Getting back on HF, new rig, FT8 interesting!

delta_charlie

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Hi all, decided to get back on HF and picked up a nice basic ICOM IC-718. Not planing on putting up much of an antenna so weak signal is important. Some of the digital HF modes do very well on weak signal and one of the new modes that caught my eye was FT8. While I'm not sure I will use it for contacts - seems too automated but it may be a good way to see what bands are open. Just got my 40 meter dipole up and have been playing around with the new rig. Decided to do a quick hack to feed audio from the rig to the computer Mic in jack. Check out the pictures below for a quick and dirty/dusty external speaker and audio cable. Used 10 to 1 voltage divider (100 and 10K resistors) at the computer mic line in to get the audio down to the correct level. Works great and will hold me till I get my interface and set it up. (SignaLink USB)

The FT8 is very busy and has a very distinctive 15 second TX and 15 RX. I found a lot of activity on 707400 USB even when the band seemed dead.
 

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KE4EST

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I have done similar just to take my older rig and just see what I capture. On FT8 and JS8CALL. Pretty neat.
 
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fred555

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Hi all, decided to get back on HF and picked up a nice basic ICOM IC-718. Not planing on putting up much of an antenna so weak signal is important. Some of the digital HF modes do very well on weak signal and one of the new modes that caught my eye was FT8. While I'm not sure I will use it for contacts - seems too automated but it may be a good way to see what bands are open. Just got my 40 meter dipole up and have been playing around with the new rig. Decided to do a quick hack to feed audio from the rig to the computer Mic in jack. Check out the pictures below for a quick and dirty/dusty external speaker and audio cable. Used 10 to 1 voltage divider (100 and 10K resistors) at the computer mic line in to get the audio down to the correct level. Works great and will hold me till I get my interface and set it up. (SignaLink USB)

The FT8 is very busy and has a very distinctive 15 second TX and 15 RX. I found a lot of activity on 707400 USB even when the band seemed dead.
I also have an IC-718! Nice, simple, easy to operate rig.
Have you tried WSPR?
Its a fun mode to see how far your signal can reach out, it produces some cool maps.
Similar to this:

I've reached New Zealand, Greenland, Peru and Turkey all on 10W once.
 

arlo

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I tried these modes for a short while. I saw in an fb group where loads of noobs would claim they were making contacts.
Or how many they made while at work or out to the store. To me that is not being in command of your station and having basically a robot filling your contact logs isn't really keeping with ham radio tradition. They are good as a propagation check though.
I've heard of a few who left their rigs on and when they came back the program froze and their tx was locked on. For how long?
But then again, that's me.
 
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delta_charlie

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I tried these modes for a short while. I saw in an fb group where loads of noobs would claim they were making contacts.
Or how many they made while at work or out to the store. To me that is not being in command of your station and having basically a robot filling your contact logs isn't really keeping with ham radio tradition. They are good as a propagation check though.
I've heard of a few who left their rigs on and when they came back the program froze and their tx was locked on. For how long?
But then again, that's me.
Good point on the locked TX! When I leave the house I turn off the rig. May leave the computer on but not the rig.
 

delta_charlie

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I also have an IC-718! Nice, simple, easy to operate rig.
Have you tried WSPR?
Its a fun mode to see how far your signal can reach out, it produces some cool maps.
Similar to this:

I've reached New Zealand, Greenland, Peru and Turkey all on 10W once.

Have not tried WSPR yet but plan to. Just got my interface setup and after some TX testing on a quite part of 40 meters (7070) I moved up to 7074 and gave FT-8 a try mostly to see if everything was working and sure enough made some contacts.

Next I went to pskreporter.info and was stunned to see how many stations heard me. I was running only abt 20 watts into a low 40 meter dipole.

This new digital stuff is amazing!
 
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delta_charlie

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Here are a few pictures some might find interesting.

BTW - I'm running Debian Linux (Buster), the instructions that came with the SignaLink USB did not cover Linux - only Winblows. It worked fine with Buster :)
 

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