Saturday, 19 August 2017

Summertime updating

I realize I haven't been updating my blog for a while. I've so many ideas and so many projects I want to share. I really should get it out of my mind spending time for this radiohobby in summer. Too many things that happen in and around the house and familywise this time of the year. So instead I publish some nice summer photos from our garden to look at...

Garden July-August 2017

Tuesday, 8 August 2017

Worlds within worlds

Many of us not realizing that the amateur radio hobby and this blog (other radioamateur related blogs as well) are part of a world within a world. A kind of parallel world besides the "normal" days of life. I realized it while discussing this with my dad. Others outside this world do see this world but most of the time do not know what is really going on.  In todays "modern" world full of communication technology people share their hobbies much easier and you have many ways to find people worldwide that share your interests and hobbies. The amount of blogs, websites and forums are countless about all kind of subjects from a obscure sport to a collection of rare poststamps. We radio amateurs already had a way to contact other people with the same hobby long before others could. Logically I think we as radio amateurs are living in one of the oldest parallel worlds which we created through communication.

Friday, 4 August 2017

Faster QSO in JT mode

Back in 2009, when I made my first experimental JT65A QSO there was no WSJT-X and no JTDX. We used WSJT (for EME use) and later JT65-HF which was developed W4CQZ, W4CQZ also had a reverse beacon and chat page on which you could meet other interested amateurs for experimenting. Actually I think JT65-HF was easier to use compared to WSJT and increased popularity of JT65 use on HF. Those first years a lot of amateurs were arguing that JT65 was intended for UHF/VHF communications on troposcatter and EME (Earth-Moon-Earth) and improperly used for HF. But soon many discovered that this mode is excellent for weak signal communications especially in surroundings with high noise floors and QRN/QRM. Today in 2017 the popularity of JT digimode is still growing and all radio amateurs want is make a quick QSO on a preferable as long distance as possible. Originally to complete a QSO would last 6 minutes in total. A example here making a contact with my neighbour Gerrie PA4GB:

WSJT-X buttons
(1 minute) PE4BAS PA4GB JO33
(2 minute) PA4GB PE4BAS -1
(3 minute) PE4BAS PA4GB R-1
(4 minute) PA4GB PE4BAS RRR
(5 minute) PE4BAS PA4GB 73
(6 minute) PA4GB PE4BAS 73

JTDX buttons, notice the options!

Now, this are the rules that are made to complete a JT65 QSO. But why this difficult? HF operators are not really interested in QTH locators (except if distance is part of a contest or a personal issue). JTDX already has a option to skip the locator and skip the RRR. A QSO would look like this:

(1 minute) PE4BAS PA4GB -1
(2 minute) PA4GB PE4BAS R-1
(3 minute) PE4BAS PA4GB RR73
(4 minute) PA4GB PE4BAS 73

A complete QSO in 4 minutes. And you can even skip the last 73 and call CQ again but that would not really be polite. For a DXpedition however that would be a essential amount of won time.

I already use this kind of 4 minute QSO making for as long as I use JTDX. However the QSO purists do not agree. And I got a lot of refused eQSL just because I did not send the locator or skipped the RRR or they didn't see my last "73". I really don't know why you would like to see a RRR to confirm a HF contact? And what's the use of that last "73" except that it is polite! Oh my, I'm going to get some hate comments now I guess.

Personally I would confirm a 4 minute contact without any problems. We did a signal report both ways just like you work a DXpedition and that is valid as well.

Imagine how fast a FT8 QSO goes when it will be implemented in JTDX! 1 minute!