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Author Topic: JT65-HF noob questions  (Read 17591 times)
KC4MOP
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Posts: 743




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« Reply #15 on: May 01, 2012, 07:00:00 AM »

I'm still in a learning curve too with JT65. Haven't made any contacts yet. I do have my computer clock synchronized using Dimension 4. That seems to be the key to having successful contacts. I'll stick with it and be patient.
It could be Ham ops from other countries are not synching their computer clocks.
I generally run about 10 watts on my Flex radio.
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N7SMI
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Posts: 343




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« Reply #16 on: May 01, 2012, 11:05:14 AM »

If you haven't made any contacts yet, something must be wrong. Or you aren't answering CQs. I have a very modest system running 10-15 watts into a vertical and can make contact after contact on JT65.

A few thoughts:

- For timing, you should hear the other signals on band start about when you do and end about when you do. If not, you have a timing issue. A second or two off will work fine.

- Don't try to answer the super weak signals. If you get a -15DB or less call (especially from a DX), it is quite possible he won't hear you back or will answer someone else's stronger reply.

- Make sure your rig shows no ALC (not even a little bit). And make sure you're not running any compression, transmit filters, etc. If possible, use your rigs Monitor function to listen to your outgoing signal.

- Call CQ a bit and then check the PSK Reporter or other spotting networks to see if and who is hearing you.

Good luck!
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WA7KPK
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Posts: 129




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« Reply #17 on: May 01, 2012, 11:29:10 AM »

- For timing, you should hear the other signals on band start about when you do and end about when you do. If not, you have a timing issue. A second or two off will work fine.

WSJT9 marks the beginning and end of minutes in the waterfall. If you see signals starting significantly before or after the start of the minute, your clock may be off. (You'll know they're synchronized because they'll all start at the same time.) Check to see if your software does the same, or can be set to.

Occasionally you'll get a report like PSE CHK CLOCK that indicates the other station thinks your clock is skewed. At least I have. I wanted to reply CLOCK OK, OP SKEWED but there aren't enough characters.

- Don't try to answer the super weak signals. If you get a -15DB or less call (especially from a DX), it is quite possible he won't hear you back or will answer someone else's stronger reply.

You can try, especially if you hear the station call CQ two or three times in a row, but don't be disappointed if you don't get a response or if the other station comes back to someone else. There's always another contact coming.

Good luck!

Agreed!!
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AG6WT
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Posts: 461




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« Reply #18 on: May 01, 2012, 12:25:26 PM »

I'm still in a learning curve too with JT65. Haven't made any contacts yet. I do have my computer clock synchronized using Dimension 4. That seems to be the key to having successful contacts. I'll stick with it and be patient.
It could be Ham ops from other countries are not synching their computer clocks.
I generally run about 10 watts on my Flex radio.

I use Meinberg for my Windows XP clock and it has a little command line script that you can run to check to see if your clock is synchronizing correctly. See if Dimension 4 has something similar. If you are having problems, make sure your hardware clock is working and that the clock battery isn't dead. The NTP software does reset your clock but when you boot up it uses your hardware clock as a starting point. The farther off your hardware clock is from the true time, the longer the NTP software takes to synchronize the system clock.

If you can decode most signals you should be doing fine. Note that you will find even if everything is set correctly  some signals just can't be decoded. One reason this happens is that the signal is overdriven. Another reason is that the combination of your rig and sound card can generate harmonics that look like decode-able signal but aren't. These false signals are recognizable by their width: on the waterfall the tones are spread out much farther than the normal 175 Hz bandwidth of decode-able JT65A. I've seen this with JT65-HF and it has been discussed on the JT65-HF support forum.
« Last Edit: May 01, 2012, 02:34:16 PM by KJ6AMF » Logged
WALTERB
Member

Posts: 528




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« Reply #19 on: May 01, 2012, 01:02:18 PM »

Aloha and welcome to the world of JT65!  Like other have posted earlier, clock accuracy is extremely important.  I use Dimension 4 by Thninking Man Software on several computers and Microsoft internet clock (clock setting on the bottom task bar) on the desktop that Dim4 doesn't work (must be MS Vista).  All said, if your clock is synchronized with say the navy or NIST clocks, I usually give 3 calls (3 strikes), if no answer I move on or stop transmitting as to not tie up the band.

Yes I am guilty of leaving the transmit on if I'm at work and get pulled away for a meeting, forgetting to either complete the call or stop transmitting thus repeating a message, augh.

