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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 2000-2018 R. C. Mazur, VA3ROM.
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31 August 2018
WSJT-X has a slight problem that most users don't know about. It seems that even though the default setting for saving *.wav audio files is set to "none", the program still merrily writes them to the hard drive until it's full & "dies". See my short article about a semi-fix.
FT8Call by KN4CRD is a new program inspired by WSJT-X & other weak-signal programs. It has created much controversy because of the use the root name but has no relationship to the original. But for better or for worse, FT8's phenomenal "overnight" success has rocked the radio world to its core & this will lead to more imitation & innovaton as the solar cycle slowly winds its way to a 2020 minima.
07 August 2018
If you own an older FlexRadio (1000 to 5000 models), check out Darrin, KE9NS' free firmware upgrades for these & software enhancements for PowerSDR. He provides YouTube videos explaining how to operate your supercharged Flex SDR using his enhancements.
04 August 2018
MyKiwiSDR is on the website & it wasn't as hard as I thought it would be. Look or search for "VA3ROM" near the bottom of the ever growing receiver list. Also check out the latest feature using multiple KiwiSDR receivers to direction find & locate transmitters using TDoA. There's also a very nice Google Maps SDR display you can use to view receiver details & select any to listen to & control.
Got a new IC-7300 yesterday & am busy learning how to use it. It was easy enough to flash the firmware with the latest upgrades, then set it up for WSJT-X & WSPR band hopping receive mode. All transceiver control & audio is via a single USB cable, plus it has a nice & large & colourful data display with touch screen control. The deep discount sale price, free shipping & $100 USD Icom rebate made it too much of a good deal to pass up! It's connected to a five port antenna active multicoupler (Cross Country Wireless) & am comparing it to various radios & antennas systsms.
31 July 2018
The lastest KiwiSDR firmware update from John Seamons, KF6VO, has taken this receiver to new heights of flight for an inexpensive direct radio frequency sampling (DRFS) radio. We can now have up to eight separate 14-bit receivers of its amazing field programmable gate array (FPGA).
28 July 2018
BloomSky had a great deal on their STORM add-on units for their SKY1 & SKY2 person weather stations (PWS), so I got one to complete a new PWS VA3ROM Thunder Bay. My old APRS/CWOP PWS is over 10 years old (LaCrosse) & going strong, except it lacks the latest features. A SKY2 PWS was installed before last winter & it had no problems recharging on solar power & keeping its Wi-Fi link (2.4 GHz) running even in the dead of winter. To create a solid link, I had to add a Wi-Fi repeater module because the house router is in the basement with my radio shack.
FT8 is just a little over 1 year old & is dominating all other Amateur Radio data modes, but its design team keeps right on tweaking the mode. Soon, an enhanced version will push its weak-signal decoding level even deeper into the noise, but the really exciting thing is that a new 77 bit telemetry packet will be added! Its supporting software (WSJT-X) v2.0 may be released in late 2018 or early 2019 (field testing will determine when).
Bought a W6LVP aperiodic active (untuned with preamp) loop & currently conducting signal tests using WSPR & FT8. While it receives up to 30 MHz, "magnetic" small loops are best for the lower bands from 40 m on down to 2200 m. Since I don't have the room for large verticals or dipoles, this loop lets me go digital "down under" (literally). It should work nicely with my KiwiSDR.
12 June 2018
The HamSci group has released its first peer reviewed published paper on the results of the August 2017 total solar eclipse across America using various Amateur Radio data modes to create an ionospheric model before, during & after the eclipse.
RTL-SDR users check out the new free "Calico CAT" SDR# plugin created by "Tag" Loomis, N0TTL. It emulates the Kenwood TS-2000 transceiver & allows you to use third-party programs such as WJST-X et al to control your RTL-SDR.
Tag also created the new free "GridTracker" program that interfaces with WJST-X & various contest logger programs, QRZ, the WSPRnetPSKReporter.
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