Monday, January 4, 2016

Easy Programming

rt Systems 
It's been a pretty busy few months but having a few extra days off has allowed me to think radio. The Spaceweather conditions have made it pretty tough for a small station like me to make QSO's, so I'm working on other ham projects. I began doing a bit of coax work preparing a new portable vertical I plan on using for NPOTA and for other portable operations this year. Working where I do, NP13 (Crater Lake) is my focus since my office is there. It's been a very busy winter and if you've not been following the weather out west, we have plenty of snow! If you click over to my YouTube page, you will see a few videos I posted from my daily drive home. Since October 1st, Crater Lake National Park has received well over 220 inches of snow. So, being busy around the office has kept me from even thinking of dragging my portable equipment to work with me.
Coax Prep

With modern technology, it's so easy these days to program radios. When I attended Dayton in 2014, I picked up rt SYSTEMS hardware and software for programming my Kenwood TM-D700A.  I have two of these rigs and I currently run APRS in my truck, which due to our weather, I'm driving more. Although this package is a bit on the pricey side, I found it easy to use and it made programming my rig extremely easy. With several online frequency guides, you can download lots of repeater and ham radio (along with non-ham) frequencies in an rt SYSTEMS format for quick import into the software. It's only taken me over a year to finally use this but hey, it's better late than never, right? 

It looks like winter is here to stay with several feet here at the home QTH. A much different picture than last year as I never even broke out the snow shovel! I'm ready to divorce my snow shovel and open the windows but I'm afraid that's a few months away yet. We need the snow pack with the drought conditions so I'm hopeful many more inches of snow are on the way.

I find it hard to believe that we just entered into a new year. I'm hopeful that 2016 will be a good year for not only me, but for those reading this. Propagation will probably continue to be challenging but I will get on as time allows. I've yet to work a NPOTA station or even a SKCC K3Y station! I loved operating from Alaska during the month of January with my straight key. And with any luck, I'll have that opportunity again. But for now, I'll be chasing those that I hear and hope that my QRP / indoor setup can snag a few. Always a fun way to start a new year! 

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