Has anyone else noticed the tremendous amount of Russian stations on 40 meters lately in the evenings? Hearing and working Russian stations in the past was never particularly unusual from where I live in NC, especially European Russians. But the past week or so they seem to be booming in like never before. In fact, I've been surprised at just how many of them are some of the strongest signals on the cw portion of the band.
I've tried working many of them QRP, with some success. The one thing that I've noticed whenever I listen to them work other stations is that they, as a whole, seem to pass out more realistic signal reports. Rarely do you hear the obligatory 5NN. Kind of refreshing and far more useful if you're trying to judge how effectively you're getting out. I know 5NN is easy, but I appreciate when someone gives a real report nowadays.
Also, they seem to prefer a "full" exchange, RST, QTH, and name, rather than RST and "TU". No complaints on this end, but wonder why that is? I guess it could just be coincidence, but of the couple dozen or so that I've either heard or worked in the past couple of days, I've noticed this pattern. Sure, it slows things down a bit, but it's also a little more personal.
Very glad that 40 seems to be doing well on that path.
I've also spent some time trying to figure out the DSP on my K2. When I bought it, the fellow who sold it to me said that he'd built the DSP module but never was able to make it work. Actually, when he advertised the radio he didn't list the DSP module at all and later, after I'd won the auction, he tossed it in. But he never elaborated on why he couldn't get it to work. Not long after I'd had it, I put the module in and it seemed to be ok to me. The radio recognized it and all the adjustments seemed to have an effect on received signals. But as time passed I found the regular filters sufficient and never resorted to using it.
But a posting on the Elecraft reflector rekindled my interest and I dug out the notes, searched through some more postings and began tinkering with it some more. I'm not crazy about the "watery" sound that it produces - I find that really distracting and keep thinking that something is wrong with my radio - but after doing some A/B comparisons on some weak signals, I'm starting to develop an appreciation for it. There's no doubt that it can help in some circumstances and I've been able to copy some signals using the DSP that I don't believe I could have otherwise. I think I'm slowly getting used to the watery sound too.
Evidently, however, I've managed to muck something up because whenever I turn on the radio now, it starts up with DSP enabled and in a rather strong setting to boot. It's not a big deal to turn it off, just a couple of clicks, but I must've done something to cause this and it's kind of annoying. I need to see if there's some way that I've managed to save that configuration to EEPROM, more than likely it's something along those lines.
One thing that I've read on the reflector that I'll wholeheartedly agree with is how difficult it is to resist constantly fiddling with the beta and decay settings. The end result is that my filters end up being out of sequence with how I expect them to operate :) But I'm glad that I revisited it and I'm not afraid to use it now when I feel the need.