Well, I have been pretty busy this week. I am taking an online class at Regis University and have been really tied up in studying for a test and writing a paper about a microprocessor. That being said, I get lots and lots of time to listen to my radio, but not much time to transmit.
As of late I have been monitoring the digital modes and have made a few PSK31 contacts, and a Hellscriber contact. I built an interface box between my rig and my computer that will allow the serial port on my computer to control the TX on my radio. It is a huge improvement and it always feels good to build something that works and saves you $25 over the commercial version! I found the schematic and guide for this interface from N2UHC's website. Check it out here: http://www.geocities.com/n2uhc/interface.html If you need to order parts, the best place to go is Digikey. They will have your order to your door in a few days and they have hundreds of thousands of parts. In fact, I ordered everything for this kit at one time on Digikey and had it built in a long evening! Pictures to come soon.
The DX on CW has been very good lately. I managed to work a station in New Zeland, the Fiji islands, England, and a few others. Since I have had a lot of time to monitor while doing homework, I can park on an open frequency like 10.105MHz and listen. When DX pops up, I can work them within a few CQ's. Once the station gets on the dx cluster (DX Watch is my favorite) and other stations jump in, my dipoles don't stand much of a chance. The cool thing is my furthest QSO was something like 8,500 miles on a $15.00 home made dipole. Not bad!
Last night I worked a station in Fargo, ND on 30 meters (CW)... I have often heard how hard it is to work North Dakota and South Dakota on the HF bands because of the relative lack of hams in those two states. I personally have had very good luck working ND and SD, and have worked three or four from each state. If you are looking for ND or SD, stay encouraged, you will get them, they are out there!
See you on the air! Joe Paricka N0NS