And on we go …

I worked with the Win4Icom software last night a little more … or maybe I should say with the WSJT-X 2.0 software. I couldn’t figure out why the color coding for the callsigns had disappeared since the other evening (different colors for new DXCC, new grid square, new call, and so forth). It turns out that I did it! when I was getting the program set up the other night to integrate with Win4Icom, I did a reset, which set everything back to default, and the default was for minimal colors. Sometimes I’m my own worst enemy!

My next project with Win4Icom is getting N1MM+ integrated. It should be fairly straightforward unless I get hit with the stupid again :-D.

I’m presenting the program at our club meeting next month, and have been thinking about what I’m going to talk about. Maybe DXLab Suite … or, I could do a presentation on portable operation. I just haven’t decided yet. I’ll nail it down in the next few days, and then start working on a PowerPoint. I’m just not sure what would interest such a diverse group of hams. I want to pick something that will keep the attention of most of them.

The remnants of Michael are approaching and should really start to affect us this evening. It’s been cloudy with showers all day, but nothing intense. Choir practice has been cancelled, so I don’t have to go out and can batten down the hatches and stay at home. Right now, we’re under a tornado watch, a flash flood watch , and a wind advisory and severe thunderstorm watch. I’m on call tonight but I don’t expect to be called in; the wind and rain are expected to be a lot less severe than they could have been.

73 de Dick N4BC

Making Progress

I am continuing to make progress with Win4Icom control of the IC-7300. Everything works as it should, and now I’m working on integrating my third-party software … WSJT-X, Fldigi, and DXLab. I’ve just got WSJT-X working. VA2FSQ, Tom, the author of this software, has done a GREAT job with it! I’m still in the thirty day evaluation period, but will most likely spring for the paid version. It’s well worth the $50 he asks.

The WSJT-X was just about driving me bonkers! I set the RX BW of the IC-7300 to 3.6KHz for my digital modes (FIL1), but every time I transmitted, it would revert to 500Hz (FIL2). I finally figured out I needed to set FIL2 to 3.6KHz. Everything works well then. USB-D seems to default to FIL2, and I haven’t figured out how to change it (if even possible).

SKYWARN Logo

After talking to Howard, WZ4K, who is the SKYWARN Amateur Radio coordinator for our region, I decided to sign up for the Basic course in Gloucester, VA next Tuesday evening. I’m not really involved in anything like ARES or RACES, so I figure I can help my neighbors a bit this way. As long as I don’t have to wear a fluorescent vest and three HTs it’ll be OK!!

I haven’t been on the air much. Conditions have kinda sucked and I’ve been busy playing with new software. Just a few more days and then I’ll hit it hard and heavy again!

It looks like we’ve got some brisk winds and heavy rains coming up later this week … the remnants of Hurricane Michael. It’s approaching the Gulf coast as I’m writing this, and it looks like it’s going to be a CAT 3 when it hits in the Panama City vicinity. Bad news! Be Safe!

73 de Dick N4BC

A Mixed Weekend

This weekend was not a stellar weekend for operating, for myself. Although the bands were very active, with lots of interesting stations, I didn’t have much luck. I did work one new one, though.

I think the problem was that there were such good conditions, with so many contests going on, I just didn’t have the oomph to break the pileups.

But, on to the pluses! I downloaded and tried the beta for WSJT-X ver. 2, and found the transition painless. The old message format worked flawlessly and so did the new one. I’m quite satisfied with the update, and especially am pleased that “RR73” is the default now instead of being an option. It was a real pain having to set up the change every time I opened the application.

Also, FT8Call is now JS8CALL, and a new version of that developmental software is available. I downloaded the new version, but didn’t see much activity when I checked. More to try this week!

I also downloaded Win4IcomSuite which, if you don’t know, is a control software that works with my IC-7300 and other radios. It allows you to control all aspects of your Icom radio from your computer. It also allows remote control of those radios over the internet. I’m looking forward to putting it through its paces. Reviews by users are positive.

Another thing I like about it is that it supports the integration of third-party applications through virtual com ports, and seems to do it very well.

I’ve ordered a rapid charging base for my Icom handheld. I looked at the official Icom offering, but I can get a third party one for less than half the price on Amazon, and it has good reviews. We’ll see …

I’m still looking for an earpiece for my D-Star handheld. Once again, Icom thinks the thing is made from precious metals and gem-grade plastic. I want something that doesn’t require a loan to acquire.

So you can see, lots of new(er) software to play with this week, and that should keep me busy. We’re watching Hurricane Michael, which may bring us some heavy rain and winds this weekend. Lots of variables there, though, and a long time until Saturday.

73 de Dick N4BC

Still chasin’

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 …

73 de Dick N4BC