PMRC Digital Education Net
Every Tuesday evening at 1900 (7:00 PM)
Ron and I are looking into topics to investigate for the next few
weeks on the DEN.
If you have ideas, then please forward them to both Ron and to me.
We've done a dozen topics over the last few years.
We recently have revisited JS8 (an FT8 chat mode) and in fact, this weekend was a kind of JS8 contest. Did you participate? If so, let's hear from you Tuesday night.
JS8 CALL contest
I heard nothing on Sunday on 3578, 7078 kHz even tho I called CQ a few times. I did hear some activity on 14.078 and identified a few JS8 call signs, and then got a few contacts. However, other than a name or a rig, JS8 QSO was not all that different from a FT8 contact. It is difficult to carry on a longer QSO with JS8 at such a slow speed. So... I was not impressed.
Yet I did not see (or hear) any RTTY this weekend, and not a whole lot of PSK31 either on 80m or 40m. Some PSK31 on 20m (DX) during daylight hours (14.070). I never hear Olivia, MFSK, or THOR on 20m.
So .... what next for the DEN topics?
The request for CW practice did not meet with much enthusiasm during the DEN, but perhaps PhilMont should look into a new, distinct net entitled CW Training (using MCW) at a different time from the DEN. That might be useful for the greater Philadelphia region. CW is certainly not disappearing on HF bands, although I wonder about the average age of the ops now.
Some topics of interest to me to explore on the DEN
1) Calibrating your HF VFO dial accuracy (to the nearest +/- 1 Hz)
Requiring no extra equipment at all
(See May QST, Technical Correspondence) for one idea
2) Sound card oscilloscopes - there are a few "free" ones
This app can show a lot more than your ears can hear
3) EME (bouncing signals off the Moon) - Whoa ... really?
4) 160 meters .... unexplored territory for digital modes but can you get an antenna that will radiate?
5) SDR's and digi modes: what's new, how does it work, what's it cost?
I love the little SDR play that I have now... fantastic diagnostic tool.
6) Antennas - what HF wire antennas work well for a small $
End-feds vs. off-center-fed, vs center fed dipoles
Resistance, Reactance, and Impedance - what ?
There is a new ARRL booklet that covers this well
Ideas for the DEN: Ron and I are looking for feedback.
Field Day - preps for a HF DATA station? Who is ready for this?
We need to avoid QRM with other adjacent non-data stations