Participated in SweepStakes this weekend and had a ball. Phone contests are not my favourite unless I’m working on a multi-op setup but wanted to give the Flex 1500 and new amp and tuner a workout.

I ran 100 watts for about a third of the contest and less than 20 watts for a third and QRP for a third depending on conditions.

I discovered that my anti-virus program was eating up a lot of my computer power so I killed it for the contest and had no issues with the CPU.

For the most part the Flex worked fine. I remembered to turn the audio down after a comment 🙂 and had the scent of solder floating through the shack for the first couple of hours as the amp (which had never been used) warmed up.  In general I had no more issues working guys at 100 watts as I did at 25 watts or even five watts depending on the size of the pileup and the noise on the band. I heard a lot of requests for repeats in other QSOs and had no more than the regular amount regardless of the power I was running.

It goes to show that we are louder than we think at any power level. Now having said that SweepStakes phone is a contest when it sure helps to be running 800 or 1,000 watts into a decent antenna up high. But running less power and more modest antennas doesn’t limit the fun.

I noticed that the wheel on the mouse didn’t keep the same tuning rate from the Flex window to the Writelog window. Got to look into this and thinking of getting a better USB controller.

One last issue was that the big auto tuner kept searching for a tuned position. I never found the memory setting. This is operator error. The QRP auto tuner works so much more fluidly in the background and won’t be a problem next weekend as I will be running QRP CW.

Next step is to setup for CQ WW CW next weekend.

This entry was posted in Uncategorized by Peter West. Bookmark the permalink.

About Peter West

I am retired. I'm invested into bike riding, guitar playing, yoga and Ham Radio. I am a former photojournalist, newspaper and magazine editor and public relations practitioner with national, regional and local experience. A long-time member of Toastmasters International and an active Amateur Radio (Ham) operator here in Canada I am taking on new challenges.

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