JT-65 signal reports

On Sunday I decided to move from CW to digital and see how my small antenna setup preformed using JT-65.  I first made sure the software and the rig would "talk" with each other. The software I use is WSJT-X by K1JT along with Win4K3 suite for rig control. I find K1JT's software very easy to use, it has been some time since I used it but I had no issues getting it up and running. I then went to PSK reporter to see which bands were preforming well. I ended up choosing 20m, I did bounce around to 15m, 17m and 30m but ended up staying with 20m. My power was set to 5 watts and the antenna was my trusty MFJ 1788 loop antenna. I am in a condo on the 6th floor which seems to be a good hight for the antenna. The only issue I have is other tall condo's to the left and right of me and one right dead centre. I had called CQ for about 4 hours off and on and the PSK reporter did show my signal was getting out. I was pleased with the results as with CW the Reverse Beacon network at the best of times only gave me between 3 to 10 hits that were all state side and fairly local to me as well. I was very pleased to be heard in the Netherlands and European Russia! Below is a screen shot of the results using PSK reporter.
 I also wanted to mention that on Saturday I tried to run WSPR and I say "tried" as I had ZERO spots reported and that was after having it up and running for several hours. I was not sure if something was wrong with my setup. I again was using WSJT's program and it showed no issues. My power was set to 1 watt and I ended up raising that to 4 watts but still no one heard my signal. I was pleased to see a decent response to my JT-65 effort and I then knew my signal was getting out.
Mike Weir, VE9KK, is a regular contributor to AmateurRadio.com and writes from New Brunswick, Canada. Contact him at [email protected].

7 Responses to “JT-65 signal reports”

  • Steve VE7SL:

    Mike – WSJT-X seems to work flawlessly in receive mode but is often a bit glitchy on tx. I usually monitor my first transmission to see if is indeed generating the shifting tones required in whichever mode I am using. Often it is not and is just generating the base sync tone only. This usually happens after a mode change but not always. It is always rectified with a reboot of the program which only takes a few seconds. Others have noted this as well so that may have been the reason for your lack of WSPR spots.

    Steve VE7SL 73

  • Mike VE3WDM:

    Good morning Steve, that’s great to know and I had done some mode changes. Thanks for the info and this evening if I get time I will run WSPR again but this time taking your advice.
    73, Mike
    VE3WDM

  • Steve VE7SL:

    FB Mike…when monitoring your JT65 tones, it’s very obvious but the shift on WSPR is very slight…but can be heard if you listen carefully. What you don’t want to hear is a steady tone.

    Steve

  • Mike VE3WDM:

    Ok Steve thanks very much and I was listening to the tones with JT65 but not with WSPR. This evening if time permits I will get back on WSPR and give it a go and this time check out the tones.
    Thanks again.
    Mike

  • Bart VanAllen AA7VA:

    Digital modes in general, but especially JT(n) modes are very sensitive to your audio chain setup. Distortion caused by over driving the signal in both Rx as well as Tx within the digital domain are common. Download a free signal level meter for setting your computers Mic and Speaker levels to 0 db to minimize clipping which distorts the signal. I use a SignaLink USB interface, and use the level meter to set the Tx/Rx settings and can copy stations as weak as -27 Db and am copied at that same level with stations that are setup correctly.

  • Mike VE3WDM:

    Good evening Bart, it sure does make sense and I never thought about it. I am going to check out on the internet for some software to monitor the signal level and get the levels down to 0 db. I too use the Signalink USB as well. Do you have any suggestions for the software?
    73, Mike

  • Glenn W9IQ:

    Mike,

    In addition to the othsr good suggestions made here, don’t forget the need for very good time syncing when using WSPR. Your computer clock must be +/- 1 second. Use http://www.thinkman.com/dimension4/ or similar to keep your computer clock accurately set.

    – Glenn W9IQ

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