Monthly Archives: March 2011 - Page 2

Cleaned and organized up lots of stuff

This weekend was mostly spent cleaning and trying to organize the place. It was very nice to get stuff organized and cleaned out my bedroom that had been used to store stuff for a long while, well since I bought the place so it have been very messy.

The weather was wonderful, sunshine and a few degrees plus during the day. I also mounted a monitor on an arm that will be used as 2nd monitor when doing Single op efforts. Plan is to test doing SO2R with two computers networked and interlocked.

ARRL and amp work

This weekend I had a visit from SM3WMU and SM3RAB that worked some in the ARRL DX SSB contest. SM3WMU worked SB 20 while Ulf, SM3RAB tried to do 40m. The propagations were not very good on Saturday, especially 40 just brought about 30 qsos but on Sunday morning the propagations were a lot better and Ulf ended up with about 230 qsos. Tomas, SM3WMU did 1200 qsos on 20m but since they both left on Sunday during the day a lot of hours were missed with the best propagations of the weekend. So I did join the contest with the SM2WMV callsign and had my best high rate hour ever, 270 qsos! I worked 630 qsos during about 3.5 hours, 600 of them on 20m.

Today I put together a new server for SJ2W. The old one is a 650 MHz with 512 MB RAM which has been working well, but I want to try having all the remote software on the server instead of having another computer on the whole time. So I upgraded to an Athlon X2 3 GHz with 4 GB RAM, which makes it possible to run Ubuntu as a root system while being able to boot up Windows XP in virtualbox.

I also did some amp work today, I soldered some control cables and added the two power supplies, one for 5V and the other for 24V. I need to build a step down converter for 12V as well from the 24v power supply.

The weekends exercises

This weekend SM3WMU and SM3RAB will join us at SJ2W to do ARRL SSB. They plan to be on SB 20 and SB 40, one with SJ2W and the other with one of SM3WMUs callsigns. I think the plan is to go for the Swedish records but we will see if propagations will allow for that.

Otherwise last weekend was mostly spent working on an amplifier and also changed all the batteries in the alarm system that was donated by SM2DMU last year, so now the units have stopped sending alarms because of low battery. I also put back the 40m stackmatch after the failure that occured in CQWW CW and removed the 15m unit because of some faulty relay that had been a bit bad from the start. So this weekend I plan to put that back so that the station is almost ready for when HA1AG arrives to work the Russian DX Contest.

This weekend I will try to clean up a bit in the house, because its quite a mess now and maybe some outdoor work as well, since weather seems like it will be very nice.

Rotator control from openASC

I’ve done some more work on the openASC project. A lot of new software has been written, including band interlock, some small bug fixes, more error handling, better support for rotators and more stuff that I don’t remember. I also intend to fix the rotation so that it works properly, so I took with me an KR-400 rotator that SE2T donated and modified it by putting in one of my openASC rotator boards. This board is basically just a micro-controller with a bus interface and some relay drivers and analog inputs (also digital inputs for pulse sensing). An external board is also used with relays that act as “digital” fingers pushing the buttons on the box. It is still possible to control the antenna manually if wanted.

When this works I will put rotator boards into all rotators. However the 60m tower need to wait until it has got its end stops, so that a computer bug doesn’t make it rip of all cables etc.