Saturday, January 3, 2015

New - Times Three

Using software with a wanna be computer 
At the urging of fellow blogger Bas, PE4BAS, I decided to download WSJT-X and gave JT9 a run. Having operated JT65-HF software for awhile, it was a bit different but the basics were the same. Once I got the software configured, I was transmitting. One of the things I like about this software is that I can manually select my operating frequency and it still uploads my spots to PSK Reporter. Since I'm limited to only having one comm port, I can't have full functionality of the software. With JT65-HF, I could use Ham Radio Deluxe (HRD) to feed frequency information to JT65-HF. As long as HRD was running, I could not transmit. Once I shut down HRD, I was unable to feed frequency data to the software and transmit at the same time. Without the frequency data, it would not upload to PSK Reporter. I never attempted work around since I'm on a temporary computer.

First JT9 QSO
With receiving a new callsign on December 30th, I wanted to keep a bit of a tradition going with my first QSO. My goal was to snag Sean, KL1SF/K7 in Arizona. We've been friends many a year and I wanted to add him to the new logbook with QSO number 1 (not the first time). With my propagation challenged location, I asked Sean to try JT9. Like me, it was a new mode for him, too. Sean had to download the software and configure it. Once he got the rig married to the software and the software encouraging the rig to send on the air, the rest was easy. I saw that Sean had called and a few minutes later, QSO number one took place. It was my first QSO with the new callsign, my first QSO of the new year and my first QSO with JT9.  

The highlight happened to be that we were both QRP and both portable. Sean was camping with his family at his favorite winter spot and I was running my indoor setup with my portable equipment. It's great to be able to decode and run either JT9 or JT65 within one program. JT9 takes up much less bandwidth and works well with low power and minimal setups like mine. You can see from the dB reporting in the screenshot above that I was not hearing stations very strong. Gotta love weak signal software. Living at the base of mountains that nearly surround me, I don't find the bands very cooperative. I believe it's time to install a wire or two outdoors which may help a bit.    

No comments:

Post a Comment