A question in a Facebook group about a GPDSO for an IC-9700 to be used on 23 cm for FT8 inspired me for a quick test. As I use my IC-9700 for 2 m and 70 cm only from home, I connected a dummy load to the 23 cm antenna socket. Next was to tune it to 1,296.174 MHz (of course) and to call in FT8.
The result in brief: No problem to decode with my regular 23 cm rig (OCXO controlled). Just a moderate drift and the signal appeared about 100 Hz too low. Nothing to worry about.
But never the less, I prefer JT9f on 23 cm, as FT8 is useless on aircraft scatter.
Today I configured the MKU 23 G4, I ordered from Michael in Friedrichshafen to perform a RX test. Via aircraft scatter it was no problem to receive the beacons OZ7IGY in JO55WM over 670 km and OK0EK in JN89VJ over 689 km. The sun noise is at a level of 6 dB.
Beacons regulary receivable on 13 cm (green: TR / blue: AS)
The motivation is high now to configure the TX line as well 😉
With assistance from Franz, DF9ZT, I got my 10 GHz rig repaired and mounted it yesterday evening. Hope for the first QSOs soon with the 50 cm dish and 1.5 W. Beacons heard so far are DB0MOT (41 km), DB0MMO (90 km), DB0AJA (132 km), DB0ZDF (6 km), DB0FGB (263 km) and DB0ANU (182 km).
For a couple of weeks now I am using a DJ Control to handle my SDR. It is much more comfortable compared to working just with mouse and keyboard. An user interface, written by Tobias, DH1TW makes it possible to combine the benefits of a software defined radio with the comfort of an analog transceiver by pressing buttons and turning knobs.
PowerSDR can be operated by a DJ Control
Most of the control elements of PowerSDR like command buttons or sliders can be mapped to knobs and buttons on the DJ Control by the user. Of course I use the big knobs for VFO A and B. The one in the upper left is used for the RIT. The sliders in the center are mapped to control the gain of the headphone and the speaker. MOX, TUNE, CW, SSB, VFO switching and others have been mapped to real buttons.
My FLEX-1500 is mainly used to operate transverters for 1296 and 2320 MHz. The Interface works well on all microwave configurations up to PowerSDRs limit of 99.0 GHz.
After mounting the dish last evening, I was very impatient to see how it works. So I installed the controls for the rotator, fixed some meters of ECOFLEX 15 cable in the morning and started checking the beacons on 23 and 13 cm. It was no surprise but very satisfying that all of them were much stronger compared to the old 1.2 m dish. In the afternoon I had the initial QSO with the new antenna on 23 cm with Giorgio, IK3GHY in JN65DM. As I now know, I only had 5 W but Giorgio heard me with 539 anyway. My report for him was 559 and at the end of the QSO I could copy him in SSB too. Later I had a sked with 9A1Z in JN86DL. The signals weren’t strong enough to complete a QSO but we were able to detect them in the noise. So we will have another attempt when the preamp will be installed and my linear is finished.