Sunday, June 23, 2024

I'm back......

                                My dual VFO setup on the 7610

I am back and it's not that I have been anywhere but summer is here and well blogging takes a sideline as I have outdoor jobs to do and after all it is summer. I do keep up my readings on the blogs that I  follow but for posting my time has been allotted to other things. Also, there have not been too many radio-related exciting things going on. Now having said that this weekend I took part in the ARRL field day function. Since selling my KX3 and K2 I have no rig to bring into the out of doors so I entered again as indoor and house power or 1D  category. 

The ARRL field day contest is more relaxed and not as intense as other CW contests and yes before you ask I entered as CW  only. The speeds are in around 20-26wpm but you do find the occasional OP hitting 30 plus. I used my faithful Icom 7610 at 100 watts into my  Hustler 4BTV. The conditions were tough at times with deep QSB. At one point a signal was S7 and then gone so most of the time you had one chance to get the other stations' info. This is my third year taking part in this "event" and to be honest, I am not sure why in the past I never took part. 

This year I decided to add some flair to my participation, I used both of my Icom 7610 independent receivers. I have always wanted to do this but some CW contests are very let's say busy for me and to juggle a second VFO on a different band would let's say stretch my abilities. BUT radio contesting is all about learning, isn't it? For the field day contest I used VFO A as my running (calling CQ  contest) VFO and VFO B on a different band to both see on the waterfall if the band was opening and to search and pounce strong stations. When doing this you have VFO A in one ear and VFO B in the that takes some getting used to. But the field day contest is the ideal contest to do that as it is a relaxed event. It seemed to work for me as I doubled my score and contacts this year compared to last year's field day. 

Some of my contest simulation software allows me to set things up as dual VFO and believe me I need practice at it as at times I was transmitting on the wrong band, confusing left ear/right ear to which VFO it was and forgetting which VFO  I was controlling.....note to self look into the external VFO knob  Icom offers....another note to is way overpriced for what it does.
The main thing about a hobby no matter what it is....have fun and learn. I am doing both and the hobby gives me great joy.

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