Attending PACC 2017

PACC 2017The Dutch PACC contest is of course a bit special for us Dutch hams. PACC 2017 is no exception. In the PACC contest for once in a contest season it’s all about the Dutch hams. This one contest we can run CQ and actually get pile-ups instead of search & pounce for whole contests.
For this year’s (the weekend of 11 and 12 February) participation my radio buddies Rob PA1RAB and Gerald PA9G and I came up with a new plan. Gerald offered to use his family cottage for the PACC-weekend.

Equipment

As of the ideas for participation now we thinking about using my Icom IC-7300 rig as the main equipment. We can borrow a Kenwood TL-922 linear amplifier from Mischa, PA1OKZ. We will use some Windows laptops and N1MM as logging software. I will have to figure out how to connect N1MM to the 7300 since I have not do that before.
We also need a good headset with mike boom. Neither of us has such headset so I will have to ask around if we can borrow one.

Antenna’s

We still have to inspect the lot of the cottage to see what is possible. We’ll have to cover 10 (although no activity is expected there), 15, 20, 40 and 80 meter bands. Most QSO’s are expected on 40 meter. We are thinking about a 4 Square Array or a Vertical Phased Array if possible. But we still have to decide what we will use as antenna.
We do want to roll out a Beverage for receiving. The cottage is in the middle of the woods, so it should be possible to roll out some wire. Of course we have to use a switch between transmit and receive antenna, but Rob does have one.

Strategy

The PACC is a 24-hour contest. It begins on Saturday at 13:00u local time (12:00 UTC). First we have to try 10/20 meters because it will get dark pretty soon. Then 40 meter will be open around diner time. Later on the evening 80 meters can be interesting. In my personal experience the night is not worth it to stay awake. Maybe 10 to 20 Q’s will be scored. Better is to get a short night of sleep and return on the airwaves around 8:00 Sunday morning.
Lot’s to do, lot to prepare. I will keep you posted!

Standby problems with the TM-D710

Standby problems with the TM-D710This morning it occurred to me my car almost didn’t start. The battery seemed almost dead. It couldn’t be the battery itself since it is about a year old. When I was thinking about it, I did noticed a low voltage in my battery before. It had to be standby problems with some device in the car. Today I pulled one of the battery leads and put an ampere meter in between.

Kenwood TM-D710

I use the radio in the car mainly for APRS and some chatting on our international repeater PI2NOS. Clicking off the contact, there was stil running about 2 amps! The only thing that has it’s direct connection to the battery is the TM-D710. I pulled the display plug from the TM-D710, the current was still flowing. When I pulled the plug on the main unit, the current was gone. Connecting the main unit, no current. When I put the radio on with the display and turned it off again, there was the 2 amps of current again.

APRS drains battery

The other day I forgot to turn off the Kenwood and it runned APRS for a whole weekend at full power. On monday my battery was completely drained. But that didn’t surprised me at all. But when I switch off, I expect the radio to drain no current at all.
So it seems like there is something hanging in the TM-D710 main unit which prevents it from shutting down. Also there must be. something wrong as 2 amps of current in standby modus is way to high. Even in receiving modus the TM-D710 should use that much current. I will disconnect the rig from the car for now and take it to the club on Thursday. I hope I can find what is wrong with it.

Happy New Year!

Happy New Year!Another radio active year has passed. 2016 was a pretty good year as far as my blog involved. My stats doubled since 2015! It’s a shame I moved my blog so many times since 2001, I don’t have stats from the beginning. But hey, the radio hobby is all about experiments.

In 2016 a new rig entered my shack: the Icom IC-7300. Had a lot of fun with it. Now HF is pretty much dead, but there will be new high activity years to come. Later in 2016 another new (new for me) rig entered the shack: the Kenwood TM-742. A long dream came true, I always wanted to have one of these. Two major events in 2016: the Radio Weekend and PA1JIM/AM.

The Radio Weekend was absolutely great for the antenna cart blanche, the new IC-7300 and being around good radio friends. And PA1JIM/AM of course for being a once in a life time experience operating from a Boeing 737 at 11,5 km up in the air. Furthermore I got pretty active on 23cm, which was quite new for me. Although 23cm is local traffic only, I really enjoy being able to are QRV on this band.
Will 2017 the year I finally improve my Morse skills? At least there is another Radio Weekend plannend. I don’t think HF will be much better yet.

Anyway, I want to wish all my readers a very happy 2017! Thanks for visiting my blog. I hope you keep on reading my posts. Cheers!