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[#] Thu Oct 23 2014 11:22:03 EDT from vince-q @ Uncensored

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Last weekend I was fortunate enough to be able to grab a Yaesu FT-897D.


This is an all-mode box (AM, FM, SSB, CW, Digital Modes) that runs 100 watts on HF and 6 meters, 50 watts on 2 meters and 20 watts on 70 cm (432 to 450 Mhz).

For all practical purposes this transceiver will be used on 2 meters and 432 Mhz, mostly SSB and CW, and will be the 2m and 432mhz "anchor" for the contest station here on the Mountain.

While there is no such thing as "too much receiver sensitivity" on the VHF/UHF bands for SSB or CW, there's still a plan to put a pre-amp on the rig. It is receiving fine for everyday use, and most likely (borderline) good enough for casual weak signal work. But 'casual' is not in my lexicon where weak-sig and contesting is concerned!

Over the coming few weeks, as I learn my way around the menus (extensive) and programming options (equally extensive) for this rig, I'll probably have a bit more to say.

For now - if you are looking for a "small but not miniature" rig that will quite literally give you a "hamshack in a box" then I very strongly recommend you give this transceiver a close look. For less than a thousand bucks, you simply cannot find something better. And you'd better snatch one up - now. Yaesu has halted production (but not support!) since they are bringing out their next rig in this operating class, and it will (from what I've been told) run about $400 more.

And on this, more later...

--K2NE

Visit our website for the latest on Happenings at the Mountain!
http;//k2ne.net
[gotta love that shiney new domain!]

[#] Sat Oct 25 2014 00:39:08 EDT from ax25 @ Uncensored

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Vince,

What made the decision for you against one of the many SDR rigs out there?



[#] Sat Oct 25 2014 04:12:07 EDT from vince-q @ Cascade Lodge BBS

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The contest station is a multi-operator facility, and SDR is just to "flakey" for that sort of operation.

There's lots to be said for simplicity. If they still made them, I'd opt for rigs like the Drake TR6. Single purpose; solid as a rock; and best in class in every way.

[#] Wed Nov 12 2014 14:23:13 EST from vince-q @ Cascade Lodge BBS

Subject: Lots new going on - come visit!

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We've been making changes, additions, and planning lots of new antennas and other operations.

Come visit and see what's going on up here on the Mountain!

http://k2ne.net

Cascade Mountain Contest Group



[#] Wed Nov 19 2014 19:09:29 EST from vince-q @ Uncensored

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[#] Thu Nov 20 2014 01:10:33 EST from ax25 @ Uncensored

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Both decent data radios :-)



[#] Thu Nov 20 2014 01:28:09 EST from vince-q @ Uncensored

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eh - I don't do the 'data thing' these days. For me, at least, it loses that feeling of personal involvement. Enough typing on the internet - don't need more of it in my ham shack...

--K2NE

[#] Tue Nov 25 2014 02:38:42 EST from vince-q @ Uncensored

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Wheeee!
Exciting six meter SSB contacts tonight over a 135 mile path between the Mountain and the Oakland area.

What makes this exciting is that the only antenna currently in the air that resonates on the six meter band is the off-center fed inverted vee normally used for HF operations.

Yes, it was a 'sked' (scheduled contact for you non hams).
He was about an S-3 here, and my report from him was S-5.
Considering the "antenna" we were using, that is astounding.
Everyone in the Northern California area is anticipating the installation of the "real stuff" antennas for six meters early in the Spring (2015). That will make the signal truly dominating throughout most of California.

This *will* be fun!

--K2NE

[#] Fri Nov 28 2014 00:53:12 EST from ax25 @ Uncensored

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Thu Nov 20 2014 01:28:09 AM ESTfrom vince-q @ Uncensored
eh - I don't do the 'data thing' these days. For me, at least, it loses that feeling of personal involvement. Enough typing on the internet - don't need more of it in my ham shack...

--K2NE
Sorry it feels that way to you.  Feel free to contact me if you want to explore it.  I am having fun with it, along with some older hams that have hearing loss and would otherwise have given up on the hobby.


[#] Mon Dec 01 2014 06:44:02 EST from Sig @ Uncensored

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I don't like voice.

[#] Mon Dec 01 2014 19:27:45 EST from vince-q @ Cascade Lodge BBS

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Dec 1 2014 3:44am from Sig @uncnsrd (Uncensored)
I don't like voice.



