Monday, August 23, 2010

Preparations for November Sweepstakes

I've gotten spousal approval to go for two full-effort weekends in the November Sweepstakes, including a full 30-hour CW split station effort at AD6Z's excellent QTH. So, to get my home station ready to go, here's my list of tasks:

  • Repair my triband wire beam - replace broken spreader arm. [DONE]
  • Upgrade K3 firmware and N1MM well ahead of time (get them installed by the CQP in early October). [DONE]
  • Secure the coax feedline attachment to the G5RV - the strain relief appears to have worked loose, so all the downward pull from the coax is on the PL259. I just know it'll pop loose in the middle of SS. [DONE - feedline replaced, too]
  • Give the station a good shakedown in CQP - aim for at least 10 hours of operating. [DONE - some new problems discovered]
  • Spend some time tweaking my transmit microphone EQ settings. [DONE]
  • Get WAV files recorded for phone SS.
  • Get my netbook set up to do logging tasks. [DONE]
  • Make a list of things I want to take with me to a guest station (e.g. K3, headphones, netbook, keyer, etc.) so I don't have any unpleasant surprises upon arriving. [DONE]
  • Clean up the shack. [DONE]
  • Hang some blinds in the shack - that afternoon sun is blinding. [DONE]
  • Fix RFI problem that kills DSL when running high power (otherwise I won't be able to supply spots) [DONE - switched to Comcast for internet access]
  • Get FT-857D working with N1MM on Netbook. [DONE]
  • Fix virus infection on desktop (Grrrr!!)
  • See about maybe adding a simple longwire receive antenna to use with diversity reception on the K3. [NOT DOING]
  • Run an RFI check with amplifier running at 500w on 80-10 meters.
  • See if the ANC4 noise cancellation unit does any good.
  • Write down antenna tuner settings for all bands and put cheat sheet on tuner.
  • Raise the triband wire beam on Friday and test. [DONE]
  • Get hooked up to VE7CC cluster and get spot filtering working. [DONE - needed to change the SH/DX macro to SH/MYDX/30]
  • Find a packet cluster that includes RBN spots.
  • Make a function-key cheat sheet that can sit on the keyboard. [DONE]
  • Get N1MM set up with two separate log databases, one for each callsign, including FN keys. [DONE]
  • Make "go kit" list so I can roll out to AD6Z's place in a hurry. [DONE]
  • Make a rate sheet from last year's CW logs. [DONE]
  • Come up with an operating plan. [DONE]
  • Get N6BV propagation PDF on laptop. [DONE - actually printed it out]
  • Put "SS" back in at end of CQ. [DONE]
  • Update Prefill and SCP files. [DONE]
  • Get set up to record contest audio.
  • Add "R" to S and P exchange [DONE]
  • Be Faster on S and P!!!!!
  • Do the Sunspot Dance

No comments: