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It’s Field Day again. During the COVID-19 pandemic.

Yelm Amateur Radio Group had to cancel our club Field Day plans. I had planned to participate from home with my Elecraft KX-2, but last night I discovered that the microphone input is now intermittent after it took a tumble from my desk. I’ve contacted Elecraft to see what I can do about getting it repaired. I suppose this would also be the time to get the reduced harmonic distortion modification performed.

I was planning on using my Buddipole antenna with my new Mastwerks mast, but where it would be safe to set up away from livestock, there are overhead power lines. Where I have a great spot, clear of power lines, trees, etc. the livestock would totally take out the antenna.

Sigh. Maybe next year?

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Well, another year has come and gone. I’m back in Seaside at the Sea-Pac ham radio convention once more. It seems like I only update this site when I am in Seaside.

This year I will be attending a Raspberry Pi workshop where I will be receiving a Raspberry Pi as well as an UDRC-II board from NW Digital Radio. The Universal Digital Radio Controller board is an interface between the Raspberry Pi and your radio. It promises to be an interesting workshop, especially since my newly licensed daughter will be attending it with me. I’m looking forward to getting everything connected together and interfaced to my Elecraft KX-2 later today.

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Elecraft KX2

This year I sold all of my HF gear (Yaesu FT-817 and FT-450) along with a number of other accessories. I used the money from the sales to purchase an Elecraft KX2. The capabilities of the KX2 match what I want to do with Ham Radio for the next several years. Since I work primarily digital modes, 10 to 80 meters matches what I need since there are no digital allocations on 6 and 160 meters. It also has a higher transmit power than the FT-817 and includes built in PSK31, PSK63, and RTTY. I also put a deposit on the QRPWorks SideKar for computer free digital and logging.

Unfortunately by the time my radios sold, Elecraft no longer had any KX2’s in stock at their booth, but I should receive my new radio in a couple of weeks.

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Buddistick w/FT-817 and tablet at the beach.

I’ve been going to the Sea-Pac Ham Radio Convention for a decade, and I finally was able to set up my portable station on the beach. While I didn’t contact any one, I was able to hear a ham in the Caribbean on 20m PSK31 who was conversing with hams in Italy. I haven’t yet got the macros programmed for FLDigi on my tablet, and it is very hard to type on the pop up keyboard and still see what is going on, especially at sunset on the beach.

My portable station consists of an AMP-3 Tactical Transceiver pack, my Buddistick antenna, a Yaesu FT-817, Signalink USB, and an Acer Windows 8.1 tablet. And yes, I can fit all of that into the pack.

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Buddistick

I decided to setup my Buddistick today. It’s on the 8-section 11in. shock-corded mast. Two 11in. arms, the mini-coil, and my new 5-section 11in. shock-corded whip.

The interesting part is that changing the radial length affected the SWR more than changing the tap on the mini-coil.

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