Tuesday, 28 October 2014

Eurosonic ES200LCD

Eurosonic ES200LCD CB handheld (video).

I bought one of these in 1995 at Tandy in Kendal and remember going a walk up Whitbarrow Scar on the way home.
Like most CB handhelds of the 80s and 90s, it used no fewer than 10 AA cells, before we could get 5 watts from a 7.4v Li-Ion battery.
One thing about this radio was the extremely low S-meter, I measured the bar graph segments as:
S1 = 6uV
S3 = 15uV
S5 = 50uV
S9 = 150uV
S9+ = 1mV
This was actually quite useful as not everyone was 9+
There was also an ES200 with a LED display and no signal meter.

Monday, 13 October 2014

10 Metres JT65

28MHz is getting better now, and I've been trying JT65 on 28.076 for the last few days. My antenna at home isn't very good for this band but even with 5 watts I've been getting quite a few reports via PSK Reporter.
Compared to WSPR, JT65 seems to have a lot more activity on the higher HF bands, especially on 21MHz. Also, with WSPR I was getting out further than I was receiving, which I put down to background noise at my house. But on JT65, I'm receiving stations from the Far East of Asia and West Coast USA. Maybe it's the extremely low power being used on WSPR by a lot of stations or JT65 being more popular.
If I put a CQ call out on JT65, I can get 10 stations spotting me via PSK Reporter, but not one single reply to the CQ call. If there hadn't been a network of stations automatically spotting then I could have called CQ, got no reply and given up.
If someone does reply to my CQ call, the QSO is often never completed because conditions have changed over the 5 minutes it takes to finish a JT65 exchange of reports and RRR.
I don't really mind if nobody does reply to the CQ call and often I'm not even at the radio so it's a bit fiddly clicking stuff through TeamViewer on my phone to reply to people. 
Is it worth sticking with the traditional idea of a 'QSO' for certain data modes, or would it be better to try for the most transmit or receive reports your station allows (maybe the lower of the two if it was for some contest or award).