2011
06.02

Over the last few weeks, I’ve made significant changes to my station.  I found an IC-7000 locally, at a very fair price.  It’s an amazing little radio and does what had taken many pieces of equipment to accomplish previously.  With the 7000 coming into the shack, I sold off much of the gear that I had been using for HF/VHF.

Out With the Old

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2011
03.10

Whenever there is a major contest, I try to get on the air.  This year’s ARRL DX Phone contest was no exception.  I’m not a serious contester, but I like to help others get Rhode Island and usually pick up some new states or entities myself. I typically only work for an hour or two throughout a contest weekend.

With so many DX stations on the air for this event, I thought it would be a good time to boost my totals on bands other than 20m.  I spent most of my 1st year on HF exclusively on 20m, so that’s where I’ve worked the most DX.  15m seemed to be in the best shape when I was on the air, so that’s where I spent most of my time.

New entities worked on 15 were:

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2011
02.23

Since I worked three new DXCC entities today, I thought it would be a good time to update my DXCC stats here on the blog.  My last report was when I had worked my 100th DXCC entity, with 60 confirmed.  Since then I’ve worked 13 more and confirmed another 6.  The new ones worked are:

Aruba
Bahamas
Cameroon
Cape Verde
Cayman Islands
Columbia
Ecuador
Guantanamo Bay
Haiti
Namibia
San Marino
Suriname
Svalbard
2011
02.14

As you may have guessed from the title of this post, I am now an Amateur Extra.  I passed my element 4 exam this past Saturday with a score of 90%.  I had been casually considering an upgrade, but decided to study and go for it when I saw an exam session close to home.  I also decided to keep my current callsign, as I have grown rather attached to it since I was first licensed 18 years ago.

2011
02.09

Ever since I picked up a Ten-Tec 1209 2m to 6m transverter, I’ve been looking to add a 2m all mode radio to my shack for a few weeks now.  Since most of my equipment is Icom, I was watching for an IC-275, but decided to go for a Kenwood TR-751A instead when a good deal came along.  I have had the rig for a few days now and really like it so far.

Kenwood TR-751A

Kenwood TR-751A

The TR-751A puts out 25W in high power mode and can be adjusted between 2W-25W in low power mode.  The rig was very clean when I received it, but still needed some minor tweaks.  I noticed that high power output was only 20W vs the 25W in the spec sheet, so when I had the cover off to set the low power potentiometer, I adjusted the high power one as well.  My transverter accepts up to 5W in, so I set the TR-751A to about 4W in low power mode.  That gives me 25% margin in case my power reading is a little off.  Even with adjustments, high power remained a little low, so I looked at the next most likely culprit,

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