Station Upgrades That Might or Might Not Work!

While I enjoyed making contacts in the contest, my station needs improvement, especially if I want to hear or be heard on SSB. The biggest part of this is antenna. But while I’m at it, I also have other projects. I am currently in the LIMBO time between ordering things and waiting for them to arrive. Here are THE PLANS:

1) Coax Run. Stop using THIS, as cool at it is, so we can open the door wall. Instead, route the coax through a window, with this guy’s highly complex and technical idea for passing coax through a window:

2) Resonance, resonance, resonance. While I was going to do dipoles for this, space is being a huge issue if I want more than a couple bands, even with fan dipoles. So, I decided I will be putting up a Hustler Six Band Trap Vertical, if it ever ships. Currently backordered, might ship on the 9th of April.

3) Panadapter. This will get a post of its own. I was originally going to tap into my IC-718’s IF to get a signal to pass to a cheap SDR dongle for this. Until I opened the radio and realized how far I’d have to take it apart. I trust my soldering skills. But when I take things apart, I lose pieces. This is a long-known issue. Instead, I’ve ordered an SDRPlay, which can receive HF natively, and an MFJ-1708SDR, on backorder at least 3 weeks, which will let me share one antenna with the radio and the SDRPlay for receive, cutting off the SDRPlay on transmit so it doesn’t blow up. I finally got one SDR program on the Mac, CubicSDR, to play mostly nicely with rig control, so I can truly use the SDR waterfall display on the computer to change frequencies on the radio to the signal I click on. I WILL make a video if I get this to work.

So that’s the plan. Of course the SDRPay will arrive first, then maybe the antenna a couple weeks later, then the switcher. This is all in the wrong order. Unless they bump the antenna date again. But if they do, I end up getting the switcher before the antenna, and at least I can play with the panadapter project on the current wire antenna. The coax run may happen this weekend if I get rid of this plague I have today. And if there is no precipitation, which is currently looking unlikely.

Moral: Patience, virtue or not, is required.