Joined: Oct. 2003
||Posted: Jan. 29 2005,19:50
Ah yes.. the old faithful .. Kenwood Battleship.
I have a TS-530SP here, only difference is that the SP version
has a nice adjustable notch filter on it, for killing those heterodynes
you often find interfering with your CW copy in the shortwave portions
of the 40 and 80 meter bands..
Here is a rough pic of mine.. the blowup wigged it.. but you'll recognize it..
Die-hard rigs, easy to repair, tubes plentiful.
Usually a little weak on 10 meters, (75W) .
I let mine loaf at 50W on most all bands, and run 10W frequently..
( works just as well, and less QRM on the band .. )
I highly suggest replacing all 3 tubes if they have not been replaced recently.
They are cheap ( conparatively ) , and should last years.
You will need to get either a tech or an old-timer to 'neutralize'
your finals circuit after the tube change before you fire it up.
Otherwise, it can oscillate/feedback, and destroy your relays/load resistors.
I have scored quite well in many contests using that ol' rig.
I love the analog dial, and the great audio.
The receiver is OK, some birdies, but will provide you with hours and hours
of great listening enjoyment until you get those test passed, and a callsign.
10 meters is pretty much dead till 2009 , but you can catch some
brief spurts of skip activity during the summer
( with a wire antenna, check amsat.org for some satellite schedules.
You can hear the beacons of many satellites on 10M as they fly overhead.)
Use the gsat program in the repository to plot their passes visually.
( 29.5 - 29.7 )
15 is a little better.
During the daytime, when conditions are good, you can easily hear
11,000+ mile paths on little or no antenna and low wattage.
20 is your workhorse..
Tune in around 14.300 for the marine net on weekends.
( lots of nets on the weekends )
14.230-14.236 you can hear the ssb warbles of SSTV,
usually real active on weekend mornings..
connect the output of the headphone jack to your soundcard input at a
very LOW level, and use the qsstv program in DSL to capture the pics.
Also, check 14.070.2 for tones ..these are PSK31 ops.
Same headphone connection can bring you lots of monitoring of
QSO's using the Gpsk31 program in the repository.
And always some good QSO's between 14.150 and 14.300
Day or Night..
40 is your nighttime band, although you'll catch a lot of CW activity
in the 7.100-7.150 band most anytime.. newb CW ops. I hang out here..
The shortwave stations really tear it up at night, but you can find some
activity between 7.150 and 7.250 in between stations.
More PSK-31 around 7.070.. RTTY as well..
80 ...another nighttime band.. gets real noisy sometimes.
We have several local chats at 3861, etc.. SSB,
but mostly what you hear at night is a bunch of pig farmers cussin and rantin.
So, be selective about where you park it.. listen for 'intelligent' QSO's..
The CW portions are very active - 3.803-3.850+ depending on conditions.
( There are several good nets on 80 as well - hurricane net, ice cream net, etc. )
40 and 80 are my favs for CW ops.. 30 meters ( 10.100-10.150) is good too.
160 - the gentlemen's band ( top band )
If you like a challenge , this is it.
You'll need a bit more than a "wire in a tree" to do well here.
Lots of static and mother nature doing her thing ( thunderstorms )
Unless it's wintertime, or local, expect to hear little here.
Sometimes 1.830-1/835 you can hear some CW coming "over the pond" (EU)
Hope it helps.. listening is a lot of fun..