The start of another year…
No activation to start the year, the chosen date as of twelve month earlier, the 2nd proved weather wise a non event.
A quiet month due to mostly inclement weather keeping the regular activators at home although some hardy souls did get out. My only chasing contacts came at the end of the month when on the last weekend, I worked Robin PKT who activated Beinn Chaorach (not the Luss one) but the one that lies between Ben Challum and Beinn Odhar just east of Tyndrum, a good path through meant Robin was worked with no problem.
The following day, Iain WJZ had declared for Ben Lawers, I had looked at local snow levels and on the previous day it was roughly about 1200ft ASL so I would imagine Lawers would be snow bound although Robin had mentioned that the average depth on his hill the previous day at 2685 ft was 8cm deep. I caught Iain from the ‘Hill with no name’ (NS 325702) near Kilmacolm although whilst researching some old documents online, I came across a possible name of Clachers Hill (meaning ‘stony hill’) which could be correct as the farm of Clachers lies at its southern foot.
That was it…. only two ‘chases’ for me, I had tried two weeks earlier to work Iain WJZ on his trip to Aonach Beag. I had left home and headed to walk to the summit of Corlic, Roddy IOB had let me know Iain was on air. I finally managed to pick him up but as he asked for contacts, I called but I was in the noise to him. I had about 300m to get to the summit so I rushed through bog and more bog but unbelievably I could not hear him on the top. Ces’t la vie ! Everyone is now playing ‘Dodgebob’ hihi
I spent my time using data modes, mostly JT65, PSK and as I mentioned last month, OPERA. Nothing exciting to report this month but still managing to pick up the odd contact from Euroland, Asia and N. America. No preference but just a listen around the bands before operating. I’m not a big fan of ‘DX clusters’ but I use the excellent sites of both ‘pskreporter‘ and Joe W6CQZ’s ‘HFJT65Logger‘ set only to let me know where I am being ‘spotted’.
As things are pretty quiet in the reporting side this month, I will rattle on a wee bit about OPERA. This has come about as the joint work of the inventor of ROS, EA5HVK and GØNBD. This SARC news article will give you the gist of the mode HERE. It uses the interface of ROS so it was familiar to me as I occasionally spend some time using this mode. A two-way version of this mode was created just before the end of January, this is as JT65 has evolved from WSPR. Initial success on the 500khz band has encouraged more than a few amateurs worldwide to take part. Another excellent mode for the low power addicts among us to use. I have an image of the mode interface below in action, RX only . If you look at the RX image you will see my ‘spots’ highlighted in red. On the last day of the month, I made my first QSO with an OK station, you now have the option to RX only but a tick in the ‘Auto QSO’ box enables the option if you both ‘spot’ each then a QSO is made, more on this aspect as I learn more.
This mode is being updated on literally a day-to-day basis so all versions are labelled as ‘Beta’. There are more than a few data modes being used on HF and with new modes appearing on a regular basis, some obviously fall by the wayside.
ROS is now being used by a W station who has special dispensation to test data modes. More on this in the future.
Andy K3UK had an Opera guide on-line but has since sadly disappeared but Andy has an interesting data modes orientated site HERE
Once again, thanks to go Wikipedia and all those other sources that I’ve linked to.
Came across this You Tube video of a 2M0 station going ‘long path’ with 5w
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I thought to mention this here on this blog post and not on a separate post. I say in my ‘About’ page ‘no opinions here’ but I feel strongly about any threat to our internet freedom. Please show support by joining ‘Fight For The Future’.
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