Sunday, January 10, 2016

Lazy SWLing


I'm fast becoming an SWL flaneur.
Data modes are quite good for grabbing a coffee and my pipe and letting the computer do the work. Today I installed a few bits of software that let me just kick back and watch the screen while daydreaming about the airspace between those transmitting and the long-wire in the garden.
The first was wsjtx which decodes JT65 and JT9. It works very well with the Tecsun PL-660 and picks up amazingly quiet signals.
The next one was gpredict which tracks satellites. It gives one a wonderful excuse to sit around for hours waiting for the next satellite event. Excellent stuff.
The last piece of software was xlog which as you might have guessed is a logging program. The nice thing about xlog is that one can add the commercial bands on HF and log stations that don't happen to be hams. This means that all sorts of stuff can be logged like pirate stations, numbers stations and that kind of stuff. I'll still keep my paper logs but adding them to a computer log means quick cross referencing. Can't be bad.
Just as long as it doesn't interfere with my daydreaming.
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