Enjoy your new mode!

Good luck and 73,

Delwyn KH6DC

thanks.  an off topic question, does Hawaii have a lot of antenna height restrictions?  Just wondering what you can get away with on Maui and such.

thank

Aloha Walter,

There are no height restrictions on Maui unless in a HOA/CC&R community or rules at the hotel, timeshare, etc., you're staying at.  Typical height restrictions aside from the CC&Rs for residences are county building permits and FAA if near the airport.

Hope to work you on JT65

Delwyn KH6DC

thanks.  maybe sometime when I retire and can afford it I wanted to move to the up country on Maui.  I really like it there. 
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W5DQ
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Posts: 1209


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« Reply #20 on: May 02, 2012, 03:50:26 PM »

No matter what mode (digital, SSB, etc) I can't seem to break into the Indian Ocean rim. 

does anybody else have this problem from the United States / Midwest?

thanks

I'm not in the Midwest (actually in Southern California), but it took me almost 10 years before I finally heard AND WORKED any Indian stations. I heard a few along the way but when I finally did work them, I worked three VU stations in a little over one hour and had my final zone (Zone 22) for WAZ. Talk about being jazzed!!! Keep after it and you'll get there soon enough I bet. Another thing about VU and Zone 22.... I kept looking for them over the North Pole and when I finally worked them, all three were worked long path, so watch for openings to the south too.

Gene W5DQ
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Gene W5DQ
Ridgecrest, CA - DM15dp
www.radioroom.org
WALTERB
Member

Posts: 528




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« Reply #21 on: May 03, 2012, 10:52:16 AM »

No matter what mode (digital, SSB, etc) I can't seem to break into the Indian Ocean rim. 

does anybody else have this problem from the United States / Midwest?

thanks

I'm not in the Midwest (actually in Southern California), but it took me almost 10 years before I finally heard AND WORKED any Indian stations. I heard a few along the way but when I finally did work them, I worked three VU stations in a little over one hour and had my final zone (Zone 22) for WAZ. Talk about being jazzed!!! Keep after it and you'll get there soon enough I bet. Another thing about VU and Zone 22.... I kept looking for them over the North Pole and when I finally worked them, all three were worked long path, so watch for openings to the south too.

Gene W5DQ

I assumed it was because I only have an OCF dipole and not a yagi or other type beam, and because of band conditions.

thanks.
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KC4MOP
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Posts: 743




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« Reply #22 on: May 09, 2012, 03:55:16 AM »

I have the same issue with my Flex system. I have gone an extra TWO miles to try to prove out/troubleshoot why I cannot make contacts using the Flex radio/Hamradio Deluxe for PTT control and "arranging the VAC cables?Huh and JT65HF. Using Dimension 4 timing. I see decoding from other stations.
I have a another station set up using a TS440 and signalink and laptop (WIN 7) and JT65HF. Also synchd with Dimension 4.
I tune into my Flex radio system and cannot decode my CQ, yet I can decode other stations on the air through the dummy load........weird!!!
I send CQ from the TS 440 station and the Flex radio system decodes the TS440. There must be some special set up of audio levels for this to work in the Flex. I have the radio setup for DIGI-U which is digital USB and the VAC options are activated. And I adjust the TX VAC for minimal ALC and that gives me about 10 watts of RF, but still cannot decode the stream from the Flex TX.
I must be over looking something obvious......
I just realized that maybe I'm hi-jacking this thread with another "noob" question and not able to decode my own transmission from my other JT65HF set-up. Sorry for gooping things up.
Fred
« Last Edit: May 09, 2012, 09:55:31 AM by KC4MOP » Logged
VE3FMC
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Posts: 987


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« Reply #23 on: May 10, 2012, 03:30:40 PM »

I'm still in a learning curve too with JT65. Haven't made any contacts yet. I do have my computer clock synchronized using Dimension 4. That seems to be the key to having successful contacts. I'll stick with it and be patient.
It could be Ham ops from other countries are not synching their computer clocks.
I generally run about 10 watts on my Flex radio.

JT65 is such an easy mode to make contacts with. Just start answering all of the CQ's you copy. When I first downloaded the software I had a friend talk me through the settings while we chatted on 2 meters.

Got everything set up, went to 7.076 and the first CQ I answered I had my first contact. 1000 + contacts later I have worked most of the states, including HI on 40 and 80 with dipoles no higher than 30-38 ft at the apex, and around 20 watts for those contacts.

