A Quick Update

I just calculated my QSO confirmation rate on QRZ.com, and I find that I have a rate of 82% … That’s great! On LOTW, my percentage is a bit lower … 73.5%. Still, both really high percentages. To me, it proves that if you make it easy enough, hams are more than happy to confirm.

I use N3FJP ACLog, and have it set up to upload confirmations to eLog, LOTW, and ClubLog as soon as I hit ENTER. For QRZ, I have to go to QRZ.com and manually download from LOTW to their logbook. Not hard at all.

I really don’t chase many awards anymore after 53 years of this hobby, but I realize that many others do, so I upload my QSOs to all these databases, and am happy to do so. Anything that helps others’ enjoyment of this great hobby is good with me!

73 de Dick N4BC

Upgrades

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

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

Digital Stuff

Let’s try this again … I was just putting the finishing touches on this and I don’t know what I did, but everything vanished … and I couldn’t find any of the drafts. So it’s back to the beginning …

I was looking back through my logbook and noticed that the last time I worked PSK-31 was six years ago! I’ve been cranking out FT, JT, SSB, CW, and even some contest RTTY, and neglecting bunches of those other modes.

So I decided to remedy this oversight. I spent the day updating software (FLDIGI), going through the menus and updating entries, rewriting macros, reading the new documentation, and watching YouTube videos. I must say, FLDIGI has had some nice updates in the past few years, but basically, it’s pretty much the same to operate. I saw Olivia, Throb, PSK, Domino, and several other modes I couldn’t ID. I wish everyone would use Reed-Solomon ID on their signals.

I spent a while this evening “reading the mail”… just observing how other operators are doing things nowadays. Pretty much the same … one old guy was cataloging his aches and pains and medical issues, but there were some interesting conversations, too. It’s going to take some getting used to … actually conversing with people again! LOL!

I’ve also ordered a new solid-state drive (SSD) to upgrade my laptop. It’s not as fast as it used to be, but I figure that a SSD will boost the speed considerably … especially on boot and on disk-intensive programs. Hey, it’s cheaper than a new laptop. I picked up a 1 TB WD Blue SSD for $120. Amazon is a bit slower shipping nowadays with the COVID-19 issues, but everything is supposed to be here by May 3rd. Then I’ll clone the HDD and swap the SSD with it.

We had some pretty scary thunderstorms come through earlier in the evening. Thunder, lightning, wind, and rain.

That’s all from the quarantine hut for this evening. Catch you later!

73 de Dick N4BC