Worked K4M on 40 this AM. It took forever. He was moving up and down the pileup obviously tuning with a knob since it was directonal. He would start at the bottom of the pile and rapidly tune toward the top of the pile working what ever he could hear and then start back down to the bottom, so both ends of the pile could be active within a couple of minutes. I tried postitioning my self in quiet spots along he way, I tried tail ending, finally what worked was to plant myself at the top of the pile and just wail away until he got to me.
The pile up was very well mannered today. I was on for a couple minutes yesterday and the noise on the DX's freq was out of control. Yesterday K4M was a true S-9 (-70 dBm) on 40 today he was S-5 (-100dBm), but he was much better copy since the DX freq was clear. I just don't get it. If you are going to tune up, why tune on the DX freq? You are not going to transmit there so why tune there?
He was on 80M yesterday and then 160M today and I could copy him Q5 on 160 but he was weak and the pile up was actually quite large on 160, and growing as east coasters rolled out of bed and flipped on their radios, so I didn't bother.
The new computer is running flawlessly. I increased the frame rate on the panadapter to a ridiculous 30fps. The processing overhead barely budged. It had a subtle change on the way the display plays. It's a bit "smoother" and more persistent. The effect is surely subtle. More fun to play with. This radio never ceases to amaze me. The experience is always evolving, AND MIDWAY ISLAND is n the log thanks to its well mannered brutish horsepower.
Saw my old buddy K3RR at the top of the pile up, and N4PY at the bottom, so they discerned the pattern also and figured out where to place themselves as bait. That's another feature of this system. Over time you get to chronicle DXers and see how effective they are in their strategies. You can see who is hearing the DX and who is not because the people who are not just keep transmitting when the DX is transmitting. You can see propagation by who is sending 599 and tracking those regional data points in your mind For example yesterday on 160M it was all JA and W6 that was dominating the K4M pileup when I listened. Its all VERY interesting.
If you're interested in writing something interesting for this blog regarding your SDR experience let me know. I would like to include things like how your SDR contest station is set up, or your VHF station that uses SDR as the system center, feats of weak signal work or how well the SDR works in various challenging situations. If you are a foreign ham and would like to comment on the growth of SDR in your particular part of the world. Bring it on!
I reserve the right to publish or not, but I'm pretty open to documenting a wide variety of honest experiences from users, for readers to explore. The understanding of SDR in our hobby is so nascent, that I want the reader to be able to see the value of SDR through the eyes of YOUR experience and enthusiasm.