Date   

Jim's Gazette NL #129

N3DQU@...
 

Subj: GAZETTE NL #129
Date: 9/4/2002 8:58:14 PM Eastern Daylight Time
From: mortjame@westnet.com
To: Newsletter@coolwebstuff.com, Readers@coolwebstuff.com

Once again I find myself in a Delta airline seat catching up, with modest
success, on the 'to do' list for September. Since this is our last month in
New
York, the list dwarfs an encyclopedia and is not even alphabetized! If only
each item dropped off the list with the first contact! Instead most of the
tasks
require repeated, frustrating calls, faxes, visits and/or visitors. All of
this is extraordinarily complex because the controlling dates are fixed and
cannot
move. The packers will be there on 30 September, the moving van 1 October.
The formal real estate closing falls on 2 October and we fly out on 3
October. Carved in stone, those dates! Meanwhile, we try to stay in touch
with and see the old friends who will soon be living 1500 hiway miles away
from us. We'll never move again! (My XYL points out that I've said that
before!).

This very short visit to Florida, part of move number one, may at the very
least give me a few hours on the air. Since the station in New York is long
gone, I do miss the waterfall. I'm now seated next to the rig and propagation
must be as bad as it can get. No signals of note so far. I even checked to
make sure the antenna was connected to the rig. Hi!

Speaking of tearing down the station, the heritage continues. Charles NX2T
says he wants the copperpipe-dipole-in-the-attic. And since his attic is a lot
higher off the ground than mine was, he should do very well with it. By the
way, I received a Winlink message from him two days ago. He was sailing
across Bantry Bay and looking forward to more good Irish food before flying
home early this week.

Meanwhile, the PSK station has found its way to JHS 22, through the good
hands of Joe WB2JKJ. He joined our group for breakfast last Thursday, then
hauled away a ton of stuff. Joe's stories of the Crew fascinate me and every
year I find some way to support the group. They deserve it. Go to
www.wb2jkj.org and arrange to contribute that unused gear.

Short notes: PODX (the Pennsylvania-Ohio DX group) is on the move. Their new
website is at www.podxs.com. Except, in VK land you must dial up
www.podx.com. Don't ask me why. Hi! There's lots of good stuff there
particularly for the PSK enthusiasts of the world.

Tapani OH2LU sent in an update for his DXCC score the other day. There aren't
but a very few in the world who have worked more, but he advised me that
it will be some time before he can upgrade again. He's short the last few
that everybody else is short. Hi! His note arrived in the middle of our worst
heat
wave and I told him I might dash over to OH just to cool off for a few days.
His reply discouraged me. 'It's our hottest summer in over 100 years! I had to
buy a fan and it runs 24 hours a day!' Well, there goes another quick fix.

Oh, another contest. The QRP ops are sponsoring the End-of-Summer PSK31
Sprint. Four big hours, 20 Meter only, PSK only, runs from 2000-2400Z on 8
September, 2002. Full details at
http://personal.palouse.net/rfoltz/arci/psk31.htm.

Costas SV1XV took the time to salute Shelby K4WW for achieving a
worked-all-states award at eQSL. Well, two things. First, I thought Shelby
worked 'em
all every time a contest happened (read almost every weekend) and, second, I
am not at all certain that the achievement will draw recognition from any
other source, particularly from the ARRL. Hi! Anyway, Shelby, keep at it.
Maybe some day . . .!

Jeremy N1ZZZ Emailed comments regarding PSK and 160 meters. He doesn't know
anything about the band but he is puzzled about PSK in multi-path
environments. Jeremy operated from Ascension Island last year with a vertical
and had a plethora of strong signals on the waterfall, probably from the
US. While he worked European stations with no problem, he couldn't decode any
of the North American stations assumedly due to multi-path. His
theory-the long and short path met at his vertical and the phase distortion
was such that decoding was impossible.

He switched to MFSK16 and worked the US stations with ease. So, Jeremy
postulates the theory that Hell modes will work on 160, if anyone wants to try
that band.

Any comments on this issue are most welcome.

Tom W7WHY says that someone is airing a signal that sounds like music at
14081.65 USB. And, quite naturally, he wants to know what kind of stuff is
that??

The most plausible explanation came from Phil GU0SUP. It's THROB, says PHIL.
What??? He goes on to explain that it is a bit like PICCOLO (the military
version) and produced by Lionel G3PPT. There are three speeds at 1, 2 or 4
THROBS per second. There is a central tone with a side tone and bandwidth
is determined by the speed. It works very well in poor conditions. Phil
steers us to www.lsear.freeserve.co.uk/page3.html. Get it and give THROB a
try.

