FT8: The “Democratization of DXing and DXpeditioning”

UPDATE: After the VK9MA DXpedition I have changed my tune. FT8 surely is the beginning of something very exciting, but when VK9MA kept switching between FT8 and CW I realized just how much better CW is. On paper, using a mode that could work when CW was too hard to “hear” seemed like magic, but because there still was enough back and forth with…

FT8: MAJOR Game Changer for DXPeditions

UPDATE: After the VK9MA DXpedition I have changed my tune. FT8 surely is the beginning of something very exciting, but when VK9MA kept switching between FT8 and CW I realized just how much better CW is. On paper, using a mode that could work when CW was too hard to “hear” seemed like magic, but because there still was enough back and forth with…

JA5JGY: My First FT8 QSO …

OK. Now I get it. FT8 is a MAJOR game changer. I barely know what I’m doing, but I did manage to get set up well enough to Forest Gump my first QSO, and it was off the back of my 20M home brewed yagi. Wow – lots of activity, and its pretty darned cool. I have never warmed up to digital modes before…

KY6R FT8 Station Design

While watching some videos on FT8, some had mentioned the heating of the KX3. Luckily, I have the latest Elecraft heatsink, but then it dawned on me – I have the KAT-100 in a closet in a box. VOILA! The KAT-100 has a massive heat sink, and I also have a big gaping hole on my station desk where the ACOM-1500 used to be…

DXCC “Trifecta”

Happy Friday – and Cheer’s to the Weekend! I need 12 more to achieve DXCC on 160M, which is a very big deal here on the West Coast. I will also achieve 9BDXCC at the same time – so its a double good achievement and now that its within reach, I’m getting excited about DXCC as much as I can these days. I was…

Rig Runner 4004 USB

I have two old Rig Runners that I have used since 2001, and now with the second “Ham Maker / FT8” station, I need a power distribution solution and the 4004U is perfect for my needs. It has four 12V ports plus two 5V USB ports, so this covers what I need on the Maker Desk with spare ports. Once I receive this –…

The KY6R FT8 Station!

My “second” station is 100% dedicated to all things Maker, Ham Maker and FT8. On the screen is WSJTX running on the Tinkerboard (huge thanks to Mike, KJ4Z for saving me a lot of time trying WSJTX on Raspberry Pi) and instead, going to the Tinkerboard – it truly smokes the Pi for apps like this. The Tinkerboard is in front of the keyboard,…