Installing JT65

Running JT requires three packages:   WSJT-X, Timing, and JT-Alert.

1.  JT.   Although there are many software packages that provide WSJT support, WSJT-X is my current favorite because it contains both JT65 and JT9 in the same package and also becasue it’s written by the originator of WSJT, Dr. Joe Taylor.  First step is to Google “wsjt-x”.

wsjt-x > WSJTX – Physics > Latest Windows release:1.7 > WSJTX_xxxxxxx.exe

Installation:  Accept all defaults, then:

Click setup and check the boxes for items 4 through 12.  Next click “configuration” and the following screen will pop up  (click to enlarge).  This sample configuration works for having an external interface.  For radios with USB interfaces scroll down to a blog posting farther down.  This is the screen to put in your call sign and grid locator.

wsjt-x config1

2. Timing setup to keep a pc accurate to within 1 second:

Meinberg is but one example of a way to keep your pc clock accurate to within one second. It’s my favorite.

Free Download NTP Software ntp-4.2.8p9-win32-setup.exe (3.72 MB)
NTP package with IPv6 support for Windows XP and newer

Accept defaults on each page but watch closely for the word “none”.  When you see the word none, replace it with United States of America.   Create a new login with your call letters and a password of your choice.  Test by running the program “Quick NTP Status”.   If it’s working correctly you should see 3 or more ntp servers listed. If you don’t see three lines similar to the screenshot below, start the meinberg installation over.


3. Finally we install jt-alert:

 jt-alert > > HamApps JTAlert v2.9.0 : Download

Accept defaults and then configure the way you like it.  I did mine this way:

Settings>Manage settings>logging>Standard ADIF File.    Click Enable Standard ADIF File Logging and enter the path of your choice in the field Log File.   I keep my log in the cloud at Dropbox so the file is on the internet and not on any one specific pc.


JT-Alert provides all sorts of nice features to make operating easier.  One of my favorites is an audible reminder when each minute is up.

For help and questions, my email address is


Dipole replaces mag loop

The AEA Isoloop was working as designed and making contacts but this dipole is blowing the doors off the loop.  I’m actually seeing dx from Europe and this afternoon I worked France.  That is the first QSO with Europe since we moved into this condo.  Disappointingly the Isoloop never was able to achieve that goal.  Tonight I worked European Russia with the dipole.    I love it.


Constructed of electric fence insulators mounted on the lanai screens, I stuck hookup wire in the insulators and a MFJ 1:1 current balun in the middle.  I had to hunt for the insulators but I found them at Murdoch’s Farm and Ranch Supply. Amazing what one can do with wire antennas.


Proposed Shack Layout

Ergonomics and fung shui in a shack are important to me but squeezing in all the equipment on one table is a challenge.  Computers are more and more a part of ham radio these days. One screen is not enough. I need lots of computer screen real estate and I also want to reach the knobs at the same time.  I don’t want to give up the knobs.     One program I run is CWSkimmer and it really needs portrait mode to show the whole band at once.  My desk would look something like this:


I think raising the monitors about 8″ will put them at eye level.  It also gives me room underneath for transceivers.  I like the knobs to be at tabletop level because they are easier to reach and turn for my ancient wrists.  I already have a monitor stand that can hold four monitors.  Since I only need to hold two monitors on the stand I can use an extra bracket for a little shelf for small rigs like the 2m/440 transceiver. I have tried bridges before and they got in the way. They raise the monitors too high. I’ve tried just setting monitors on the table before and the mounts get in the way. Stands open up the table nicely.  Ham shacks need fung shui right? And don’t forget an 807 or two.