Inrad HF Triplexer more news…

The news is… there is no news. 🙁

On august 30. I received an e-mail from Appellofunk (the dealer where I bought the triplexer) stating: “if you like please open the TriPlexer to see what happend.”

So that’s what I did and that same day I sent them pictures of the inside of the triplexer showing at least 2 burned (probably more) SMD capacitors.

Since then, no more news.

E-mail between Germany (Apellofunk) and the US (Inrad) must be going by boat I guess…

Pretty frustrating!


Inrad HF Triplexer

My new contest secret weapon worked very well… for exactly 1 QSO.

For the moment I have only these (permanent) antennas for contesting: a Fritzel FB33 3-element tribander at 16m and homemade inverted V dipoles for 40 and 80m at 15m.

So for SO2R I have always used an extra Fritzel GPA404 vertical for 10-15-20-40m. But to avoid the hassle of installing this antenna before the contest and taking it down after the contest I recently decided to purchase an Inrad HF Triplexer so I could use the FB33 on 2 bands simultaneously.

Last week I had the specs of the Triplexer tested by Luc ON7KZ and all seemed to match the specs as in the Inrad web page.

I installed the triplexer between my Sixpak and the FB33 the day before the contest but I didn’t have enough time to thoroughly test it. (I did check all connections twice though!)

Once the SCC Rtty championship started I made a S&P QSO on 20m and during the QSO I saw the SWR on 20m going up to alarming levels :-(.

Continue reading Inrad HF Triplexer

I can expect some more wallpaper…

Even if I prefer playing in the SO2R category, I entered the 2013 ARRL RTTY Roundup in the MSLP category because I wanted to test the pretty new RTTY Skimmers. And even if I didn’t expect it this is what is written in the ‘2013 ARRL RTTY Roundup Results – extended‘:

The Multi-Single, Low Power category in Europe had nine out of ten stations on the Top Ten list. Some winners were team efforts and some were operators using spotting or CW Skimmer assistance. Jo, ON5MF won for Europe using contest call OQ6A, although he normally doesn’t participate in the Multi-Single category. Using the relatively new RTTY skimmer spots, Jo ran stations on his main VFO and jumped from one spot to another with his second VFO, no doubt mostly in-band to comply with the band change rules.

Guess my ‘nice heavy paper weight‘ isn’t that bad, is it Franki?

First 2 contests with the FT5K / FT990 combo

As you already know from a previous post I purchased a Yaesu FT DX 5000 MP last december. Since then I operated in both the ARRL RTTY Roundup and in the CQ WW WPX RTTY. Time to write down my experiences:

The combo FT5K/FT990 is of course a great enhancement over the former combo FT990/TS50S :-). Even with the 500Hz filters the TS50S has a poor receiver for contesting, don’t misunderstand, the TS50S is a great transceiver for travelling but filtering in rough contest conditions is pretty poor. Moreover I was persuaded the FT990 had a great receiver but that’s because I never operated anything better… The receiver of the FT5 seems pretty unbeatable to me when compared to the FT990.

With the FT5K, narrow means NARROW! Using the the 500 Hz filter on FT990 you can see a pretty wide band in the MMTTy scope, using the with 600 Hz filter of the FT5k only a fraction of that band is left, when the need arises it can even be made narrower when using the ‘Narrow’ knob and/or when changing the settings of the RX. Sometimes I had the feeling the receiver is even too good 😉 because you get into very narrow holes on busy band to try and start a run. But it isn’t because I have a good RX that the other stations have one that is as good!

Being used to operate the FT990 it was not that hard for me to learn the basic functions of the FT5k, operation seems pretty straightforward to me.

Since I have the FT5k I made 2 RS232 interfaces so I can run both transceivers in FSK instead of AFSK, this avoids me the need to retune the level of the AFSK tx audio at every band change.

The only negative point I see in the MP version is the band scope which is pretty slow and with low resolution. The speakers that come with it are great but the scope isn’t. Guess I’ll have to go look for an SDR solution on the IF output of the FT5K.

I was pretty happy with the results in both contests! In both my claimed score beat the belgian record!

2011 ARRL RTTY Roundup [update]

The 2011 ARRL RTTY Roundup Results have been on the ARRL-site for a little while now.

I made it to 10th place and 3rd place in Europe (DX SOLP). As this was my first full 24hr SO contest in years I’m pretty happy with the score.  Of course I was also first in Belgium but there’s nothing to brag about with almost no competition whatsoever (the only other ON stations who entered a log where ON6AT with 215 QSO and ON8NT with 101 QSO).

Of course there is lots of room for improval!  The todo list is growing and growing but soon I’ll have a few weeks of holiday so I hope to be able to do some work in and around my station.

@ON5ZO: yes I know, the first thing to solve is the “turn 4 rotary switches every time” problem 🙂

Preparing for next contest

Normally my next contest should haven been the ON-contest 80m SSB on sunday october 3. But, my YL and I received a (short) helicopter flight for that morning and that’s something I don’t want to miss.

So my next contest will be the EU PSK63 QSO Party on november 21.

Okay, there’s a little over 2 months left but I still have a huge todo-list (more or less in order of importance):

  1. Make/buy and put up antennas for the missing bands: 40m, 80m, 160m
  2. Study the rules of the contest and try to figure out a good strategy
  3. get my shack cleaned up: Continue reading Preparing for next contest