I had an FT8 pileup on 40m and failed miserably 😞

I'm pretty sure now that it's lack of shielding. The device works for 20 minutes straight, which is outrageous, considering the previous performance, but as soon as I remove the wire that connects the make-shift aluminium shielding to my rig's gnd, I get the same old I/O error as before. Nice.

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About that digimode interface that I fixed: no, I didn't. Turned out on 40m the darn thing wouldn't work. Another thing got me curious: 1W went okay, 2,5W was critical and 6W killed the device right away. I'm currently hypothesizing that I have an RFI problem and experimenting with aluminium foil for shielding. Looks promising.

So with my home brew digimode interface finally working I tried a couple of times to do a QSO in FT8. No dice. After sunset the band is dead. Before sunset the FT8 subband is crowded like hell. And I still got too high an SWR. Then, again, pskreporter saw my signals all over Europe. I don't really understand it.

Replaced the 3€ sound card in my digimode interface with a 5€ one and now it works w/o crashing my programs after 2 transmissions. Nice.

For testing, I replaced the sound card in my digimode interface with a different type and it seems to work like a charm. Maybe using a USB sound card for like 2 EUR wasn't that good an idea.

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My home brew digimode interface still makes fldigi and WSJT-X act up. I guess I'll have to debug it again, this time focusing on the UART to USB converter. I'm this close to buying a digimode interface but I'd really prefer to build at least some of my stuff myself. Then, again, I could also imagine myself operating for a change.

The other day I was a bit pissed off because my FT818 didn't receive much using my freshly installed inverted V. I thought it's because of the SWR issue. Turns out, must have been the propagation. Right now on 20m I got signals all over the band. Couldn't be happier.

Forgot to mention that the VNA measured the SWR to be 6-ish at the lowest point and mostly over 10. Yeah. I don't know, either.

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Put up the inverted V this morning. Can't hear much, but SWR is lower than my VNA implied. This isn't over yet.

Just set up two anchor points in trees in my garden so next time I can take another shot at putting up my inverted V.

Pro tip. Whenever crimping a plug on a cable remember: the more cable you cut off, the lower the attenuation.

Put up my new inverted V with a choke balun. Two hours of work resulting in a minimum SWR of 3.9 at a frequency that is too low. Guess I'll have to put in some more time to get this thing to work.

By the by: the rumors that the QCX+ really exists are true. I got my kit today.

DL4MAT boosted

@Shufei This reminds me of a fun story.

Once upon a time it was illegal for US amateur stations to make contact with their Cuban counterparts.

One day a US station hears a Cuban station down on HF (I forget what band). US station says to his buddy "It's a real shame we're not allowed to talk to Cuba because I'm hearing <callsign> 59 here."

Cuban station then says to nobody in particular "It's a shame we cannot talk to the US because I hear <callsign> 59 here."

No regs were broken that day.

Just ordered a QCX+ for 20m. Kind of sad that the QCX isn't available anymore. I liked the form factor more (it was more like the KX2).

DL4MAT boosted

Can we please, please – PLEASE! not make the nonsensical US date format month/day/year the default in applications? πŸ€¦β€β™‚οΈ


And to all users of that format: it makes no sense, it's counter-intuitive, it makes collaboration frustrating, it introduces inconsistencies and errors... Just stop. Please. Use international standards.
(And don't get me started on your other units of weights, volumes and distances. Bloody hell.)

Boost if I'm right.

Inspector Marconi and the near vertical skywave incident.

New antenna declaration finished. Left to do: mailing in the paperwork, rearranging my inverted V, and buying a bigger rig. And moving my shack upstairs. Probably in this order. Yay for being able to run 100 Watts even with people in the garden. At least in theory.

DL4MAT boosted

Find a cool product on #Amazon?

That company exists OFF Amazon, too.

1) #DDG company name.

2) Order from their site.

2a) Can usually find a 10% code!

3) Still get product in 2-8 days.

4) Company avoids losing 25% margin share to Amazon.

5) You avoid giving money to #Bezos.

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