Sunday, 3 August 2014

Show Cards and Yaesu WSPR

After a slight delay of just about 11 months, I finally took delivery of the QSL cards for GB2LDS this week. They are all now written, along with a few remainders from the year before, and ready to be sent off to the bureau. Thats around 150 cards.

Ive taken the time to check for QSL status, so as not to waste a card on someone who doesnt want one anyway, or who only accepts them direct but who hasnt sent one direct to me. If you havent sent a direct card in 11 months then clearly your not going to send one!

With just a month to go before GB0SML, the final preparations are underway. The main antenna now has actual wire on it, and just needs a trial on site to trim the elements. The digimode interface for the FT-857D is made and due to be tested today, im just waiting for the laptop to charge up!

Well, after giving the lappy a brief session on the charger, it lasted long enough for me to establish a working receive path. With the car parked on the drive, and just the mobile 20m whip, good Rx spots were straight away coming in!

Now to get Tx working! This is less straightforward, as it requires some fiddling of levels and power settings. With the Tx PWR setting turned right down to 5W, and the DIG VOX setting right up to 100 (not greatest but will do for now!) ive managed to get the radio to trigger to Tx from the WSPR software. Using FM mode and a dummy load and power meter, Ive set it first to ensure the meter was calibrated at 5W, and then set the audio drive level to give 1W output.

This is all with the DIG GAIN level set to 50, and without reference to the ALC meter! I will probably let a bit more drive into the radio, and adjust the DIG GAIN to set the actual modulation level. However, for now, flat battery stops play! The lappy is back on charge.

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