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"All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing." Personal web site. Not affiliated with any agency. Copyright 2000-2017 R. C. Mazur, VA3ROM.
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18 October 2017
Added my Nov-Dec TCA column  (ATD031) support files to the All Things Digital section.
Worked a 93-year young Amateur on FT8. Antenna restrictions make digital modes only real option for him to active & stay on the air. You need a spry mind to keep up with FT8 QSOs because it's like a continuous contest or "sprint" because of the fast two-way QSOs & trying to keep up with properly logging contacts because the eQSL card request rates are crazy high for the new mode.
16 October 2017
Added the last of year 2016 revised & reissued releases of my past columns (ATD024, 025 and 026) plus support files to the All Things Digital section.
13 October 2017
Added new HamAlert web widgets to top of this page. Found out about this great & free service via an FT8 contact looking up their QRZ listing. HamAlert supports many different messaging ways to receive your own or other station DX spots in real-time.
08 October 2017
FT8 adventures continue! Worked Iceland station & UN World Bank Group ARC in Washington, DC (bankers gotta have fun, too!). Using the mode to test various antenna designs due to its fast turn around rate. I can see how signals vary, in real-time, across the world in FT8 monitor mode & use PSKReporter to show my station's results collected by its automatic logbook. Twenty metres is just crazy full of DX & U.S. signals, but Canuck stations are rare enough that I get quite a few "double strikes" when calling "CQ" & FT8 is "smart" enough to sort things out for you on the fly. My eQSL request rate is nearly 50% of all my contacts so proper logkeeping (electronic/paper) is a must. The much older JT modes faded away (literally overnight) from HF use because of FT8!
24 September 2017
Got to work K1JT via FT8 on 20 m today! Saw his CQ & got him on the first try. Not too often you get to hook up with a Nobel Laureate & the "father" of WSPR, JT modes & "co-father" of FT8. My station has streamed 8193 spots to PSKReporter from 68 different countries including Easter Island, Galapagos Islands & the Falklands.
17 September 2017
Spent part of Sunday afternoon
using the newest, fastest growing & hottest Amateur Radio digital mode FT8 with my FT-857 & old XP laptop. In just a few hours, worked 25 U.S. stations & 1 Italian & spotted 252 others (total 278) from over 9 different countries. For some reason, there was a "pipeline" to the U.S. southwest where my 25 watt signal was peaking between +5 to +7 dB (SNR) with my homemade multiband vertical. The PSKReporter site supports the new mode (plus others) & collects data from stations worldwide. I could graphically display FT8 data automatically streamed to the site from my station & others & downloaded a custom logbook it created for me. It's a fast & furious & fun mode profiled in the October & November issues of QST. There are some few cool features provided by the WSJT-X software to go with the of data modes it supports.
06 September 2017
Reycled an old WRT-54G router left over from a BBHN mesh project & reflashed it with awesome DD-WRT Linux firmware & reprogrammed it as a 2.4 GHz Wi-Fi repeater & access point (AP). A way was needed to get the signal from my basement radio shack to the far backyard where a new Bloomsky 5-in-1 Wi-Fi weather station could connect for remote access to its UV sensor & wide-angle sky shot camera. This method was used because current consumer Wi-Fi "plug-in wall socket" repeaters & APs can't be reflashed or connected to hidden networks & I didn't want to make my network visible to the public, but you can with a DD-WRT reflashed router & security settings customized, as required. You can also remove & replace the WRT-54's two stock antennas with high gain 2.4 GHz verticals (which I did) or use high gain beams to really extend the range. I love it! The DD-WRT website was a bit confusing to me, but a Google search found the information for the WRT series and explained things in simple, small steps for non-networking/server people like myself (still took me three tries to get it right).
DD-WRT Firmware Installation
Wi-Fi Repeater Setup
The only caveat is that you must read the instructions carefully & then follow them exactly. If it says to wait 5 minutes or go for a walk, it means wait 5 minutes or go for a walk!
17 August 2017
Added my Sep-Oct TCA column  (ATD030) support files to the All Things Digital section.
Testing new v3 RTL-SDR USB dongle with improvements from earlier versions, including HF receive ability which is very good & better than using a separate upconverter. The ability to turn its built-in 5 VDC bias-T circuit on/off under software control is a major plus over the older v2's.
Added a power splitter to my external horizontal delta loop & feeding my KiwiSDR & RTL-SDR v3 dongle separately with it. Can now receive & live stream four separate WSPR bands (usually 160, 80, 40 and 30 m), one QRSS band (30 m) plus one SSTV band (20 m).