locked Re: Should I see my FT8 transmitted signal on the Wide Graph display? #transmit

Jim Brown

On 4/5/2021 12:50 PM, Pat Turcotte via groups.io wrote:
I'm in an apartment using a Flex 6400 and a Buddistick antenna.  When I CQ on FT8 I have been getting no responses.
Several possible reasons. First, your computer must be time-synced. I use NetTime http://www.timesynctool.com/

Are you decoding signals? If so, look at the column for time offset. If you mostly see numbers between -0.3 and +0.3, you're probably synced.

Second, you're using a VERY limited antenna, and inside an apartment. If that building has metal structure, it may be at least partially shielding your antenna. And it's VERY likely that you're surrounded by multiple noise sources, which would prevent you from hearing callers if they were there. If you're seeing lots of decodes, that means noise and shielding are not preventing you from hearing callers, but shielding could be making your TX signal weaker.

To understand the noise problem, consider the fact that the average home in the developed world has dozens of radio noise generators, mostly in the form of switch-mode power supplies, that generate trash from below the AM broadcast band to 6M.

Is the band you're trying to work open? Are you hearing signals? Do you see signals in the waterfall? A good way to tell if you're getting out (and are synced) is to look at PSKReporter. PSKReporter can also all the other signals being decoded, telling you about propagation.

How much power are you running? With that minimal antenna, I'd drive it with whatever power it's rated for. And try to figure out how you might rig a center-fed half-wave dipole for bands you want to work.

73, Jim K9YC

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