Saturday, January 02, 2010

New Year's Resolutions 2010

It seems that everyone is making New Year's Resolutions for 2010. I've never been much of a one for making resolutions, since I've never seen the point in promising to do things that I know I won't, but just for the heck of it here are my ham radio resolutions for 2010, most of which are the same as they were for 2009.

1. Use CW more. I have always appreciated the benefits of CW as an efficient mode that helps compensate for the inefficiencies of my attic antennas. But I rarely make CW contacts except to play in the occasional contest. Given the choice between using a mode where my brain has do do the work and one where I can sit back and let the computer do the decoding I always pick the easy option. If I could make myself use CW more then perhaps I'd get to a stage where it didn't seem so hard.

2. Do more walks on the fells. I started Wainwrights On The Air last year mainly to give me more of an incentive to get out for some exercise on the fells. But I always seem to find reasons not to go. Either I've had health problems, or I was put off by the weather (I'm definitely a fair weather walker and that isn't likely to change.) It doesn't help that my wife Olga prefers walking on the level rather than sweating up mountains, which means that I'm only free to go on occasions when she doesn't mind being left at home. But a walk on the fells literally leaves you feeling "on top of the world". It's something I really want to do a lot more of this year.

3. Build more stuff. I really would like to construct more radio items. Hopefully I will finish and get working the SoftRock that I hope to use as a panadapter for my Elecraft K3. Last year I also planned to make a Pixie II transceiver - mainly as an exercise to get me back into building projects from scratch rather than a kit. I have accumulated all the parts, but that is as far as it has got.

I'd also like to make a G3XBM Fredbox transceiver for 2m, though I was thinking of making one to transmit FM rather than AM. I have a couple of reasons for wanting to try this: I tried to make a hand-held 2m FM transceiver back in the early 70s and didn't succeed, so it's unfinished business. And it was building a superregenerative 2m receiver that enabled me to discover 2m and made me want to get my ham license after years of SWL. Anyone got any crystals for 145.500 or other simplex frequencies from defunct 2m FM radios that they would like to get rid of?
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