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Hints & kinks


Contests have become a very interesting and important part of my ham radio activities.   If you have never been in a contest, then you are really missing a vital part of your ham radio experience.  The anticipation, the preparation, the event, the scoring, the log submittal, are all very rewarding.  I don't care what kind of contest it is, SSB CW, RTTY, PSK31, they are all fun things to do.  The Personal Computer and contesting software, have really helped to make contesting interesting and easy.  I especially like CW and RTTY contests.  I usually operate in the low power category, and usually as a single operator, all bands.  But recently I had the urge to try and expand my contesting, by attempting to operate SO2R.  That means "Single Operator 2 Radios".

I have been using Writelog as my contesting software for some time now, with good results.  It allows me to have multiple rigs working and logging the same contest.  My station consists of a Kenwood TS-570D and a Yaesu FT-840 transceiver.  The TS-570D, has a built in RS-232 interface, and is easily connected to the PC.  I use the soundboard in the PC as the TNC for the TS-570D.  The Yaesu FT-840 requires an interface adapter to connect it with the COM port on the PC.  The adapter is available at http://www.hosenose.com.   Works real good!!.  I use one of my AEA-PK-232MBX TNC's with the FT-840.

Writelog allows me to select a two radio configuration.  The screen shot shown below shows the two radio setup.  I only need to click on the appropriate entry window to select the transmitter to be used.  Both RTTYRITE windows will receive.   Each radio will be tuned to a different band, so as I am transmitting on one radio, the other radio can still receive.

so2r1.jpg (83783 bytes)

I hope you decide to contest.  It's just another part of ham radio.  It does not matter if you win, it only matters if you try to win.  It's kinda like playing Poker, the next best thing to playing and winning, is playing and losing.