Last couple of weeks went by without much HAM activity. This afternoon however I powered up my pc and Icom 7300 and got active on the 40 meter band. As I’ve written before, my current antenna (random wire of 16.2 meters long) is not that well designed. No counterpoise, RFI in the shack, et cetera. Last year I talked to Arie PA2A and he gave me some tips and encouragement to better the antenne. When the weather will be getting better (e.g. warmer) I will be climbing the ladder again and make some improvements to the wire.
Today, as it went slowly dark this afternoon, I decided to try FT8 on 40 meters again because this band is open during the night. I’ve had a lot of trouble using 40 meters, because a lot of times my internet connection would disappear when transmitting. Normally I transmit around 30 to 40 Watts, but now I decreased it to 20 Watts. And for some reason, the VDSL2 connection only went down once. I’m now transmitting for more than sixty minutes on and off and the connection stays up! Maybe because transmitting power is lower than normal, or maybe because when the VDSL connection was retraining, the modem ‘saw’ the frequencies around 7 MHz were not usable and doesn’t use them now. Speed of the connection isn’t lower since having the DSL line. Sometimes I see, the round trip time when sending pings (pings are continuously made to freedom.nl) increases for 10 ms or so when transmitting, but this is not always the case. So, not sure why it’s working now. Should try to get a graph from the modem (Draytek Vigor 165) how it’s using the bandwidth from 0 to 17 MHz (modem is using a 17A VDSL2 profile with vectoring enabled).
Conclusion: I’m happy 40 meters FT8 just works this evening. Will however do the necessary updates to the wire antenna in the coming months, as I hope it will fully stop the RFI in the shack and maybe receiving will be better too. To be continued.