Highs and lows…

I was informed of my first, hopefully only log error today by a station that had already sent me an eQSL. I had recorded it as JT9 instead of JT65 and not checked the eQSL which clearly says JT65! Oh well… must check. At least he told me of my mistake. Also, uploading the entire log to eQSL is a bad idea because it duplicated several entries.

It’s probably time I used a local logger and export as necessary rather than the way I am working currently,  but I just want a simple logger without the frills as I use flrig / fldigi or wsjtx for rig control. I shall have a think. Currently I use qrz.com as my logger because it’s nice and simple. I wrote some PHP to query qrz.com via its API giving me a little window where I type a callsign to see if it is my log – a method that works for me, probably not for anyone else! I’ve just always tended to make my own code where things are not just the way I want them…

And another first, a PSK250 QSO. That’s really fast and gives very little think time. Mind you, the speed does mean I can use my more detailed reply macro, which is a bit drawn out down at PSK31…

6m finally…

50MHz seems alive just now, and after one incomplete JT65 QSO I finally managed to complete a call with a station in the Slovak Republic at 1,600km or so and then with a station about 3km away! My first, and second ever 6m QSOs.

6m activity – well, a little anyway

Up to now I have been wondering if my 6m loft dipole even works, but today I left wstjx running on 50.276 and received 3 decodes. I called CQ too and had a reply but we could not complete unfortunately. Still, it at least proves the antenna does actually work.

Further JT9…

Well 20m seems to keep springing into life these days, JT-wise anyway. Lots of American stations (north and south) but I have had little luck in managing many QSOs. Then last night I had a JT9 QSO all the way to Chile at 11,800km. Not bad for my bit of wet string in the loft. Mind you, looking him up on qrz.com shows a massive antenna array so he was doing all the work!

Today my first QSO was JT65 at a mere 620km. There are a lot of European stations on right now.

20m JT activity

Well last night 20m was alive with JT65 and JT9. I saw lots of stations from North America and a number from South America. I replied to a dozen or so US but no-one heard me. Oh well. I tried a couple of EU stations, again nothing. Hmmm. Then the band died off… try again tonight! Mind you, if this stuff was too easy it would not be fun.

One thing that would be useful is a clock that bleeps every minute but on the, say 45th second to remind you to look for CQs.

Feldhell – well, almost

I managed to decode some Feldhell tonight after scrabbling about for the document showing what various data modes look like. It’s a strange mode!

Unfortunately the Spanish station sending it could not receive me so no QSO, but now at least I know what to look for. It takes me back to when I was interested in telegraphy systems as a kid, some decades ago now, but I’d never seen it in any form of action – represented by computer now rather than the machinery of old. Mind you what’s to say the Spanish station does not have said machinery!

There’s a whole bunch of info over at https://www.nonstopsystems.com/radio/hellschreiber-function-operation.htm

Rather obvious EMC problem…

I noticed just now that the Raspberry Pi that runs my ADBS receiver and also has ‘1-Wire’ temperature sensors for the central heating registered a pipe temperature of a theoretically impossible -1700C.

Oh, did I mention that my 20m / 6m dipole is in the loft… and the Pi is in the loft… about 2 feet from one leg of the dipole… Hmmm. I can see a connection here given the timestamp was the same as a JT65 transmission.

JT9 blues

I’ve had a couple of JT9 attempts these past two days on 20m where I’ve answered a CQ and received a signal report  back, and sent mine but then received the same -nn signal report again. And again. Presumably the remote station has not been able to decode my reply. So I never get to the 73. I’m guessing the band just fades away from underneath me…

If I remember right it was the same remote station each time. I’ve had successful JT9 QSOs so I am putting these down to bad luck and I hope the other guy isn’t getting frustrated!

JT9

Well another first for me tonight, a JT9 QSO, and on my second attempts at answering a CQ. This was with a USA station apparently over a 5,600km path. But again the replies come in the Band Activity window on a different frequency. Not sure what I am doing wrong there, but this was a complete QSO ‘by the book’.

Edit: I never did follow up on this post. This is, of course perfectly normal operation, for example where someone sits on a quiet part of the segment but listens across the whole.