Sunday, December 16, 2012

Had my first QSO on HF last night

My Icom IC-7200 arrive last Tuesday, and the Ultimax-100 antenna came on Friday.

Yesterday afternoon I put the antenna up on my roof, fed with 50’ of LMR-400 coax. The antenna is attached to the base of the mast supporting my Comet GP-3 2m/70cm antenna, which is near the peak of the roof. The Ultimax is stretched out so it slopes down along my roof, and was secured in place by tying a piece of 550 cord to the end insulator, with the other end tied to my gutter. I do plan on making some PVC supports to hold the antenna up above my roof by a foot or two.

Being a computer geek I am largely interested in digital modes. The IC-7200’s USB port for connection to a computer without having to use an interface like a RIGrunner or Signalink USB was one of the main reasons I chose it. So, I installed a Windows 7 64-bit driver from here, and installed both fldigi and Ham Radio Deluxe.

After some tinkering I was still having difficulties getting the DM780 part of  HRD to transmit so I changed over to fldigi. I got it working and coordinated with a couple guys on Arfcom, and we got a QSO going using Olivia 16/500. Olivia is a slow mode for transferring text but is very tolerant of poor propagation conditions, and low transmitting power.

I’m looking forward to working with this more.

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