Are you on the air? Moderate 2021 Efforts

Took a quick retrospective of my 2021 ham radio activities, as I found my 2021 ham radio activities wanting.

While I did surpass my goal of the equivalent of one QSO per hour 24/7/365 for the year (needed more than 8760 QSOs for the year) the preponderance of my 2021’s roughly 9000 QSOs are the lower quality beacon-like FT8 contacts.

Not very happy about the high FT8 ratio after starting 2021 with the mindset that I should do a lot more conversational QSOs, whether voice or digital.

My ability to pick up FT8 contacts really took off when I got my remote setup better sorted. Even as I type now I have an instance of WSJT running FT8 displayed on a second monitor, where a couple mouse-clicks will complete another QSO.

My setup while remote is simple. Running:

  • SmartSDR/DAX/CAT v3.4.39 with
  • WSJT-X as modified by SQ9FVE and
  • a small Powershell script to do a running display of my latest contacts.

The modified WSJT can run semi-autonomously, which is really controversial.  Where it endears itself in my eyes is its updated/modified GUI. The updated/modified layout works better for me. YMMV.

The script is simple – “powershell.exe get-content %LOCALAPPDATA%\WSJT-X\wsjtx.log -tail 3 -wait” – which I borrowed from an online post somewhere.

As Powershell executes differently depending on how it is called up, I inject the one line script into the Windows search box on my task bar, which then maintains the settings for color, font, window size and transparency based on the last run instance. I have not found the time to figure out how to get the same results running the script from a batch file.

Weekly the new log entries get uploaded to eQSL and QRZ, and monthly to LoTW.

I’ve stopped stressing about combining may various logs files, as I end up with separate logs from operations at our Washington Island QTH, my work-remote operations and on-site home operations. Rather copies of each are kept both at work and home, and uploaded ones at the eQSL, QRZ and LoTW websites.

Looking into 2022 I have simple goals:

  • finish fully commissioning the 12el Log Periodic at home
  • get the tower with 8el Log Periodic erected on Washington Island
  • get more conversational QSOs logged, and
  • make a stab at relearning enough CW to start logging CW QSOs.

An overriding goal is to sell, gift or dispose of much of the unused excess gear I have accumulated. Thinking that could mean my vintage stations will need to go, unless I start using them regularly.

My main workshop radio room needs to be organized and finished, and I am thinking of a separate structure for power tools rather than coexisting in the same space. Or a separate storage building so I could expand this workshop into the existing now unheated portion of the workshop building.



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