Decided to give my new set up a workout. When I left the rig last night I was on 40M. This morning I cam in the shack and jiggled the mouse to wake up the computer and checked out SpotCollector to see what was red. Stations I need for a given band are displayed in red. I saw JD1BLY displayed on 80M. I already have Ogasawara on some other bands but not on 80. I double clicked JD1BLY on the Spot Collector callsign data field and my rig and antenna immediately switched to the correct freq. I determined that I could hear him, he was working simplex on 3504.5. I flipped on the diversity function of the F5K and peaked the SNR on JD1BLY. Simultaneously I flipped on the ALS-1300. The amp takes about 3-4 seconds to go through a step start procedure, and I heard the bandswitch in the amp automatically click to 80. I set my keyer speed to match the DX and fired off two quick W9OY's. He comes back immediately and in less than 30 seconds he is in the log.
I sit and listen for a couple minutes as I start to write my experience here and then he is gone. If I had been 2 minutes later, (like waiting for the Acom or the Alpha to warm up) I would have missed him. This is how man was meant to live!
If you're interested in writing something interesting for this blog regarding your SDR experience let me know. I would like to include things like how your SDR contest station is set up, or your VHF station that uses SDR as the system center, feats of weak signal work or how well the SDR works in various challenging situations. If you are a foreign ham and would like to comment on the growth of SDR in your particular part of the world. Bring it on!
I reserve the right to publish or not, but I'm pretty open to documenting a wide variety of honest experiences from users, for readers to explore. The understanding of SDR in our hobby is so nascent, that I want the reader to be able to see the value of SDR through the eyes of YOUR experience and enthusiasm.