A Radio, an Antenna, and a Mac

A Radio, an Antenna, and a Mac

It has been a busy week, but I’ve spent little time on the air. Last week I had to send the venerable KX3 back to Elecraft for warranty repair. It was transmitting on its own when it got warm, especially when operating outdoors in the heat. I waited until I could squire a backup radio before I sent it in.

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I was able to pick up an Elecraft K2 at a very good price. I got it last week and sent the KX3 in. A week later I’m still waiting to hear about the radio. Meanwhile, I’m really liking the K2. It’s an older radio but works great. It has an antenna tune, the SSB module, and KIO2 (serial port). I’ve had fun with it and it makes a great backup and being a field radio, I’ll pack it on long park runs as a backup as well (so I don’t have the same issue I did when the KX3 starting going south on me and I lost contacts).

I was also able to pick up a Cushcraft R9 antenna that is a year old for under half the img_2203price of a new one. It is a 9-band vertical antenna. It’s 31′ high and requires no ground radials. It took me 3 days of working on it off and on, the humidity was a killer, and 2 trips to Crowder Bros. Ace Hardware to get some missing hardware. I love Crowder Bros! I went there with the parts list from the antenna with the missing pieces highlighted and the salesperson went and got every piece for me.

Sara and I were able to mount it on a 10′ pole I had cemented into the ground for an old project. It is almost perfectly tuned on all bands except 40 and 80 meters. That means it is going to have to come down for me to make the adjustments. Hopefully I get it right the first time. I’d hate to have to take it down twice.

I also got tired of Windows again and moved my logging and control back to the Macbook. I tried RumlogNG but it did not print QSL labels properly and developer was no help. I tried Aether but it did not have DX cluster support. I ended up biting the bullet and buying MacloggerDX and so far I have not been sorry. It integrates with the KX3 and K2, has multiple cluster support, and not only prints QSL labels but prints the actual QSL cards as well!

I’ve been able to get Fldigi, WSJT-X, and JT-Bridge all to work together nicely with MacloggerDX as well. My Macbook is a 2009 vintage and all is good. I also have TeamViewer set up so I can attach to the Mac from any other computer and my iPhone.

Overall its been a good week.

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