Lots of DX has been worked.

But you won't work anyone unless you call CQ or answer CQ's. I could work you on either 40 or 80 anytime you want.

73, Rick VE3FMC
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KC4MOP
Member

Posts: 743




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« Reply #24 on: May 11, 2012, 06:03:11 AM »

I have pretty good success with my situation and doesn't seem you need more than 20 watts. You can get into the system clock and tell the OS (XP or WIN7) NOT to synchronize with Windows time. The Dimension 4 will do the magic part. Timing must be accurate to 1 second. And nice clean audio, very little or no ALC on the transmit mode. Receive levels cannot be in the red either.
Some older versions of JT65HF work better.
This link and the top download worked better for me and my FLEX radio
http://iz4czl.ucoz.com/index/0-28
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W5DQ
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« Reply #25 on: June 04, 2012, 12:43:35 PM »


Receive levels cannot be in the red either.


A bit easier said than done when the entire waterfall is full of overdriven signals, which appears to be getting more and more the case. I routinely turn off the AGC to the rcvr and use the RF Gain to limit the signal strength so I can pick out the very weak signals. This is OK until some bonehead(s) decides that its "ALL KNOBS TO THE RIGHT" and then I get to see his/her distorted wide trace on the waterfall and listen to the scratchy distorted noise that is being transmitted - driving the RX signal level up to 10 to 11 and definitely RED - and blanking the waterfall if the AGC is on. If there is just one strong signal, I can usually filter it out enough or if they are located at the extreme top or bottom edges of the passband I can filter those too. But when they are dispersed across the passband, I just turn back on the AGC and do the best I can until they get tired of no one answering them and they go QRT and leave the mode to those of us who can read and follow suggestions and can do it correctly. We as the JT65 community need to start letting those operators that routinely overdrive the heck out of their signals to clean up their act so we can have a more useable spectrum, especially as JT65 gets to be a more popular mode.

I actually saw a trace the other evening that was over a 1/4" wide just for the base tone portion of the trace @ left side of the ~200Hz signal - not the entire ~200Hz signal. This was on my 21" monitor with a 1440x900 screen resolution with a fully expanded JT65-HF waterfall. The entire 200Hz signal trace was blotchy and distorted. Talk about distorted trashy signal!!! I had to focus on that one signal to limit it enough to figure out who he was and I did get his callsign. I didn't work him - I won't work those type of operators - neither should anyone else till they figure out that their doing something wrong. But I would send him an email with a screen capture if I had his email address. None in QRZ.COM.

Gene W5DQ
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Gene W5DQ
Ridgecrest, CA - DM15dp
www.radioroom.org
KC4MOP
Member

Posts: 743




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« Reply #26 on: June 17, 2012, 04:14:47 AM »

I'm still in a learning curve too with JT65. Haven't made any contacts yet. I do have my computer clock synchronized using Dimension 4. That seems to be the key to having successful contacts. I'll stick with it and be patient.
It could be Ham ops from other countries are not synching their computer clocks.
I generally run about 10 watts on my Flex radio.

I use Meinberg for my Windows XP clock and it has a little command line script that you can run to check to see if your clock is synchronizing correctly. See if Dimension 4 has something similar. If you are having problems, make sure your hardware clock is working and that the clock battery isn't dead. The NTP software does reset your clock but when you boot up it uses your hardware clock as a starting point. The farther off your hardware clock is from the true time, the longer the NTP software takes to synchronize the system clock.

If you can decode most signals you should be doing fine. Note that you will find even if everything is set correctly  some signals just can't be decoded. One reason this happens is that the signal is overdriven. Another reason is that the combination of your rig and sound card can generate harmonics that look like decode-able signal but aren't. These false signals are recognizable by their width: on the waterfall the tones are spread out much farther than the normal 175 Hz bandwidth of decode-able JT65A. I've seen this with JT65-HF and it has been discussed on the JT65-HF support forum.

Good tip. I was NOT having success with Dimension 4 syncing my WIN 7 clock. So I googled "WIN 7 time sync JT65HF" and Meinberg came up. I downloaded the app and now I am perfectly sync'd and decoding all of the activity. My computer clock was way out in left field, as I disabled it to not synchronize using Windows Time. WIN 7 doesn't like Dimension 4. Dimension 4 is good in XP...

Fred
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