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Re: ISCAT and JT6M

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  • Jim and Hannelore Fisher
    de VE1JF I have personally been impressed by 6M ISCAT performance in limited tests, although I didn t have previous experience with JT6M as I was concentrating
    Message 1 of 8 , Apr 4, 2011
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      de VE1JF

       

      I have personally been impressed by 6M ISCAT performance in limited tests, although I didn’t have previous experience with JT6M as I was concentrating on EME.

       

      Over the weekend, I got on the ON4KST 50/70 MHz site (non-EME) and announced an interest in establishing a practice of aiming EU on ISCAT. Asked for an appropriate freq and was advised 50235; fine. I monitored for several hours, checking periodically for decodes, and sent a number of CQs as I passed through the house and by the transmitter. However, nobody indicated they were looking at 50235 ISCAT and one very accomplished long-distance JT6M op indicated I was unlikely to get much business and should probably try JT6M on 50230 even though he personally believes that ISCAT probably offers better S/N ratio. I am NOT flaming this individual—outstanding and open to new possibilities—but it appears he was right that at the moment it is surprisingly difficult to rustle up EU business on 50235 ISCAT.

       

      I am still interested in establishing a pattern of monitoring 50235 ISCAT beaming EU/ME and sending CQ (advertised on ON4KST) when I am around to control the transmitter. I am closer to EU than most and have a pretty good path to EU from my QTH (called “the dream QTH of VE1JF” by ON4UN). In our HF contesting days, we were known as a band-opening/closing station.

       

      Here’s my offer: I will set up my RX on 50235 ISCAT, beaming EU, in the morning. Am usually gone during the day these days, campaigning for my candidate and Party until Canada’s totally-unnecessary elections on 2 May, but will peruse results and report if and as the band begins to open for Es and hopefully F. When I can be around to control the transmitter, I will announce and carry out CQs. If I am successful in decoding or hopefully working EU stations, I will report it to try to drum up activity.

       

      73,

       

      Jim

    • Barry Garratt
      I concur with what Jim says. Last year I could not get any activity in EU or SA for that matter with ISCAT. No one in Japan seemed interested either, but, JT6M
      Message 2 of 8 , Apr 4, 2011
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        I concur with what Jim says. Last year I could not get any activity in EU or SA for that matter with ISCAT. No one in Japan seemed interested either, but, JT6M was useful to the extent I worked 4X using it along other contacts in EU and Japan. John W5UWB also works a lot of EU with JT6M. I don’t know how successful he’s been with ISCAT though.

         

        Barry KS7DX

         

         

        From: wsjtgroup@yahoogroups.com [mailto:wsjtgroup@yahoogroups.com] On Behalf Of Jim and Hannelore Fisher
        Sent: Monday, April 04, 2011 1:05 PM
        To: wsjtgroup@yahoogroups.com
        Subject: [wsjtgroup] Re: ISCAT and JT6M

         

         

        de VE1JF

         

        I have personally been impressed by 6M ISCAT performance in limited tests, although I didn’t have previous experience with JT6M as I was concentrating on EME.

         

        Over the weekend, I got on the ON4KST 50/70 MHz site (non-EME) and announced an interest in establishing a practice of aiming EU on ISCAT. Asked for an appropriate freq and was advised 50235; fine. I monitored for several hours, checking periodically for decodes, and sent a number of CQs as I passed through the house and by the transmitter. However, nobody indicated they were looking at 50235 ISCAT and one very accomplished long-distance JT6M op indicated I was unlikely to get much business and should probably try JT6M on 50230 even though he personally believes that ISCAT probably offers better S/N ratio. I am NOT flaming this individual—outstanding and open to new possibilities—but it appears he was right that at the moment it is surprisingly difficult to rustle up EU business on 50235 ISCAT.

         

        I am still interested in establishing a pattern of monitoring 50235 ISCAT beaming EU/ME and sending CQ (advertised on ON4KST) when I am around to control the transmitter. I am closer to EU than most and have a pretty good path to EU from my QTH (called “the dream QTH of VE1JF” by ON4UN). In our HF contesting days, we were known as a band-opening/closing station.

         

        Here’s my offer: I will set up my RX on 50235 ISCAT, beaming EU, in the morning. Am usually gone during the day these days, campaigning for my candidate and Party until Canada’s totally-unnecessary elections on 2 May, but will peruse results and report if and as the band begins to open for Es and hopefully F. When I can be around to control the transmitter, I will announce and carry out CQs. If I am successful in decoding or hopefully working EU stations, I will report it to try to drum up activity.

