Quick DIY guide to SO2R on FT8!

After really everyone has a German station in the log on FT8 the rates started to go down. In other words: More CQing for the same amount of contacts in your log.

In order to increase the chance for a QSO i thought I give it a try with two radios parallel!

Normally my IC-7850 is connected to my “monster Antenna” and my IC-7300 is doing nothing. In a 30 minutes do it yourself project I build a 12m wire vertical on my balcony. As 12m was not opening a lot, I changed it to a 17m antenna later.

The construction is simple:  I cut a decent speaker wire a few centimeters to long sor the desired frequency. For example 71/18.1 MHz = 3.92m. I made it a bit longer than 4 meter and unlinked the two wires from each other. Using a fiberglass rod, the first wire is going vertical from the center pin of the PL plug, where the second wire goes sloping down from the ground pin.

As the next step you connect an antenna analyzer and shorten the wires simultaneously and   c a r e f u l l y   until you reach the desired center frequency.

I think this looks good enough for a 30 minutes project!

Now I hooked up the IC-7300 to a small laptop and the new antenna on the balcony.

In order to operate both radios from the same place you can use Teamviwer or Google Remote Desktop to view both WSJT-X screens on one PC.

Now I am able to run 12m or 17m on the second radio, together with any other band on the main radio. Make sure you run both radios in the same cycle even or odd. This way the are going to transmit and receive at the same time and do not interfere with each other. My antenna are only 20m apart so transmitting on one antenna will disturb the reception on the other radio. If you have proper band filters, you dont need to run it on the same slots, but I don’t have any (yet).

QSO rate has increased a little bit this way!

At the moment I have 2550 QSOs in my log with 125 DXCCs and 107 confirmed.

If you want to make it real nice, you can use the gold pins from model building parts.

PL Plug for simple wire experiments

Radiator and Radial for 12m

Have fun joining the FT8 SO2R world!