(click on the on-air light!)


Wanted to start working on a contest page and I thought I would start with some of the awards I've received.

I work as many of the contests in a given year as possible with the ARRL 10m being a favorite and the one that I've been operating for over 10 years.



The Microphone Kludge!

With nothing to do one afternoon I decided to make up a so-called "interface" for my Kenwood TS-850.  This would connect; my Heil Pro Set, my footswitch and allow me to control the frequency of the selected VFO.

Without too much fuss (other than my usual problem viewing things up close HI), I put together the items on the right hand side of photo 1.  It is an 8pin mic connector wired to the footswitch, with a 1/8 female for the microphone connection  and also is wired to an old Kensington mouse that I use to change frequency.  It worked like a champ!

During the 2007 ARRL DX SSB contest I was using my Heil Pro Set.  While working 40m on Saturday night.  Late in the evening I went to throw out my call sign and I heard feedback in my monitor circuit on the TS-850.  After doing some checking of settings, getting out some clip leads and a VOM I determined that it was the wire between the 1/8 male connector and the mic element that had gone bad.







After the shock settled in I decided to make the best of it and use the stock microphone.  But using the PTT and trying to type was not going to get it done, especially during the final day on Sunday.

My hearing, not being what is used to be, caused me to purchase the Pro Set in the first place; so how to get around the 'no microphone' problem.

I solved it by using the boom from my older BM-10 headset (it is the HM-5 element vs. the HM-4 so a bit more low end) and tie-wrapping it to the boom on the Pro Set.  A little fiddling with the compression and kicking on the high end emphasis button on the rig and I was back to making contacts after only a small delay on Sunday morning.  I lost the ability to tune the rig with the mouse, but I still had both hands free for the keyboard and I could try to work what I could hear!

Sometimes it is the simplest of things that can save the day!  Another triumph for tie-wraps!