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FT-8 enthusiasts should read the following:

FT-8 enthusiasts - want to add a little "human dimension" to your digi-qso's?  Consider using JTalert.  Download at http:/hamapps.com.​  It has a feature where you can send text messages to other hams who also use JTalert. I am also finding initiating a QSO through JTalert to be much easier by just using one-click on the CQ call in the JTalert window.  By locking yout Tx frequency, your "green goal post Rx" is taken directly to the QSO without any other "clicking" necessary. Boy, does that all sound "technical?" A little information can be very dangerous! Old ham is enjoying new challenges!  Got to keep the A-word away!

I am now using ACLog by N3FJP for my logging of QSO's.  I really like the QRZ lookup page that is a part of this logging software.  It brings up the QRZ page once I have an FT8 connection.

Please note, for all FT8 QSO's I prefer to exchange 73's before I enter my QSO into my log.  I know there is no hard and fast rule, however, this is the rule I would like to follow.  Please make sure to send me your 73 that confirms our contact.  Thanks!

My FT8 Grid Chasing://www.n1kdo.com/lotw-gridmapper/GridMapper.html

I continue to enjoy ham radio ever since being licensed in 1979.  I had a few off-the-air years as a result of "life's happenings" (schooling; remarrying and relegating the shack to my garage).  But now, after 23 years of marriage, I can keep my CW interest and my XYL interests pretty balanced.  "A Happy Wife makes for Happy Hamming"!  She keeps asking, though, "what is all that beeping about anyway?"  (Beeping=CW)!

I had a wonderful run in public education for 46 years!  Though I am now "technically retired" since 2007 I am really "rejuvenated" with a second career.  Retirement is bad for your health.  I have a second career working for two different, wonderful universities:  California Lutheran University located in Thousand Oaks, CA and for Concordia University in Irvine, CA.  I also work as a private consultant and professional coach for Pivot Learning Partners.  I guess you can say I am "rehire" and not "retired".  Retiring is only good if you grew up in the era when took our worn tires to be "retired = recapped!"

Thanks to my brother WB2U, he introduced me to D-Star radio a couple of years ago.  I hang out on the PAPA system which has a great link to digital and analog repeaters set up from San Diego up through Santa Barbara and beyond.  I tend to listen more than transmitting.  The nice thing about the PAPA system is that the motto is "no call goes unanswered!"

And, again, thanks to WB2U, I am now an SKCC member.   I dusted off the old straight key and am now collecting SKCC numbers.  It brings back the thrill of my early novice days where I made over 1000 contacts in my first year with the straight key. For CW enthusiasts, check it on on www.skccgroup.org. 

Thanks for looking and hope to connect with you on the air!


This is what got me started in amateur radio when I was in high school.  I built the Ocean Hopper, strung a wire antenna and was mesmerized by all weird sounds coming through the driver-in speaker that tore off one night when I forgot to disconnect it from my driver's side window!  My brother, WB2U has never let forget that "tragic accident".  But, at least we had a speaker!


Update:  March 8, 2015!
I am now playing with the Digi modes!  Discovered (late in life) PSK31.  Took me a little while to figure out how to hook up my computer to my rig but made my very first Digi contact on March 7, 2015, with KE7NUQ, Ric, who was very patient and offered great suggestions on how to avoid being a "lid"!  Always something new to learn and that keeps me healthy!

Update: January 11, 2016
Another first for me is connecting with remotehams.com.  Thanks to the help and support of generous hams who have given me permission to operate their remote stations, I am now able to extend the excitement in my hobby.  I am regularly up early in the morning.  My shack is in the garage, and my xyl is asleep. So, I now can monitor hf from my office through my laptop!  

Update January 25, 2017

I have been using Tampa FL ARC W4DUG remote for some of my recent QSO's.  I appreciate the opportunity to use the W4DUG remote.  I operate with my remotehams.com server software; Toshiba laptop; Windows 10; orb controller and Bencher keyer from the comfort of my home office.  My shack is in the garage, so working remote makes enjoying this hobby through another venue!

Update February 23, 2017:

I finally have my homebrew 80-meter OCF up and running!  Built it several months ago and finally had time to launch it.  I am still experimenting with setting up my station on remotehams.com.  I am using the Signal Link and HRD software to connect to my FT1000D.  SSB is working fine, but for some reason, CW is not triggering the rig.  Oh, well!  Technology challenges for the older generation.

Update May 29, 2017:

My favorite mode continues to be CW.  My remotehams.com station is running primarily for CW.  Every time Windows 10 updates, it messes up my remote connection and now only CW works which is fine.  I apologize to the many hams who have connected to my remote set up for not granting TX privileges.  I have found that often things get a little messed up with tuning my rig thus I have to restrict operations.  As I may have mentioned above, my shack is in the garage and now I can operate from my house with very little QRM from the XYL who does not understand why I like "talking to strangers" with all of that "beeping" sounds!  No beeping sounds in the house as I operate with a Plantronics headset and an ORB controller for my remote set up. Hi! Hi!  "A happy wife is a happy ham!"

Update January 2, 2018:

I've added another favorite mode to extend the interest in ham radio thanks to my friend Eddie, KQ6K who just introduced me to FT-8! Check it out!  I am simply blown away by the number of digi-mode signals that are on the various bands at any one time.  It is a completely different form of making QSOs in a very short time period.  No long rag chewing going on through FT-8.  It is nearly an automated way of meeting new ham friends and building QSOs for your log.  What I like best is contacting with weaker signals in the minus-db range.  See my HRDLOG above that I am using for FT-8 QSO's.

FT-8 enthusiasts should read the following gratis from NF3R:  http://www.physics.princeton.edu/pulsar/K1JT/FT8_Operating_Tips.pdf 

Joe - WD6R

Garage Shack (Messy!).  Click on picture for a youtube video.






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