CW is fine by me! On a good day I can do 30 to 35 wpm.
Not like like the old days (40+) but getting it back!

--K2NE

[#] Tue Dec 02 2014 01:39:52 EST from ax25 @ Uncensored

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I always figured we had some common ground Vince-q.  I have done 1200 baud packet on 2m and have calculated an overall rate of 42 bps, which I figure comes out to 50.4 wpm.  Not bad on 2m.  By my estimation it should be a bit less than 1/4 (300 baud) on HF - so about 12.6 cps - pitiful, but tireless and will be 100% copy if it does make it :-)

I feel we might be missing some opportunities to communicate (even here in the QSO room on Uncensored and Cascade Lodge), which is sad :-(

If I dig up the old HTX-10, and hook up a paddle, would you hook up a packet rig and do a QSO with me?

And, if so, would you do some 300 / 1200 baud packet with me - and possibly with Sig? -( assuming Sig has a rig with 10m).

Not saying today, not saying tomorrow, but --- sometime.  Winters are long sometimes in Minnesota.

Good night Vince and Sig.



[#] Tue Dec 02 2014 13:04:58 EST from vince-q @ Cascade Lodge BBS

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I would be happy to do packet.
Actually the plan is, ultimately, to open a packet interface for the Cascade Lodge Citadel. The BBS machine is in the same room with all the ham gear so it won't be that big of a "deal" to get it running.

I guess the first thing to do is contact the .ampr.org folk to get a node name and IP address... ;) I ran k2ne.ampr.org in New Jersey from roughly 1989 to 1992 - but exactly how to tie it all together means a lot of removal of mental cobwebs. Then again, that was using a DOS-based utility and it seems, under linux, to be a ***lot*** easier (and a helluva lot more stable!).

We shall see. There's lots of contest station work in progress and that stuff just has to come first. But with patience we'll get to the packet stuff.

--K2NE

[#] Tue Dec 02 2014 13:29:39 EST from vince-q @ Uncensored

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I just remembered the name of that DOS/Packet TCP/IP utility.

KA9Q NOS.

Quite a neat thingee. It supplied a TCP/IP stack to DOS 3.x, an AX.25 envelope for TCP/IP packets for the "ham side" and, if I recall, a direct interface to the TNC running in 'KISS' mode.

Heh. I might even end up building a Truly Junk Computer and installing DOS 3.5 on it along with an ethernet card and just have that "machine" handle the ham-side and communicate with the internet side over ethernet to the server that runs the BBS. That way I won't even have to put the AX.25 stuff on the linux box since it will never "see" the encapsulated stuff.

Interesting.... ;)

--K2NE

[#] Tue Dec 02 2014 20:00:00 EST from Sig @ Uncensored

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I should definitely get around to learning Morse.

[#] Tue Dec 02 2014 22:06:50 EST from vince-q @ Cascade Lodge BBS

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Dec 2 2014 5:00pm from Sig @uncnsrd (Uncensored)
I should definitely get around to learning Morse.



Yes, you should.
It really is easy once you learn all the letters, numbers and a few special symbols (. / ? and the 'prosigns' that are sent as one continuous "letter"... AR, SK, and believe it or not SOS)

I had one occasion in my entire 48 years as a ham to actually have the need to send SOS "for real." Remember, it is sent as one character, as in "...---,,," and not as "s" "o" "s". Verv very eerie. And absolutely unmistakable.

Quiz time: what was the distress call *before* SOS?
[A free cookie from IG is the prize!]

--K2NE

[#] Tue Dec 02 2014 22:28:17 EST from ax25 @ Uncensored

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CQD?



[#] Wed Dec 03 2014 02:20:26 EST from vince-q @ Cascade Lodge BBS

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Dec 2 2014 7:28pm from ax25 @uncnsrd (Uncensored)
CQD?


WINNER!
Now go contact IG for your prize!

--K2NE

[#] Thu Dec 04 2014 00:43:24 EST from ax25 @ Uncensored

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IG, gimmie cookie?  I think by being a part of Citadel, he has fed me many cookies over the years I have run the software / logged in to Uncensored. :-)



[#] Sun Dec 07 2014 21:07:12 EST from IGnatius T Foobar @ Uncensored

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Sure, drop by and I'll put a fresh batch of cookies in the oven. I love having company. :)

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