Good fun with plenty of SpE for the first 90 mins. Hard work without the big beam, just the Moxon tonight and low power.
EPI (SpE Probability Index) from Propquest:
There are about half a dozen Digital Modes club offering colourful awards for simply uploading your log and it being compared against their database. The awards are off course completely useless as far as DXCC as so on is concerned but they are at least colourful! I’ve printed a couple out to add some colour to the shack alongside DXCC and various ‘proper’ contest certificates.
For uploading my log and applying for awards I use the excellent Ultimate AAC application available here:
Delighted by QRP Labs QLG2 GPS module and patch antenna arrived this morning. Especially pleased because the item is has gone of of stock in the last few days as Hans is having supply problems with the microcontroller due to the current global semiconductor chip shortage. The microcontroller is based on a 32-bit STM32 ARM processor.
With optional 16×02 LCD diplay:
Features of the QLG2:
- Supply voltage range 3.3 to 6V.
- Board 80 x 37mm (Same as Ultimate3S, VFO and Clock kits).
- Multi GNSS satellite constellation receiver supports GPS (US), Galileo (Europe),
- GLONASS (Russia) and Beidou (Chinese) – (default GPS + Beidou) – giving a faster
- more accurate position fix – Module is E108-GN01 (GK9501 GNSS chip set)
- • Serial to USB converter, using onboard USB B connector, for convenient interface to
- PC software if required – no drivers required. Jumpers select either the GPS serial
- data, or your own externally connected serial data, for example you could use this as
- a USB to Serial data converter for CAT control of QCX, QCX+ and QCX-mini
- • Can optionally be connected to a standard 1602 LCD, in the same style as the
- Ultimate3S, VFO and Clock kits, to GPS date, time and satellite information using
- the onboard microcontroller.
- • Supplied with included magnetic-mount active antenna, approx 2m coax and SMA
- • Supply voltage range 3.3 to 6V.
- • Board 80 x 37mm (Same as, and compatible with, Ultimate3S, VFO and Clock kits).
- • Onboard LEDs for status indication: Red (Power), Yellow (Serial data) and Green
- • 2.8 to 5V logic level conversion to provide 5V serial data for full compatibility with all
- QRP Labs kits.
- • Supports 2.8/3.3V logic OR 5V logic (jumper wire selected)
- • SMD assembly already undertaken by factory facility – only SMA connector, and
- optional USB B connector to solder.
- • Space provided for optional ultra-capacitor for faster hot-start
The QLG2 will be used to provide the GPS controlled time synch signal for both my QCX range of QRP Labs transceivers and also my Ultimate 3 WSPR beacon. I’ll post ‘build and boxing’ images here soon. I am considering adding the device to a clock module using a 20×4 LCD display for more information including Maidenhead locator, Lat and Lon and altitude.
The clock module is available here: http://shop.qrp-labs.com/clock
Once back in stock the GPS receiver module can be purchased here: http://shop.qrp-labs.com/qlg2
In the meantime, Hans has temporarily replaced the module with a QLG2-SE which provides the same functionality as the QLG2 without the microcontroller functionality. http://shop.qrp-labs.com/kits/QLG2SE
This is a guide for those who do not send CW by hand or decode CW by ‘brain’. It is targeted at getting you going on the monthly 80m Club Contests run by the RSGB but the basic principles will apply to other CW contests. This guide assumes you are using Mixw2 version 3.2 or better (but not version 4).M0ICR
Details/rules etc for the RSGB 80m Club Championship Contest is here:
3.5MHz Club Championship Contests (rsgbcc.org)
Dates for 2021 can be found here:
2021 calendar (rsgbcc.org)
Setting up Mixw2 for CW using a modulated SSB signal
- Make sure you are in menu Layout 2:
2. Tick CW from the Mode Tab:
3. Many operators will use letters as shortcuts for certain numbers, personally I only do this for 0 (to letter T) but that’s a personal choice. I don’t select 9 as N because whilst I prefer to send 5NN for signal report (which I will hardcode in the macros) I don’t like a 9 in a serial number to appear as an N. You can set the default transmit WPM here for contests also (but you can adjust that later using another breakout windows as I will explain later). I tend to use 25wpm as my default (this is the maximum I have any change of decoding by ear!). For this basic set up there is no need to adjust any of the other settings.
4. Setting up the hardware connection between your PC and your radio (in my case an Icom 7300 on COM Port 5 at 38400 bps).
5. Basic Macros.
These are the basic Macros I use:
Finally, a couple of other tips for using Mixw2 in contests:
6. Setting your TX speed.
When you select the CW mode Mixw2 will automatically bring up a little CW window, you can adjust your CW transmit speed here:
If you want to set your TX speed to the speed you are decoding your current QSO station you can see that at the bottom right of the main Mixw2 window here:
73, de Carl M0ICR
I also find it helpful to have CWGet running as a second means of decoding:
I’ve also found MRP40 very good (although it does cost 50 Euro after a trial):
… and finally
CW Skimmer is great for seeing decodes from all CW signals being received in your passband, again it’s not free but I think it’s worth every penny!
or, when you have a serious pile-up!
If you are keen to see how far your CW signals are being decoded it also fun to use the Reverse Beacon Network (a bit like PSK Reporter but for CW)
If you want to practice your traditional CW skills, ie. sending and receiving without a PC I can recommend Morse Runner, a CW Contest Simulator:
If you want to get the feel for handling pile-ups it also worth looking up Pileup Runner (from the same DXAtlas.com stables as CW Skimmer and Morse Runner):
If you are keen to learn CW I can highly recommend the Koch method software from Ray G4FON, his lecture from the 2018 RSGB convention is worth watching: http://www.g4fon.net/CW%20Trainer2.php
Ray’s contest trainer is also worth a look and a robust alternative to Morse Runner mentioned above:
FT8 QSO on 50,323, I’ve worked Paulo PV8DX a couple of times in previous years but it’s nice to have him in the log again. Best 6m DX in 2021 (so far!):
Update: LOTW confirmation: