Maintenance Note: Power supply change

close-up of IC-7200 radio

IC-7200

Some users have had issues with spontaneous shutdown of the IC-7200 on voice peaks, especially with the COMP enabled.  This morning the aging Astron RS-20 power supply was switched out in favor of an SEC-1223 switching supply, which will provide adequate power on peaks to avoid shutdown.

When the rig spontaneously shuts down, the USB connection to the host computer is broken momentarily before the IC-7200 restarts.  On restart of the radio, the USB connection is NOT automatically reestablished.  This results in the station going offline until manual intervention by the admin is performed.  The host software will “hang” and must be manually halted with the Windows Task Manager, then restarted.  On restart the USB connection to the radio is then properly reestablished and the station is back on line.

It is easy to see why we want to avoid this problem!  Please report issues to me via email.

73 – Pat
wa0tda@arrl.net

 

Operating Tip – Reporting Problems

Mouse pad & mouseWhen operating the remote via the Windows RCForb software, you find that the station connects as expected and you hear sound.  This is good, because that means you have both rig control and VoIP for audio.

But what about when something unexpected happens?  For example, let’s say you are using the Android app on your smartphone and attempt to connect to a station.  The connection is made, but a warning appears stating that the VoIP server is not working.  The station is connected, so there is rig control but no audio.  You should disconnect and report the problem.

This can happen because of a problem on the station’s host computer, and it will not be noticed by users of the Windows app, only users of the Android app.  This is not to say that Windows users might not be affected at other times.  I have observed problems like this cropping up when Windows is setting itself up for updates.

If you experience this problem, please let the station admin know about it.  If it happens with this station, email wa0tda@arrl.net and let me know what app you are using and what kind of behavior the station was exhibiting.

Thank you for your help!

73 – Pat
wa0tda@arrl.net

 

 

More night, less daylight = Better HF conditions!

3.925 MHz on the IC-7200

3.925 MHz on the IC-7200

Here’s the good news about the autumn equinox here in the center of North America:  HF conditions are getting better quickly.

With the longer nights and shorter days we are beginning to see fewer thunderstorms with less QRN on bands like 75, 80 and 40 meters.  In fact, absorption is far less as well, and that means the 75/80 meter band is open more hours.  If you are interested in working all states, that’s your band.  You’ll have to start listening early in the morning before sunrise.  Here at WA0TDA, which is east of Minnesota’s capitol of St. Paul, it is easy to hear stations across the continent before sunrise.

Don’t forget to try CW.  The WA0TDA HF remote is CW-enabled.  You can use the RCForb Windows application or the RCForb Android app, which is under $10 in the Play Store.

 

Maintenance outage – Post-Field Day

Now that Field Day is behind us, the WA0TDA HF remote will be down for routine maintenance.

close-up of IC-7200 radioThis will allow me to do a complete antenna check and make improvements to both antenna systems.  I expect to have the station on the air sometime in July.  This is the best time to work on antennas, and it is also a traditionally low-usage time of year.

Bad HF Conditions Persist

Conditions on the HF bands seem to be pretty bad, then they get even worse! Noise abounds as oddball skip conditions make for some surprising HF paths on 80 and 40 meters.  Many days 20 is unusable except for digital on 14.070 MHz.

It’s not pretty.

Consider listening early in the morning and in the evening on 80/75 meters. This band is good throughout the solar cycle, but only if daytime absorption is not too bad.  That’s why you need to get on early in the morning or after dinner!  Give it a try and you’ll be surprised at what you can hear.

3.925 MHz on the IC-7200

3.925 MHz on the IC-7200