A first FT8 QSO

Charles Fricks (AF5FB) recently put his station back together and is now up on FT8. Our phone conversations and email exchanges provided me with a little insight into what further questions might arise after someone new to FT8 figures out rig control, audio levels and then proceeds to make an actual FT8 contact.

On the left side of WSJT-X, (sorry, due to limited resolution, you’ll see more clearly if you look at your own FT8 screen) you’ll see all decoded transmissions every ~13 seconds (followed by ~2 seconds of silence… except for those who do not have their computer clocks adjusted accurately). When you see a (example:) “CQ KE8KW FN44” and double click it, click “enable transmit” and ensure “Auto Seq” is checked; you’ll see the “Std Msgs” auto-populate and the attempt to answer this CQ begins.

Complete QSO:
004130 -11 -0.0 628 ~ CQ KE8KW FN44
004149 Tx ______628 ~ KE8KW AF5FB EM22
004200 -10 -0.0 628 ~ AF5FB KE8KW -15
004226 Tx______ 628 ~ KE8KW AF5FB R-10
004230 -10 -0.0 627 ~ AF5FB KE8KW RR73
004245 Tx______ 628 ~ KE8KW AF5FB 73

-The six numbers on the left is the time, in zulu.
-In the next column, “-11” or “-10” is how well you’re copying his signal, in signal to noise ratio, in dB.
-In the next column, “-0.0” is the time difference between your computer clock and his computer clock
-In the next column, “628” is the audio fequency you’re using

And the rest is a complete QSO:

Call signs acknowledged
Grids exchanged
Signal reports (in dB) exchanged
and then the optional: RR and 73

There’s also a log book incorporated into WSTJ-X.

And now there’s a growing number of hams racing to collect grids.

WARNING: This aspect of amateur radio can be addictive.

This web site is for club members. If you have any club related material which would benefit other club members, or help bring the team together, email it to me or Ross and we’ll post it as soon as possible. ***For club related activities, be sure the answer the 5 Ws. (Who, What, When, Where, Why)

LETARC Field Day Updates

LETARC Members:

Mims VFD new building is no where ready for Field Day activities and to wait until the next meeting to discuss alternatives is much too late since that is literally the 11th hour. During a visit there yesterday to put up the new antenna on the tower, we discovered the framing inside the building is mostly complete, electrical wiring is about 20% complete, no air conditioning, no sanitary facilities, no water. The only thing complete was a shell of a building that was hotter than an oven.

The Mims VFD is most likely one or two months away before the building is ready for occupancy. It would be nothing but a sweat box to meet there next week.

Tyler ARC has been gracious in extending an invitation to LETARC to participate with them. Given the situation with the radio room and nothing else planned as an alternative site, teaming up with the TARC is the best option. The LETARC Board Members feel this is the best thing to do since time is running out for us to do anything. It would be much too complicated to hash out other arrangements via email and not everyone will agree.
So with this being said, I need to get a head count from LETARC members who would like to participate with the Tyler ARC. At this time I do not know what they will need from us if we participate. My guess is that they will need help setting up, maybe cook hamburgers, provide some of the food, cleanup, etc. The sooner we find out who wants to participate, the better since the Tyler Club needs to be informed.

Directions to get to the Tyler ARC Field Day location are found on their web site TYLER ARC under the site’s calendar. The LETARC calendar needs to reflect this change of events.

John – KG5LWD

Web Page News

Almost a year ago, Ross (KI5SR) stepped up to the plate, swung the bat and hit a home run by taking control of the (then) old and stale LETARC web page. Since then, he took me aboard and together we’ve tried to breathe life back into it. Our goal was to keep it fresh and create “the place to go” for the latest news on LETARC happenings and to keep everyone up-to-date on the planning of future events in order to facilitate “the magic” when a team gets together and works together “as a team” to make great things happen.

A web page is a great place to post clean, clear, concise, accurate and relevant information.

We weren’t sure what to do in the beginning and have sort of let the content lead the way. In the beginning, we just threw things at it. And it continues to evolve.

Pages: In the upper right, you’ll see “Home”, “About LETARC”, “Contact”, “Calendar”, and the new “Technical Presentations” tabs (pages).

You’re on the Home page right now. The Home page is the main page and is being used to present the latest in happenings, report on great news from the club as it happens and other items of temporary interest. You won’t see any outdated items on the main page. Down the right side are some widgets.

The “Calendar” tab is a detailed view of the calendar. Down the right side, there’s a box that’s labeled “Recurring Events.” Recurring events are events which happen at regular intervals and are kept here to keep the actual calendar widget simple, clean and easy to scan. Below “Recurring Events” is the actual Calendar. The Calendar is used for one-time events which are coming up. Click on any calendar event to find detailed information about it.

Below the calendar, I’ve consolidated all “LETARC Propagation Newsletters.” I post them as I get them. Latest is on top.

Below that are some “Handy Links”.

In the new “Technical Presentations” page (tab), I consolidated all technical presentations.

This web site is for club members. If you have any club related material which would benefit other club members, or help bring the team together, email it to me or Ross and we’ll post it as soon as possible.  ***For club related activities, be sure the answer the 5 Ws.  (Who, What, When, Where, Why)

LETARC Web page Subscriber Accounts

If you would like to become a subscriber to this web site (that means you’ll get an email for every new entry on the web site), send an email to me (“my call sign” ALPHA TANGO arrl (end of sentence) net) or to Ross (letarc ALPHA TANGO kilgorescreen (end of sentence) com) and one of us will manually create an account for you.  All we need to create your account is a first name, last name, call sign and email address.  Keep in mind, this web site is for LETARC MEMBERS.

Do not leave a “comment” under this post or any other post, send an actual *email* to one or both of us. 

Once your subscriber account is created, you’ll receive an email with a link to change your password.  Change your password and you’ll then begin to receive automatic emails each time a new entry is added to the web site.

Morse Code anyone?

UPDATE :  Results of the Morse Code class held from 26 Feb to 5 Apr 2018

(from left to right) Tom Turner (KG5BWP), Terry Johnson (KG5WO), Jim Quinn (AJ1MQ)

After successfully completing a grueling and rigorous 6-week training program, Tom, Terry and Jim demonstrated the proficiency required to join the historic and prestigious fraternity of Continuous Wave Operators and is hereby declared qualified to operate the Alfred Vail “Lever Correspondent” at no less than 5 Words Per Minute from this date forward!  Congratulations and good luck in your continued endevour to pursue the art of CW!

Guy, WB5UAA (the guy on the right holding the Alfred Vail “Lever Correspondent”)

New LETARC Website Build

Welcome to the home of the up-and-coming LETARC website.

The new website installation package went live a few minutes ago. For a short time, it’s loaded with the default package software, which appears to be some sort of cafe page. That’s going to change shortly.

The old website has been moved off to the side. Once all the bits and pieces of the new site are well-underway, we’ll remove  it.

Thanks very much,

Ross, the new website administrator