Sunday, 4 November 2012

JT65- the appeal

I've been trying to think what appeals to me about JT65. It's an odd mode to use - you're restricted to a formulaic exchange of position, signal reports and that's it. And a full QSO takes 7 (seven) minutes. PSK31 is positively sprinty after an hour of JT65. PSK31 got me back into radio about ten years ago. I blow hot and cold, and the really narrow bandwidth of PSK31, the technical appeal of the whole thing got me going again. I even sat down and learned CW to get onto HF (I was a G7 at the time - VHF only). But the rubber stamp QSOs - inevitable when I suspect most amateurs cannot type, and the inevitable RSQ 599 reports are irritating. So, PSK31 got me onto HF, and I migrated to CW. But JT65 has a number of appeals over CW and PSK. Firstly, the signal reports are genuine. You know you're being a LID (-03) or using your power justifiably (-24), and can adjust accordingly. You realise how fickle propagation is when you get a -03 from Italy, and a -20 from south east France five minutes later. Or how directional your antenna is, or how variable other amateur's rx performance is.....

The other really neat thing is that you can see, using pskreporter and to a certain extent, the RB (Reverse Beacon network), how successful you are being, even if no-one is prepared to talk to a lowly, common as muck M0.

So I keep coming back to it. I can work DX using 10W off a low LW hidden in the trees at the side of my garden. I can't do that in CW or PSK as easily.

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