SJ7SOP, 2016 activity

July is coming up soon and it´s time to prepare for the SJ7SOP activation for the 2016 season. Because of the late summer vacation this year there will only be activity during the weekends and evenings for the most of the month. The 25/7-30/7 there will be more activity during daytime as this is the first week of my vacation. As this is the last week of the month I´ll try to be as active as possible.

The on the air status will be visible on HRDlog and QRZ.com as usual and I will, as much as possible, adress the time in advance on the blog or QRZ.com. Hopefully I´ll b able to beat the last years record of 400 QSO:s!

Hope to cu on the bands in July! 🙂

73 de SM7VRZ

Weekend Hamradio..

Sometimes you do get amazed by in what mysterious ways that nature works. This weekend has been on of those times when I get that “wow”-feeling while at the rig. One of my fascinations about this hobby is just the “nature” part of communicating with distance stations, the way we use nature and natural phenomenons to reach distance places. Combined with transmitting with low output power the fascination is, at least for me, complete.

As a preparation for the SSMS, Swedish Lakes activity, I have been working some JT9 with my FT-817 this weekend, letting the  IC-7410 rest in the shack. I just LOVE working the WSJT-modes with the FT-817 and QRP which makes it bit more of a challenge sometimes, especially when working JT65 on the more popular bands. While making some sporadic CQ:s on the 20m JT9 section I got a respons, and I did have to look twice to be sure,  from a YF3-station (Indonesia)! That is some 11200 km distance and with a nice reception report aswell! My setup was only 4-5 W into a (for the 20m-band tuned) GP-1500 vertical. Well, this was really a “Wow” for me! 🙂

As I am using the PSKreporter service quite frequently during my activity it’s even more intriguing to see this response for just airing your call for a couple of hours… 🙂

20m jt9Ham radio  really is a “World wide Hobby” in a sense..  😉

This weekend seems to have good propagations, especially towards the east of the US and east of Canada. For some reason the Canadian stations are generally hard to come by unless they are located in the eastern part, near the US.

73 de SM7VRZ, Anders

Translations and summer plans..

It seems like there’s some time between the updates in the blog right now and I do have my reasons for it. A hectic work situation with a number of new projects starting and an ability not to leave the thoughts about the project situations when you get home have rendered me some what exhausted. However I’ve done some progress with my latest undertaking, the translation of the WSJT-X user manual into Swedish. svmanJust this morning I’ve completed the basic translation work and I now have to proof read the entire manual to check for consistency and spelling errors. After this, then additional content for WSJT-X V 1.7.0 has to be inserted.

The manual however is more or less a complete translation for the V 1.6.0 but as it has elements of the coming version in the texts it may be some what confusing to read in certain sections. There are also elements in the translated material that seems hard to change and are probably related either to the ASCIIdoc markup language or in the maner that the documentation is built. For example I can’t find out were to change the text “Table of Contents” in the left margin into Swedish as this is the only text that can’t be changed in the entire document, unless you change it in the compiled html-file. 🙂

Well, I guess I just ned to do some more digging to solve it I guess. 🙂

Thank’s to some work related circumstances I might get the chance to do some portable work on the Swedish West coast this summer. Even though it might be more work than play, I will try to find some time to make som QSO:s on digital and voice with my potable kit. The QTH is in the archipelago outside Gothenburg and I will probably be there for at least two weeks. Lets hope for the best! 🙂

73 de SM7VRZ

Evening pleasures..

Today, Monday, has been a day of from work for me. The day of was much needed because I’ve been struck by the flue, as the last one in my family. The worst is over but the constant headache isn’t  really helping my creative side for the article I’m about to publish here on the blog. All that fact finding requires a somewhat clear head to work. I decided however to fight the pain and try to work some JT9 QRP style with my portable setup.

To work QRP with digimodes is one of my favorite activities as it gives you a disadvantage towards all the QRO (read 30W +) stations. The fact is that even if I’m not working with my FT-817ND and using the 100W station, I often rarely go over 20W in output power. There is also a great satisfaction and thrill that you get when knowing you worked a far away station with a low output power. 🙂

DSC_0798Another reason to work with the portable kit was to trim the use of the software’s and arrange the different program windows for optimum use.  The evenings activity on the 20 m band resulted in mostly European stations but my signals was heard in the US as far away as Michigan, New Jersey and even Iowa. Not bad for 5W.. 🙂

73 de SM7VRZ

QSO with the creator..

No, im not religious and the gods haven’t started with Hamradio. At least not to my knowledge. 🙂

The creator in this case is K1JT who has created the digital JT modes and I had the privilege to work this gentleman using JT9 on the 20m band today. Actually he was the first caller to a CQ on the JT-modes after a week of practically no radio activity at all.

This was a fun way to start of the weekends radio activity. 🙂

k1jt

 

73 de SM7VRZ

 

New dev release for WSJT-X..

I discovered today on a JT65 facebook group that there is a new development release of WSJT-X available. This version, V1.5.0, is told to have some improvements  regarding decoding and computer optimization why it can be worth trying.

I’ve installed it on my own station computer along with the new release of JTAlert 2.6.0.

WSJTX v150devel plus JTalert 26

 

Screendump of my desktop running WSJT-X 1.5.0 along with HRD and JTAlert V2.6.0

Also there is a new function regarding the colors shown in the Band Activity and Rx Frequency window which allows you to change the colors of the received messages. The pink one really added some color to the software! 🙂

 

Colors wsjt-x 150

Color selection in WSJT-X 1.5.0

Can’t wait for the official release! 🙂

73 de SM7VRZ

 

“New” toys

Today I’ve got a new toy for my small, yet sufficient HAM shack. As I’m in to digital modes and been in to it on and off since the early days of my amateur radio career, I felt I just couldn’t let the chance go by when it passed. In the ninety’s, when i received my first ham radio license, this toy was on the top of the wish list. At least until the PTC-2 controller hit the market.

The units is a Kantronics KAM Plus modem which can work Packet radio, RTTY, PACTOR 1, AMTOR, G-TOR and some other modes. I found wpid-wp-1425245879441.jpegit on DX-radio, a Swedish ” Buy and Sell”, site for about 50€. It was untested and not used for at least 15 years. The purchase was a gamble, does it work or not?

After I got home from the small trip to buy the TNC, I plugged it in to the computer, realizing that it´s not only the TNC that is old. For some reason the hyperterminal software is no longer delivered with Windows why I had to look for a replacement for it. I found PuTTY which did the trick! To my surprise the TNC was in perfect mint condition with the internal battery backup still working as it had log traces dating back from year 2000. A connection cable between my IC-7410 accessory connector and the TNC was quickly assembled, double checked, and plugged in. It was working perfectly!

Except for the TNC itself the unit came with the original box, manuals, schematics and also an original software on a floppy disc. Just as the TNC itself, the floppy might seem a bit out of date. 🙂

So why buy this old TNC When you can get the same functionality with a sound card and an appropriate software? Well, there are two answers to that.

  1. Even though it is a bit out of date, it is a dream come true to finally have one. In other words, for sentimental reasons. As it uses a terminal interface for issuing commands it´s not really a graphical wonder as the modern digital mode software, but for some reason i find it fun to work with the command line interface and the kind of robust feeling of a modem. Its also have those cool flashing LED:s on the front! 😉
  2. The second reason is that it is a useful unit for doing some research for the next article I’m planning to write here on the blog. What it is? Well stay tuned and promise you will not miss it! 🙂

73 de SM7VRZ