Friday, November 16, 2018

Bouvet 3Y0I to air soon?

3Y0I team in South Africa
It looks like the next major DXpedition will be taking to the air in 2 weeks (est) with only minimal advance notification.

The entire team had assembled in South Africa a few days ago (10 & 11 Nov), their departure point for Bouvet.

Team leader Dom 3Z9DX estimated previously that the trip from ZS would take 12 days so, with antenna and living quarters set-up, they could possibly be on the air sometime during the last days of this month.

Updates will be posted at the following links:

Rebel DX Group

3Y0I on Twitter

Wednesday, November 14, 2018

"Very few signals being decoded!"

This is the Twilight Zone. We control the vertical; we control the horizontal...

Unfortunately, unlike the Twilight Zone, an episode of "what's wrong with my upgrade?" may last longer than 30 minutes.

Of the changes in WSJT-X rc4 relative to rc3, the one that should be printed in bold is that rc4 is not backward compatible with previous versions. Whereas rc3 gave the option of 75- or 77-bit protocols, rc4 is fixed, write-it-in marble 77-bits of digital communicative pleasure.

Tuesday, November 13, 2018

Candidate release WSJT-X 2.0.0-rc4 now available

From Joe Taylor K1JT: 

A fourth candidate release ("RC4") of WSJT-X 2.0 is now available for
download and use by beta testers.

Changes in RC4 relative to RC3 include the following:

- Fix the "cannot open file fort.81" bug
- Avoid too many redirect loops related to openSSL support
- Fix the auto-generated messages for nonstandard callsigns
- Remove all support for the legacy FT8 protocol
- Disallow selecting MSK144 with RTTY or Field Day messages active
- Correct and expand support for color highlighting decoded messages
- ESC key aborts a QSO, clears DX Call, and selects Tx6
- Disable "nextCall" procedure for RTTY contest; it still needs work
- Correct a flaw in handling MSK144 Sh messages
- Prevent Fox from inadvertently toggling Tx 1st/Even
- Re-organize the Fox/Hound/Contest selection boxes
- Improve the validators for contest exchange boxes
- Disable Tx after 5 minutes of no mouse movement
- Remove end-of-line AP info when using contest messages
- Fix the Sent and Rcvd exchanges sent to N1MM+ and ADIF log
- Don't auto-log a QSO with incomplete exchange info
- Fix two sequencing flaws after double-clicks on a decoded msg
- New facilities for Contest and Fox-mode logging

Sunday, November 11, 2018

Microphotography for $20

Yesterday I ordered an inexpensive USB microscope on Amazon and it arrived this afternoon at 2pm. That's amazing in itself but the real surprise is that the microscope actually lives up to its description.

My purpose for the gadget will be to look at solder joints on SMD parts, especially those tiny multi-legged ones, on upcoming projects.

Close-focusing USB cameras have  been around for a while but lacked several of the features contained in recent models such as this one, which can quite correctly be considered a piece of test equipment for the kit builder.

I have an old ATS-4B on the shelf begging to be built and it will be nice to give everything a good looking over before applying power.

And, to inspire young minds, it easily provides interesting views of bugs, salt crystals and other targets of opportunity.

The camera has four controls: a focusing ring, a shutter button, a magnification switch and an inline
adjustment for the brightness of the LED's that illuminate the object being examined. To adjust magnification, the magnification switch is held in while turning the focusing ring - the focus ring then becomes the magnification (zoom) control.

Thursday, November 8, 2018

"Johnny Cash'ing" themselves a Flex...

...or and Apache Labs rig.

In 1975 Johnny Cash recorded "One Piece at a Time", a song about how, over a 25-year career at General Motors, he takes home one piece of a Cadillac each day in his lunch box. A distributor today, a master cylinder tomorrow, etc.

At the end of the end of those 25 years, he assembles his brand new Cadillac.