Free tip:


Adding a crocodile clip to the end of my 6m carbon fibre pole to attach the aerial.

Wir sind in der vierten Corona-Welle – ein guter Zeitpunkt, um unser (Nicht!)-Lieblingsthema „Corona-Testzentren“ wieder aus der Schublade zu holen. Diesmal mit 700.000 Testergebnissen von 400.000 Betroffenen – und einem Testergebnis von Robert Koch:

Sure thing: somebody calling cq test in CW on FT8 sub band. I wonder if they expect any contest participant to monitor this frequency.

This is where DDG just took me when I searched for "android platorm-tools" (first hit!). Watch the heck out! I only noticed it because the links on the page are broken since I usually don't run JavaScript from

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.

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