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µBITX FT8 Success

Discussion in 'Ham Radio Discussions' started by W0VRA, Aug 6, 2018.

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  1. W0VRA

    W0VRA Ham Member QRZ Page

    Over the weekend I was able to get my sub-entry level rig on to HF digital modes, specifically FT8.

    Among other little things I needed to do, I made an audio cable that connected the laptop soundcard out to the µB's stock mic in, without connecting the PTT. Another regular AUX cable went from the laptop line in to the headphone jack on the µB. Ian Lee KD8CEC's µBITX software includes FT-817 emulation for CAT control in WSJT-X; see; that was just a USB cable to the Raduino. I did not need any additional interfaces like soundcards or Easy Digi. When I was tuning it up, I could verify that the µB was not being overdriven by watching the signal on the RSP1a/SDRuno.

    It worked, and now I have a few QSOs in my Zed logbook.

    I wish I would have written down a few of the DX callsigns I saw calling CQ; I remember they started with H, I, and T. It was very interesting to watch the propagation come and go.
    KY5U, WY6H and VK4HAT like this.
  2. KK5JY

    KK5JY Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    I thought WSJT-X kept a running log of all successful decodes it makes? My installations all do.
    AG5DB and KY5U like this.
  3. W0VRA

    W0VRA Ham Member QRZ Page

    It might! I'm going to have to go through the software User Guide and get a lot more familiar with it. And that software is really impressive.
  4. N2NH

    N2NH Ham Member QRZ Page

    I am impressed and congratulations. Just a FYI. You might need an isolation transformer to prevent ground loops. They run for about $15 on eBay and they're an easy setup but usually very necessary - so all my FT8 books tell me.

    (I make no money off of this information) LINK HERE
    Last edited: Aug 6, 2018
    W4NNF likes this.
  5. W4NNF

    W4NNF XML Subscriber QRZ Page

    You can also easily log with WSJT-X. It will produce an ADIF log file. You can even have it prompt you to log the contact (which it will do, automatically filling in fields).
  6. W0VRA

    W0VRA Ham Member QRZ Page

    How can I tell if I have ground loops?

    I figured it would. And then I can export that file into my Zed logbook? Or can WSJT-X talk directly to the website of choice?
  7. N2NH

    N2NH Ham Member QRZ Page

    According to the ARRL book Get on the Air with HF Digital:
    "A ground loop typically manifests itself as a hum that you'll hear in your receive audio. The hum can be so loud it will distort the received or transmitting signals, making digital communications impossible."
    So you might hear it or it might be in your transmitted signal and an honest signal report could tell you that. The isolation transformers break the ground loop path and still lets audio signals thru.
    WY6H likes this.
  8. W4NNF

    W4NNF XML Subscriber QRZ Page

    You can import the adif into any program that will accept that format. You can also log directly to HRD (and I think some others) with WSJT-X without having to mess with an adif file.
    W0VRA likes this.
  9. W0VRA

    W0VRA Ham Member QRZ Page

    OK, on receive there's a spectrum of the audio displayed, and I don't have any 60 Hz component that would be hum. I'm thinking that even if 60 Hz was part of my outgoing modulation, the demodulation algorithm wouldn't look at it anyway, so other than using signal bandwidth, it wouldn't be a problem. So I think I'm OK so far!
  10. W4NNF

    W4NNF XML Subscriber QRZ Page

    If you are using the PC's sound card make sure you disable all Windows sounds. Don't be like the guy who was broadcasting Windows bleeps and bloops and JT Alert voice announcements on 40 for hours. That's one advantage to using an interface with a built in sound card, even the inexpensive MFJ don't have to worry about putting Black Sabbath tunes on the air by accident. o_O
    WA6OSX likes this.

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