Sunday, 23rd April, 2023

I setup digital modes (FT8 and friends via WSJT-X if you want to know) and played around with it. It’s interesting but not as fun as actually speaking to people.

The good thing with it is that you get a lot of data to see how far you can be heard and on which band. The best is pskreporter website which is the default one WSJT-X uploads to. This allows you to see who has heard you, even if they haven’t responded directly.

I was pretty much heard all over the world, although very weakly in most places outside of Europe. I did nearly get a contact with Japan and Australia. They responded to me but we didn’t get to do the full FT8 handshake message sequence before they lost me. That would’ve been exciting, although not as exciting as a voice contact.

The U.K. radio society is running a FT4 contest tomorrow, so I’ll give that a go.

The next thing is figuring out how to get the antenna higher. Poles and wires no doubt, much to my wife’s disgust. I am seriously considering finding a fallen tree in the woods near us and dragging that back. On the pretence that I can test the performance first, before I buy more things. Would be good to get the antenna up to about 10m. It’s currently 4m at one end and 2.5m at the other. So quite a step up… 📡

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