Making Your First Ham Radio QSO Contact

W4LSG describes some basics for making your first ham radio QSO contact.  How do you find and access a repeater (frequency, offset, PL tone)?  How do you join a ham radio QSO?  How do you start a QSO on a repeater not in use?  How do you call for a ham on a repeater?  How do you know when to ID during a QSO? How do you make a simplex ham radio call?

Getting Started in Ham Radio

W4LSG describes some basics for getting into ham radio.  Starting with listening to scanners and SDRs, HT radios, mobile radios, power supplies, and antennas.

What is Ham Radio?

What is amateur radio or ham radio?  A brief explanation of what ham radio is, who uses ham radio, what ham radio can be used for.

Recognized as LARC VP and 2019 Ham of the Year

Today was the annual Christmas gathering of the Lanierland Amateur Radio Club.  The changing of officers occurs during the gathering.  I officially became the Vice-President of the club.  Our President brought back a former tradition of recognizing a Ham of the Year.  I was awarded as the Ham of the Year and presented with this framed certificate for the shack!  What an great honor to a part of this group...

FB on all and 73 de W4LSG sk

Worked United Arab Emirates - A61FK

I was lucky enough this morning to run across A61FK calling CQ from the United Arab Emirates on 20m this morning.  I turned the yagi towards the NE and switched on the amplifier. There was quite a bit of QRM, but I was able to use filtering to calm it down and receive A61FK at a real 59 in the clear.  I gave several calls, and then finally got a reply.  That puts me at 213 DXCC entities worked!
The United Arab Emirates is a country in Western Asia at the southeast end of the Arabian Peninsula on the Persian Gulf, bordering Oman to the east and Saudi Arabia to the south and west, as well as sharing maritime borders with Qatar to the west and Iran to the north.

73 and good DX de W4LSG sk

Worked Marquesas Islands - TX7T

I saw a DX station TX7T from Marquesas Islands spotted on 20m via the cluster.  As with most good DX, I had no idea where Marquesas Island was located. I looked it up, found the bearing, turned the yagi, switched WSJT-X to F/H Hound mode and started watching the decode.  I did see them and with a pretty solid signal. I gave them a call and it was an easy new country in the log!

The Marquesas Islands are a group of volcanic islands in French Polynesia, an overseas collectivity of France in the southern Pacific Ocean.

73 and good DX de W4LSG sk

First FT4 QSOs Are in the Log

I've heard for a while now that FT4 is a new Joe Taylor digital mode that is similar to FT8, but faster and more contest oriented.  While working in the shack, I found that the new WSJT-X 2.1.0 was released.  I downloaded it and saw in the release notes that the FT4 mode was now available in the software.

When I chose FT4 from the mode menu, I didn't have any frequencies defined for some reason.  So I had to go into the settings, frequencies, and then right-click and restore defaults.  Then I went to 20m FT4 and was pleased to see and hear traffic.  I answered some calls and then made a few CQs of my own.  I've logged 11 FT4 contacts so far including stateside, Europe, and Asia.

I'm using WSJT-X to send logs to Ham Radio Deluxe.  HRD then sends automatically to eQSL, QRZ, and  I send from QRZ to LOTW.  One issue to note is that when WSJT-X sends the logged contact to HRD, it comes over as MFSK.  I created a mode in HRD for FT4 and I'm correcting each o…

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