He goes on to say that he 'likes MT63 because it is so robust. It doesn't
even falter if an SSB or
Packet signal starts up. Throb is also great fun, as is Hellschrieber. PSK
used to be fun, but is now frequented by many who simply haven't read the
basics, and run everything at full tilt. Take a listen to 14.070 and see for
yourselves. It is sad to see someone giving out station details which include
running 600 watts to a 6 element beam!'

Thus, if you think our hobby prospers because of such variety in the digital
space you have to be happy as a clam. On the other side of the coin, if you
think RTTY is the one and only method of communicating with the world, and
have no interest other than contests and/or DX, it's an even money bet that
you think this variety thing is about as welcome as the West Nile Virus.

Historically, the odds favor the status quo. Think back and count the number
of stylish new modes and variations that made an attempt to revolutionize
digital communications, then count the survivors. The fingers on one hand are
more than you need. Yet, there is a fundamental difference this time
around. In a word, economics! All these new modes are free. If you have a
computer and a sound card, an almost universal asset, then you are in
business. Download the software, buy or build an interface for little or no
cost, put up a coat hanger antenna and you are ready to work the world.

We don't yet know how many thousands this will attract. But we do know that
except for contest weekends, the majority of activity on any band isn't
RTTY. It's Hell, PSK, THROB or whatever the flavor of the week might be. More
power to the experimenters!


DX info

Karen Russo <w4gtm@...>
 

Thanks JayQQ and SteveHF for the DX URL's.

73 - Karen W4GTM


6m QSO, anyone (New England)

Peter Baskind <pbaskind@...>
 

Getting some nice signals from New England on 6m right now. Anyone want to
try a .290 QSO?

Peter, AG4KI

Peter Baskind, J.D., LL.M.
Germantown, TN
Voice: (901) 624-5295
Fax: (901) 624-6060
pbaskind@midsouth.rr.com


Re: Updated PSK31 Linux software released

Dave Kjellquist, WB5NHL
 

Hmmm....Looks like Digipan to me Dave. So tell
us what's the advantage of
Linux over Windows, anyways? Jay N3DQU
You know how to punch my button Jay <grin>. Actually
your comment on it looking like Digipan is some what
a compliment since so many have gotten used to
Windows look and feel.

But just a couple of items for Linux and hamming.
Hamming with Windows is like buying a car (and an
expensive one ) with the hood welded shut or maybe a
Japanese transceiver (remember the good old days of
Heathkit). Heathkit didn't really work any better
than Drake or Swan etc. But who hasn't enjoyed the
satisfaction of completing a kit or getting in the a
voltmeter and fixing/modifying a unit.
When did you last reboot your Windows computer
because it locked up, yesterday or the day before? My
Linux machine runs weeks (24/7) and even then either
I'm changing a h/w item or I'm just lazy. Computers
with real operating systems don't need rebooting. My
firewall running on a 486-33 and a single floppy
version of Linux runs months unattended (no monitor
or keyboard).
So what about an office suite? Linux now has
OpenOffice (www.openoffice.org) that even has
corporations switching off MS Office.
Right now the biggest limitation to ham operation
IMO is logging software. Nothing currently compares
with the commercial Windoze s/w. There are some good
starts like xlog and myvrlog but they have some way
to go. Luc, LX2GT in his spare time (when he isn't
keeping Ernie and I keep straight) is also working on
a logger.

But having said all this and much more what is the
real bottom line for hamming with Linux?? It is fun!
It is the same fun from building up a PSK-20 getting
it on the air and saying I built it/ or wrote the
code. If you are content with buying a xcvr from
Japan plugging it into a sound card, and unwrapping
some software... go to it. But if you like getting
under the hood with a voltmeter etc linux, kpsk and
other development efforts have something to offer.

Pardon the long winded answer. Hopefully I won't get
too many flames from the Windoze supporters hi hi.

73, Dave


Re: Updated PSK31 Linux software released

Ernest Stracener <ds3@...>
 

Hmmm....Looks like Digipan to me Dave. So tell us what's the advantage of
Linux over Windows, anyways? Jay N3DQU
That's one way to think about it: Digipan for linux. There are two or
three other PSK31 applications for linux (Linpsk and twpsk that I can
think of off-hand), each of which has strengths and weaknesses--same as
with Windows applications. In the end, it boils down to just having
options.

KPSK has a lot of the same features as Digipan, but was constructed from
the ground up without the advantage of being able to see the source code
of Digipan...so the differences are really in the guts of the programs.
I'm not a programmer, but I was able to make a couple of small
programming contributions & it has been fun to learn along the way. My
main job in the project was writing the user manual and web site.

