beam needs some more tuning.
I had a nice run on 160m last night with rates over 100, and 160 soun ds completely different from last year, where we operated from EA8, in the city center of Las Palmas. There the noise from the inverted L was as hign as 10 over 9, and we were completely deaf. Now we can hear signals of S2/S3.
I also did some operating on 15 this morning, and the band sounded o.k. The signals will be quite thin this year....
The wx gets better all the time. No rain today. We are now busy to strengthen the mains wiring of the qth to accommodate the amps.
As of tomorrow morning we will be operating full power as CS95A.
The whole crew is down with the siesta. The night has been a bit rough for most, and we just had an excellent meal in the main snackbar in the village with big beers and nice red wine. Now it is very quit. DL3QQ is trying to get a winkey2 module running, and DL2AL is giving moral support. The rest of the crew, DJ7IK, DL1XX, DL1XW DJ7JC and DK3QZ are horizontally polarized. The transceivers are running, most of the antennas have been tuned to the CW band. There is some problem with the 40m antennas. Both the beam and the vertical cannot be handled by the4 acom 2000, it gives an ARC error.
With the antenna analyser the swr goes from 2.0 to 5,0, so there is still some work to do. Also the 220V distribution has not yet been changed to accomodate the 5 amplifiers...
It has stopped raining now and the sun comes through, which changes the outside rtemperature to a more normal level. We had a cold night...
Bck to work.... probably by this evening we will be running CS95A until friday nite.
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....