Monday, April 27, 2009

A few quick thoughts; HF JT65A, WSJT and 6m mobile

I know when I don't update the blog for a while, people think I'm losing interest. I'm not, it's just a time thing! So, I wanted to take a few moments to tell you the various radio projects that I'm thinking about at the moment.

JT65A on HF

Don, G3XTT made a casual reference to JT65A (one of the WSJT modes) being used on HF, last week. I thought about it quickly and realised that it could be a great way of making some contacts in the poor HF conditions. I did a quick google and came up with this useful document by Andy, K3UK on getting started with HF JT65A. Happened to mention it to Paul, 2E0BHA on Saturday and he was trying it out in an hour! Paul tells me he's heard his first JA on any band using the mode as well as copying many other DX stations. So it sounds really interesting. I'll check it out shortly.

And whilst we're on WSJT

I was tinkering with WSJT on my laptop and hooked it up to the FT847, listening on 144MHz. As I was monitoring, I heard an number of bursts which the program decoded. Nothing spectacular, but maybe worth investigation.

I was thinking that I could leave the 2m rig monitoring during the day and watch the decoding from work, by remote control. And in fact, I have some embryonic thoughts on remote control, following an interesting chat with Dave, G4FRE/WW2R in a car park at Harwell yesterday morning.

More on 50MHz mobile

Using the FT8900 on 6m FM is working out really well, especially on the Farnham repeater, GB3FX which seems to have enormous coverage. With the Es season approaching, I was thinking I might add the FT817 (probably) and a 50MHz whip to the mobile setup so that I can keep an eye on the CW and SSB part of the band.

Getting power to the rig may be the biggest challenge as I'm already using the cigar lighter plug for the FT8900. So I think I'll pop a battery under the seat and a solar panel in the back window and do it that way. With a maximum of 5w RF out, it should work just fine. I need to find somewhere to put the rig too!

1 comment:

g4ilo said...

No need to use weird proprietary modes to hear or work DX during the alleged "poor" conditions. Just leave a receiver on 14.070 connected to HRD or Fldigi or one of the other programs that supports PSK Propagation Reporter. You'll be surprised what your receiver hears - and what hears you if you send a CQ or three.

I was heard on the west coast USA, and made a contact there the next day, using 25W to an attic dipole. Conditions may not be great but rumours of the death of propagation have been greatly exaggerated.

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