MD from next door comes storming into the store today wanting some Ativan like RIGHTNOW(tm).  They had a "Patient Down".  So I said "Heres like 3 lorazepam tablets!"  She said "OMG TU" and runs out.  Totally random and unexpected, but at least I wasn't a dick like some CVS pharmacists and make her give me a prescription before I handed them out.  "OH SORRY YOUR PATIENT IS SEIZING ON YOUR FLOOR, I NEED AN RX FOR THESE ATIVAN I'M GOING TO GIVE YOU."

In other news, the CW CQ WW DX contest is this weekend.  Do I dare even try? Survey says yes.  Its a hardcore contest, but maybe someone might take some pity on me and cut their speed down to like a snails pace.  I'll use the paddles (which I can send at around 18wpm) and really use the morse decode function on my K3 to at least get some contest time under my belt.  I think if I listen to a runner I'll get the call and exchange the 100th time they send it to other stations.

Helping beta-test the KX3 suite, fun finding bugs (or as they are called now 'defects') and fixing them.?

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New Toy – LP-Pan2

Got a new LP-Pan2 for my K3.  Just hooked it up.  Of course its raining out and the bands are absolute shit (well, probably my antenna) but its pretty cool.  I already have an EMU 0204 sound card from my softrock projects, so hooking it up was a breeze.  Now to find good SDR software to use it.  Should really help me when doing CW so I wont have to scan around the band and can actually see the RF and CW speed vs blindly tuning?
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So my antenna situation sucks

 Even with huge current chokes the G5RVjr still makes stuff wonky in the house when xmitting on 40m (but not in the shack!).  Even a longwire up my jacktite doesn't do anything.  I need to take the advice of +TJ Campie and just get a hexbeam up as high as I can on a telescoping mast with a cheap rotator.

In other news, hopefully my LP-Pan2 panadapter will come this week so I can get some sort of band display using the IF Output on my K3.  I probably should start to invest some money into a decent antenna setup and not more gizmos for the shack.  ?

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The absolute best castlevania song ever made

 God im such a nerd.?
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When CW was all worth while.

Snowstorm Ranch, 2013.

It was late.  Everyone was milling around the cabin drinking after dinner.  My laptop was dead, so I couldn’t work anyone on JT65/Digital.  For the past 10 months, I had been working on learning CW being taught by CWOps academy (Thanks Rob, K6RB).  I had made a few QSO’s on CW with other SKCC members, but always with the help of the sked website or the SKCC database for the important information.

I was lazily tuning around the bands just in awe of everything I could hear.  There wasn’t any QRM up at 5.5k feet in the middle of nowhere, so I was just enjoying the gentle S1 hiss with the occational chirp from the generator that ran the TV which the old guys were watching.  The K3 was happily running off of the deep cycle battery that I brought.

I heard someone calling CQ.  It was a very slow CQ.  Obviously from a straight key.  I put my big boy pants on, got some paper and a pencil, and jumped into the deep end of the CW pool and threw my call out.  I was already a few sheets to the wind booze wise so I figured that I had nothing to lose.

Im not sure if I was more surprised or mortified when I heard my call thrown back at me.  I just took a deep breath and let my mind go blank.  It was KD6DKC, Rick, from Merced.  During our QSO, I heard the other guys say “Is that morse code?  Is Frank really talking to someone using morse code?”.  My dad replied “Yeah, can you believe my kid really knows morse code?”.  We exchanged info, and as I signed off, I looked up to see everyone looking at me in amazement.  I had wanted to do CW up at snowstorm for the longest time, and that was my first CW contact up there.  No help, no decoders, nothing.  Just my brain, the rig, and a straight key.  Something that most CW operators wouldn’t even give a second thought to.

I will never forget that QSO.  I sent Rick an QSL card that I made with an image of the camp on it.  Sure its probably just another QSO in his log, but for me it was just the kick in the ass I needed to really learn and get good at CW.  It made all of those nights in front of the computer listening to letter after letter worth while.

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