For the first time since July I managed to get out and operate last night. Sadly I made no successful contacts:
- During the 20:56 - 21:08 pass of CUTE-1.7 + APD II (21° peak) my TH-F7E radio went into a mode that I've never seen before. By the time I'd worked out how to reset it without wiping its memory ("Fn+Pwr" for future reference...) the pass was over.
- The other two passes that occurred while I was set up were both low enough that it's entirely likely that there were buildings in the way:
I did make two important pieces of progress:
- This was my first use of an SLA field under their Land for Community Use program. A huge thanks to SLA both for their consent and for the speed and simplicity of their process; it took exactly a week from making my initial phone call to receiving consent in writing.
- I modified hamlib to support the wire protocol that the WRAPS firmware uses, meaning that I could use Gpredict under Linux, instead of running '90s era shareware under Windows which I've been doing to date. WRAPS uses the protocol developed for the SAEBRTrack tracker which - in turn - is a simplified verion of something called Easycomm. Getting it to work required a one-line change; integrating this as an additional protocol will require more work.
In addition to learning more about the radio, I also received gentle reminders about the need to find a way to contain cable locations and possibly to move the controller circuit board. Nothing was permanently damaged, but various plugs were pulled out, and the circuit board was nearly damaged by rotation at ~0° during repositioning between passes causing part of the boom to snag it. I may address this by lengthening the motor and sense cables and moving the controller down the mast.