I got on the air with WSJT-X when I got home from work this afternoon, and everything worked the way it’s supposed to. I made 25 contacts on 80 through 17 meters, using version 2.0 … except for 60 meters … Everybody on 60 was still using ver. 1.9.1.
This is a good sign. Looks like lots of people upgraded. There is a decided increase in the number of stations running the latest version. I even worked a new one on 17 meters … ZD7JC, St. Helena Island in the South Atlantic. This is where the British imprisoned Napoleon after his defeat.
I got on for a while late yesterday afternoon, using WSJT-X 2.0 rc5, and had some luck. It wasn’t a lot of luck … just some luck.
You can see, there is more 77-bit messaging showing up on the bands, but it’s still pretty slim pickings. I’m hoping the BIG flip-over will come when version 2 is finally released in its finished form on the 10th of December.
Eighty meters propagation was really good last night. the low bands are the place to be to work stations, but there are still some real gems to be found on the higher frequency bands. I even heard some strong CW signals up on ten meters yesterday evening.
Oh, I got a confirmation from 5T2AI, Ahmed in Mauritania, yesterday. Worked him last week. This LOTW stuff works fine (and fast)! Shame on you if you’re still a denier :-)!!
This afternoon on twenty, after I got home from work, I had a bit better luck running the new wsjt-x, which is not compatible with the older versions. I actually found some takers for my CQs. I suspect more people are downloading and trying the new flavor! For more details, see the WSJT-X website.
On another note, I worked a new country using version 1.9.1, the “stable” version. I worked 5T2AI in Mauritania. I’ll admit … I bumped the power up to around 75 watts! I had to take a quick look at the African map to orient myself. The country is out on the big western bulge of the continent. Snagged him on the first try! Not so much luck with Aruba, P4, though. Just couldn’t connect with him.
UPDATE: Also worked S01WS, western Sahara on 60 Meters FT8. That’s two new countries this evening! They’re out there. You just have to go get ’em!
Seriously, guys and gals, this is where the DX is nowadays. Sure, I catch a few on CW (I seldom operate SSB unless there’s a contest), but it seems the action is on FT8, at least for the foreseeable low solar activity period.
Lots of stuff going on … I spent a LOT of time calling VP6D, the Ducie Island DXPedition, to no avail. I was copying them solid on FT8 on 17 meters, but at about a -13db. With all the QRM, I’m afraid it needed a bit more oomph on my end! After that, I put quite a few US stations in the log, as well as JA and VK.
I guess Fall is finally here. The mornings are downright chilly and a light jacket is not unappreciated during the evening. We fired up the heat over the weekend, and it feels GOOD! We haven’t had a frost yet, but it’s just a matter of time. I’ve mixed up a spray bottle of homebrew de-icer to carry around in my cupholder in the truck. I’m ready!!
Even though I didn’t get on the air all weekend (due to other commitments), I’m still hangin’ in there! In addition to my previous contact with Rwanda last week in twenty meters, I made another contact with them last night on 40 meters. I’m still trying to nail Mayotte (TO6OK), but they’re a bit more elusive. I’ve heard them, and seen them spotted, but no luck on CW or FT8.
A note on the TO6 pileups … there are some totally messed up people out there. Anyone who deliberately QRMs any QSO, not just a DXPedition, is a loser in the true sense of the word. Strings of dits, cursing, deliberately calling CQ on top of the DX station, all with no ID … you have to wonder if these folks have any other life! And don’t forget the oblivious ops who have obviously never heard of split operation … not to mention the frequency cops who add their own offering to the chaos.
So what’s the moral of this story? Don’t be a LID! Cut the other guy some slack. Don’t be an antisocial jerk! It’s a lot easier if we all show some courtesy to the other op. Stay cool …