(tr)uSDX and X6100 at Wildcat Mountain

Well, in accordance with my last post there seemed to be nothing left to try but to take the (tr)uSDX out to a park and try it on a resonant antenna, and the next day seemed to be free, so it was up before dawn to make coffee and sandwiches, load the car with radio gear, and head out to Wildcat Mountain !

Usually deer are the early morning road hazard around here, but that day it was a pair of brown calves, out nervously exploring the wonders to be found along a very rustic County Road. I couldn’t see a likely place that they could have escaped from, so I shrugged (with mild regret) and cautiously passed by.

I set up on the same spot as last week, but in the car because of possible rain, and fired up the (tr)uSDX. Everything went about the same as before; as soon as the phone was connected FT8CN came right up, recognized the radio, and took control. What was different this time was the absence of the waterfall display! What was stranger still was when I left the radio powered up but disconnected the USB cable; I suddenly could get a waterfall, decoding of FT8 signals, everything. Lots of stations calling CQ, several calling T22T, a current DXpedition to Tuvalu. After thinking a bit, I realized that the phone was picking up the audio and decoding it. Why the USB connection seems to lock everything up is still a mystery. I ran several rounds of trials, of every variation I could think of, but all to no avail. I was so taken up by all of that, that I never tried transmitting at all, which was sort of the whole idea when I started out.

Inconclusive and frustrating wore on me after a while, so I tried the (tr)uSDX on regular SSB, looking for POTA contacts. All I heard were a few loud ragchews and some digital signals so I gave up completely (for now) on the (tr)uSDX and got out the X6100!

Okay, this is more like it! Lots of signals, all over the place! (makes me think I should try a head-to-head comparison of the two receivers, someday) This time I operated 100% as a hunter, looking for park-to-park contacts up and down the band, and I found quite a few! It seemed to be an active day across the country; I heard more than one callsign operating from different parks as the time passed by, and I also got to work a number of multi-operator and multi-park stations as well as one SOTA station for a really fun day in the park!

The fall color is coming on early and fast this year; here are a few gratuitous pictures of what the Driftless Area looked like on the weekend:

It was breezy, but my antenna stayed upright without any guying!

Thanks for visiting driftlessqrp!





2 responses to “(tr)uSDX and X6100 at Wildcat Mountain”

  1. David Avatar

    I’m interested to know how you get your park reference into the call sequence using FT8CN. (Or do we do it)
    I can put POTA in but how does anyone know what park I am in and consequently I could put park reference but that would confuse everyone that does not know about POTA. If I see a POTA call how do I know their park reference?


    David VK6DS

    1. Admim Avatar

      Hi David,
      Good questions! I always give a park number when I’m activating, but the POTA rules (in section 2 a) do not require any specific exchange, so you, and the stations you contact should be credited when your log is submitted and approved.
      As soon as I figure FT8CN out and actually make a few contacts I will do a detailed post about it!
      Thanks for visiting, and 73!

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