IC-7300 – The new toy in the shack!

This nice little HF/50 rig has been in the shack for a month now. What an incredible difference in RX compared to my older IC-756PROIII and IC-746PRO. This and the fact that the rig has an USB connector, makes it it one great rig to interface with the shack PC effortlessly. I have still not figured out how to get the interfacing and settings done to have FSK RTTY on N1MM+ with this new rig….WIP!

Cables …

Finally, after many months of procrastination, I revamped the complete set of coax cables that I use in my radio station. Thanks to Paddy / VU2PEP for pointing me to the right source for my cable requirement. I replaced all the aging lengths of RG-213 and RG-58 with LMR-400. Also took this opportunity to mount my KK1L 2 x 6 Antenna Switch.

AntSwitch-1  AntSwitch-2

This ensured that I now have only two runs of cable into the shack. I used LMR-200 for antenna terminations and in the shack as it it easier to work with. Used crimp connectors and found them to be a breeze to work with.

2013 – A retrospective

2013 was all about chasing DX on QRP. The aim was to complete and apply for a QRP DXCC by the end of the year. Work pressures ensured that I would find very little time to get on the band – especially because of my extended work day that spans India and the US.

I was predominantly on JT65 and JT9 and found a few good openings to NA and SA in the mornings on 20M. There were some good long openings late in the night into NA on 15M too.

The CQWW CW contest was a great opportunity to work a number of good ones on QRP. I completed my QRP DXCC after the contest. I applied for and received my QRP DXCC dated December, 2013.

Raj/VU2ZAP is the only other VU who has received a QRP DXCC way back in 2002. Nice feeling to have joined him on the list. Looking back, it was a fun two year hunt. It took a lot of patience, many agonizing hours chasing rare ones and a large dose of luck to achieve it. All this with a yagi stuck pointing to Europe!