Hello all, i'm Henk and i am living in a small village in the south west of the Netherlands. I got my Radio Amateur Licence on November 2 2022. I am still a newbie as a radio amateur but working on the 11m citizen band for over 30 years mostly with packet radio and other digital modes. My interests in the hobby are mostly the digital modes. In relation to the radio amateur hobby i have a collection of old Digital-DEC VMS systems that i also use in combination with amateur radio. So i am still new, learning new thinks every day and enjoying this wonderfull world of amateur radio.
I use a Yaesu 991A with a 10m/11m vertical antenna to start on the amateur bands, I am mainly active on the 10m/20m with FT8 which already opens up a whole new world for me.
Automatic Propagation Reporter
PSK reporter started out as a project to automatically gather reception records of digimode activity and then make those records available in near realtime to interested parties — typically the amateur who initiated the communication. The way that it works is that many amateurs will run a client that will monitor received traffic for callsigns (the pattern 'de callsign callsign') and, when seen, will report this fact. This is of interest to the amateur who transmitted adn they will be able to see where their signal was received. The pattern chosen is typically part of a standard CQ call. The duplicate check is to make sure that the callsign is not corrupted. The rules for protocols like FT8 are different as the callsigns are protected by error correction. You do still need to call CQ in order for your signal to be reporter
HamAlert is a system that allows you to get notifications when a desired station appears on the DX cluster, the Reverse Beacon Network, SOTAwatch, POTA, or PSK Reporter. No need to keep checking these resources manually if you're looking for a certain callsign, DXCC, CQ zone, IOTA island, SOTA summit or WWFF/POTA reference.
FT8 is one of the many digital modes often referred to as sound card modes (SCM) because they utilize a computer’s sound card to bring in audio from your radio to be processed by software to decode the information embedded in the signal. Conversely, when you want to transmit, the software encodes your message into audio tones that are sent out via your sound card to your radio’s audio or Mic input. For years there have been a variety of these new software modes including Phase-shift keying (PSK31 & PSK 65), Hellschreiber, Olivia, Pactor, etc. and even older hardware-based modes such as RTTY that we now use our computers to encode and decode. FT8 is one of a group of Multiple Frequency-Shift Keying (MFSK) modes that include JT9, JT65 and MSK144 created by Joe Taylor, K1JT and co-developers. FT8 is designed to maximize communication even when signals are very weak (as low as -24dB). This means that even low-powered stations and stations with sub-optimal antennas can make contacts worldwide. With its popularity, quickly working DXCC or WAS with FT8 is easily within reach of almost any station. With FT8, activity is limited to a narrow band of frequencies, so it is ideal for use with loop antennas that require retuning when changing frequency, such as CHAMELEON ANTENNA F-Loop 2.0 Portable HF Antenna (CHA-F-LOOP-2-0). FT8 is also extremely popular on the 6 meter band, so there are many opportunities for long-distance communication even with a Technician Class License. WSJT-X is the most popular software for FT8. This great program is not only free but versions are available for Windows-based PCs and Macintosh OS, Linux (with pre-compiled Debian, Fedora and Raspbian distros). For details on installing and configuring the software, follow the online WSJT-X User Guide. Do not ignore the information on making sure your computer’s time is synchronized as this is vital to making contacts! After you install the software, you may also need to configure your radio’s settings.
Club Log is an online database with a suite of powerful tools supporting active DXers. Once you have registered on Club Log and uploaded your log, you will be able to: Generate personal reports, showing which DXCC countries you have worked and/or confirmed, when you first worked them, which ones you still need, and which are the most likely to QSL. See how you stand relative to your peers in various league tables and challenges. Analyze your log for possible/likely errors in the DXCC allocations. Predict the bands and times on which you are most likely to work almost any DX station, based on actual QSOs in the logs uploaded to Club Log, and draw great circle maps; Set up a personal DX Cluster feed that filters out the DXCCs you have already worked, leaving just the ones you still need ...
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