I upgraded to the latest revision of Windows 10 last night. Everything went well, and all seems to be working well. The upgrade took a significant amount of time, but I could have continued to work while the install went on in the background.

I also upgraded WSJT-X to the latest version 2.2.1. That too was painless and no issues noted.

Tonight is our monthly radio club meeting on our repeater. We also do a monthly meeting via ZOOM, but this is for those that don’t use computers. In any case, it’s a nice monthly net and actually gets people to use the repeater.

That’s a rare act nowadays.

73 de Dick N4BC

Interesting Weekend

It’s been a good weekend here at the ol’ hacienda. The weather has been pleasant and on Saturday, the bands were pretty good.

Down at the lower reaches of the bands, the CQ Worldwide CW contest was raging …

Early Saturday morning – CQWW CW

It was really crowded and a bit chaotic. I decided not to dive into that and looked at what else was going on.

I saw that the PODXS 070 Club Three Day Weekend Contest was underway … it had started on Friday evening. It’s a PSK-31 contest. Since I had recently renewed my interest in PSK-31, I decided to participate.

It didn’t take me long to get caught up in it. I’m writing this during a lull of poor propagation on Sunday afternoon, and I have made forty-some contacts so far. Hopefully, the bands will cooperate and things will pick up again before the contest ends at 2359Z this evening.

You know, it’s nice to take the “path less travelled,” to quote Mr. Frost. The CW contest would have been great, but I equally enjoyed the alternative. In the immortal words of that great philosopher, Garth, “Party on, Wayne!”

73 de Dick N4BC

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

p.s. up to rc 3 now!

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