While on our holiday in Belgium propagation forced me to use digimode (PSK). It’s funny when you are in a relaxing mood like on holiday and you spend some time setting up PSK again, it’s actually a great way making QSO’s. I really enjoy watching the waterfall for signals and looking how other ham’s programmed their macro’s. Many inspire me to fine tune my macro’s a little more. Of course I plug this blog in my long-reply-macro 😉 Great way to propagate the formula.
I read my fellow ham’s are also busy in digimode: PE4BAS in WSJT-X (which is on my to-do-list too) and VE3WDM.
It sure is fun doing some PSK or other digimode when propagation is low. Morse code is a mode which is also very suitable for low propagation. A little harder to learn though. We are heading for another low in the 11 year sun-spot-cycle. I guess that means we have to wait at least for 5 or 6 years for new really good propagation on the bands. Looks like we have to use CW and digimodes for a while.
Lately I’m not doing well on the antenna area. I did pull down the multiband dipole because it was really a horrible sight from the back garden. Then I put down the Antron 99A because it wasn’t giving the performance I hoped for (I couldn’t use it for 20m anyway). And the Cobwebb is still under construction which give a little delay because of the DYI-stuff I have to do around the house at the moment. So the only antenna I now use is a single wire which I draped over the roof. More of less in a square, 20 meters long.
I’ve noticed a pretty nice receiving signal in SSB but (of course) transmitting is awful. Not been able to make a single contact in SSB.
But the other day I got an idea: why not trying BPSK31?! So when I fired up the Signalink USB I started making QSO’s! A lot of European Russia (UA3PI, UA3GX, RA3FO, RN3DY, RX3DD, RU3EJ) but after trying a little harder I also contacted Croatia (9A6DJM), Ukraine (UX1MW, UX1LN) and Romania (YO3JX). This turns out to be fun! Fine tuning my macro’s a little here and there.
Seems that my wire on the roof has a liking for the east, don’t know why since it lays out in a square. But hey, it’s nice working till I’ve get my Cobwebb up and running!