Searching for some FreeDV QSO partner on VHF

Since i use Quisk for my HiQSDR i found it interesting to experiment with FreeDV again. Quisk can directly support using the FreeDV API and work in this digital mode without building lots of cables. Since i wanted to try the latest mode 700C i had to compile the library from the scratch and add the mode to the configuration of quisk. Below you can find recordings of my CQ call in the modes 1600 and 700C which were made loopback.
Now i search for a QSO partner preferably on 2m somewhere in the area around JO61. I can work relatively well direction southeast. So east OK might be good.

Mode 1600

Mode 700C

Please remember the 700C mode uses only 1kHz of bandwidth.
If you are interested in some tests just send me a email to dh5ym@darc.de

March 16 V-/U-/SHF contest JO61VB

This time i had to stay home. I used the little time to check the equipment for 2m.
In the end i had 37 QSO in about 3 hours of operation time. Not a lot. Given that i just use a omni antenna i am still fine.

March 16 - stations reached

March 16 – stations reached


I used my HiQSDR + ME2HT setup. This time i used a Odroid board with cwdaemon for keying. With that the rig can be placed anywhere in the house and the SDR/Log PC can be connected via wireless LAN. This enables contest operation from the couch without annoying the family by loud fans or clicking of RX/TX relais.

MMC2015@JO60TR

Last weekend i was able to participate in the Marconi Memorial VHF Contest. First of all many thanks to DL4DTU and DL3DTS for giving the possibility to use their great QTH in JO60TR together with the antenna group 4x9ele + the amplifier !

I used my HiQSDR already few contests before. Now i wanted to try on 2m as well. I decided to purchase a ME2HT-Pro transverter which perfectly fits the transverter input/output of the transverter. You can see the setup on the picture below.

HiQSDR + ME2HT-Pro

HiQSDR + ME2HT-Pro

The SDR is controlled from the Quisk software. I usually use 196kHz bandwidth setting. This time i tried the CWSkimmer software. Quisk can forward the received baseband samples to a audio loopback device which is fed into the skimmer running under Wine.

The first time i used the very powerful Tucnak log from OK1ZIA. The log got the skimmer spots. In addition also Quisk connects to the skimmer. If the center frequency shifts Quisk tells the skimmer the new center frequency. This is required to always get correct spots. From the bandmap and the cluster window of Tucnak its directly possible to control Quisk like a hardware transceiver. In addition Quisk has a 2nd RX that can be used  to listen to other frequencies in between the CQ loops. The picture shows the SDR PC on the right side and log PC on the left side. On request of some OM i also fed the skimmer spots into the reversebeacon network. Sometimes i had the impression that this caused sometimes other stations beeing faster than me ;)

Log and SDR PC in JO60TR

Log and SDR PC in JO60TR

The big advantage of the skimmer connected to the local system was that i immediately noticed when DX stations were heading their antennas in my direction. Looking through the skimmer spots i noticed that i still missed quite some station from DX.

To avoid turning the antenna array all the time i decided to use a second antenna system. In addition to the 4x9ele of Norbert i mounted my DK7ZB-Oblong to one of the other masts at the QTH. The array ran with about 400wtts and the omni antenna with about 200wtts. Reception was selectable from either the one or the other antenna.

Overall the setup was working quite well. The only part that really caused a lot of trouble was the sequencer required to switch the various relais in the correct order. The microcontroller in the setup had problems to keep the PTT. Impulses from the switching relais caused the PTT input of the sequencer to raise for a short moment and afterwards the PTT was not detected anymore. Sporadically my transmissions got interrupted by that effect. Sorry for that. In addition i had some minor trouble configuring all the software correctly since the IP network setup was quite different than at home. I also had to extend my wireless internet access 2 times. One time because the Windows VM with the aggregator software wanted to download a Windows10 update ;)

In the next picture you see the map of the worked stations. The result was about 250QSO and a bit over 80000 points raw score with a average of about 300km per QSO.

QSO map mmc2015 from JO60TR

QSO map mmc2015 from JO60TR

Last but not least i want to show some spectrum screenshots from the contest.

The Erzgebirge is known to have a high density of VHF contest stations from OK and DL. Therefore the band is very full.

waterfall mmc15

waterfall mmc15

Within the waterfall history its a lot easier to find a free frequency than with a normal transceiver. You also see in which direction you need to move if one of the other close high power stations comes too close. For the close high power stations you can also see the problems of the different transmitters that can cause wideband interference.

