Showing posts with label Digital Modes. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Digital Modes. Show all posts

December 31, 2021

Need a little help from my friends on 80m and 10m to finish 5-Band WAS

Howdy Hams,

I am darn close to finishing the ARRL 5-Band WAS award.  I could use a little help from my friends.  Would love to hear from you if you happen to live in one of the states listed below and would be willing to schedule a contact with you.  The contacts can be via phone or any digital mode.

80 Meters
  • Alaska (phone)
  • Maine (phone)
  • North Dakota (phone)
  • Rhode Island (phone)
  • South Dakota (phone)
10 Meters
I am looking forward to hearing from you and adding a contact to the Logbook of the World.

Good DX and 73, NJ2X

November 13, 2022 Update

May 2, 2021

Completed the ARRL 30m Digital WAS Award from California

A big THANK YOU to W1BFA (Michael of Maine) for helping me complete the ARRL 30m Digital WAS award with our FT8 30m coast-to-coast contact between Maine and California.  We both confirmed on LoTW.  It is amazing how much fun you can have with 100w, a length of coaxial cable, and some wire.

Maine State Flag

Good DX and 73, NJ2X

February 6, 2021

Completed the ARRL 17m Digital Worked All States Award from California

Thanks to Robert (N7QT) in the great State of Washington, I completed the ARRL 17m Digital Worked All States Award this afternoon from California.  Robert and I made an FT8 contact on 17m with ease.  17m WA contacts had proven difficult in the past for me.  There seems to be a narrow window that my signal would propagate into WA on 17m.  I believe this has to do with the orientation of my antenna and take angles.  Robert's excellent station made all the different in the contact.

Washington State Flag

Good DX and 73, NJ2X

January 17, 2021

Completed the ARRL 20m Digital Worked All States Award from California

Thanks to Karl (N8NA) in the great State of Delaware, I completed the ARRL 20m Digital Worked All States Award this morning.  Karl and I made FT8 contacts on 20m and 15m with ease.  15m was in poor condition with only a couple of other stations being decoded at the time.  Regardless, we managed to make the contact work.  We tried 10m out of curiosity and the band wasn't open.

Good DX and 73, NJ2X

January 1, 2021

Configuring WSJT-X with a Kenwood TS-480SAT and SignaLink USB

Communicating on HF using various digital modes is a ton of fun.  There has been a significant shift in the popularity of digital modes toward FT8 over the last couple of years.  PSK31, JT65, and other digital modes have nearly disappeared from the bands.  This means hams need to join in the FT8 craze if they want to operate digital modes and actually make contacts.  WSJT-X is my preferred software for JT65, FT8, and FT4.  In this post, I will share how I have configured my station for WSJT-X digital HF communication.

Station Control

I use a Kenwood TS-480SAT that is capable of 100W on HF and 6M.  The TS-480SAT is interfaced to the computer for radio control through the radio's serial port through a Keyspan USA-19HS USB adapter.  The radio's audio is interfaced to the computer from the TS-480SAT's data port through a SignaLink Integrated USB Sound Card.  I have used this configuration for years with excellent results.

Kenwood TS-480SAT

SignaLink Integrated USB Sound Card

WSJT-X Settings Configuration

  • Cat Control - Serial Port: COM3
  • Serial Port Parameters: Baud Rate = 57600
  • Data Bits: Default
  • Stop Bits: Default
  • Handshake: Hardware
  • Force Control Lines: DTR and RTS are both blank
  • PTT Method: CAT
  • Transmit Audio Source: Rear/Data
  • Mode: USB
  • Split Operation: None
  • Input: USB Audio CODEC - Mono
  • Output: USB Audio CODEC - Mono

TS-480 SAT Configuration

Menu 56 Com Port Parameters = 57600
Menu 60 VOX Operation With Data Input = Off

Be sure to check out my article on setting up WSJT-X for automatic logging with Ham Radio Deluxe.

Good DX and 73, NJ2X

Other related articles:

October 9, 2020

Digital DXCC Completed!

The digital door to DXCC is available to hams with a transceiver, computer, TNC, and software

I completed my DXCC Phone award back in 2015 and DXCC Mixed award (#57,420) in 2012.  I have been working casually on the ARRL's Digital DXCC Award for the last decade with all contacts confirmed exclusively via the Logbook of the World.  Today (October 9, 2020), my 100th digital DXCC contact was confirmed on the LoTW with BI4XDT.  Woot! Woot! I did it at last!

The award requires completing 100 contacts using only digital modes.  I really enjoy digital radio communication and the various digital modes.  Browsing my log, I noticed I accumulated my contacts using the following digital modes:
  • FT8
  • JT65
  • MFSK16
  • PSK31
  • PSK63
  • PSK125
  • RTTY
It is amazing that we amateur radio operators have access to so many digital modes.  My list above is only a few of the possible available modes.  Digital modes are fairly easy to use and available to hams having transceiver, computer, communications software, and a terminal node controller (TNC).

Looking forward to exploring new digital modes on more bands with more countries on my way to the DXCC Challenge award.

Good DX and 73, NJ2X