Earlier in the year my Uncle who got me interestred in Ham Radio passed away. When my grandparents returned from first trip they brought back his Icom IC-737, but said there was another radio but weren’t sure what.

Well, a couple of weeks ago my granddad said was some stuff in car & could I help him with it. I was expecting him to bring up a UPS unit. Was I wrong.

There was boxes with a complete setup for an Icom IC-756PROIII HF Transceiver (the ProIII, matching Speaker, PSU, & Microphone). The IC-737 was swiftly replaced in the shack, and by end of that Saturday evening, James M0BOV had helped me sort audio levels, & I took part in the 10m Saturday Home Counties net.

It’s a fantastic radio. Should be as new would cost £1,800. For me the Scope is and the filtering are it’s best features, but it has so much more. Anyway this it not a review, but merely to inform readers of the latest shack additions.

Also if all goes well (lets not think of CQ WPX earlier this year), then Peter M3PHP & myself should be operating in the IARU Contest on 12th/13th July 2008.

CQ WPX – If it could have gone wrong, it did

What a disaster.

Everything that could have gone wrong, did for me. I could go into detail, but will list instead.

  • Uncle passed away
    • No operation from France
  • Finish Radio Shack
  • Radio/Antenna
    • Only assembled days before (thanks James M0BOV)
    • To finish, had tools missing (mainly had Metric, and needed 2x ¼” sockets)
      • Also couldn’t find Self-amalgamating tape
    • Weather & Night time prevented this being looked at until gone 5am, 5hrs into contest
    • Tried with Antenna horizontal, but stations couldn’t hear me
  • PC
    • Crashed, more than once
      • Installed 2nd Soundcard to handle the Digital Voice Keying. Computer wouldn’t load
      • Removed and PC wouldn’t start.
        • Finally found that Video card wasn’t seated properly
    • LCD Screen caused interference on 40m
      • No Filter I could add
        • Quickly brought15″ CRT down
          • Still not able to get signal out

Anyway, not sure how I should finish this article, been looking at for few days. Just the main this is I have definately learnt lessons from this.

So, Plans do not always go to plan, & even if you change you plans everything make seem to be going OK, until the crunch time. Planning is underway for testing radio BEFORE next contest, and to make sure where possible have backup solutions.

F/M0TZO 2008 CQ WPX Contest Trip Cancelled

I have decided to re-write and re-post the post about my trip to France being cancelled as I think I can cope better with the writing now.

My uncle who got me into Amateur Radio and who I was going to visit for a week at end of March this year died 1 month before I was due to leave.

So my grandparentswent to France to sort out the usual things, and I have had to re-think my holiday time.

I have decided in a kind of memorial to still continue with the contest. But this means quickly moving my shack plans forward.

The main bits to paint are the gloss on the doors and skirting boards, and a few bits to touch up here and there.

Then antenna needs to go up. Finally flooring needs to be laid then Desk, computer and of course Radios moved in.

There is also a strong possibility that I will have access to a contest callsign, but will post full details nearer the time.

2008 IARU HF World Championship

Whilst I still have plans for CQ WPX SSB contest in March to think of, I have started discussions with Peter M3PHP about taking part in the IARU HF World Championship this year.

This would be in the UK, unlike WPX. This is to give me a target to complete my conversion of the old dining room to my new Shack.

It will also be that each of us will have different plans to acheive operating in that contest.

Mine include finishing the painting of room, building desk(s), carpeting the floor, finally putting up my Hustler 6-BT, getting the coax into the room, as well as moving all the computer stuff from bedroom.

Peter’s on the other hand will be arranging travel bringing things he has promised to bring for the contest.

Early indications are that we will put in a Multi-Single entry as MØTZO, using my Yaesu FT-897 and logging with Win-Test software. If this changes, will post on here first.

Planning for the 2008 CQ WPX Contest

Plans are underway for my operating in the 2008 CQ WPX Contest (SSB).

So near end of March I shall be flying down to Nice, France to visit my Uncle who is also a Radio Amaetur.

I will be taking part using his equipment and my callsign as F/MØTZO (first time in a foreign country as a Ham as well) as a Single Operator. This means I can operate upto 36 hours during the 48 hour contest. Wonder how much I can actually do??

This will not be a go all out to win entry, but more to operate from different location and practise my contesting skills.

My uncle has an Icom IC-737. (www.rigpix.com/icom/ic737.htm)

I will of course do some casual non-contest operating whilst there and may also build a SoftRock TxRx 20m kit.

As internet will be available I will be updating this blog, my other blog with non-amateur radio stuff, and my gallery with photos.