Posts Tagged ‘PSK31’

A good session on 15m

There was not much life on 10m this morning but 15m was really hopping. I started off using PSK31 and my first QSO was with a Ukrainian YL named Olga! Her call was US5UFF and her QSL shows that she is (X)YL of UR4UHE. I think the UFF stands for Ukrainian Flora and Fauna which seems to be a popular award scheme over in Ukraine.

I was calling CQ and worked a whole string of east European and Russian stations. Calling CQ is a good way to fill the log but not a good way to work much DX as if any DX did reply it would likely be lost under the strong local stations calling.

As the hour approached lunch time I did some search and pouncing and managed to nab HS4ESF from Mahasarakham University in Thailand. I don’t think it’s the first time I have worked Thailand on PSK but it was nice nonetheless, and he has a nice QSL.

I’ve often noticed from my beacon monitoring that the time around midday to lunch time is a good time to work DX on the higher HF bands. I didn’t work any other DX today but I was pleased to see on Propagation Reporter that my 40W of PSK31 to an attic dipole had been decoded near Sydney in Australia! Perhaps I’ll work VK on PSK31 one day!

PSK31 spots of G4ILO on 15m

I tried JT65A briefly but the band segment was full of the same stations I could easily work using PSK31 so I thought I would try CW instead. I “shook hands” (as John N8ZYA puts it) with Z320K, a special call to commemorate 20 years of the Z3 prefix (Macedonia.)  I then had a real QSO with Bill, WA1HMW who is an ex-Royal Navy. That QSO taxed my receiving abilities a bit so I decided to call it a day.

Jamming on PSK

I was on 15m PSK31 and in the process of calling PY3ED when a vicious jamming signal started up.

Jamming on 21MHz

As you can see, it did a good job of obliterating all signals. It seemed to be centered around 21.070MHz and extended for 50kHz or so in either direction.

I don’t know how long it stayed on for because it was lunch time so I went to have something to eat. When I came back the interfering signal had gone.

Was it something local to me or has anyone else seen it?

Winter blues

I like Christmas, but with that sole exception I hate this time of year. The short days, when it’s dark at breakfast time, dark at tea time, and in between the sun struggles to reach an elevation where it can be seen over the tops of neighbouring houses.

It’s not just the daylight the sun fails to make much impact on. There’s next to no propagation on any of the higher HF bands. I believe that LF band enthusiasts have their best time at this time of year. But I have never been lucky enough to have an antenna for the LF bands. My attic multiband dipole will work on 80 metres but it is shortened so much that the usable bandwidth is barely 60kHz. It is really only usable on the QRP CW frequency and the PSK31 operating frequencies.

Yesterday I thought I would try some digital work on the 30m band. I couldn’t hear any PSK31 at first but I did hear some JT65 so I thought I would try that. I made three QSOs including one with N4ABN which I thought was quite good nfor mid-morning. The trouble with JT65 is that I find it difficult to maintain concentration. It’s 50 seconds before anything is decoded, and during that time my mind has drifted off and I have missed the moment when I should have responded.

Just as an aside, I noticed a quirk with the JT65-HF software. I don’t use CAT control of my K3 (never could get it to work) so I have to set the frequency of the radio and the software manually. But whenever I did this, after a few seconds the frequency would reset itself to 0. I happened to notice that the frequency was being displayed with a comma as the decimal separator. I had left the PC configured like that after testing the fix for the problem with KComm. On a hunch, I reset the separator to a dot (period) and lo and behold the frequency stayed as I set it. I’m surprised that no-one seems to have spotted this but at least we know now how to fix it.

After making a bit of a meal of three JT65 QSOs I decided to switch to PSK31. Although it is not such a good mode for DX, if proof were needed, there were 3 or 4 spots of me on JT65A in the USA but my PSK31 at slightly higher power never penetrated beyond Western Europe.

I do find PSK31 a more rewarding mode to operate, though, because you do usually find out something about the other operator or his station. Having said that, has anyone noticed a trend towards shorter QSOs in PSK31? Quite often now it’s name, report, qth, locator and goodbye. Whilst I can’t say I miss knowing the make and model of the operator’s computer and the colour of the interface cable, I do like to know what power they are running and what antenna they are using.

10m 23 November 2012

10m WSPR spots @ G4ILO 23 November 2012

Propagation on 10m was not as good as yesterday. WSPR traces were fainter as signals were weaker. On the air conditions were not stable and deep QSB affected most QSOs. An hour in the afternoon resulted in these contacts:

2012/11/2314:2928.121BPSK31KC2VOU599539JonEarlville, NY
2012/11/2314:4128.122BPSK31K2PSD599599RonRandolph, New…
2012/11/2314:4928.122BPSK31KF2GQ599599RobertJupiter FL
2012/11/2314:5828.122BPSK31WA4FLZ599589ShepMiami FL
2012/11/2315:2128.121BPSK31N0BIV599599DonJefferson Cit…

Gotaways were: CN2OS (Morocco) and HK2LS (Colombia).

10m 22 November 2012

10m WSPR spots @ G4ILO 22 November 2012

Really excellent propagation this afternoon to the eastern USA as the WSPR spots show. An hour’s break before afternoon tea resulted in QSOs with 7 new stations.  I actually had people calling me after I signed with another station. I like the callsign of the first station…

2012/11/2214:4128.123BPSK31W2PSK599599AndySouth River, …
2012/11/2214:5328.121BPSK31KB8ZUN599599JeffreyNorth Ridgevi…
2012/11/2214:5728.122BPSK31KD4JMV599599HarryNaples FL
2012/11/2215:0728.123BPSK31W3SW599599AndyBinghamton NY
2012/11/2215:2028.120BPSK31KA3UJE599599TerryLykens, PA
2012/11/2215:2628.120BPSK31WA2VMO599579BobStaten Is. NY
2012/11/2215:3628.121BPSK31KB3CUP599599ElzaGreensboro, PA

10m 13 November 2012

10m WSPR spots @ G4ILO 13 November 2012

Some pretty good propagation on 10m today, though not exceptional. During the morning it was interesting to note several spots of G and GW stations. I was received by fellow blogger Tim G4VXE. I didn’t hear him though.

I took time out to make a few digital contacts. I worked two Russians on 12m (using the 10m dipole) then a few more plus a couple of Americans on 10m. Best contact was NP3IR Hector in Puerto Rico, who has just this minute spotted me on WSPR too!

2012/11/1314:4528.122BPSK31W4ECZ559579Waynenr Tampa
2012/11/1314:5128.122BPSK31UY7QL599599OlegPologni nr Zo…
2012/11/1315:0528.122BPSK31KC4FNE599599BobBlacksburg, V…

That’s cool! I can mark and copy lines from my contact log, then paste them into Blogger and they come out formatted. Never knew you could do that.

10m 11 November 2012

10m WSPR spots @ G4ILO 11 November 2012

Ten metres seems to have perked up a bit today, though conditions don’t seem as good as they were a week or so ago.

During the afternoon on PSK31 I heard, but didn’t work, Mexico and Panama. No WSPR monitors there so they don’t show up on the map.

Calling CQ resulted in contacts with some East coast USA stations. Propagation to Europe can’t have been that good. I think this is the first time that I didn’t get called by European and Russian stations.

I heard several USA stations working in a 10-10 contest. I don’t have a 10-10 number so I didn’t try to contact them. As a fan of 10m I like the idea of 10-10 but to be a member you have got to be sponsored by several existing members and then pay a membership fee. That’s way too much hassle and expense just to get a number to send people. The European PSK Club has the right idea. Membership is free to anyone and communication with members is via a web site.

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