Sunday, April 22, 2007

First sporadic of the year on 6m

Yesterday evening, entirely unexpectedly, the 6m band opened. I worked EA6SX on 50.130MHz at 15:35Z with very good signal in my 5 elements beam. This was the first 2007 opening and I really enjoyed it! After months of absolute quietness in the band this first burst was very welcomed.
By the way, I must report the contact on 17m with 5W0SV, Vagelis form American Samoa. As the dxpedition in Swains Island is already finished with great success and the team is under preparation for the back home journey, we have to say that all of us in Greece we feel proud of you Vaggelis.

Monday, April 16, 2007

New kid in the hood

This Sunday we spend a very nice morning in the shack of Spiros, SV8CS. Theotokis, SV8AXZ, also joined us.The reason was the brand new FT-2000 by YAESU he got the previous day. The new shiny transceiver, object of desire of many hams, it was just in front of us. After several touches of the dial and the bottoms just to get the feel of the new machine, we started to explore it deeper. Actually it is an astonishing rig. The digital facilities is the most worthy addition comparing with FT1000MP that prevailed the previous decade. The display is a beauty. At last very bright and colorful. The needle power meter is also welcome. The software that controls the rig it is also very well done. The receiver, helped by awesome digital filters delivers a very smooth listening. The only thing I would like to be kept from its predecessor FT-1000MP Mark V, it is the mechanical heavy feel of its dial. Well Spiros I wish you good DX with your new toy and I am sure that you have a lot of things to discover playing with it in the next days.

Friday, April 13, 2007

Get prepared

As spring already started, we are waiting for the first sporadic E openings in 6 and 2 meters. This year we had the idea to install antennas for those bands on the top of a hill almost 500 meters high. In the first snap you can see SV8CS, our gaffer and in the second you see me with the rig on the table. The photos are taken just after installation. There is an other member, absent from any picture. He is SW8KOR and he is responsible for all metal work. Our mast is armed with a 17 elements beam for 2 meters and a 3 elements for 6 meters. No bad for a portable operation. The place is located almost in the highest point of the island and there are no obstacles in any direction.
As our island (ZANTE, KM07KS) is located in south Ionian Sea we expect good results with this setup, especially with European stations and who knows with some DX. So we are anxious now for the first alarm by DX robot.

Saturday, April 7, 2007

Things are going better

After Windows Vista successful installation, some other good things happened recently making me happy. First I made the contact with N8S, I was waiting for so eagerly. Actually I spoke with Vagelis SV2BFN in 18.150 on Friday 6 of April. I had only a dipole for this band that turned out to be pretty enough for the job.Vagelis was very cool in spite of all tiredness that such a big project implies. I wish to him and the other members of the team great success. On the top of all them, my flagship FT1000 Mark V Field, thanks to my good friend's Tasos SV8YM treatment, came back to service and took the central place in my shack again. A burned regulator of 5volts in internal power supply was the reason of malfunction. It was delivering only 3.9Volts to the jog dial instead of 5 required with result scanning down continuously. Now it is working perfectly!It took me a couple of days to get familiar with it. Many things were forgotten. It gave me the feeling of a new rig. Tasos I am much obliged to you.
So after a bad start 2007 came back smiling to me. I hope to keep on like this till the end.

Wednesday, April 4, 2007

Upgrading to Vista!

I had got a copy of Windows Vista Ultimate one month ago. I hesitated to install it due to several potential issues with software and hardware. Vista upgrade adviser was not so optimistic. Recently I experienced a great failure with my good old one windowsXP. They refuse to boot farther the initial logo. They did not open even in safe mode. After that, I had two options. A: format and install XP again. B: give Vista a chance. I decided to go to the second option. I was prepared for a great adventure and I was very anxious for the results. After a few hours of “heavy” work I show in front of me the band new desktop. Unexpectedly everything went very well. All my programs are working perfectly and the hardware as well. Here it a list of items, mostly of ham interest, that worked without problems just in case that you would like to know.
Software: MixW2 V1.8, DXatlas, Ham radio deluxe, ARSWIN of EA4TX
Hardware: EA4TX PCI card for digital rotation, Netmos PCI parallel and serial ports, Skystar 2 digital TV with a new driver, Canon scanner LIDE 60 with a new driver, HP desljet 970Cxi and phosmart 7960
Actually I did not find any difficulty for the transaction. My compliments to Microsoft. The new operational system is a big step beyond, especially the GUI. There are many differences that you cannot notice in the first glance and they are doing your jobs easier and safer. Do not hesitate to install it. It must be the smoother transaction than ever between operational systems of Microsoft.
So I am looking forward to log SWAIN Island with Vista!