Archive for October, 2017


October 8, 2017

I’ve made lots of references to the ham radio digital mode called JT65 in this blog. But over the summer, it pretty much got replaced by a new mode called FT8.

Operationally, it is very similar to JT65, but four times faster. So, instead of a one-minute transmission cycle, it is 15 seconds. Activity has been brisk. It seems as if a lot of inactive hams are getting back active with FT8, and there are a lot of new hams on the mode as well.

The software for FT8 is WSJT-X. WSJT-X has been around awhile, but you have to get the latest “development” version to get support for FT8. I have not found any issues with the latest release whatsoever.

Weak Signal Propagation Reporter (WSPR) has been around for awhile. But I had never played with it until recently. WSJT-X supports it, so I thought I would give it a try. I’m running 5 watts into a Gap Eagle vertical that handles all the bands 40 meters through 10 meters. My station is typically running WSPR when not being used for something else.

Personal Coolness

October 8, 2017

It had been a number of years since I had been on any kind of “vacation” lasting as much as a week. But my girlfriend and I had a wonderful time in Indian Beach, North Carolina on the Outer Banks for a week in August. All three of her daughters were in attendance, as well as her 3-year-old granddaughter. I didn’t have to drive, cook, or do laundry. It doesn’t get much better than that.

My 1998 Chevrolet has basically been running OK but needs some work. So, I had been considering a replacement. I got really interested in this new company, Carvana. I have always wanted to own a Camry, and I bought one from them. They delivered it on the last day of August. If you are in the market for a late-model used car, I highly recommend that you consider Carvana. You buy the car online, and they bring it to you. You have seven days to try it out, and can get your money back if not satisfied. Sure beat the heck out of car lots and sales people.

Hockey Underway

October 8, 2017

There has been lots of goal scoring in the young NHL season. I’ve already seen a 10-1 game and an 8-5 game.

The Blue Jackets opened at home Friday night with a 5-0 win over the Islanders. Sergei Bobrovsky got his 20th shutout in a Columbus uniform, which sets a new team record. Two kids got their first NHL goal, one of whom was playing in his first NHL game with his parents in attendance.

Columbus had a tough time of it in Chicago last night. Losing 5-1. Jonas Korpisalo was in goal, and will need to get better to be an effective backup to Bob.

Next up for the Jackets is a trip to Raleigh on Tuesday.


October 8, 2017

It’s hard to believe that the college football regular season is already half over. Ohio State and Kentucky are both 5-1.

All UK’s games have been close. After getting by Southern Miss and Eastern Kentucky, the Cats went to South Carolina and won 23-13. I believe that is four wins in a row over the Gamecocks. The following Saturday back in Lexington, the Cats lost a heartbreaker to Florida 28-27, after leading 27-14. That makes 31 wins in a row for Florida over Kentucky. 1986 was the last UK win, and the teams play every year. The Cats then hung on for a 4-point win over Eastern Michigan, and a 6-point win over Missouri last night.

Georgia has looked impressive in running up a 6-0 record, and is easily the class of the SEC East right now.

Ohio State’s five wins have all been blowouts, but the second game of the season was a 31-16 loss to Oklahoma in Ohio Stadium. The Bucks have issues in several phases of the game. Right now, I don’t think we are a good match for either Penn State or Michigan (although the Wolves lost to Michigan State last night).

Alabama and Clemson have played for the national championship the last two years, and there is an excellent chance they’ll do it again this season.

WordPress Problems

October 4, 2017

For a couple months now I have been unable to make a post here from my computer. But I am able to post from my phone. So, in the very near future I will make a “catch up” post to cover the last couple months.