NC QSO Party 2024

Got W4BXC on the air again for part of the NC QSO party. Band conditions were about the same as yesterday, although didn’t hear quite as much DX on 10m today as I was hearing yesterday.

As usual, 40m was about the only band I could hear NC stations on. Toward the end of the contest, I started hearing one or two up on 20m, but none I hadn’t already worked on 40m. Did pretty well this year with 58 QSOs, including 4 out of the 6 bonus stations, and 38 counties.

Band QSOs Pts Mul Pt/Q
7 58 116 38 2.0
Total 58 116 38 2.0
Score: 4,458
1 Mult = 1.5 Q's

Practicing with the Begali

Got my Begali Camelback straight key wired up with a standard 3.5mm TRS cable, and made up an adapter cable to connect it to the Heathkit HD-10 keyer.

Morse code keys and bug connected to a Heathkit HD-10 electronic keyer

I’ve been really enjoying practicing Morse code with the Camelback. The solid, weighty base gives it a super stable feel and a nice satisfying thunk-y sound as opposed to the more clack-y sound from the J-38 key. I’m sure if I mounted the J-38 on a more solid base, it might also have a nice thunk-y-er sound. I’ll have to look around for something heavy to attach the J-38 to now.

The Camelback is hefty enough that it doesn’t move around while I’m keying. The Vibroplex bug is also pretty hefty, but will slide around a bit while I’m using it. I probably need to replace the feet or put some grippy pads on them to keep it from sliding around.

2017 ARRL Auction time

Bidding for the 2017 ARRL Auction opened up yesterday. Didn’t see anything that made me go “I NEED THIS“, but there were still a few items that I thought were interesting enough to put bids on.

Seems like there’s a fair bit of bidding activity going on in the auction already after just a day. The ARRL Mystery Junque boxes are back (only 4 of them this year). One of them is already up to $155. Hope it’s got something good in it.

So far, the items I’ve decided to chase are a copy of Introduction to RF Design, a reproduction 1st edition ARRL handbook, and one of the Vibroplex keys. Nice things to add to the bookshelf and collection, but nothing that I’ll be disappointed over if I don’t win.

I always enjoy watching the activity in the ARRL auction. It’s interesting to see what items end up going for.