JT65 and JT9 on 6 and 2 Meter Band

Discussion in 'Working Different Modes' started by KJ4TX, Mar 6, 2016.

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  1. KJ4TX

    KJ4TX Ham Member QRZ Page

    I did see some activity on 6 meters this weekend. I was sending out CQ for about an hour on 50.276 when I got blasted right next to my signal by a signal that wasn't JT65. I'm not sure what it was but it was about 3 times the width of my JT65 bar. I figured it might be someone yelling at me for making too much noise. :D

    I moved my next CQ over a bit to get out of his way and sent some more JT65 CQ's. He transmitted some more and then something else popped on in a different spot and transmitted a few times. I have no idea what that was either. It may have just been some people letting me know they heard me but didn't know what I was sending so couldn't match it.

    I did switch from WSJT-X over to HRD DM780 to see if it would pick up what it was but they were gone by then. There was a station down around 50.250's calling what looked like European call letters on JT65 but he didn't seem to be interested in talking to me so I moved back to 50.276 for awhile.

    I'm not really interested in meteor scatter... you have to be too quick for it and I'm not that quick and don't really have the antenna for it. I only have a 4 element yagi for 6 meters. I'm mainly just interested in making any contacts right now, even if they are across town, although I should be able to get into the Seattle area from my house unless the band is really shut down.

    I did see a JT65 station in Colombia monitoring 6 meters this weekend on PSKReporter. I knew I couldn't reach him but pointed my antenna that way in hopes that he would receive my signal. Since he was the only one showing, I fired up my other computer that is connected to my IC-746Pro, turned the power way down on my IC-7600 and had my 2nd radio monitor and decode a few of my CQ's. Since I have WSJT-X on that computer set to report to PSKReporter, a balloon popped up showing 6 meters. About 23 minutes later, one popped up in New York and a short time later one in Boston. All too far for me to reach but I thought it was interesting. I was hoping that a station within a few hundred to 500 miles of me would start monitoring 6 meters so I could see how far I was getting out.

    That's one thing I like doing on HF, I set the filters of PSKReporter on the band and mode and stations that have received my call letters and I can see how far I'm getting and what signal level. If the East coast stations are seeing me coming in very strong, I can cut my power way back. I have also been able to map the transmit angle of my fan dipole and which part of the country I'm hitting the best. I'm really hitting the lower half of the US real well and it tappers off on the upper half of the US. I'm constantly getting PA and NJ stations but not so many North of there. If I could swing my dipole so that it was more N/S oriented I'd hit the NE US a lot better. I can't hit Calf for beans though.

    I have a DESpole 12/17/20 rotating dipole on order and that will give me better direction control on those frequencies. I'll use PSKReporter to map out that antenna as well.

    I'll keep trying JT65 on 6 meters. I may not connect with anyone or not very often but when the other bands get crowded it's a place to go to kick back for a bit and just see if anyone is around.

    KA0HCP likes this.
  2. K0RGR

    K0RGR Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    Actually, working meteor scatter on 6 meters with digital is almost exactly like working JT65. Each station takes turns sending for a period of time, and the signal reports are pretty similar. The difference is that WSJT mode FSK441 sends the exchange many times faster than JT65, so a very brief burst will be required to exchange the info, and each transmission is fixed in length and format, so it can listen to several pings in order to copy all the info. I haven't used JT6M, but it's optimized for 6 meters. I've used FSK441 several times. If I had a horizontal antenna, I could probably work you on either band from here. I live in the one place in the country where you can work all the lower 48 states using meteor scatter.
  3. KJ4TX

    KJ4TX Ham Member QRZ Page

    Well, per the couple of suggestions to try meteor scatter on 6 meters, I gave it a shot... well, actually, I'm at the point I can give it a shot. I installed WSJT on the computer connected to my IC-746Pro so I can try both 6 and 2 meters. It didn't take long to set up since I already have WSJT-X and HRD set up and working on that computer and radio. I can sorta, kinda, maybe see the FSK441 resemblance to JT65, at least in the fact it has the sequence of calls and responses, runs in 30 second alternating sequences and has a waterfall. I have it running but so far, I've not detected anything that looks like a ping. Not that I expected to, but one can hope that I'd luck into one.

    I'm West coast so I have my antenna pointing East just because I usually have my 6 meter yagi pointing East and figured since I'm not real sure what I'm doing right now, no need to change it. I'm going to have to read through the WSJT docs a few more times though to understand what it is I'm looking at. I'm not to sure about it at this point, but to be fair, I wasn't to sure about JT65 either and had to come back to it before I got into it. It did help after I'd made the first contacts though. Maybe by the time the next meteor shower comes through (I read that there is one in April) I'll have practiced enough to be comfortable with it when I can actually make contacts... or not. :D

  4. K6CLS

    K6CLS Ham Member QRZ Page

    Infall runs continuously. Yes you will have better results early morning hours during a meteor shower, but you can run any time. Check out N0UK logger and make a schedule.
  5. KJ4TX

    KJ4TX Ham Member QRZ Page

    I found my receive was down about a -30. I turned up the SignaLink RX all the way up and got it to a -5 and over about 40 minutes I was able to see what I think were pings with one of them sounding like chirping for about 2 or 3 seconds. I need to find out why I can't get my RX up higher though. I played with my mixer a bit before I quit for the night but didn't spend a lot of time on it.

    At least with JT65 and JT9 I was able to watch some QSOs for a bit, but contacts with meteor scatter are going to be so rare that it's probably more sink or swim on the first contact.

  6. VK2KRR

    VK2KRR Ham Member QRZ Page

    Dave, as with K6CLS I'd also recommend setting up 6m (or2m) WSPR. I also have 6m WSPR running when I go to work in RX only mode and I can see from the office from the online site who when the band opens up and what stations I am hearing, great fun, and very sensitive too.
  7. VK2KRR

    VK2KRR Ham Member QRZ Page

    Mike if you need any help getting going on WSPR let me know and I'll offer any advice I can on set up.
  8. KJ4TX

    KJ4TX Ham Member QRZ Page

    Thanks, Leigh. I wasn't really sure what WSPR was until I read in another thread that it is like the reports on the VHF Propagation web site except supposedly more accurate. It does sound interesting so I'm going to do some more reading on it about how to set it up and run it. I have two radios set up for digital and can cover both 6 and 2 meters USB. If nothing else, it's something else to try and do to keep one of my radios busy when I'm on the other. When I have questions, I'll ask and thanks for the offer.

  9. W6BXQ

    W6BXQ XML Subscriber QRZ Page

    50.276 is used for jt65 with WSJT-X. I have worked into South America when TE is open and just today, May 16, 2017, worked into ILL, Ind and Ark from South Florida on Sporadic-E. Stations are here when the band is open Keep trying and good luck and DX. John W6BXQ
  10. KO4LZ

    KO4LZ XML Subscriber QRZ Page

    I'm trying to do all-digital VUCC and there are plenty of people on 6m JT65 when the band is open -- I'm using an indoor antenna in my attic and have worked NC to CA on multi-hop Es a few times.

    In my experience, when 6m is closed, it is really closed -- weeks can go by with no 6m JT65 decodes at my QTH.

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