The JOTA yesterday was great. NY and IL QSO parties made 20m rough, but we listened. D-Star saved the day with contacts to many states and another continent! The kids (ages 5 to 9) were engaged. I think it was a success.

Real talk: The IC-705 is up to the hype. Holy cow... I love this radio!

I ran 20m and D-STAR along with a few shots at a UHF repeater today and it performed beautifully. I've got a bioenno battery heading my way as backup, but wow...I will be spending a lot more time in the field with this rig. So excited!

I'm running a JOTA station with the Cub Scouts Saturday, 17-OCT 1300Z-2000Z.

20m: 14.270-14.290 Phone
20m: 14.320-14.340 Phone
40m: 7.180-7.200 Phone
40m: 7.270-7.290 Phone

We will be monitoring D-STAR all day on REF033A. We will move around on HF depending on conditions. We will be running QRP on my new IC-705.

Hope I hear you on the air!

In keeping a bit of a log as I work with the IC-705, I've come to the conclusion that all of the radios I have worked with have really horrible UI/UX.

Like, miserable UX.

Inexcusable in 2020 levels of misery.

And it just so happens that the ways in which ICOM's UI/UX are horrible makes the most sense to me of them all.

But seriously: with a touchscreen and an SDR, what is your excuse for forcing pain on your user?

I'm going to be running a JOTA station with a group of Cub Scouts this Saturday from 1300Z-20:00Z. I will be trying to work 20m and 40m and if/when all else fails, I'll be on D-STAR REF033A.

If you want to poke your head in, there will be kids dying to talk on the radio. It's a lot of fun!

I'm not ready to post a review of it on DXEngineering's site, but the IC-705 so far is ticking all the boxes I hoped that it would.

I've got that big JOTA event this weekend and that will be my chance to check it out more thoroughly in the field. I'll get to push the battery a bit and see what I can do under current conditions and with a craptastic antenna.

But I feel like I need about a dozen field trips before I review it. Definitely positive so far!

I'll post about this again later, but the Scouts are doing their annual Jamboree On The Air this weekend and I'm running a station. I'm always looking for a backup (9 year olds don't want to hear about radio and then not talk to anyone) so I'll have my Zumspot on hand. If you have D-Star capability and can get to REF033A you can probably make a Scout's day and a cool contact to boot.

I'm back to my radio blog nonsense over here:

Check it out if that's your kind of thing.

So, I got an IC-705. And yeah, it's everything I was hoping for. I'm going to get it out in the field this weekend.

It's that new rig smell, ya know?

I don't get too excited about gear anymore, but I'm pretty stoked about the IC-705.

I'd be even more stoked if it would actually get to the states.

I guess I'll go back to kits and get my QRP on that way.

Finished getting my uBitx kit together. I have to say, getting the universal case added a significant % to the cost of the total kit, but it was totally worth it. Not having to fiddle with enclosures is something I'm happy to pay for at this point.

And hey, it works! Hoping to get into the field this weekend and make a few contacts.

Oh yeah. Just put the Amateur Radio vanity plate on my vehicle.

Looking good.

I've got a Win10 netbook. It's small, light, has a touch interface and is grossly underpowered. I can do FT8 and logging and FLDIGI and other useful stuff, but it's painful.

Is there a lightweight Win10 laptop that is fairly decent in terms of cost? I'd prefer new.

Any Ham Thoughts(tm) out there?

Anybody out there using WSJT-X on a Mac, please note that the Catalina update breaks WSJT-X. Looks from the dev list like it's a known issue, but I installed first and looked later.

Don't be like me.

My uBitx arrives tomorrow. I'm excited, but not sure when I'll have time to start. Like everything else hobby related, when the school year kicks in, everything not on the calendar takes a backseat.

Maybe I need to put hobby time on the calendar? Smells like a cheap life hack to me..

OK. Let's get serious.

uBitx in a Harbor Freight waterproof case with a Raspberry Pi and 7" touchscreen also built into he same box.

FT4/FT8 in a lunchbox is what I'm thinking.

Getting that project list fired up for when the kids get back to school.

Just finished my battery box project. Complete with USB, PowerPoles, volt meter, and a kill switch.

Only ALMOST burned something down with a bad component.

Pretty sweet, all in all.

Still kind of frustrated that keyboard shortcuts don't work AT ALL on WSJT-X on the Mac. Updated to the latest and everything. Added friction like that gets in the way sometimes.

Maybe next rev?

Not going to get into the field today. But I’ll be on the air and trying to make contacts. Maybe today is the day I get Hawaii.

OK. I give!

WinLink has beaten me. I thought I understood it. But I just don't know what my expectations should be. Am I sending a message to a repeater that will push it to the internet? Or is it only for local traffic?

These are the kinds of things that I can't seem to find docs to cover. And the actual WinLink site doesn't really get into the details I'd like to see. There are assumptions everywhere.

I've written a lot of documentation, so this kinda gets my goat, ya know?

/end rant

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