Tuesday, November 10, 2009


I was lurking around hoping to hear TX3A on some band beside 160. I've heard them on 80 once. As I was tuning 40 I saw this. The DX has the green arrow on his signal. Those callsigns show the limitations of skimmer as they are not CW stations and that 599 is not a 599 but merely what skimmer "copies". Its brains are not perfect but what it it displays for my analysis is super interesting. More on that as we proceed

This is a RTTY pileup on XR0Y down on Easter Island. I don't have any digital software hooked up at present but I thought it was interesting to see a RTTY pileup. I continued to tune around and eventually wound back up on 40 and this is what I saw

If you look at the signal below the green arrow you will see the mark and the space signal of XR0Y and in between the mark and the space there is a signal that looks like a check mark. This is what a signal looks like when it has chirp. This was a PU station having a QSO in between the mark and the space of the XR0 station!! He was running about s-4 (-107dBm or so). He was perfectly Q5 between the mark and the space. I had my filters set to 25hz. I have taken to just running 25hz all the time in the past few months. Between skimmer and the F5K it is a one click maneuver to get precisely on freq so even this bandwidth is no problem to tune.

Here is a closer look at this situation

I didn't make a recording, but this guy sounds like about half of the Cubans you have worked. This is what that sound looks like on Skimmer. Sometimes you get a double curly one down and one up so the element looks like ~

I worked ZL1AZE using 100W up on 80 while tuning around. He was very easy copy so the band should be well open to the TX3 on Chesterfield Is. They must be out for a nice leisurely dinner or making a beer run out to the boat, because the gray line flew over their heads 45 minutes ago and I don't see a peep on any band and people on the cluster are begging them to get on the air. Well I can grab another hour of zzz time so I guess I'll sign off for now....

As if on cue there he was on 3521 very Q5. He was running Japanese stations. Once I figured out his split, he was in the log. I would still like to pick him up on 40 sometime, but I guess he will be there till December

One last horrifying screen shot

This is a shot from skimmer with the click filter turned off. This is what our "modern" transceivers look like on CW Broad as a barn door. The above RTTY shots and the shot of the PU station were also taken with the click filter OFF. Next time you look down your nose at some poor joker out in the Brazilian bush with his chirpy little signal you might wonder exactly what kind of signal YOU are putting out.