Showing posts from March, 2010

Just a nice conversation

I had a co-worker over to the house the other day and he saw the radios and started asking questions. Unfortunately, over a three-hour drive, he kept asking questions and never understood what ham radio was, or why I would have all that stuff. He kept relating it to CB radio, and never could get out of that mode. This morning's activity is a good example of a nice contact, or QSO. I called a CQ, which is a general call saying I'm looking to talk to anyone. I was answered by K2AOP, John, in Phoenix, AZ. We traded names, locations, and started experimenting with comparing signal strenths with different antennas. We both had both a vertical and dipole antenna, and we tried vertical to vertical, vertical to dipole, dipole to dipole, etc. It was ineteresting. Then we started talking about jobs, and he asked me for more detail on what I did. I went into some detail, and he had good comments. It was just a nice, randon QSO with a nice guy in the other side of the country -- all done a

Power SDR working again

I went to the Power SDR group on yahoo and kept reading the posts. Thanks to Larry, N8LP, the guy who designs, makes and sells, the LP-Pan pandadpter for the K3, I did find a solution. He had posted a procedure to run through for removing the program, removing all files and folders and reinstalling the software. I followed his instructions and no luck. I did it a second time, still no luck. The third magically worked and I have Power SDR/IF stage version running 100 percenct again. It's an amazing system, and the tinkering to make this stuff work is half the fun. I've learned a lot about computers, drivers, software, etc, in the process of getting this all running. But this isn't for the computer novice, easily discouraged or faint of heart.

Power SDR issues

After crowing about my computer prowess in getting the new version of PowerSDR to work with the K3 and LP Pan, it appears a Windows update caused the software to quit working. Yes, I know I shouldn't have automatic updates on on that machine, but they were. So now I'm toying with the software, reading the notes on the LP Pan users group, and trying to figure out how to get it running again. The computerized radios are nice when it all works, but sometimes...

ZK3OU, new country on Saturday morning

I had a nice start to the weekend. I turned the radio on 40 meters and heard a bunch of people calling someone around 7030. I tuned down a little and heard ZK3OU . I assumed it was South Pacific because of the ZK call, since New Zealand is ZL. I set the K3 to split and watched the action on the panadapter and listed with my transmitting frequency in the right ear, and ZK3OU in my left ear. I soon figured out where he was listening, and listened to him work a W3. I called immediately on that frequency, he came back to K9OG (a common mistake as he missed the last dit on the Z) so I sent K9OZ again and his report. He came back to K9OZ, and I had him the the log. Then I looked him up. ZK3OU is a mini-dxpedition, tw guys from the West Coast operating down there for a few weeks. They were operating from the Tokelau Islands, which are a territory of New Zealand. It is also a new one for me, a DX entity I've never worked before. So that was a nice start to a Saturday morning. It all happen

New PowerSDR software

I had experimented with PowerSDR/IFStage software last year with the K3, but the old version didn't support a 64-bit computer, which I'm running. So I let it alone for a few months and checked the web site Sunday and there is a new version,, that supports the bigger computer, so I downloaded it. As with all software upgrades, it didn't work right at first, but that's half the fun of this stuff. I soon figured out I'd have up upgrade the LP Bridge software as well, and after I did that, it still didn't work. Then came an hour of trying different combinations, and looking carefully at all the setup fields, and suddenly, I saw the problem. I checked the right box, and it works great. The PowerSDR, combined with the LP-Pan Panadapter, gives me a nice panadapter and computer. Here's a short video of it in action.