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Topics - NCGunDude

Digital Modes / FT8 digital comms mode
October 31, 2017, 12:55:16 pm
I've been using PSK-31 for a couple of years, and tried JT-9 and JT-65. Last weekend updated WSJT-X on my linux box and started making contacts.

FT8 supports up to 28 characters in 15 second send/receive intervals. It's necessary to keep your clock synced within 1 second of UTC. According to the documentation, FT8 is not as sensitive as the JT protocols, but is much faster.

While it's a fun, fast paced protocol, I can see it's usefulness in a grid down situation for sending abbreviated messages.

The time syncing issue has me thinking how would one accomplish syncing their computer without an internet connection?

Anyone else trying FT8 and what do you think?
General Discussion / Shack in a box
October 03, 2015, 12:00:16 pm
I recently added HF to my radio capabilities, acquiring an ICOM IC-7200, LDG automatic tuner, and built a multi-band dipole. My shack in a box is now complete with the exception of power distribution.  The kit can run using any external power source. It's a little on the heavy side, probably close to 100#. My scales won't go high enough for me and the kit  :D , but it's portable, one of my goals.

You can see the balanced feed line in the background. A 4:1 balun is part of the kit, and I have more wire on order to build a longer antenna than my 10 - 40m installation in the attic, for HOA reasons. I've been picking up good signals, and made voice and data contacts. Still learning. Short term goal is to build another antenna for field use and take the shack to a park for signal comparison to the QTH. I'm also considering a vertical 10 - 80m to setup on a tripod for regional HF nets on 80m.

2m is active in the area with numerous clubs and repeaters. I got involved in radio for prepping, like firearms, and made life long friends in the process.

I'm posting the pics in case anyone else is considering a shack in a box. The case is an 8U Gator case, with standard A/V racks. I added a heavy duty 3U drawer and 2 2U racks. Devices without mobile mounting brackets are held in place by velcro and adhesive backing.

General Discussion / Local ham community
April 16, 2015, 06:28:57 am
I didn't attend a rather large local ham fest recently, no funds. Now I'm hearing about all these great deals everyone found.

How active are you guys in your local ham community? How active is your community?

I'm only on local repeaters. No HF yet. However, I've pretty much settled on getting a ICOM 718 when funds allow.

Haven't heard anyone on recently. I'm assuming that means everyone has projects they're working on. Mine is a large n-tier application I'm writing in Java. Hope to finish it up by Memorial Day. What's everyone else doing these days?