Itinerant Ham

Home » 2014 » July

Monthly Archives: July 2014

Listen! Don’t Copy…

I was looking up the activity from 9H during the IOTA contest and decided to take a trip to my page on DXHeat.com. An interesting and very useful tool that they provide is that they automatically provide a listing of ‘Related Callsigns’.  To be honest, I was a bit taken aback when I saw all the different callsigns that I had been ‘spotted’ with during my trip to C6 last winter.

My callsign (assigned by the Bahamian Authorities) was 9H5G/C6A and believe me, many stations tried to tell me I was doing it wrong – however, its their country and they grant the license so I do what they ask!

Looking at my related callsigns on DXHeat, it seems that there are several folks that copied the call incorrectly since it seems I was spotted with all the following

The astonishing thing about this is the comments on the mistakes – including 5/9 ‘easy’! Whoops – no QSL – at least not by electronic means.  Its a shame, these are only the spots, goodness knows how many people copied these spots into their logs from the cluster.

I take my hat off to Gary, WB6PSY who tried to help everyone by spotting me with the comment “STOP the wrong spots – listen”.  Good Man, Good Op, Great Message.

73 till the next time!

JT-65 and all that…

I’ve been playing a bit with JT over the last few weeks and found it quite enjoyable although since the tempo is not, shall we say, ‘dynamic’ it sometimes quite hard to keep track of whether I’ve saved the QSO or not. That aside, it’s quite fun! Thanks JT.

Now, I subscribe to the Elecraft reflector and a few days ago there was a discussion over whether JT was a weak signal mode or a low power mode. Apparently, there are stations running QRO levels of power in these modes in order to try and ‘force’ some distant wanted DXCC entity into answering them so they can get another tick in the box. Naturally the thread descended into disagreement and accusations of QRM etc.

Never having experienced this style of operating, I was a bit skeptical. However, this afternoon, I got more than I bargained for!
Here is a series of pictures that demonstrate what happens to QRP-level QSOs when the QRO stations ‘forget’ to turn the power down.

20140721-175825-64705319.jpg

20140721-175823-64703388.jpg

20140721-175824-64704050.jpg

20140721-175824-64704694.jpg

20140721-175825-64705953.jpg

Now, someone is sure to say, I should have my AGC on. Well, yes, I tried that but the effect is that I can’t receive the weak signal that I was working half way round the world. What I can say is that I’m amazed at how robust JT 65 is being able to pick out the weak signal despite the overwhelming strength of signals over 1000 km away. Of course, after a while, it got a bit tiresome for both the DX and myself and we have up. After all extending a 7 minute QSO to something nearer 15 due to QRM is a bit ridiculous!

Most of these pictures were taken when the QSO seemed no longer viable or had been abandoned.

I guess the only guy with an excuse is the 9H station which is on a hilltop within about 8 miles of here – I would totally expect to see a strong signal from him.

In summary, I’m not a bit put off. I had a really nice run much of the morning and look forward to working a few more but I do wonder how workable the mode will be in the long run if people keep throwing power at the DX ‘problem’ rather than patience.