Sunday, December 13, 2015

Weird, Frustrating, Fruitful Day


Poked at the new radio some, figured out quite a bit.  Might be 80% of the way there.  Youtube is yourfriend, because that Yaesu manual sure as hell isn't.  It's like it was written by and for cats or some other non-humanoid beings.  Fortunately Nifty publishes a set of re-written manuals, and they seem to at least understand the rudiments of human information processing.  The Big Brown Truck of Happiness should be arriving mid-week with one.

Main thing: in initial check-outs, this bargain used radio seems to be 100% functional.  Made a handful of regional contacts, and talked to some friends in Biloxi via 2m (preferred) and 40 & 80 meter NVIS (sorta out there).

Then I rode the CX along the seawall.  A bald eagle swooped overhead on the west end of Waveland beach, latched onto a fish in the shallows, and lit about 100 yards ahead of me.  I tried to get a picture but he spooked and headed for a distant piling.  Too bad, no picture for you, but it was still spectacular.

The new radio doesn't have an internal tuner.  Rather, it expects you to have your own damn antennas set up right.  So I spent an hour before dark punching a calculator and tweaking the  80/40 NVIS ("HAARP Jr.") out back to get the SWRs right on the money for the 80m General voice band and for the extension tips for PSK31.  Time well spent.

After that, Sunday evening phone with family and friends.  Two more must-calls tomorrow evening, but that's tomorrow.

So all in all not a bad day, just kind of weird and frustrating.  Time to get my gear ready to head out tomorrow and do battle with poorly crafted Fortran again.

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