Saturday, February 24, 2018

The New Yaesu FT818

There are rumors that the Yaesu FT817nd will be replaced by the Yaesu FT818 at the end of March. Not much seems to be changed. Only one watt more: 6 watts. (I don't mind) 

Very interesting is the 60 m band. My FT817 is still doing a good job for 10 years now. Maybe I will buy the FT818. Have to wait for more additional information. Wait and see if it is worth the money.

Friday, February 23, 2018

A new era?

We are at the beginning of a new era. FT8 has changed everything in a short time. Users of CW, SSB and other digimode users have decreased by 20%. 

Since June 2017 the use of FT8 has increased explosively by 55%. Only RTTY users will continue for now. Which is incomprehensible to me. 

I even heard FT8 users on 2 meters. Usually 2 meter is abandoned, only repeater users but also not much. There is now hope for VHF enthusiasts. I think you can make nice QSO’s with FT8. 

Anyways, what will be the situation in about another six months? Will FT8 still be very popular? Or does Joe Taylor have any new surprises in store for us? Who can tell?

2 meters Wednesday. G8GXP distance 436 km with only my 2m vertical.

Wednesday, February 21, 2018

FT8 second round

“8 years ago I was one of the first with WSPR and JT65A, while whole tribes never heard about it. Now the crowd is diving into a previously experimental digi mode. Now I quit.“ That’s what I said on January 23 this year.

The problem was that couldn’t figure out the right adjustments. I did something wrong. Technical progress in my old age is not always easy.

After reading the blog post of Bas PE4BAS I managed to do the right adjustments for FT8. 

Important is not to overdrive the RX and with TX: set a low ALC as possible. Now I have no ALC reading on my transceiver. The soundcard should be 16 bits, 48000 Hz. The right check marks, and now everything works out fine.

Today I made a lot of QSO’s on 40 meter and I must admit that it is a kind of addiction. I came into a work flow which was like PSK31 10 years ago.

Why FT8? Because almost everybody does. It is pretty silent with CW, SSB and PSK modes, except when contests are going on. So what should I do? I like WSPR, but I like real QSO’s more. Then FT8 is the best solution. 

If you can’t fight them, join them.

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