Think of the development of KPSK as trying to paint a replica of
VanGoghs's "Starry Night" in the dark, with a blindfold on,
underwater...its tough, and you learn a lot in the process. :) Is the
product of one better than another? Not necessarily, but they do offer
options in how to accomplish the same goal: enjoyment of ham radio
through PSK31. One good thing is that now and ever after, the very
guts of the source code for KPSK is exposed and available to anyone who
wants to take a crack at improving it, something that is not often
available for windows applications.

Windows has its place in the world...no doubt or argument there. I use
windows every day on the job and until this project, for everything in
the hamshack as well.

To me, linux is perfect for the kind of person that likes to tinker with
the guts of complex things (kind of like building/creating new circuits
or QRP rigs) -- to make new stuff or to improve old stuff. It is a
platform for learning. It certainly isn't for everyone--it can be very
frustrating and hard to learn at first, kind of like learning morse code
or using a computer for the first time....

Just a nickel's worth of opinion. :) I'll be happy to try to help
anyone who wants to try it out, just drop a line to "kg9ni at arrl dot
net".

73 & see you on the waterfall,
Ernie
kg9ni


Updated PSK31 Linux software released

Dave Kjellquist, WB5NHL
 

Ever wanted to try Linux on your station computer but
were worried about a PSK31 program?

Well thanks to Luc, LX2GT; Dave, WB5NHL and Ernie,
KG9NI a new and improved version of KPSK is available.

KPSK is a PSK31 digital radio communications
application designed specifically for the KDE 3.x
Linux desktop environment.

This release brings a greatly improved version of
KPSK to the KDE 3.x desktop environment, expanding on
the original functionality of KPSK. KPSK was
initially developed by LX2GT, and first released for
the KDE 2.x desktop as version 0.7 in September 2000.

KPSK Features include:
Simple, feature-filled user interface
Simultaneous monitoring of up to four PSK31 signals
User-configurable waterfall colors, fonts.
Auto-scaling waterfall
Optimization to provide IMD data only when the
measurement is valid
Twelve user-defined fixedtexts (TX macros),
available by mouse or F1-F12 keys
Integral BerkeleyDB-based QSO logbook
BPSK or QPSK operation
Automatic and manual modes for calling CQ
Ability to send an ASCII text file
Extensive application documentation (Spanish
translation coming)

The homepage (including screenshots and
documentation) for KPSK is
http://1409.org/projects/kpsk/index.html

For other Linux ham applications try
http://radio.linux.org.au/

Look for me on upcoming 070 contests, I will be using
kpsk.

As a final note to 070 members. We are looking for
additional project support, developers, testers etc.
Neither Ernie nor I are professional programmers.
Linux and its associated applications are amazing
learning tools. Remember those days in hamming when
you could piece a circuit together in a weekend and
see what happens on the air. Well, Linux is the
software equivalent and the community is just as
helpful and eager as hams.

I (and I'm sure Ernie also) will help anyone
interested in experimenting with Linux (and you can
dual boot your PC so you don't have to give up your
Windoze safety net). E-mail myself
(dave@kjellquist.com) or Ernie (kg9ni@arrl.net)
directly.


73, Dave WB5NHL


Re: Updated PSK31 Linux software released

N3DQU@...
 

In a message dated 9/4/2002 1:44:00 PM Eastern Daylight Time,
dave@kjellquist.com writes:

Ever wanted to try Linux on your station computer but
were worried about a PSK31 program?

Well thanks to Luc, LX2GT; Dave, WB5NHL and Ernie,
KG9NI a new and improved version of KPSK is available.
Hmmm....Looks like Digipan to me Dave. So tell us what's the advantage of
Linux over Windows, anyways? Jay N3DQU


Re: N3MK/P in WV Sept 13th - 15th

AA8QQJMauch@...
 

Thanks again Steve,
Jay - AA8QQ


Re: 17m & eham.net

AA8QQJMauch@...
 

Thanks Steve,
Jay - AA8QQ


Re: N3MK/P in WV Sept 13th - 15th

Steve W3HF
 

--- In 070@y..., "Don Snider" <dsnider@r...> wrote:
I'll be going to Dolly Sods, WV ...
Hey Jay ('8QQ) -

Here's your chance for that "other" state.

Now I won't have to spend time looking for that border between the
two! :-)

Steve
W3HF


Re: 17m & eham.net

Steve W3HF
 

So whats the deal with eHam.net? We have to pay now to be listed
with other subscribers?? Auto refresh is only available to
subscribed members. Looks like I've got auto refresh, but not able
to customize or enter a DX spot. Anyone else seen this lately?
In addition to DX Summit (the OH2AQ reference that Jay '8QQ posted),
check out DX Central at http://www.dx-central.com/.

