KX3 in the wild

I brought the kx3 in to work to see how the ionosphere is from the Bay Area, right next to a rather large body of water.

So I walked out towards the marshland and threw my and end of my 41′ long wire up into a tree.

The first thing I noticed is that the receiver was super quiet! I love that about this radio. I heard a lot of digi signals on 20 meters, and even tried a few psk31 calls, but got nothing back.

Here’s a short video of some voice I heard on one of the SSB nets..

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Just ordered a new power supply from PowerWerx. The one I have is ancient, probably not nearly as powerful as current tech. I saw the unit at Cleveland’s AES store. It’s tiny and has Anderson Power Pole connectors, so it’ll fit in perfectly, as I’ve decided to go all-out on Power Poles from now on.

PowerWerx 30-Amp power supply

I previously bought a crimper from them for the Power Poles. Good quality. So far I like the company.

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Last Saturday I decided to set up my G5RV Junior antenna and new radio in the backyard and try a mode I haven’t done lately: SSTV. It stands for Slow-Scan TV, and is a facsimile mode for transmitting images over HF. There are more than a dozen different “modes” for SSTV. The image below was received using “Scottie 1”, which takes just over a minute to send, line by line.

WD5JBB, Texas

WD5JBB, Texas

Back in 2001, at the height of the last solar cycle, I was able to send SSTV reliably to Japan just about anytime I wanted to, using a small 10-M dipole right outside my condo window. I think the building itself must’ve been pointing in just the right direction to throw my signals over to Asia (see my Digital Modes page for a gallery of other SSTV images from that time).

KC0IDI, Japan

Season’s greetings all the way from Japan.

If I recall, the QSO (or two-way radio ‘conversation’) with Gene (N7LFL) in Oregon (below) was made using 5W on 20M (14.230 MHz). The small image in the lower-left of Gene’s image is the “CQ” image I sent out. CQ is Morse code for “Hello is there anyone out there who wants to have a QSO?”.


N7LFL acknowledges my SSTV CQ call with a return image.

SSTV is just one of the many “digital” modes you can employ to reach out and communicate with others around the world. It’s a great way to integrate an old method of transmitting with all of our new-fangled gadgets and techniques.

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Giving blogging a shot

Generaly speaking, I am a terrible scribe. There are countless events in my past that I wish I had written down, both for recollection and accuracy. This year I’ve decided to get more involved with Amateur Radio. I began in 1984 when I earned my first license, and already here we are in 2013. As I ramp up once again and dive deeper into this incredibly rewarding hobby, I am going to try to coalesce my experiences and all my modern digital toys to capture the experience, mostly for myself, but also for others who might be interested in what it’s all about.

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