There re just a ton of data modes you can play with and this morning was the turn of JT65-HF to be on my screen. I’d installed it quite a while ago and not used it for some months but I thought I could do with giving it a quick run through to remind myself of the protocols in case we use it on the SOS radio week operations (as GB4LBC for St Bees lifeboat station).
Time is very important with JT65 and a few other modes and I’ve never been a big fan of windows time setting utility. It never seems to be right and there is always a problem with either this or that. I use Dimension 4 on XP machines and it works very well. Under Windows 7 you have to remember to run it as an administrator so I suspect the same will be true for Vista. there seemed to be a bit of a conflict going on on my puny little computer so I had to reinstall JT65-HF and only then did it start to decode the received signals.
I took the opportunity to use my stealth antenna (A Watson 80 plus 2 dipole – which is really only good for 20m here) and immediately got a contact with DG8RW & W3PV with 15 watts. I had a bit of trouble with the first contact as he couldn’t copy my signal report for a while and I had to resend it quite a few times before he got it. Eventually we got a QSO together and that was pretty pleasing.
So I’ve got my hands dirty again with JT65 and whilst its not the most interactive of modes it reinforces the fact that SSB is inefficient in comparison as I doubt I’d have got where I did with 15 watts and a loft mounted antenna. Still, it was a nice distraction from what I should have been doing. That was to be revising for an exam on Tuesday. Nothing exciting, a professional exam and much less enjoyable that playing with radios.