Should contest rules allow and act upon 599K QRM reports?

Tuesday, 10 January 2012

Cheap "Peli" type case for dxpeditioning

1) Case:
Part Num. Line Price. Description. Mfr Part. Mfr Name.
(not inc. tax and p&p)

Provides maximum shock protection to contents, Waterproof, Can be padlocked for additional security, Built in pressure valve, Corrosion proof, Colour - Black, Depth (external) - 225mm Length - 515mm Width (external) - 435mm

As you can see the case has 4 pressure locking tabs:

2) Packing material:Pick and pluck foam, 5+6 layers, 50mm thick
£36.19 inc. tax & p&p

"Each pack contains 5 pieces of Pick 'n' Pluck Foam size 560 x 350 x 50mm (22" x 13.8" x 2") and 6 pieces of lining foam size 560 x 350 x 12mm (22" x 13.8" x 1/2"). Each side of the removable squares in the grid is 25mm (1")."

The finished item with foam interior

Plenty of room for the K3, Small SMPS, laptop, headset and footswitch etc. Weight of case + fully packed foam is 4.5Kg (no equipment added yet). I will blog again when I have finished plucking and packing.

Total cost so far approx £65.

Sunday, 8 January 2012


Lowest score ever, 187Qs. Was it my imagination or was the turnout lower than usual?

I spent the morning taking down my doublet (suspect water ingress after 7 years in the air) and replaced with a dipole. I didn't have time to install it properly so ended up with an inverted V configuration.

Signals certainly were always strong from G throughout the contest but the number seemed down. My Q rate was very poor with occasional answers to my CQ calls. It's annoying to work a really inefficient run station doing all the usual unnecessary chat like CQ AFS, my call DE his call, CFM, GA, GL BK 73s etc only to find on the exchange that his serial is much higher than mine. Oh to have one less letter in the call and live in an area with several large clubs!

Enjoyed the contest but the score is less than helpful for the GMDX team.

Thursday, 5 January 2012

Paper QSL cards are dead....long live eQSL and LOTW!

I was in the Apple shop buying a present for someone. The assistant asked if I would like a paper or electronic receipt which would be sent to my email address. It forced me to think about which one would be easier for me. The answer for me was most definately electronic due to the convenience factor. Which would you choose?

It's a very gradual process, but I now know I will live to see a day when paper cards are a thing of the past. The first positive sign of their demise is the absense of hand written contest logs and the benefits this brings to everyone (faster/easier adjudication and results).

Why does this matter to me?
1) I enjoy contesting and the IOTA contest causes me no end of hastle from card collectors whinging on about confirmation for a contact to this island or the other.
2) I have to pay for the QSL bureau as part of my RSGB membership. I'd rather this contribution was used for more pressing matters such as spectrum management.

What harm does paper QSLing do?

1) I believe card collectors are selfishly causing the demise of the hobby for rare and desirable stations. They don't think about the station that they are demanding a card from. If everyone hunts him for a QSLs card for every contact he makes, surely he will be forced to QRT. When last did you hear a rare station calling CQ on a regular basis?

2) The environment, just think of all the millions of unwanted QSL cards that have been dumped since the beginning. What a waste!

3) I have been present in meetings where a dxpedition has not been sponsored on the basis of not providing paper QSLs. I was angry with myself for not piping up and questioning this, but it probably wouldn't have made any difference as I was outnumbered by old fuddyduddies.

With a view to speeding this process, please can someone tell me what a paper card gives you that eQSL and LOTW combined doesn't already provide?

Also consider why the majority of card collectors/award hunters for the last 10-50 years wouldn't want progress to electronic means.

Please consider what this global cash wastage would be better spent on.

Sunday, 1 January 2012

Reverse Beacon Network Aggregator 1.4 setup

Thought I'd blog some of my setup problems and their solutions here:

1) Problem : No connection from new aggregator to RBNserver.
Solution : In the setup menu in cw skimmer under the "Telnet" tab, "Allow SKIMMER commands" check box must be ticked.

2) Problem : No connection to local user on port 7550.
Solution : The aggregator application must be located in an unprotected area on the c: drive. I run Windows Vista and had the aggregator application in the same director as skimmer under the program files directory. It wasn't until I moved the aggregator application to a folder directly under the c: drive that I was able to connect as a local user on port 7550.

Hopefully these tips will help someone else trying to contribute to the RBN collective.