Well, yesterday I was out shopping at HRO, and couldn't resist the allure of a new Signalink USB sound interface for my FT-817. This is a sound interface that looks just like a USB sound card when you plug it in, and has rx and tx volume controls on the front.
So, of course, I hauled my FT-817 out of the box it has been in since before the holidays, and had to test it out. The first impressions are a bit mixed. I didn't have any difficulty at all getting it to work with fldigi or Mixw or Spectran, but for some reason WSPR required a bit of tweaking. It would sometimes just act as if it wasn't getting any receive audio: the RX level would stay at -30. I suspected that it might have something to do with applications which open the sound card exclusively, so I made sure those were all turned off, and eventually ended up running it in Windows Vista compatibility mode (I have a Windows 7 laptop) and then all was well.
And.. since all was well, I decided to do a bit of WSPR transmitting for the first time in months.
I was heard by VK6DI from his new VK2 location, which was nice to see. David was one of my most distant spots, and his old grabber was the funnest thing for me to check out while testing my QRSS/MEPT beacon stuff before. He's a few thousand km closer now, but still, Australia is nice. ZL2TLD and I managed to exchange packets. But most interesting was a new station I hadn't seen before: 4Z4TI. That wasn't a DXCC prefix which I had seen before in my WSPR spots, so I had to look it up. Yep, Israel. Very nice. Toss in EA4BUL and Japanese stations JA2GRC and friendly face JQ2WDO, and that rounds out my list of DX for the night.