Saturday, June 26, 2021

Field Day, 2021

 And for the first time since we moved here, I'm participating! I'm running in Class "1 Delta", which means 1 transmitter, at home, running on commercial power. If I was running on my little Honda generator, then I'd be class "1 Echo", which means 1 transmitter, running on emergency power.

It's a very good test of the new radio, as the bands are crowded (Field Day brings LOTS of people out), with a mix of very strong, and very weak, signals. Earlier today I talked to my friends on the Iowa, and was able to get through on 17 Meters (18MHz) after they could barely hear me on 20 Meters (14MHz) due to a very high local noise level, "QRM" in Ham-speak.

I've only been operating for a few hours, and have collected 18 different states, and even "rag-chewed" a bit with some of the operators.

So far the new radio working very well. I can pull weak stations out of the noise, and reject strong stations just a few kHz away. The Digital Noise Reduction and Noise Blanker are the best I've ever used, very smooth, and they don't introduce a lot of "artifacting" to the audio.

I still haven't learned to use all the wanted signal enhancement and unwanted signal rejection features of this radio, and this is a good time to learn them, and practice with them.

There are some nits and quibbles with some of the features on the radio, but as far as "Basic Receiver Performance", Yaesu knocked it out of the park this time.



10 comments:

  1. gud luck in the contest om - 73 de W7GD

    Our local Klub (Hassayampa Amateur Radio Klub) has a station on in Wickenburg and the callsign they're using is N7C (I think - I erased the email d'oh!). It might be nice to get a 1x1 callsign in the log.

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    1. I've heard a few today, but the QSB is getting bad about now. Nice to see 20 is open after 2200!

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  2. I don't know the tech, and feel I should, but applaud the endeavor!

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    1. The Tech is pretty much Plug-and-Play for a lot of things these days. I've mentored many people and helped them get a Technician Class license, which allows you to use the VHF/UHF Ham repeaters in your area, and also the 50MHz band, which can give you some amazing long-distance contacts if you enjoy that.

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  3. Spent some time tuning around late tonight. Lots of shortwave on 5, 6, and 9 mhz, but I didn't hear much on the ham bands. Pretty low noise levels too. I guess everyone was done after Field Day...

    n

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    1. Yeah, it's amazing how quiet the bands get when Field Day ends. It's almost like somebody pulled the antenna connector out of your radio. The 17 Meter (18MHz) ham band was open, so when I got tired of chasing FD contacts on 20, I went up there far a couple of rag chews.

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  4. Sounds great, drjim. Always nice to talk to old friends.
    I tried to learn all that way too long ago, but never got a radio to continue the interest.

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    1. Talking to people you know on the radio who are now living somewhere else is always fun. A couple of years ago I ran into a high-school friend on-the-air. We had a lot of fun catching up on each other.

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  5. Glad you had a good Field Day! I participated with a local club, Medina County (Texas) Amateur Radio Corporation, in Hondo, Texas. The Corporation instead of Club was because there was already a Medina County (Ohio) Amateur Radio Club.

    Helped log for a guy who was doing FT-8 contacts. We were still on 15 meters at 2200 local (0700 UTC) making contacts. We would get some contacts from up in the North East, then get contacts in the North West and then get contacts from the North East again. The band was dead otherwise for CW and SSB. I don't know what kind of propagation mode was going on to allow that. We did switch to 20 meters about 20 mintues before I left at 2300L. It was very active on FT-8. FT-8 would not be a mode for emergency communications, but some of the other digital modes that can get down in the noise for communications would be such as PSK31,MFSK16,etc. that allow on the fly messages.

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  6. Made 102 contacts with about 15 different states. The bands were pretty good, but Field Day usually brings everybody out.

    It was most likely the mode vs propagation. FT8 is extremely good at making signals appear out of the noise.

    Got all my programs working with the USB port on the radio. CQRLOG, WSJT-X, SSTV, and FLDigi. Had to download, compile, and install the newest version of hamlib so I had the rig definition to interface with the programs, but other than that, everything just worked out-of-the-box.

    Waiting for my LDG AT600 antenna matching unit so I can use my 90' end-fed wire. the built-in 3:1 VSWR tuner can't quite get the wire tuned, so I'll use the LDG.

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