Fun with the FT-817

I’ve been playing with my FT-817 and having some fun. It is amazing how many features they pack in such a tiny little box. I’ve slowly been learning some of them. The first (important) feature I discovered was the power setting. When you operate off batteries, the radio defaults to 2.5 watts output. You have to manually switch the radio to 5 watts to get max output. I knew this but failed to do it until I reread the manual. 5 watts compared to 2.5 watts makes a difference. PSK-31 works quite well with the FT-817. No issues there. CW is a little bit of a challenge without any filters… but still very doable. I’ve been playing with the IF Shift feature to get better copy on the other station for a CW QSO. I’ve read a lot about QRP and now it is time to put what I’ve read into action. First – a good antenna makes all the difference. Second – you’ll have more QSOs by answering a CQ than by calling CQ (i.e. listen, listen, listen). So far 40M has been where I’ve had the most luck, but I’d like to try more on 30M as it seems to be a less noisy band. But I’m having fun and improving my CW.