Friday, 20 April 2018

Visiting PB7Z to fullfill a promise

Last winter PB7Z Bernard asked if it would be possible to remove some branches from a tree behind his house. The problem was that he couldn't safely tilt his antennatower without damaging his antennas. So, I promised to do the work as soon as the weather got better. Bernard is a well known contester and DXer on the HAMbands. Before he and I were licensed we were already fanatic DXers on the 11m band in the ninetees of last century. It was fun to met him and be in his shack.

Sure it was good weather, so far the hottest day of this month. So we did the work we had to do with a lot of sweat and of course a lot of drinks. In between we discussed the radiohobby and the forthcoming CQWW DX SSB in oktober at the same location as we went last year. Thanks Bernard for the nice visit, we will meet again both on radio as in person.

PB7Z is using the same versa tower as me and well, you see the amount of antennas that are in there. I can't show a picture of all the wires and radials in his garden. This photo was made just before cutting the branches. Hopefully it will be enough to safely tilt over the tower now.

Tuesday, 17 April 2018

Is FT8 damaging hamradio?

Currently there is a poll going on at DX Is the new FT8 digital mode damaging hamradio? I remember reading same discussions about SSB when it was new. Personally I don't think this mode will kill hamradio but it changed the whole game. However, there are hamradio operators that take this hobby far to serious. They probabely forgot that hamradio is all about experimenting and it doesn't matter what you experiment with. It is fun to experiment and see that others do the same so you can share your experiences. Most experimenters don't share the experiences via radio anymore but via social networks on the internet. And still it is fun! I remember gathering information about antennas before the internet, it was more difficult to get information on any topic. When packetradio was introduced to me it became easier to share and get info and with internet it became a way of life. Our hobby will evolve if you like it or not....

If you like to read SV5DKL's statement about FT8, you think about how serious the whole thing is becoming even for the developers.  I've been writing about Stathis his experimental FT8 robot and later my thoughts about a DXpedition robot (less operators needed, cheaper DXpedition). Stathis will continue his experiments and was unfortenately prevented from using DXpedition mode for 2 days within the WSJT-X software because of this. Suddenly I was thinking about years ago when I was banned from using a certain digital wide band mode called ROS when a number of bloggers commented the bandwidth was just too large compared to other modes. Well, just like I wrote before....some of us take this hobby far too serious....luckely the WSJT development team realized that as well...

Remember this: hamradio is just a hobby, it should be fun. Learn from your experiments!

Friday, 13 April 2018

Log4OM as QSL processing logbook

Last year I wrote about replacing HRD V4 for Log4OM to process my logbook. I got a few comments how I was progressing and if it worked well. I use Log4OM only to process my log and QSL. It's not the only logbook which has features like bulk uploading to LoTW, eQSL and clublog. But for my needs it's perfect. Still I don't like the statistics you can view with this logbook but still have my HRD logbook installed and it's not the most important thing. These days clublog give you a perfect view on your DXCC status. Below a short (boring) video shot from the features I use to process my log.

Log4OM is free to use software and has so many features you can use. For example it has a very good DX cluster analyzing tool. I'm shure many operators are having a great tool with this software. However, I'm used to the old HRD and for me it is still the most simple but effective logbook software around.

Update 20-4-2018: After discussing Log4OM with PB7Z Bernard I realized I forgot to write that this software does support downloading of QSL card images from eQSL as well as importing your own QSL card scans. LoTW downloading in Log4OM results in a different approach regarding QSL confirmation, if a QSO is confirmed in LoTW the software will ad V (Validate) to your QSL rcvd status. Clublog does support this for your DXCC status.