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
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
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.
Well I have had my Icom IC-E90 for a few days now and battery life is pretty good so far. The Charger that comes with the Radio requires 15hrs to charge, so I may have to purchase the 2-1/2 hour desktop version very soon. As I am writing this it’s having it first charge since Christmas day, but has been charging since 2am and is now 7pm and is not complete (But that may be because the cable when I picked it up at 10am fell out so may not have been home snugly. We’ll have to wait and see.).
I have managed to program in all the CB (UK & EU) and PMR (446Mhz) channels into the memory, as well as some normal radio stations like Capital FM (95.8fm), Kiss (100fm) and Radio 1 (98.8fm). This radio has a feature that when listening to Public radio stations and TV channels (yes can get them as well) switches to a WFM mode.
My uncle will be making a cable to connect to a PC for me and then once I have the Icom software I can arrange all the channels via the computer. (Hopefully that will be easier than programming on the handset.)
On Boxing day I also caught about 5-10 minutes of a broadcast (I think they call a net) by the Sutton & Cheam Radio Society. I heard them using their Amateur Radio call signs, but either because I am not used to listening or they were said to fast I missed them.