Saturday, December 7, 2013

First JT65 Contact!

I've listened to the dah-dah-dah-dah tones on the upper side of the PSK band several times and wondered what those stranges sounds were. I soon figured that had to be JT65 QSOs, but knew little more.

Well, I finally gave in and googled around until I found the WSJT software, download and I was off to the races!

It took some time digesting the user guide and figuring out exactly how the typical QSO went. I listened and decoded several stations and event tried to call them, but no luck.

Then, after about an hour, AK4AT came back! Now I'm hooked! A few minutes later I worked K6MSM. I knew, this was going to be fun.

Now, a word of caution, if you've never dabbled in JT65.  It's not a speed demon. Since the mode was originally created for moon-bounce and other weak signal situation, it takes several minutes to complete a QSO. And there is definitely no rag-chewing here!

However, it does mean that with a little patience, just a few watts (ie QRP), a not-so-hot antenna and a 44 oz cup of Dr. Pepper, you can work the world!

Friday, August 9, 2013

A new band...for ME!

I've discovered a new band! Sure, it's not really new, but it is to me. Skimmed over to 30-meters to check it out and WHAM! In just a few minutes, I racked up some really cool DX stations. For a humble guy like me, running 40 watts into a tiny loop antenna, the Czech Republic is something special. Follow that with the Canary Islands, and I'm hooked. Of course, 30-meters is all digital, but that's fine with me since I truly enjoy PSK31. Tune in and check it out. 30-meters is HOT.

Need to Re-Flash my Mesh!

I wish this mine looked this good!
A new version of the Mesh Node software has been released. It looks good, but it is an all or nothing version. The new version will NOT communicate with the old version, so if I flash one, I'll have to flash them all. Actually, it sounds like a fun weekend activity. We will see. If you haven't gotten on the mesh badwaggon yet, here's the link:

Monday, July 8, 2013

New life for the Henderson repeater

Keith (KN5G) has done a little magic and pulled a rabbit out of his hat and it resonates like a repeater! A little background is in order. The new Rusk County ARC decided it needed to move the old repeater from the soon-to-be dismantled water tower to a new location. But after hooking up the repeater to an old antenna at Jerry's Wrecker service (thanks Jerry!) it just wasn't performing. So Keith did a little digging and figured out that we were actually lighting up a small yagi and not the 2meter verticals we intended. So a snip her and a splice there, and BOOM--we've got a great new signal. Still not quite what is was on the water tower, but pretty good! Check it out in Henderson at 146.78MHz (PL131.8).