Well, during my “co-pilot” phase of the road trip, I was able to make some PSK-31 contacts on 20m and 15m. The farthest I bothered to pull in was to Los Angeles, CA however, thanks to pskreporter (a reverse beacon service), I know that I was heard as far away as Finland (6500km) and Venezuela (3900km). Those are some very nice DX results on 60W through a compromise mobile antenna!!
During my somewhat limited operating window (technical reasons … more on that in a moment) I made some excellent contacts with some friendly hams to the south of us. I quite enjoyed the honest signal reports and the rag-chews that I had. It was really nice to hear how good my signal was getting out while cruising along at 100km/h
So part of my limited operating time was due to Ham Radio Deluxe. I am not really a fan of that software suite, mostly due to its incredibly bloated coding (read slow, and well, bad …). I really should practice what I preach and get a suitable Linux distribution back on my Ham netbook. The other problem I had was in synchronizing my system time.
You see, for JT-65HF your time-base needs to be very accurate, preferably within a few seconds of UTC. Normally I would hook up my Garmin GPSMAP 60CS and time sync using that. Well, it seems Garmin has taken MANY steps backwards with their software (namely Basecrap, err… Basecamp). You can no longer simply synchronize your computer’s time in the tools menu. The other problem is I am now using a 62S (very sexy, but also very different beast under the hood). Oh, and my mini-USB cable doesn’t quite fit in the rather small oriface that the 62S provides which made it impossible to transfer data anyways.
All the same, I had a lot of fun operating mobile once again, and I look forward to the ride home for another shot at some mobile ops. I’ll try some operating away from the QTH to see how conditions are from Webbwood, ON.