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SangueG
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PostSubject: I give up!   I give up! Icon_minitimeSat Aug 12, 2023 1:20 pm

I want Alan's station! I'm turning the radio off for a bit and going shopping lol Laughing

I give up! Mw7tta10

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PostSubject: Re: I give up!   I give up! Icon_minitimeSat Aug 12, 2023 3:07 pm

Isn't it all deliciously frustrating stuff Neal! Smile


I can see Alan only just got in with a -21dB report (well done Alan, recognise your call sign from a mile away mate) and looks like you were beaten by a couple of German stations on your calls there Neal.

I've got Ibrahim in my 10m logs and I do remember how difficult it was to grab Saudi Arabia, but patience made the day by being called back from him after he answered several other stations. Always worth hanging on for such events as they work their way through calls, the gentlemanly thing is to respond to the first decode and only then will some follow up on other decodes. I only call again if they send another CQ. (You may have either moved on or not made it through.)


When I first tried out FT8 I thought like many others that it was just like 'shooting-fish-in-a-barrel' but soon found out quite the contrary. Propagation conditions can be frustrating and other times like watching waves lap on a shore remembering that we're relying on an ionised bit of gas in the atmosphere. The 'books' may show reflections off the ionosphere as straight angled lines akin to a snooker table shot but the reality is totally different.

I'm just surprised my transmissions make it out of my lawnmower lead and deep dark valley! Very Happy

Did your PSK reports show you making it to Saudi?
(I always rely on PSKReporter and think Alan uses JTDX so he can see squares live.)


All good fun though Neal and part of the reason I love digi-modes is that it isn't a dead cert to grab contacts. (Would be boring otherwise.)

Use your usual radio skills in checking band conditions, work the band and just like a QRP SSB transmission look for openings or opportunities to squeeze in a contact. Mother Nature can be fickle and it's what makes it all fun. (Some still believe it's all about the "gear" you own!)

I shall look out for your call sign whilst on FT4/8 Neal and try and grab you for the logs.


All the best,
Victor



(I once had an email to my Ham radio account from a 'G' call sign holder essentially accusing me of 'cheating' as I'd made it through to a contact that he hadn't????? Rolling Eyes Needless to say that email went straight to the bin! Only afterwards would I have relished telling him that on the day in question I was running 5 Watts. I give up! 1f44d )

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SangueG
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PostSubject: Re: I give up!   I give up! Icon_minitimeSat Aug 12, 2023 4:13 pm

Was just my way of saying "well done Alan" Smile Frustrating, yes Victor, but all good fun. As you said, and many of us have said the same before, if we made contact first time every time it would get boring.

But I'm really having one of those days today, I'm doing absolutely rubbish lol. It's not like 10m is dead, I had greater success yesterday during periods when it looked dead but had a few amazing contacts including 3B8CW. Today I have had a few short single hop Euro contacts and even one into Wales (not Alan sadly) but otherwise struggling. Then I shut off the radio and went shopping just as I said, and it seems I've missed a spot of SSB action too whilst I was out as Al got Luxembourg and a point on the challenge. Home now and SSB is silent here, and even Italy and Sardinia are not replying to me on FT8. If the SWR reading wasn't so good I'd have popped up in the loft to see if the rats had chewed though my coax Rolling Eyes But... again, all good fun *said with a forced smile through gritted teeth* What a Face Laughing

I use PSK Reporter a lot, but no I didn't check this time. A great time to check it is at unusual times.. Some may think 10m isn't going to get you much DX in the hours of darkness, checking that site after putting CQ out may change their mind.

10W with an efficient antenna, certain modes, good operating skills, and the right conditions, is potent. Anyone who accuses others of cheating obviously hasn't tried using low power to see for themselves, or is missing one of those ingredients. Ignore the grumpy accusers. That said, I think I need to go make a coffee and work out which element I am missing today.

Hope everyone else has managed a contact or three today on whatever bands you play on.. CB, ham, pmr, or whatever. Do post up here and show off what you've managed to make me jealous Smile

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Alan Pilot
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PostSubject: Re: I give up!   I give up! Icon_minitimeSat Aug 12, 2023 4:48 pm

Sorry Neal didn't see you in there must put my glasses on more lol.
Did spot Victor yesterday ? 4.45pm on 40m but no luck calling you.
My best today was on 30m with LU5FF Argentina and then 2 into AUS just after VK2WJ and VK2LX but that was early 5.39am on my log.
Yes i use JTDX i just like it better and as you say Neal loads on the screen but nothing coming my way strange how it goes like that.
Shutting down for today now time for some food very shortly.
Best 73s to you both.

