Icom IC-7300 main shack rig

Early spring cleaning

The spring cleaning of 2016 is early this year. Lot’s of other stuff going on, but a visit to our local HAM club last week turned things up side down. Marcus, PA2DB from the Hamshop payed a visit to our “Radio Souterain” and he did bring a demo model of the Icom IC-7300. I already had my eye on one but didn’t see the rig live yet. Of course it got quite busy when the rig was connected to an antenna in our shack. I waited a little and after a few hours (when most members went back to the bar) I got 15 minutes playtime.

First impression

First thing I noticed was the low QRM the rig picked up. In the shack there is also a Kenwood TS-870 which can give up to S9 of noise (it is a environment with a lot of industrial QRM). The IC-7300 showed S1 noise tops. And when I use the NR and NB the noise even got out of the QSO’s I was able to receive. Really impressive for such a small rig.

Fast waterfall

Second thing I noticed is the really fast waterfall. There must be quite a lot of research put in to designing the sofware and layout of the menu’s. To my surprise it took me 2 minutes to figure out the menu structure and I could find my way around the IC-7300.
And finally I noticed something else: since a long time I had fun again searching HF for stations. I could spend hours operating this little piece of genius but there where more people who wanted to play with it.

Make a decision

Back home this experience got me thinking. I looked around in the shack and I saw all the great radio’s I purchased in the last years. I owned a Elecraft K1. Never use it much. The idea was to go outside to the nearby nature parks and do some morse code. Together with the BuddiPole. But there is so less time to spend on radio, I never got to go out. I owned a TM-D710 in the shack. Great rig! But I’m really not that much of an VHF/UHF-guy. Local repeaters tire me more and more. APRS is fun but then again, I hardly ever use it.

Kenwood TH-D72

My kind of new Kenwood TH-D72 I use daily when riding my bike to work. It has been fun for a year. But the local repeater got so busy, I lost interest. I got a great HF rig, the Kenwood TS-590. For years my solid work horse. But for some reason it doesn’t get me excited anymore. It’s a great rig, don’t get me wrong. But I think I like something new.

And action!

A little voice in my ear whispered: why not selling everything? Leave the old, embrace the new! Sounds like a plan! Spring cleaning came early this year.
Thursday afternoon I photographed every item and put it on a Dutch eBay for sale. It rained e-mails and phone calls! Friday (a day later) I sold everything! Everything except the good old 590. I got a few potential buyers who come take a look next week. I think it won’t be long before it is sold too.
In the meantime my order for the IC-7300 is out. Of course placed at the Hamshop. Not yet available yet, but first shipment arriving the Netherlands is expected next week (around the 29th). I’m really excited. Fun in the hobby again!

wsprLast week Remco PA3FYM did a keynote at the club about WSPR. Remco explained a lot about Signal to Noise Ratio (SNR) and the theory behind WSPR.
He told the idea behind the WSPR-challenge which he and Rob PE1ITR organized.

As always with good quality keynotes, this one tickles me to anticipate in this WSPR-challenge. But I have to be careful not to have too many things on my agenda. With my daily Morse training this is not a good time for another challenge.

Nonetheless a great keynote and many thanks to Remco. Another item on my bucket list 😉

PA1JIMLast weekend another edition of the Dutch PACC contest was active on the bands. Every year it is an exciting time around the second weekend of february. This year for me it extra exciting because as new contestmanager of clubstation PI4RCG. A few months ago I had the idea to build a simple multi-multi-station at our NERA club facility. Just 5 seats with a few wire antenna’s. It turn out to be much more work then I aspected. Continue reading