Using filters on JT65

I installed a 500hz CW filter in the FT-817 last week, and I was curious to see what difference it might make on digital modes, such as JT65.

Well, no surprises here. It worked as expected. Here’s the waterfall on a normal, light evening on 20-meter JT65. It’s somewhat crowded, with the usual array of people splattering and running too much power. I’ve seen much worse.



And here’s a look with the filter engaged:



It’s a drastic difference. I was surprised at how sensitive JT65 is, because even with the filter engaged, it can still decode stations slightly outside the passband. The rest of the stations simply disappear.

The filter, (purchased from W4RT), came in handy tonight as I was trying to hone in on a weak Hawaii station while some of the usual suspects were splattering about. Sadly, my 5 watts couldn’t quite reach him. I also heard and attempted to work an AK and a station out of Oregon (partial QSO, he never acknowledged my signal report). I need all three states for Worked All States (Basic), but luck wasn’t with me tonight.

I was happy to see I was spotted in Alaska, Hawaii and New Zealand on PSK Reporter, so my signal was getting heard somewhere.

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