Edit
Never give up Neal they will come.

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PostSubject: Re: I give up!   I give up! Icon_minitimeSat Aug 12, 2023 6:05 pm

I wouldn't worry Neal, I didn't have much luck on 10m today despite all the feverish activity. Them's the breaks.
(There's always tomorrow.)

Alan is still there rubbing my nose in it with his successful Australian contacts. Wink
(Just joking Alan mate, very well done! Also sorry I missed you, I'd "dupe" for you every time my friend.)

PSKReporter is a great tool Neal even when it frustratingly slows up and I am one to scan the bands anyway rather than rely on condition reports. Great tip for others, just turn the damn radio on and see what's out there.

You know me, never let the 'naysayers' get me down.....especially when I see their signals splatter all over that waterfall. (They need to turn down their levels and give that ALC a rest, plus turn off the windows notifications! Very Happy )


Oh, although I sometimes 'waffle' on it's not always directed at the O.P. but for the benefit of others knowing that our postings are read by more than one person. Hopefully many will see what fun can be had operating with digi-modes requiring as much skill and luck to be successful as anything. After all these are real radio signals from real radios, through real antennas and of course real operators. Flipping fun for QRP work too!



Right that's me done for the day too. Enjoy the rest of your weekend all.

All the best,
Victor

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43CT016
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PostSubject: Re: I give up!   I give up! Icon_minitimeSun Aug 13, 2023 9:41 am

Out of interest, how are you syncing your clock?  You look to be almost three quarters of a second out from the other users I can see in the decodes, and that won't be helping.
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Alan Pilot
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PostSubject: Re: I give up!   I give up! Icon_minitimeSun Aug 13, 2023 10:16 am

Network time synchronisation is the program i use.
It does have a funny turn on the odd ovation.
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PostSubject: Re: I give up!   I give up! Icon_minitimeSun Aug 13, 2023 10:50 am

The WJST-X users guide suggests that your computer timing is within +/- 1 second of N.I.S.T. and I've found that anything within that range works acceptably well. (A lot of my decodes have at least +/- 0.5 secs from others to no detrimental effect but most of the time sits around the 0.0 to +0.2 secs mark.)

I still use Dimension 4 for my timing but the WJST-X user guide now suggests utilising Meinberg.

You can also utilise JTSync (handy with the other JT packages) where you can even offset your clock to another stations to enable a successful QSO to be performed. There's also a method to manually set the clock which can be useful if you have no internet connection to automatically adjust your time such as with field work.

The timing is fairly crucial but not as critical as most think.

(Neal's image show EA4DUT having a timing error of -1.5 secs but along with his +0.7 sec error it is still within the +/- 1 sec window.)



All mentions of software hyperlinked on their titles, make sure you're logged on to the CT site to jump to the links.

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PostSubject: Re: I give up!   I give up! Icon_minitimeSun Aug 13, 2023 11:14 am

I use JTSync. It gets "correct" time by syncing with NTP or can calculate the time by listening to other FT4/8 users times (which is useful if wanting to use portable where no internet signal is available). Not automatic though, I manually have to check the times then prompt it to do its thing.

My old laptop does struggle to keep it's time. I've changed the CMOS battery and it's main battery, so that's not the issue. Without intervention it goes out by about 3 seconds a day. Was 3 minutes out when I first started using it for digi! didn't decode anything, unsurprisingly,

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PostSubject: Re: I give up!   I give up! Icon_minitimeWed Aug 30, 2023 6:23 pm

I didn't give up this time and was rewarded by sniping it from Alan Wink Now the next task is to actually get Alan in the log Smile

I give up! Dontgi10

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PostSubject: Re: I give up!   I give up! Icon_minitimeWed Aug 30, 2023 6:38 pm

Sh1t i did see your call there Neal but didn't realise it was you sorry.
Made a note to self.
I give up! Neal_c10

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PostSubject: Re: I give up!   I give up! Icon_minitimeWed Aug 30, 2023 9:55 pm

Ah, well done Neal (even if you did 'snipe' it from our Alan! Very Happy )

I'm having one of those deflated moments not getting anything exciting in the logs, although I did grab Corsica recently never realising it was a country I didn't have.

Didn't have any luck with the 40m loop it performing worse than the lawnmower lead so gave up which was disappointing considering how hard it was for me to get that one up. Looking at maybe getting some sort of vertical up for those higher bands now, fingers crossed it works out.


Alan mate, I used to have notes all over the place for call signs to look out for and still forget! Nowadays I'm a bit more relaxed operating and look up call signs as I go. (Do love looking out for Foundation holders.)

