Prep for MNQP

The Minnesota QSO Party is tomorrow (Saturday)

 iPhone photo - Adding the FT450 to shack for the MNQP

iPhone photo - Adding the FT450 to shack for the MNQP

For the last couple of years my son Ben (N2BEN) and I have operated the Minnesota QSO Party together as a multi-op station. Normally Ben operates SSB while I log for him. Once his interest wears low he will take a break and then I will operate some CW.

This year I modified the setup a little bit. I pulled out the FT450AT and put it on a small table for Ben. I then integrated the rig into our logging software. The FT450AT will be used for 10m, 15m, and 20m SSB.  My IC756 will be used for 40m and 80m CW. (Potentially 160m if that band gets activated.)  We will only have one rig on the air at time but this eliminates the need to change antennas on the rigs when we change operators.

 Ubuntu 12.04 with VirtualBox with XP running Writelog

Ubuntu 12.04 with VirtualBox with XP running Writelog

This is one of those rare times when I still need a Windows based OS so that I can run Writelog. For HF contesting it is pretty hard to beat Writelog (or N1MM as an alternate.) So I fired up XP running in a Virtualbox session. I mapped two serial ports and one USB port into the VM. (Com1=IC756, Com2=FT450, Com3=USBWinkey)  I also configured the telnet packet spots and two band windows. I probably have about 90 minutes into tonights prep work. (Normally we miss the start of the event dealing with station setup work.)

We operate fairly casually and typically take a lunch break and go out to eat. This is a hobby and it should be fun. I will push to put a few extra Q's into the log but it is much less than a full day effort us.

73 de NG0R