Thursday, August 22, 2019

First FT4 QSOs Are in the Log

I've heard for a while now that FT4 is a new Joe Taylor digital mode that is similar to FT8, but faster and more contest oriented.  While working in the shack, I found that the new WSJT-X 2.1.0 was released.  I downloaded it and saw in the release notes that the FT4 mode was now available in the software.

When I chose FT4 from the mode menu, I didn't have any frequencies defined for some reason.  So I had to go into the settings, frequencies, and then right-click and restore defaults.  Then I went to 20m FT4 and was pleased to see and hear traffic.  I answered some calls and then made a few CQs of my own.  I've logged 11 FT4 contacts so far including stateside, Europe, and Asia.

I'm using WSJT-X to send logs to Ham Radio Deluxe.  HRD then sends automatically to eQSL, QRZ, and  I send from QRZ to LOTW.  One issue to note is that when WSJT-X sends the logged contact to HRD, it comes over as MFSK.  I created a mode in HRD for FT4 and I'm correcting each one that I log before it sends over to the other logbook services. I've had some confirmation on QRZ and LOTW so I assume this practice will work until something comes along to fix this.

73 de W4LSG sk

Friday, August 16, 2019

Worked St Pierre & Miquelon - TO5M

I had missed my HF rig while it was being repaired at Yaesu.  Soon after getting it back I was testing everything when I saw a TO5M on the DX Cluseter.  I switched to the 40m FT8 "hound" on 7.080mHz.  I tried only a few times and was able to make the contact!  That puts me at 205 DX entities that I've worked!  I'm so glad to back back on the air with a working HF rig!

St Pierre & Miquelon is a self-governing territorial overseas collectivity of France, situated in the northwestern Atlantic Ocean near the Canadian province of Newfoundland and Labrador.

73 and good DX de W4LSG sk

Friday, August 9, 2019

Yaesu FTDX1200 Serial/CAT Port Died

I bought my Yaesu FTDX1200 new from Ham Radio Outlet in Atlanta in 2017.  I've had a great time operating the rig. I've never really run into any issues with it.  The rig has been connected via serial cable to a PC for rig control nearly the entire time I've had it.  One day, I opened my Ham Radio Deluxe software to find the error message "failed to read frequency".  I went through a lot of troubleshooting.  I tried another cable, a USB to serial converter, another PC, resetting the radio to defaults, etc...nothing restored the functionality. 

I contacted Yaesu and informed them of the problem.  The person that replied to my email was surprisingly vague.  I asked if the rig was under warranty.  They replied and asked for the serial number.  When I provided the serial number, they replied with another vague email and didn't tell me anything about the warranty.  I emailed a few questions and they replied with a one line message that didn't answer my questions.  At one point, I actually told them I was shocked at their lack of customer service. 

Eventually I got enough information to process a warranty repair.  I packaged up the rig (leaving a big mess in my shack), triple boxed it, and shipped it off to Yaesu in California.  I received a message saying they received it and then another a few weeks later saying it was going to be on the way home.  Once it was home, I opened it up and began setting it up.  Everything has been working fine again.  The thing that was odd was there was no mention of what repairs were made.  I'm sure they had to repair or replace something, but there is no documentation of it.

In any case, I'm glad the rig is home and back to normal.  The repair process with Yaesu was a little strange, but perhaps I was just having some anxiety about it. Overall the process was easy enough.  Hopefully, their won't be any further issues.  Per Yaesu, the rig warranty is 3 years from the purchase date...

73 de W4LSG sk

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