Example 1: Phasenoise of the transmitter

poor TX phasenoise

poor TX phasenoise

This is really a poor example since the noise is less than 70dB below the carrier.

Example 2: Keying clicks causing splatters

keying clicks

keying clicks

In that example the spectrum of the oscillator is a lot better. But the hard keying of the TX causes leakage to other frequencies about 85dB below the carrier. The level was rather low but remember the proximity and the high antenna gain and TX power.

I wonder if someone can give me honest feedback about my own TX signal…?

73 de Mario, DH5YM

Tucnak, Quisk, HiQSDR, skimmer

In preparation for the Marconi memorial contest i tried to improve my setup. I use my HiQSDR with Quisk. Since a few versions Quisk has a built in DX Cluster client. Quisk forwards its baseband samples up to 192kHz bandwith to the skimmer and i managed to send the skimmer/lo_freq command if the center frequency of my hardware changes. The nice thing is that all decoded calls are printed right below the waterfall. The rest is reading the skimmer into the very nice and powerfull Tucnak log of OK1ZIA. The software mainly is a log for VHF/UHF/SHF contest operation. Lada also implemented a nice new feature. Now its possible to zap through the calls in the bandmap with ctrl-arrow and Quisk is automatically controlled via Hamlib. Further features of Tucnak are integration of ON4KST chat, airplane scatter prediction, cw keyer, ssb keyer, recording of all contest audio and a lot more. It can also work in environments with multiple stations connecting several Tucnak logs together. Available for Linux, Windows and Android.

Tucnak + Quisk

 

Odroid U3 WebSDR

I want to run a temporary 4m WebSDR. The software comes from PA3FWM and there is a binary for raspberry pie computers. The binary can run on any ARM CPU. I purchased a Odroid U3 which has a lot more CPU power. The picture shows the Odroid as well as the rtlsdr connected and a wifi stick used for connecting to my network. Running the WebSDR with 1MHz bandwith gives about 50% CPU load.

The board runs Lubuntu 14.04.2. I did not measure the current consumption on the 5V supply.

My aim is to put it in a box to the balkony.

IMG_20150704_181942

Today i heard my first station on 4m with that setup. SV2JAO.

sv2jao-Screenshot

Rainscatter 20150704 July contest on WebSDR

Saturday evening there were strong scatterpoints west and northwest of Berlin. Since the same time there was the July V/U/SHF contest this gave amazing scatters from the contest participants. I listened with our local 10GHz websdr and did some recordings and screenshots. Please see below…

Stations heard were:

DL6NAA, OK2A, SN7L, DL0GTH, DL1SUZ, DL0LN, DJ1LP, DM2EUN, DL9GRE, DF0XX, DK2ZF/P, DL3YEE, DC6UW/P, DC7BQ, DG6ISR, DL0VV, PA0BAT, DK7QX

Screenshot - 04.07.2015 - 21_37_27 Screenshot - 04.07.2015 - 21_23_49 Screenshot - 04.07.2015 - 21_15_19 Screenshot - 04.07.2015 - 21_13_35 Screenshot - 04.07.2015 - 21_03_50 10ghz_Screenshot - 04.07.2015 - 20_58_39

V/U/SHF Contest from JO60OM

23cm setup with HiQSDR…

HiQSDR 23cm

HiQSDR 23cm transverter setup

Contest from Hirtstein. Qrv mainly on 23cm. Setup was composed new. The old 10m-23cm TRV, 2x100W PA, 1.5m dish, backside Quados-8. Changed the Transceiver to my HiQSDR. Seeing the complete Band at once is pretty nice. CW was done completely by keyboard out of VUSC. SSB voicekeyer also worked via a small audio switchbox made for that purpose. Problems upfront were dynamic microphone headsets not working properly with the soundcard input. In addition Murphy made my linear powersupply fail during testing the equipment which lead to a damage of the transverter. Luckily it was not too terrible ;)

DARC 10m Contest

DARC 10m contest from Triebenberg JO61XA.  Rig: Hiqsdr, 100W class C amplifier, 2x deltaloop. Software: Quisk, forwarding 192kHz to CW-Skimmer, TLF filling the bandmap from the CW Skimmer spots and controlling Quisk. CW keying via cwdaemon.

I worked 49 QSO and about 1800 points. Points for improvement:

– change both antennas to horizontal

– use a passive switch for the antennas since the 12v->24v caused interference

– improve the filters for the bandmap (avoid hp stations, highlight multies)

The wheather was quite stormy and i had problems with the fibre mast. Conditions were very good with band wide open.

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