The Christmas Holidays are just over for me and I have had a chance to work some radio. Unfortunately, I had to work between Christmas and New Years Eve, nevertheless, I managed to do a few QSOs. My main goal was to work on the WARC bands and try some PSK31 with the IC-765.
First, some bad news… It seems the the base element of my DX-88 is broken again, despite that I just bought it one and a half year ago. I guess I have been too rough with it while setting it up and taking it down all the time during the last two years. I decided to put it up anyway and it was working fine. The interior of the base element must be all right.
I decided to try the Microham USB II interface that I bought for the IC-765. To begin with I was rather disappointed because the CAT interface didn’t work in Linux, despite the fact that it should work with kernels 2.4 and later (I’m using 2.6.8). Anyway, the soundcard interface part worked fine without any problems. The audio levels are easily adjustable from the outside, thanks to the holes on the enclosure.
I have managed to make 29 QSOs in PSK31 on the 80, 40, 30 and 17 meter bands. 20 meters was too crowded, which leads me to a slightly disappointing conclusion: The IC-765 is not a good performer in PSK31 on the receiver side, because one has to be in USB mode where the narrow CW filters can not be engaged. I could use the IF shift and the NOTCH filter to great extent but I must admit that the FT-817ND was a much better PSK31 receiver because it has a dedicated DIGI mode, where one can use both the narrow CW filter and the IF shift function. Hmmm… I don’t know what I can do about it in the long run. Putting narrow SSB filters will not help much here, or maybe I can modify the 765 to use the narrow CW filters in SSB mode? Anyway, I will stick to the FT-817 when I want to do some PSK31 in the near future.
As a positive note I can mention that I have now acquired an SP-20 loudspeaker for the IC-765. It works very well and gives good sound.