Each has its pluses and minuses. DX Summit has mode filtering, so you
can see a page that's only digital modes (although that includes
RTTY, SSTV, and others). DX Central has geographical filtering, so
you can limits spots to those posted in a single continent.

I often have both running.

Steve
W3HF


Re: ve4xa portable

n0bhc
 

Congrats on the new grandson. You can't start that radio hobby too early!

Bob N0BHC


Re: Help

Zoltan Bordas <borzol@...>
 

Hello Erika,

Some days are gone since you posted your problem, wondering if is corrected
or you did not had time to solve it.

Just a tip - is any audio coming out from your computer? Once I had a
similar problem and only after 10 minutes figured out that I had no audio
from the computer. And I needed another 15 minutes to find that
someone(probably my son - or even me??) muted the audio... a little red icon
on the usual yellow speaker icon in the taskbar...

73 de Zoli / YO5CRQ

Hi All,

After reshuffling my household and setting up my station at a different
place I couldn't get it working again. Checked all the cables and the
rigblaster but I cant get the TX into transmit with the usual
configuration. It transmits when I switch the mike on. The only
thing I have
changed since the last time is that I installed an USB mouse.
What might be
wrong?
Maybe someone can come up with an idea .
Good weekend to all!
73's Erika/DL2AYL


N3MK/P in WV Sept 13th - 15th

Don Snider
 

I'll be going to Dolly Sods, WV and operating all bands PSK-31 and SSB.
Dolly Sods is on a 4000 ft plateau so I should have pretty good working
conditions.

If you need WV on a particular band, let me know and we can work out a
sched.

Don
N3MK


DX Outgoing

N3DQU@...
 

Endorsements mailed out 03 Sept 2002 for OM3CRG, VE3IAY, MM0CBL AND
OK1VSL...73 de Jay N3DQU.


Re: ve4xa portable

Peter Baskind <pbaskind@...>
 

Anyone needing North Dakota, Montana or Saskatchewan please let
me know by this Friday and I'll look for you.

Regards,
bob VE4XA
Cool, Bob...

I really need ND for WAS/QRP. I will be looking for you on 20m. Hope I get
lucky.

Thanks.

Peter Baskind, AG4KI



Peter Baskind, J.D., LL.M.
Germantown, TN
Voice: (901) 624-5295
Fax: (901) 624-6060
pbaskind@midsouth.rr.com


Re: 17m & eham.net

AA8QQJMauch@...
 

Karen,
here's the DX site I use most. You may want to check it out.

http://oh2aq.kolumbus.com/dxs/

73,
Jay - AA8QQ


ve4xa portable

Bob Mitchell <VE4XA@...>
 

Hi All;

My XYL and I are planning a short trip into North Dakota and Montana next week. Plan is to leave Southern Manitoba this Saturday and take a few days to get to Montana. I will be trying to operate portable/mobile from both those states. Then will be in Saskatchewan for a few days (VE5 land)

Will try to provide better time frames once we sit down and figure it all out. I will be operating 20, 15, 10 meters with VE4XA/portable callsign.

I need to get my laptop hooked up and running and get antennas on the truck between now and then..here's hoping.

Currently have our new grandson (six weeks old) and his parents visiting from out of town, so haven't been on the air.

Also plan to use the CK4XA special prefix callsign upon our return to home base in about two weeks.

Anyone needing North Dakota, Montana or Saskatchewan please let me know by this Friday and I'll look for you.

Regards,
bob VE4XA

PS - XM4XA qsl cards still not mailed out (grandson taking priority..hi hi )


Re: 17m & eham.net

Luis Suman <solucompsa@...>
 

Thank you Karen.
Luis - HP1BSL


--- Karen Russo <w4gtm@his.com> escribió: >
Tnx Cam HP1AC and Luis HP1BSL for the contacts on
17m today.
We sure helped each other for the Warc endorsement!

So whats the deal with eHam.net? We have to pay now
to be listed
with other subscribers?? Auto refresh is only
available to
subscribed members. Looks like I've got auto
refresh, but not able
to customize or enter a DX spot. Anyone else seen
this lately?

73 - Karen W4GTM






Solucomp, S.A. - Soluciones Computarizadas S.A.
Web site: http://solucomp.virtualave.net
Telefono: (507) 672-3358


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17 mtrs & eham net

Camilo Castillo <hp1ac@...>
 

Thanks Karen W4GTM for that 17 meter QSO.

Yes. I noticed at eham net about a week ago that in order to obtain info on the DX
you have to be a member.

73 Cam HP1AC
070 Nr.219