The wet weather this weekend has put a temporary hold on my outdoor radio sessions. I personally don’t mind the rain and have more than enough gear to keep me dry, its just a pain trying to do the same for any radio equipment and that really takes the fun out of it.
Staying in doors have its advantages though, like getting to chill out in front of the radio/computer and give HF PSK a bashing for a few days. Making an effort on Friday to get enough supplies in for the entire weekend meant at least the shopping wasn’t another thing that’s getting between me and radio.
I’ve been playing with the JT modes and although the software has been a little hit and miss so far (I’m getting there) its still giving great results but I’m always drawn back to what is becoming my firm favorite data mode, BPSK31.
Alternating between 20 and 40 meters (the 2 bands I have very good dedicated dipoles for) means there’s usually some contacts to be had all day long. Unfortunately the recently installed 80 meter dipole just isn’t working as it should, but I’ll be dammed if I’m going to spend time in the garden trying to find a solution until I’m guaranteed at least half a day without the heavens opening.
Still looking for my first stateside PSK contact and even though PSKReporter is telling me I’m making the trip, it hasn’t turned into a two way event (yet!).
All these contacts are made by calling CQ and I don’t generally go looking for QSO’S (unless I see something juicy) as its less of a level playing field when trying to battle through other stations calling in.
Managed to sneak a quick QSO in on Friday before 20 meters died and jumping down to the more busy 40 meter band (I usually give it until about between 7 and 8pm this time of year).
Friday 20 Meters
UT2UO (1396 miles)
Friday 40 Meters
IU1DYB (670 miles), RL2F (933 miles), IK5IVV (804 miles), HA5BSC (988 miles), S58BO (905 miles), DK0OA (501 miles), IU5HIB (819 miles)
Things became unusable at just after one in the morning on the 40m band because of a few very strong stations using RTTY and killing the front end of my receiver so bad that any chance at reception was gone.
My sleep patterns are terrible at the best of times and the weekends much worse, so took time out to get a few hours in the sack at this point.
Saturday 20 Meters
Had a few chores to do when I woke up in the morning but by about midday I was all set for a full day of techno hermit.
DG1CM (632 miles), IN3BMN (727 miles), IN3DNS (721 miles), OZ0JAM/J (587 miles), UR4QX (1753 miles), DL9MFC (686 miles), DL8UFO (677 miles), OE7EHH (699 miles), IV3VOU (782 miles)
Saturday 40 Meters
LB8MG (692 miles), 8S4SP (827 miles), EA7INU (1097 miles), SP6ECQ (750 miles), PA3FGQ/J (373 miles)
Sunday 40 Meters
‘Stuff’ got out of hand on Sunday and by the time I’d finished dealing with all the things that was keeping away from my hobbies, it was pretty dead on 20 meters so I tuned over to 7Mhz for the rest of the night.
The results were a little disappointing with only 3 contacts made over the space of 2 hrs!
IU3GRS (746 miles), SQ9PBV (952 miles), IV3VJH (1097 miles)
The Icom 725 has now been turned permanently over to data modes and its finally running like a dream through its own computer. With the waterfall giving all the info needed for PSK, RTTY etc, the sound is turned off and I can listen to other radios at the same time.