I’d be lying if I said that I wasn’t phoning it in a little bit for this contest – the Bills are still in the playoffs, so I’m cutting Saturday short to be able to watch the game, and because of it being an 8pm start, I may be getting a little bit of a later start Sunday. Not to mention, while I’ve had this on my calendar forever now, I always brushed it off, and didn’t start ANY prep work. Finally have radios pulled together, but I need to get out to the garage and start getting the antenna stack setup… and the car cleaned out…
Adjustments to the rover for this January are as follows:
- The loss of 1296 SSB – I was borrowing that radio, gave it back, and it has since been sold. Not a problem though, I just borrowed another one to give me 10w FM on 1296, and most of my 1296 contacts are traditionally on FM anyways in the past.
- MacBook! Yes, that’s right, I’m moving back to the MacBook! The little Asus PC is great as a logging machine, but I’ve just had a couple of problems with digital, so I just caved finally and purchased a program called ‘Crossover’ – this piece of software allows some Windows applications to run virtually natively on OS X. This was done after some issues in getting a Boot Camp Partition installed to configure a Windows 10 install. After working out some kinks early this morning, I think it’s finally good to go.
- WSJT-X: I have it updated, and configured, and good to go, and actually functioning as of right now. I’ve used this the last two years in contesting, and I’m just not a fan. This is my personal gripe, I just don’t have fun with sitting in my car pressing buttons on the computer, given that I put the effort in to get all of this setup. It just doesn’t feel like a real ‘QSO’ to me, but I’ll keep it going for the sake of multipliers (yes, one of the youngest operators in my club, and I’M the one being the curmudgeon about the digital modes in contesting)
- Operating Position: This one is actually fluid still, but I’m attempting to change up my operating position so I don’t have to keep bouncing from front to back. In the middle of the June contest I shifted everything to be able to operate out of a back seat, as opposed to the hatch operating position that I normally assemble. That was much more comfortable (and allowed for a cupholder for my coffee Sunday morning)
- Logging Software: I’m actually still torn, and am going to call this a Game Day decision. I have both RoverLog, and N1MM ready to go through Crossover. Both are stable, however N1MM can take a minute to get going. I’m likely going to wind up running RoverLog, and in the Crossover application it runs much better than when I was attempting to run it merely through Wine.
I’ll be active on 50-2304 utilizing the following modes at the described power levels:
- 50 – SSB/FM/DIG @ 100 w
- 144 – SSB/FM/DIG @ 50 w
- 223 – FM @ 25w
- 432 – SSB/FM/DIG @ 35
- w902 – SSB/FM @ 3w SSB, and 10w FM
- 1296 – FM @ 10w
- 2304 – SSB/FM @2w
Plans for Grids are as follows:
Club Rover Blitz
2pm-6pm FN03(si, or vi) – looking into sites; should be an easy shot across the lake for a full band sweep
*Should plans for this section of FN03 be hindered Sunday, fall back plan is to head to FN12au for this time slot, and finish out in FN02xu*
We’ll see how it goes!