WSJT-X 2.2.0-rc 2

I installed the latest release candidate of WSJT-X this morning for a quick tryout. Seamless install … no problems whatsoever … seems to work fine. I got on the air after installation and made several contacts.

The biggest thing I noticed, right off the bat, is that the decode time on FT8 is markedly faster. That popped out at me, first thing. The second thing I noticed, was that the RX goalposts (the little green thingies at the top of the waterfall), are now a darker shade of green. That has always been a problem for me … on my monitor, the light green goalposts were really hard to see. I would have to squint and lean closer to see them.

As usual, the development team made lots of improvements behind the scenes. The documentation and the software is available on the website here.

73 de Dick N4BC

QSL Percentages (Redux)

I just did a quick calculation of QSLs received versus total QSOs and the answer is an almost unbelievable 71.6% in LOTW and 80.4% in QRZ. This is based on QSOs since 2013. Even when I was a rare DX operator, I never approached this. LOTW has done a lot to increase QSL returns, as has computer logging that automatically uploads to the various QSL sites. I really don’t chase awards any more, but it’s nice to see how things are going, even if I’m not really using the data.

73 de Dick N4BC

Plodding Along

Not a lot has changed in the past couple of weeks, radio-wise. I’m still working lots of digital modes (including CW) and enjoying it. FT4 activity seems to be increasing … probably since the FT8 segments are so crowded. PSK and Olivia activity is still sporadic, but I did notice some nice signals on 20 meters around lunchtime today … strong and lots of them!

One of my coworkers just became a ham last week. He attended an outdoor testing session, to comply with the social distancing recommendations. He passed the Technician and General class licenses, and was formally granted KO4DBF after about a week’s time or so.

Our club held its first virtual club meeting last night, using Zoom. Last week I attended our QCWA chapter meeting via Zoom as well. Looks like Zoom is the preferred method of social interaction now. At work, we’re using Microsoft Teams, but I like the Zoom interface better.

As a matter of fact, I’ve got two Zoom meetings later this evening. First, our Scout Troop, and then after that, our church Choir. We’ve been doing virtual meetings for Scouts for several weeks now and it seems to be working well. The choir meeting is more of a social thing rather than musical … just to keep in touch while in-person services are suspended. Our virtual church services are on FaceBook live.

73 de Dick N4BC

“Interference”

I’ve been going crazy trying to track down an interfering signal that showed up recently on my FLDIGI waterfall.

Finally, I connected the RSP1A to the antenna and lo and behold, there was nothing there! It had to be something with the radio. Not only that, but it was there when changing the frequency and band … never moving on the display.

What could it be? DING DING DING !!!!! Operator ERROR!

Somehow I had fat-fingered the Notch on the IC-7300. Don’t remember doing it, but I sure did! Deselect the Notch and back to normal..

73 de Dick N4BC

Mea Culpa

I used to think that people that complained about the fan being annoyingly noisy in the Icom IC-7300 were real whiners. I never found it very noticeable.

My apologies to anyone who I thought poorly of … since I got hearing aids and now have my higher audio frequencies back, I can see what you mean. It’s really LOUD, isn’t it?

But still … it is what it is. Some smart engineer decided this was the best fan for trouble-free operation, so I’ll defer to him (or her). You DO learn to tolerate it.

AND … you SHOULD be wearing headphones anyway, shouldn’t you, to keep out distracting noises?

p.s. I still LOVE my IC-7300 and wouldn’t give it up for anything (except maybe an IC-7600! HA HA!!

73 de Dick N4BC