Thursday, February 12, 2015


Tonight I decided to give the K1N  75 M SSB op a listen to see how to manage a 20khz SSB pileup

I had my Anan 100D on and a W5GI mystery antenna.  K1N was quite loud and on 3725 listening 3730-3750 and occasionally down to 3650 for EU.  As can be seen it was a wall of RF.  So how to manage this?  My Anan is connected to a FlexControl through a program called DDUTIL

With DDUTIL it's easy to choose a step size for the knob.  I tried various step sizes but decided 100hz was best for navigating the pileup.  It was easy to understand a callsign if you were 100hz off freq and I could rapidly shoot up and down the pileup in 100hz steps.

I had the pileup on VFO A and K1N on VFO B and I just left that VFO on a step size of 1HZ.  I switched on multi receive and adjusted the volumes so I could easily discern the callsign K1N was calling and the response by the called station.  I then merely scooted up and down the pileup in 100 HZ steps, watching the panadapter.  Not everybody stood by when K1N was calling a station but enough did that it was easy to reliably hone in on the station being called.  Fortunately this is 75M so I could hear about everybody in the skip zone including EU.

The second way to tune around the pileup was click tuning.  

In the pic you can see a grey window that represents the bandwidth of the filter of VFOA.  This window scoots up and down the band using the mouse.  When K1N calls someone I merely scoot the window to the signal still transmitting when everyone stands by and click, and then listen for the station to give a report.  It's very easy to click tune to virtually the exact freq on which to transmit.  You don't always choose the right signal but after a while you kind of get a feel for where the DX likes to listen.  Doing this I heard him call my buddy K3RR as they exchanged reports.  

I did not bother to work him and add to the bedlam.  I already had a 80M CW contact.   I just enjoyed wringing out the radio on phone.  

73  W9OY

They were still calling on 3725 this morning listening on 3770-3780 so I decided to give them a call before I shot out the door for work.  I wasn't even sure the radio would work on SSB since I recently did a fresh install of Windows and PowerSDR_mrx, and I had none of the usual customization of equalization and processing etc.  The thing was dead stock.  I did a "test test" and listened on the mon and looked at the power on my LP-100...pitiable.  I had to make a quick change to the mic configuration and now 1KW peak on the LP-100 and the audio sounded excellent in the headset.  I used the point and shoot method to acquire their listening freq.  I gave them one call and in the log!  To be fair they were S9+20 here so there wasn't really much suspense as to making the contact.  
Jerry WB9Z who was at the mic, sounded totally whipped as I guess he was on all night serving up Navassa to the world.  I heard him stand by for AS and OC up in the DX window at his sunrise but callers would not standby.  He threatened to quit, he got some respect and then persevered.  I stand in admiration and gratitude toward these ops on this expedition.