An interesting week at G4VXE (VHF Tropo, RTTY and Bad DVAP Data)

In my last post, the week had started well with some good tropo. That continued on Tuesday, when rather splendidly, I was able to work from home. Although I was busy, I was able to keep an ear on things. Around lunchtime, I just flicked up the volume on 432.200 which had been pretty quiet as I saw the meter flicker. I only caught the tail end and waited….

It was OE2CAL calling CQ at around S7! He worked a GW and I called and was very pleased to be able to make a QSO at around 1120km. Not bad at all. Signals dropped with me just after I worked him, although I suspect he turned his beam. I continued to hear him at good strength throughout the afternoon, sometimes stronger, sometimes weaker. On the vertical, I was hearing the DB0FT repeater on 145MHz from JO40 – not a bad distance.

Later in the week and over the weekend, tropo conditions were still good – although not over such great distances. I was able to work through an ON repeater on 145.6875 on Saturday and on Sunday morning, I had a nice simplex QSO with Ken, G3UDA in Shropshire.

With the CQWW RTTY contest over the weekend, any thought of JT65 or JT9 was off! No matter, I looked to see what RTTY signals were coming through on 28MHz.. Nothing amazing, but logged a few US, Asian and African stations. High power (100W) RTTY feels pretty unsubtle compared to JT65 and JT9 – but very different beasts, I suppose. It was nice to use PZTLog on RTTY for a change.

I also played a little on DSTAR, naturally whilst I was in the garden on Sunday morning, when it’s nice to listen to what’s coming through and have the odd QSO whilst working in the garden and the henhouse. The Raspberry Pi/DVAP combination works well, although I sometimes see an issue when I boot up, with the DVAPNode software reporting Bad DVAP Data and then resynchronising DVAP Stream. This seems to leave the CPU at 100% and so far, I’ve rebooted and it generally comes up ok next time. Not always and on Saturday it took a couple of goes. I’ll have to see if I can avoid rebooting and work out what process I have to kill and then restart. Nice QSO with Wis, YB0AZ from Jakarta, who told me there were two DSTAR users on his repeater in Jakarta. Him and his wife!

Finally, two of my favourite amateur radio bloggers are missing at the moment. Julian, G4ILO is taking a bit of a break on health grounds, as is Roger G3XBM who is also not well. Wishing you both the very best – hope to see you writing again very soon – I miss what you do.

Tim Kirby, G4VXE, is a regular contributor to and writes from Oxfordshire, England. Contact him at [email protected].

One Response to “An interesting week at G4VXE (VHF Tropo, RTTY and Bad DVAP Data)”

  • Stephen G0PQB:

    I also worked through the same Belgian repeater as Tim did including 2 French stations, 2 Dutch stations, 2 Belgians and a mobile in Luxembourg and a mobile in NW England. Thanks Tim for your advice re the tropo and the repeater in SE Belgium is about 280 miles from my antenna in the attic. Wow!

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