22 Nov 2011

Back to Basics

It does seem an age since my last post but there have been other things to do and frankly there has not been too much in the way of radioactivity on which to report - the best time for radio  is during late evenings/early morning - 160/80/40 and 30m are the bands most likely to be open and I STILL prefer 40m - I always listen on this band as you get quiet spells and suddenly hear W's and PY's at good strength - mostly workable - The last month or so I have been getting back to basics,  honing my Cw skills on both receive and sending and I am glad to report quite an improvement having apparently been up against the 15-20wpm wall for the last 10 years - it's just me I guess ! No Pain no gain and getting in a rut and the general "Lack" of Cw and too much fiddling with these "Digimodes" so I have been sitting back and opening the mind and letting it flow - of course you have to find some decent sending first! Years ago I did take the chair on a few occasions during FD contests and was beginning to show signs of becoming a reasonable cw op but I let it slip :-(  but persistence is paying off and copying much bigger "chunks" of text at up to 30wpm (thereabouts...)  holding it is another thing but it proves practice works - I will continue in this fashion now and am enjoying Cw again and give all this fangled digi stuff a wide berth for a bit - I have even got my old hand key out and surprisingly find I can send at the same speed, or faster than I was with an electronic keyer - where that came from I know not because I have not used a hand key for years but I will practice just for the novelty.


The return to using Linux was NEVER very far away and I tried about 7 Linux distros last week either Live, or from a USB stick and after much downloading and testing decided once again on Ubuntu - this time it has a completely different interface which at first I did'nt like but since putting it on my Samsung "Netbook" I am growing to like it - I have it dual boot with W7 starter, and defaulted to boot Linux first - the things that previous ubuntu versions had issues with, (Printers, Scanners, Cameras, Tablets, Webcams, and USBdevices etc... ) ALL worked right out of the box WITHOUT the need to install third party or "EXTRA DRIVERS" - Wow ! at least in my case anyway - for a change everything worked - AND  I can print documents wirelessly over the network on both my Pixma4500 deskjet  or  the Samsung Laser - all from the comfort of the sofa !!
For those with the Canon Lide 210 USB Scanner - the current online document on the ubuntu site states it will not work  -  IT DOES.
Lots of fun to be had with this distro...!




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6 comments:

  1. Hi Peter, good to hear from you. The 40 meter band is also still my favourite. It is a 24 hour band. Always something to discover. 73 Paul

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  2. Hi Paul:
    yes I have always liked 40m - always throws up surprises even using a modest antenna - my MV5+3 is better than the dipole on 40m - still have the fox problem - need to bury ALL cabling in sight !

    73' Peter

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  3. Good morning Peter, I understand about the digi setup fun..I am in the thick of that right now. I have spent about 3 evenings trying to get things going and am almost there. As for CW yes there are walls and like you I am at on now as well and it seems this wall is the largest I have come up against. As you say there is pain with the gain. I just discovered Ubuntu and have it installed on my laptop. I did run the dual boot for a bit until I got used to how Ubuntu ran and the feel of it. I have now removed Windows Vista from the laptop and it is fueled on Ubuntu alone. The desktop still has WinXP on it as it runs all the ham radio programs.

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  4. Hello Mike:
    I have always really preferred cw, but I have let it slip these past years - however good progress now being made, reaching the next rung! Interesting your playing with ubuntu - I ran previous versions for 5 yrs - great for everyday use, but Ham S/ware is way behind the win platform but I will be tinkering with some of the apps - I want to creep back into a bit of contesting and the netbook/linux set-up would be ideal, might mean having to run stuff under wine though - we'll see - hope everything ran "Out of the box" for you ?!

    Keep us posted how your getting on withit.

    Rgds Peter NKX

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  5. Hello Peter, I really enjoy those digimodes, but I have found they distract me to much from my favourite mode CW...my sending is real rusty at the moment. I think I will also be giving the digimodes a wide berth for awhile..

    73 Mark MW0MJB

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  6. Hello Mark:
    I enjoy digimodes but I get bored after a while - I have decided to try and make my mark using CW only - I'm enjoying it once again - no digi contacts for a good while.I was rusty when I re-started but it's like riding a bike - you never forget, and I have discovered both sending and Rx has improved greatly - Dig in, its the only way.
    Rgds Peter 73'

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