A Bit of Everything

I actually got to sit down in the shack and operate for HOURS this evening … without any interruptions (except a spaghetti dinner … YUM!). It was a real potpourri of contacts. I worked a little bit of everything … SSB, CW, FT4, FT8, POTA, WWFF … even a new country on 17 meters FT4 – Bahamas! Twenty-four contacts for the evening … Bang! Bang! Bang! … interspersed with a couple of more leisurely contacts. Not ragchews, by any means, but definitely real conversations. 😀

The days are getting shorter. I noticed this morning that the sun had not risen when I went out to drive to work. It was cool, too … about 69 F. Thankfully, the heat wave has been broken for at least a while.

On a more somber note … we buried one of our long-time Radio Club members this week … W. E. “Jimmy” Taylor, W1WE. He hadn’t been active for quite a while, since moving to a nursing home and then hospice care. He was 88 years old and a WW2 veteran. RIP, Jimmy.

73 de Dick N4BC

Old and New

Even though the bands were a bit crappy, I worked a new one this evening … S92HP in Sao Tome and Principe, on 60 Meter FT8. Of course, it’s not confirmed yet 😀 .

I tried to find some of the spotted POTA activations, but no joy! Twenty and forty were not cooperative. Once again, I could hear hunters working them, but the activators were down in the hash. Forty had a constant S5 noise level with static crashes over S9. Rough conditions!

73 de Dick N4BC

Gotcha!

I snagged a new country on 30m FT8 last night … Turkey … TA3AHJ! He answered my CQ. I had called him several times earlier, but he never came back to me. That brings my DXCC total with my newer vanity call up to 99 … one more ’til the magic 100!

I watched a YouTube video by Steve Ellington yesterday afternoon titled IC-7300 Enhanced CW using PBT and Notch —N4LQ. Hey, his suggestions really work! Thanks, Steve! He’s got quite a collection of “how-to” videos that are worth watching. Check him out!

73 de Dick N4BC

Returns

I was just fiddling with numbers this afternoon and was surprised to find that my LOTW account shows a 68.42% confirmation rate. That’s a pretty good number, isn’t it? Had to recheck my cipherin’. I had no idea it was that good. If only the lottery had that kind of return, I could put up that 75-foot tower with multiple beams on it!!

A lot of those confirmations are due to digital modes. Lots of digital operators are uploading to LOTW in near real-time, as the QSO is ending, or very soon after. Logging programs make it so easy nowadays. The software does it for you.

I see WSJT-X 2.0 rc5 is now available. Joe says that it is pretty much what the final release on December 10th will look like. I haven’t had a LOT of luck working stations using the new 77-bit message format. Lots of people still hanging on to the older 75-bit messaging. Hopefully, they’ll move to the new format, but I expect it’ll take a while. Hams can be slow to change …

One incentive is the contesting mode that’s built-in and the ARRL RTTY Roundup on the radar in January. This’ll be the first time FT-8 has been a contest mode, and I’m looking forward to the challenge.

73 de Dick N4BC