Propagation blues

You know times are bad when 20 Meters doesn’t have a single CW signal  audible during a major contest weekend. I just tuned up there and couldn’t hear ANYTHING! NADA! Forty and eighty are really active … lots of contest activity.

I haven’t done any contesting this weekend. I just worked about 15 stations on FT8 with the new rig, and I did make a couple of QSOs to check out how it handles on CW. As far as SSB, I haven’t even taken the mic out of the box yet!

The IC-7300 is a SWEET rig to operate, but I’m still stumbling a bit with the  controls. It’ll get better with familiarity.

73 de Dick N4BC

A Few Contacts, but …

I did a bit of FT8 yesterday evening. I managed one contact on 80M and three on 15M. The other bands were sounding good, but I just couldn’t seem to connect. Not a real dense map either … nothing showing anywhere except North America, and one reception report in Venezuela.

I did have an equipment problem surface, though. My USB hub kept dropping out or resetting. Wiggling the USB-A connector at the laptop duplicated the problem. Over time, with connecting and disconnecting, the plug has gotten worn and is loose. At least, I hope it’s the plug and not the laptop socket that’s worn. I looked for a replacement cord, but the hub end is a USB-B connector … like you find on most printers … sort of a square plug, rather than a rectangular one. Ah well, Amazon Basics … should be here Friday. Love Amazon Prime! The old one is still usable … I just have to make sure I don’t wiggle the cord, though.

I’m looking forward to the loooong Thanksgiving holiday. Hopefully, conditions will improve a bit. I’ve been reading a bit about Olivia and want to give that a try. Maybe I’ll also have a chance to do some antenna experimenting, too. We’ll see.

Right now, I need to find a plumber. The kitchen sink decided to plug up on Thanksgiving eve, when the kitchen is a beehive of activity. Figures …

Have a great holiday if you’re celebrating it!

73 de Dick N4BC
November Four Big Cheese


WSJT-X ver. 1.8.0 Released

The final version has just been released and a quick check shows it has all its fingers and toes. Just a couple of features added since the last release candidate, so it seems virtually unchanged.

WSJT-X rc3

Just a note … WSJT-X rc3 has been available for several days now. The mode continues to evolve.

Also, I worked a new one this weekend – KG4HF, Guantanamo Bay. That was on FT-8 as well.

73 de Dick N4BC

Old Guys Together …

Went to our monthly QCWA Chapter meeting (Chapter 119). I really enjoy it when I can be there, because it seems like at age 74, I’m one of the youngest ones there!

Seriously, though, it’s a great group of guys with a lot of ham experience under their belts. Today’s presentation was on downsizing from a large house to a condo, and some practical solutions to antennas in a HOA. The presenter (whose name and call escape me at the moment), has a great sense of humor, and really entertained while passing on some great tips. I just wish I could attend more often, but usually the meetings are on Fridays, not Saturdays, and I’m still a working man.

I worked a bunch of stations on all bands (80 through 10) today. FT8 was the mode, and I guess the furthermost  was VK3XQ. I was only running fifteen watts to my trusty vertical, and was quite pleased.

That’ll do it for today. See you later.

73 de Dick N4BC