With the PACC 2010 coming up, I’m getting all jumpy to get my “ultimate contest setup” complete. My plans are to participate in the PACC this year from our club location NERA. Last year I’ve take a look and made a few QSO’s from that location and it is fantastic to operate from there. Far from the inhabited world there is zero QRM. Very nice when you sometimes have to pick up weak signals.
The idea now is to setup my Kenwood TS-850SAT at this location. The TS-850 has a build in voice keyer, but this keyer is not able to repeat the message with an adjustable delay. So I’ll use my own homebrew voice keyer. I already tested with success my headset. It works fine, so now I only have to find a decent foot pedal to switch between receiving and transmitting. Of course I can buy a foot pedal in an instrument shop or something like that. But that is expensive and less fun. So I searching for a solution for that.
Then I’ve hands free for logging. I think I bring my MSI netbook with me for logging. Only thing is I have to find a good contestlogging program. My main rig controller is Ham Radio Deluxe, but that is not quite feasible for contest logging. N1MM makes Windows crashing when it interacts thru the Keyspan USA-19H USB-RS232-adapter to my rig. So that doesn’t seem a solution. I already take a look at many logging programs, but they are all so old and ugly and don’t do rig control (which I want for logging the complete QSO). So I didn’t figure out that one yet.
If you have any good suggestions, please send me a message!

Kenwood TS-850For years this radio has been my dream. I already did own a Kenwood TS-450SAT. A very nice radio. But the other day I saw a TS-850SAT on internet for sale. In the corner of the shack was a Icom 910H which I never used. I traded the Icom in for the Kenwood TS-850SAT. A pretty nice deal, I thought!

After close inspection it turn out the TS-850 has a serialnumber in the 20-million…. Bummer! That numbers turn out to have several leaking problems. But the salesman ensures me he checked the rig and there where no traces of leaking capacitors. He also gives me a 6 months of warranty. So with a good feeling I went home and plugged in my brand new TS-850. The rig performes excellent. Really cool features (e.a. slope tuning) and a good quiet receiver picked up at least twice as many station as my TS-450SAT does.
But now lift up the hood to check the dealer claims.

The capacitors of the CAR-board ARE leaking, let there be no confusion about that. Now I can do two things: bring back the TS-850SAT to the dealer to let it fix. But he already replied my e-mail with above picture saying: this is no proof, if you want it fixed, you have to pay half of the bill.
Well, I’m not want to pay anything since he promised me 6 months of warranty.
The other thing I can do is fix the problem myself. So I ordered the 10 capacitors of 10 µF/25V. I hope they arrive tonight. I will replace them immediately! The 47 µF-one wasn’t available so I have to search a little bit harder for that one. But before I order, I’ll inspect all boards for these faulty blue smd capacitors and replace these too.