To paraphrase, "Everybody talks about the space weather, but nobody does anything about it!" Well, today I did... sort of.
I received a couple of notes in response to my post "I am a junk-box junkie" asking me if I had considered the high-end audio components from W2IHY Technology. Specifically, the EQplus unit provides processing that adds compression and depth to the audio to give it a very nice "DX punch". I had seen these units at Dayton but had dismissed the boxes as unnecessary. I am lucky to have a reasonably good voice for HF and usually have no trouble being heard, but the extremely poor conditions at the bottom of the cycle, and my friendly wager made me reconsider this option. At this point, I believe I could use all the help I can get!
I called W2IHY just after noon today and caught Julius Jones just as he was trying to slip out for lunch. I could have placed the order on-line but I wanted to be sure that I ordered all of the right stuff the first time. After all, I leave in just a week! I'm really glad I did this over the phone.
The conversation started out easily enough. Mr. Jones is quite personable and put me at ease immediately. I reciprocated, of course. He asked, "what is your call sign?" ""NERD!"," I said. "N E 1 R D." With that he laughed out loud and it took him a few moments to regain his composure. "I bet you're an engineer", he said, still chuckling. "Indeed I am!", I replied.
Now it was down to business. As long as I'm doing this, I got all the cables necessary to drive all the radios I own: Icom IC-746Pro, Icom IC-7000, Yaesu FT-817, and Elecraft K2 (with Kenwood microphone wiring). I arranged for quick shipping (though he normally sends things Priority Mail which is reasonably fast). It should arrive in the next couple of days.
The new audio "solution" also generates a new "problem": I have no place in the big Pelican case for the new gizmo. Ah, the challenges of packing never end.
I'll report here what I discover about this wondrous device before, during, and after the trip.