28 November 2021

A View From The Bench - 28 November 2021

Well, Thanksgiving is past. It was a good celebration - my son-in-law and I managed to deep fry two birds without setting fire to anything. About a week before the big day he got smart, and said "Hey, why try to cook one ginormous bird? Instead let's just do two smaller ones." Genius level idea. One bird. Forty minutes. Carve it up for the dinner table. Second bird. Forty minutes. Carve it up for everyone to take some home. Enough turkey legs to go around. And it was gooood...

Not much at all to report on the ham radio front, other than I took advantage of a Black Friday sale. I know some of you are saying, "Brian, you're so damned predictable".

I figure that if this radio turns out to be a turkey (for my intended use) I can sell it later in the year for little loss. I'm under no illusions - Xiegu's products have a somewhat spotty reputation when it comes to quality. But if things work out, this radio could scratch that 20 watt rig itch that's been bothering me for a while.

Been putting a bit more time in with the Elecraft KX2, learning more about digital modes. While I got it running on Winlink, the setup for that app is not at all well documented and, as many have observed, the little rig gets hot when running it hard. Plus, with the soundcard cables, the rig control cable and the power supply cable, you end up with a spaghetti mess almost as bad as what you have with the Yaesu FT-891. But the KX2 is still a compelling little package. Maybe better suited to CW and voice than digital, but still compelling.

Finally, the XYL and I are going camping soon, and I'm in that oh-so complex radio selection mode that takes place every time we head out. Of course I'll bring along the the IC-705. Should I also bring the Yaesu FT-891? If I'm going to do POTA activations I'll need a little more 'oomph' on SSB. If yes, what power supply? How about antennas? Vertical? Long wire? I promised someone I'd beacon APRS while there, and that means I'll need my FT-3D, and that means I've got to re-learn the APS settings on that complicated beast. In the end there's no right or wrong, answer. The equation never balances out. Just run what you brung, and have fun with it.

W8BYH out

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