JT-65 on Six Meters

This Independence Day extended weekend has been great for 6 Meter propagation. Quite a lot of activity with the digital mode JT-65 on 50.276.

Worked All States with JT-65

Checked LoTW this morning, and what do you know? The final QSL from Hawaii using mode JT-65 finally came through.

Of course with ARRL's LoTW system, applying for awards is so easy. So right away I applied for the award and paid the $15.00 fee.

This is the 4th WAS award that I will have. I have one WAS using only paper QSL cards; another WAS using electronic confirmations only from LoTW; another WAS using all digital modes; and now another WAS using only the digital mode of JT-65.

If you have not started using LoTW, consider doing it now. LoTW makes it much easier and less expensive to obtain QSL confirmations when chasing operating awards. So please consider jumping on the 21st Century bandwagon and use the technology that the ARRL is providing to all hams around the world.

The Yaesu Mistake

Happy New Year!

Last week I was getting ready to head down to Atlanta to visit my daughter and her family. Atlanta is a great place to visit, especially if you are into D-Star. Heck, the whole Southeast area of the United States is a D-Star haven. But I digress.

I read a post on the TAPR APRS SIG about Yaesu finally introducing digital radio. It looks like they are going to bring out something that is based on P25. P25 is a digital mode developed for the United States Public Sevices - as in police, fire, government service, etc.

Now Icom introduced D-Star a number of years ago. D-Star was developed for the amateur radio community and developed for an international market. P25 is a digital method developed for the U.S. government market and not a worldwide market and hardly developed for the amateur community. D-Star is a completely open standard. The only thing proprietary is the digital Codec. Not a big deal.

There is a well established and growing D-Star presence throughout the world. So now Yaesu is going to come along and hose things up by introducing something different. What's next, Kenwood coming out with their own digital mode?

Yaesu's actions are nothing short of nuts. Why not go with what is already established and a defacto standard in the amateur community? What are they trying to create, the Beta/VHS war of years ago?

One amateur on the list who will remain nameless commented that he never got D-Star and thought it was stupid. Why? Because if could not interoperate with the U.S. public service systems! Well I have got news for him and everyone else. The police and fire agencies are NEVER going to link their communication systems with amateur systems. Thinking this is nothing but foolish. Each service will stand on its own. So that kind of blows the whole need for one common system for digital. Heck, even in the U.S., the railroads have chosen their own digital system. There is no standard across all services. Each service picks its own standard.

D-Star has become the standard. What a mistake for Yaesu to not have jumped on the D-Star bandwagon. Remember, Yaesu is the same company who went with "Wires" instead of Echolink and IRLP. As a result of that horrible decision, almost no one uses Wires. Yaesu is making another mistake trying to go on its own. This can only benefit Icom.

Experimenting with JT65-HF

Just started experimenting with JT-65 HF after reading the QST article. A little different than most soundcard programs and I am able to receive and decode transmissions. Have not transmitted yet, as I am still feeling out how the program works. Looks promising though.