         

        73,

         

        Jim

      • Keith Morehouse
        JOE: I have a few comments. I use WSJT extensively, both during contests and outside of them. Mostly, I use FSK441 for M/S but I occasionally fallen back on
        Message 3 of 8 , Apr 5, 2011
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          JOE:

          I have a few comments. I use WSJT extensively, both during contests and outside
          of them. Mostly, I use FSK441 for M/S but I occasionally fallen back on JT6M
          when pings are long on 6M.

          ISCAT is, as it's name states, mainly designed for ionscatter. That is also
          where I mostly used JT6M. For this propagation mode, we want maximum weak
          signal detection. I have not done any definitive tests between the two, but
          will take you at your word that ISCAT is more sensitive. So, THAT is what I
          would use.

          As far as 'hearing' the information is concerned, I have a problem with someone
          calling this a disadvantage. The whole idea behind ISCAT and JT65x is to be
          able to copy signals down in the noise. If a signal is that weak, what is there
          to hear by ear ? If you can HEAR a signal, work the station on CW - it's MUCH
          faster ! If we're talking about 'hearing' short pings on M/S, you are using the
          wrong mode again - use FSK441.

          Joe, serious users feed problems back to software authors. They do not get on
          their 'blog' sites and complain. We all know there is a small group of WSJT
          haters out there. Might some of this negative info be attributed to them ?

          Jay W9RM

          Keith J. Morehouse
          RF Specialists Inc
          PO Box 849
          Hampshire IL 60140
        • Omar Shabsigh
          Dear Joe: I share with you your sentiments. I do believe that the reason for not moving to ISCAT can be answered by your third question. Has it been hard to
          Message 4 of 8 , Apr 5, 2011
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            Dear Joe:
             
            I share with you your sentiments. I do believe that the reason for not moving to ISCAT can be answered by your third question. Has it been hard to get people to change, because they like a familiar way of doing things?
             
            People mostly tend to stick to what they are familiar with.
             
            So please just wait and you will see more activity with ISCAT.
             
            With all my respects to you.
             
            Best 73
             
            Omar YK1AO
             
             
             
            ----- Original Message -----
            Sent: Monday, April 04, 2011 6:24 PM
            Subject: [wsjtgroup] ISCAT and JT6M

             

            This is a request for some specific feedback from WSJT users.

            As I understand things the JT6M mode is still widely used in EU, despite
            having been replaced (in WSJT 9.0) by ISCAT -- a mode with significantly
            better performance.

            1. Is my understanding correct?

            If so, I hope some users will offer their explanations of why this might
            be so. For example:

            2. Are some users skeptical of my statement that ISCAT has
            "significantly better performance"?

            3. Has it been hard to get people to change, because they like a
            familiar way of doing things?

            4. Something else?

            I ask these questions, in part, because ISCAT should be a superb mode
            for making inter-continental QSOs on 6 and 4 meters under marginal
            propagation conditions likely to be more common in coming months.

            One good example: recently SV8CS worked ZS6WAB on 70 MHz using ISCAT,
            via TEP.

            Another example of an unexpected and very fruitful use of ISCAT: VK7MO
            and VK3KH have been making 500+ km QSOs at 10 GHz, using aircraft scatter.

            ISCAT is a powerful mode. In a number of ways its capabilities are
            complementary to FSK441, JT65 and JT4. Under all relevant propagation
            circumstances I've been able to document, ISCAT performs better than JT6M.

            Soooo..., once again, can someone please clarify the ISCAT-vs-JT6M
            situation in Europe for me?

            Am I misinformed? Is a transition to ISCAT simply taking longer than I
            might have expected? Or are there other considerations that I should
            know about, but don't?

            -- 73, Joe, K1JT

          • Joe Taylor
            I am presently working on various improvements to the ISCAT mode in WSJT 9.0. I m looking for recordings of ISCAT signals that might help me in making further
            Message 5 of 8 , Apr 14, 2011
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              I am presently working on various improvements to the ISCAT mode in WSJT
              9.0.

              I'm looking for recordings of ISCAT signals that might help me in making
              further enhancements to the decoder. The best files for this purpose
              are those with weak signals close to the decoding threshold...
              especially ones that you think should have decoded, but did not; or
              perhaps they partially decoded. If you have some examples of such *.wav
              files, please send them to be as email attachments. Be sure to include
              an indication of band and propagation mode.

              Many thanks!

              -- 73, Joe, K1JT
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