Saturday, March 12, 2016

3 Contests at Once

So I was fooling around and noticed there is a contest for every band tonight.  160M has the Stew Perry, 80M has the Tesla Memorial, and 80-10 has the RSGB Commonwealth commonly called the BERU.

The exchange for the SP is 4 character grid square, for the TM its RST serial # and grid square. and for the BERU RST + serial#  I loaded the BERU log up in Write log and found I could enter all of this in a way that would allow me to differentiate contests.  I set up the 6500 for SO2R/V

The skimmer/bandmap on the left is 80M/Tesla-BERU contest.  The skimmer/bandmap on the right is 160M/Stew Perry.  I have the audio pan set for 20 toward the left, and 80 toward the right.  I have 2 knobs attached.  The latest version of SDR-Bridge by W2RF allows for Flex controls to act as SO2R/SO2V knobs.  One knob tunes the 80M pan, and the other the 160M pan.  The buttons on the knob allow for each knob to control RIT, XIT, AGC-T and Vol as well as freq for each connected slice.  It's my poor man's Maestro.  Here is a shot of the knob setup screen in Bridge. 

Other configs can be set up for a single knob which can be used across more than one slice.  As many as 4 knobs can be accommodated for those with ADD more severe than mine.  

Here is the left radio for 80M/Tesla-BERU contest

And here the right for 160M/SP

My amp and antenna switch are set up such that a band change in the radio forces a corresponding band change on the amp and switches antennas to a resonant vertical on each band.  There is enough signal on each antenna that the alternative antenna has plenty of signal for SO2R/V.  The 80M is a full size vertical and the 160 is a high inv-L both resonant to 1.2:1 or less on their respective bands, so no tuner involved.  

Write log uses the up down buttons to switch bands.  I can also switch bands by clicking on either pan.  In addition the skimmers populate the writelog Band maps with stations.  By clicking a station on a band map the callsign is entered into the correct field in writelog.  Or I can click a station in skimmer and that is entered into writelog ready to complete the contact.  I tend to run narrow filters (100hz) so the knbs are handy for fine tuning.  If I was truly contesting I would use wider filters, but I'm just goofing around.  

So there you have it a 6500 running SO2R/V running 3 independent contests on 2 different bands all at once.  Maximum efficiency!!  I programmed the correct memory exchanges into my keyer so now all I have to do is keep the damn buttons strait!

I actually didn't make any contacts in the SP because the rules recommend no assist and skimmers etc constitute an assist but I did want to set this up and see how she flew.  I also have a wellbrook active loop antenna in RX-1 which would allow me to add more slices and switch between more bands, like 40M to run the BERU, but that's getting to be too confusing.  That ant gives good output on all bands to 20M (actually higher).  With the FullDuplex active this thing rocks!

73  W9OY