This weekend I was stuck in the house with a cold and feeling generally miserable, so I decided to look around at some of the digital modes I had never tried. I took a look at JT-65 and downloaded WSJT-X to give it a try. Lo and behold, it was really simple to set up and I worked MM0AMW.
I set up WSJT-X to work with DXView Commander, using my Signalink USB, and nothing could have been simpler. I did do a bit of reading beforehand, so I sort of understood what the heck I was doing, and the QSO was painless. I still have mixed feelings about JT-65 (and JT-9), but I have to admit, there was a bit of excitement when I saw MM0AMW come back to me. I think it’ll be added to my bag of tricks. It’s pretty interesting, even with a 13-character limit.
Other than that, not much happening. I’ll be so glad when this winter is over. The older I get, the more I seem to become a warm-weather creature.
73 and CUL,
So … the CQ Worldwide CW is done for this year. I spent a bit of time participating, not so much to run up a big score, but more to catch a few new ones. I DID catch a bunch of new ones. I think the most surprising was Indonesia. He was just calling CQ … no pileup, no takers.
I uploaded my log right after the contest to LOTW, and checked today (Monday). Lots of band and mode confirmations, and 5 brand-new countries confirmed. Wow … that’s efficiency! Makes me wonder what the rest of the week will bring :-).
I found that even though there was lots of action, I kept my blood pressure under control. If I couldn’t bust a pileup with my 100 watts to a vertical, I just went away and worked somebody else, returning later and maybe working them … maybe not.
All in all, it was a fun and productive weekend. I had 280 QSOs and really enjoyed myself. Looking forward to the next one!
73 de Dick K4FTW
Wouldn’t you know it … I had plans to spend the weekend on the air, but they just didn’t pan out. Thursday, I noticed a little tickle in my throat, Friday it was a bit worse, and then Saturday, I didn’t have any voice (well, I did but it sounded like a croak). By the way, SSB requires a voice modulating the carrier. 🙁
So … it was not to be. I did make 13 contacts, and at least three of those were new countries, so the weekend wasn’t a total bust. Hopefully the CW portion coming up will give me better luck … no voice needed if I have another cold.
73 de Dick K4FTW
All in all, the bands have been in pretty good shape lately. Good openings on those above 20 meters, and the usual suspects 20 meters and down. I’ve certainly enjoyed listening and operating after work in the evenings.
There’s a solar storm going on now, so I’m not sure what the bands will be like tonight. I’ve got a radio club meeting tonight with dinner beforehand, so I doubt that I’ll get much chance to try operating this evening. But, I’ll at least check the bands. Just like a fisherman, you never know what you’ll catch until you put your line into the water :-).
I was just thinking the other evening … yeah, sure, I miss the operating with a few hundred watts and a tribander at 75 feet when I was exotic DX, but I’m having lots of fun with my height-challenged Windom and 31-ft vertical at ground level. I guess it’s all relative … even with limited antennas I’m doing a lot better than those with a license and no antenna (thus, no operating :-(). I’m not a fanatical op, spending hours every night at the rig, but I do enjoy it when I have a chance to get on the air … and, I do snag a few good ones.
I guess what I’m trying to say is that you can’t work ’em unless you get on the air. Good operating practices can boost your signal a bit at the other end. Having been DX, I can say that power and S-units aren’t all that matters.
73 de Dick
OK … finally getting some action above 14 MHz. Ten through seventeen meters all were showing some life this weekend. The WARC bands were especially fruitful. I suspect the RTTY contest drove quite a few onto the newer bands. Forty meters was a zoo with the RTTY contest pretty much covering the whole band. Not much room left for CW. Got shoved right down to the bottom of the band.
I worked a few new countries and a bunch of Texans in the Texas QSO Party so I’m happy. It never fails to amaze me how supposedly “dead” bands come to life during a major contest weekend.
The new vertical is working out pretty well, but I’m not sure if its better or that much different from the Windom. I did a bit of work on the OCF antenna, fine tuning the length and getting the ends up higher and do see some improvement in its performance. Sometimes one antenna is better than the other on receive and the next time it’s the other. I do notice that the vertical has a lower noise level most of the time, which is exactly the opposite of what I’d always been led to believe. So go figure … I’ll use whatever works the best at the time.
Well, the bands are still pretty good so enough writing … back to the radio!
73 de Dick