Trial Phase at the K9ZW Shack – Expert 1K-FA Amp and Palstar AT-Auto Tuner in Place

Did the gear shuffle, putting the SPE Expert 1K-FA Amplifier and the Palstar AT-Auto Antenna Tuner in place at my operating station.

Everything went into place well, with only some fussiness with my dual computer monitors frustrating me briefly. Enlisted Victor KC9NWB, my 16 year old youngest son, to diagnose the computer graphics card. He correctly thought that the card and monitors auto-sensed themselves into an adjusted configuration that took only a few key clicks and a restart (even though it should have needed a restart) to fully correct – thanks Vic KC9NWB!

Added Anderson Powerpoles to the power cord for the AT-Auto and it fired right up.

Gingerly I fired up the Expert Amp, leaving it in Standby mode.

I’ve decided to initially run both items in their Frequency-Sensing Automatic Modes, and to deal with interfacing their CAT (Computer Aided Transceiver) connections to the Flex-5000a and PowerSDR Software as a second phase for later in the week.

It was lickety-split and I was ready to make first transmissions as the 1.895 kHz 160m Everynight Net preamble was being read.

First reports from KD8KW were very favorable. In-between the two rounds of the evening’s 30+ member 160m roundtable, I did pop over to 14.260 for a 20m contact with K7UGA, the Arizona Special Event Station celebrating Arizona’s Centennial and using Sen. Barry Goldwater (SK) K7UGA call.

Returning to 160m was very quick and when I explained that I was on new gear more reports of booming easy to understand signals were received.

Band conditions and a call to late light dinner put an end to the first test session, which even though a session limited to a handful of QSOs on two bands, was an easier success than I had expected.

Hoping to give the revised station configuration a good workout this week and next weekend. More after I put a hundred or QSOs on the configuration.

Then it will be a matter of interfacing the CAT capabilities, followed with a stab at removing the station.

If it works out I would like to try to run at least some QSOs remotely from elsewhere in the house and perhaps from other locations over the internet. Would be a really thrill to be able to log a few QSOs while traveling if it can be made to work!



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