Keep enjoying your digi-modes Lads. I give up! 1f44d

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Alan Pilot
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PostSubject: Re: I give up!   I give up! Icon_minitimeThu Aug 31, 2023 5:37 am

Just looked at my log and had him just before you Neal but t don't matter as long as you got him.
I give up! Log10

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PostSubject: Re: I give up!   I give up! Icon_minitimeThu Aug 31, 2023 7:40 am

Nice one Alan, I don't feel so bad now Laughing

I've got notes of a few callsigns from members, plus a few QRZ pages bookmarked Wink I also have notes around with my own callsign on.. that's how bad my memory is sometimes Embarassed

Regarding looking out for foundation holders Victor, I have been doing the same. Whenever I can in the evenings after I've tried a bit of DX I jump on 20m or 40m for a brief time time to try and answer one or two calls.

I've been having deflated moments from time to time too Victor. In the evening sometimes I see my local club members racking up the DX contacts one after another whilst hardly any single hop euro stations are coming back to me. I think somehow the added frustration of seeing that doesn't help my technique of trying to make contacts and I do even worse.

Sometimes conditions align and and the magic happens ('cause that's how radio works.. by magic Wink ) and I manage a fantastic one which makes me over the moon and resets my mentality. One VK yesterday morning on 20m and another one this morning (that's approaching their grey line in our morning if you want a time to try). That's on the 20m loft fan dipole element, feed point about 7m. A vertical might help you, but maybe just trying different timing? I wish you good luck and hope to have a three way battle with you and Alan over some DX at some point soon Smile

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PostSubject: Re: I give up!   I give up! Icon_minitimeThu Aug 31, 2023 11:05 am

Cheers for the words of encouragement there Neal, it's much appreciated mate. I give up! 1f44d 

I shouldn't complain, I've had Australia and Tasmania just didn't get confirmations for them. (They were both grey-line activity too.) There's a surprising amount of Foundation holders on 80m at times which is always good to see and I try and bag them when I can.

I think the day I hear/decode both you and Alan on one band I'll wet myself with excitement! Very Happy

Yep, agree with you, there's definitely something quite 'magical' about the radio interest.
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PostSubject: Re: I give up!   I give up! Icon_minitimeSat Sep 02, 2023 1:27 am

Victor wrote:

I shouldn't complain, I've had Australia and Tasmania just didn't get confirmations for them. (They were both grey-line activity too.) There's a surprising amount of Foundation holders on 80m at times which is always good to see and I try and bag them when I can.

Much as we tell them otherwise, you do realise Tasmania is in Australia Vic?  Very Happy

VK7 is Tassie, just in case you didn't know.  VK1-6 & 8 are mainland Aus, but VK0/9 very much worth having, as much rarer as they're the islands and Antarctica.

I see very few G/M calls on FT8 over here, but plenty of Europe and other equal distant places on the same bearing, so have always been intrigued to know what that is.  Have a few M6/M7's in the log too, and my home station is nothing special, so it is doable with them on 10w for sure.


Last edited by 43CT016 on Sun Sep 03, 2023 6:18 am; edited 1 time in total
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PostSubject: Re: I give up!   I give up! Icon_minitimeSat Sep 02, 2023 4:49 am

Yep, my geography isn't that bad Jeff. Wink

(Funny how Amateur Radio improves that too! I give up! 1f44d )

Had a VK5 just outside Adelaide and a VK7 near Hobart both on 20m with 10W so shouldn't be complaining. Usually when there's an opening a bunch of Europeans crank up the beams and kilowatts so we get hammered with their back lobes or they're pointing "long path" with their signals ringing like a bell right across the waterfall!

Just need to keep trying until I find someone that confirms the QSO but happy to persist with my lawnmower lead in the loft which up to now has given me surprising results. I certainly ain't giving up. Smile
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PostSubject: Re: I give up!   I give up! Icon_minitimeSun Sep 03, 2023 12:34 am

Victor wrote:

Just need to keep trying until I find someone that confirms the QSO but happy to persist with my lawnmower lead in the loft which up to now has given me surprising results. I certainly ain't giving up. Smile

I auto-confirm on QRZ, LOTW and eQSL, all from the logging software.

I’ll pop your callsign into Ham Alert, but if you see VK’s pop up, msg me and I’ll jump on. 👍

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PostSubject: Re: I give up!   I give up! Icon_minitimeSun Sep 03, 2023 6:09 am

Bless you Jeff mate, that's much appreciated. I give up! 1f44d

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