We have put the boat back into the water. It is a 3 hour drive to the harbour in Uitwellingerga, near Sneek, Friesland, so we took the RV there and stayed a few nights. Actually, having both the boat and the camper is an ideal combination. We can hook up to our own electricity socket and enjoy the electrical floor heating in the camper during cold nights...
The boat needs a new layer of anti-fouling every year. The weather was gorgeous. Blue sky, mid-day temperatures of over 20 degrees C. So this time it was a really relaxed working session. We even had enough paint left from last year, so the usual bike ride to the paint shop in Sneek was unnecessary. Which was good, because my electrical bike (a Sparta ION M) refused to support my efforts. Again. During the 3 years I have it now the computerized electrical system broke down 4 times.
Some neighbours helped with putting the mast up. All in all we had a nice time with lots of opportunity to test the European pskmail system.
PSKmail operation from the Friesland lake area.
The harbour does have wifi, but only in the restaurant which is 200 meters from our boat. The owner of the harbour does not want to extend the system to cover the whole harbour area, so pskmail is the only way to connect to the internet. I use an inverted L consisting of 10 meters of wire, a fishing rod, and a tuner inside the camper. This works on all pskmail frequencies from 80-12 meters.
On 80 meters I could work DK4XI-8 easily with 50 Watts. Getting the mail was easy, and the wx broadcasts were received without error. DA5UWG, who is only some 100 km away was not heard at all. Even the twitter updates were relayed without problem (DK4XI-8 has server version 0.8.3).
On 30 meters S54FAA-0 was very strong during the whole day. Unfortunately S54FAA-0 only relays APRS messages, so to get full service I contacted IS0GRB-3. This station could be worked with solid signals also during the whole day. During the morning hours I could also use SM0RWO with nice signals until 9:00 UTC. After that the signal from Sweden disappeared completely. PI4TUE, 200 km away, was not heard.
In the evening of the 24th I could hear C56DL directly from the middle of the atlantic, trying to get a position beacon through. The signal was strong enough, but hardly decodeable throuhg heavy doppler and multipath. The phase of the signal on the digiscope was all over the place. Fo0r this time of the evening THOR22 would be the better mode I guess.
Summing it up, pskmail lived up to its promises. I could get and send my emails whenever I wanted, and my twitter updates and position beacons all made it into the internet. The only thing I really missed was a twitter reader for pskmail, so I could follow the updates.
I have already found the perl code to put it onto the server....