Thursday, September 1, 2011

My First JT-65 QSO

After watching Eric, K8OHZ's Digital Demonstration at the last WVDXA meeting, I was getting enthused about trying some new Modes. Then, at the WV State ARRL Convention, Steve Ford, WB8IMY, gave a presentation on JT-65 and I was hooked. Tonight became the time for me to give it a try. I have made many QSO's using other WSJT modes in the past on 6-M, Meteor Scatter and Whisper. But, JT-65 was a new one for me.

I thought it would be simple but I ran into a few roadblocks along the way. Getting the radio to STOP keying was the big problem. That turned out to be a simple click of the mouse in the microKEYER II Router Software. It seems that I could have save myself a LOT of headaches if I had just Read the Fine Manual (RTFM) first!

After that hurdle was cleared, I had to spend some time getting used to the software. Maybe it was because it was 2 o'clock in the morning but I seemed to be a little slow to pick up things tonight. Anyway, I answered a couple of stations (SP and G) on 20-M but they did not hear me. Do you think running 5-watts into the 160-M Inverted-L could have been the problem?

Well, as it got later and later, the stations got fewer and even though I upped my power to 20 and then 40-watts, I could not work anyone. Finally I moved to 30-M and saw a good signal from ON5UN. I clicked on his "CQ" (5th line down in the screen capture on the right at 0712) and gave it one more try - (I had upped the power to 60-watts just in case!) You can click on the screen capture to make it larger, then use your BACK button to return to this page.

As you can see on the screen, ON5UN answered me and we had a FB QSO. The software automatically generates the signal report (no 599 on every QSO) and I gave him -10 dB which is 10 dB below the noise. He gave me -18 dB so I was MUCH weaker to him. However, he copied everything on just one transmission so it was all good. You can see the software marks CQ's in Green, QSO's in progress are in Gray and when the other station has received my call, it is in Red. The Red lines show what I received back from ON5UN.

This mode is not going to break any speed laws as it takes about 5 minutes to complete a QSO. But, it's a hoot to do it! Each transmission period is a minute. You can see that ON5UN was transmitting on all EVEN minutes and I was transmitting on the ODD ones.

There were many more stations on the air on JT-65 tonight than I expected. I'll probably have to give it another try (after I get some sleep - it's 3:50 a.m. now!)

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Hey Clark,

This mode is great. I used it to work Indonesia for the first time and it's already confirmed in LOTW. Have fun! KA8SYV EM98 Frank Powell