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:
    1. make/buy a rack for all the gear
    2. reroute and label all cables (for the moment I must have enough cables lying around the shack to wire up a full Boeing 747)
  4. Install a second display on the PC
  5. Get the 2 transceivers up and running with the Signalink USB interfaces
  6. Set up N1MM with 2 instances of FLDigi (and learn to operate SO2R efficiently with this setup)
  7. Install the Array Solutions Sixpak antenna switch and find a solution to switch the bandpass filters at the same time as the antennas using the Array Solutions manual switch (remember, 10-15-20 are on the same feed line and 40-80 will probably be together on a second feed line !)
  8. Test how hot the transceivers get at 100W digi and figure out a solution for extra cooling (the extra temperature controlled fan I installed on the TS-50S seems to do a good job and the FT990 seemed to do well in contest conditions at 100W RTTY in the past, but this needs some more testing)
  9. Time permitting: make/buy and install a second antenna for each band or at least for most of them (how will I switch the antennas/bandpass filters now with multiple antennas on the same band?)

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