Friday, 27 February 2015

Notes from the Shack - February 2015

The K1N Navassa DXpedition is now history. Several club members reported making contact with them, which considering the pileups and QRM, was an accomplishment. I had a pretty hard time myself as my antenna decided to succumb to the winter weather. It's still upright but the VSWR went through the roof.

I made a recording of my first contact of a total of three was on RTTY (the others were CW) because I thought it was interesting.

VE3NRT VE3NRT

1!
0NJT N59PCNCT KON VE"FRTP "&9&;3NRGCVAK

K1N 599 VE3NRT

VE3NRT TU K1N DN

Short and sweet. Based on VE"FRTP containing 4 letters of my call and "&9&;3NRGCVAK containing 3, I decided he was replying to me and acknowledged with a slightly exaggerated 599. His response actually was perfectly readable, as were most of his transmissions, but likely he was hit by QRM (probably "UP UP UP") when he came back to me.

A lot my RTTY DX is like that. You just have to read between the lines. From a technical standpoint, running multiple decoders is useful. The two most popular in the contesting world are MMTTY and 2Tone. Those, unlike DM780 (part of Ham Radio Deluxe), don't come with a waterfall but are more suited to working with narrow filters that make it easier to decode weak signals in the presence of strong stations nearby. Having two different decoders provides a second opinion on the contents of the message giving you a better chance of decoding it correctly. Operation with multiple decoders is supported by both the DXlab suite and the N1MM contest logger.

73,
Chris

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