Station Snapshot – K3DCW
Welcome to another edition of the Station Snapshot. This edition comes to you from the shack of yours truly, Dave Wright, K3DCW, of Maryland. As a fan of the minimalism movement, I prefer to keep my shack fairly spartan. The hardware in the shack is all simple, yet good quality. My rig is the excellent Elecraft K3/P3 combination. I use an US Interface Navigator to provide the CAT/PTT/FSK/WinKeyer functions all on a single USB cable. The computer is a Mac Mini quad-I7 mounted under the desk using a NuShelf from NewerTech and driving a pair of Samsung 27″ LCD displays.
Running OS X Yosemite, I have a variety of software packages that I use for amateur radio. My primary day-to-day logger is MacLoggerDX, but I also use RUMlog as my logbook of record and for purposes such as award and LoTW/paper QSL tracking. For my main interest in digital modes, I use Fldigi and occasionally run JT65 or JT9 using WSJT-X and JT-Bridge. I also run WSPR using WSPR-X when the mood strikes. For contesting, I use SkookumLogger as my contest logger. Although I primarily operate in digital or CW, I do use a Steelseries computer gaming headset (excellent comfort for long contest sessions!) for voice activity and it works perfectly with my K3.
Other software in use here in the shack include Flamp for Amateur Multicast Protocol reception, Flwkey for WinKey direct control, ADIF Master (running under Crossover on OS X) to do easy ADIF editing, Audacity for audio recording or playback, EasyEnvelopes for QSL envelope printing, EarthDesk (running on a separate Mac Mini) for a beautiful grey line and satellite cloud imagery display, Morse Mania for learning and practicing Morse Code, and sometimes I use Morse Decoder to help me with my CW.
My antennas are fairly spartan as well — no beams or towers here; just wires and tall trees. My primary antenna is a 135 foot Inverted L with approximately 80′ of vertical elevation. The Inverted L provides excellent coverage from 160m up to 10m with the use of the K3’s tuner and 20 radials cut for the various bands. This antenna is my best performer and is the one I use for chasing most DX. I plan on putting down more radials this spring to further enhance this excellent antenna. My secondary antenna is an Alpha Delta DX-LB+ setup as a low (25′ apex) Inverted V. This antenna provides coverage from 160m – 6m and is an excellent NVIS antenna on the lower bands while still providing some good coverage on the higher bands, including 6m.
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