Although I have been in this hobby for around 27 years I still have a lot to learn. Or mybe its just that I haven't kept up with developments! I started thinking this way a couple of days back when I had a PSK QSO with a station on 15 metres. This was a European station, not DX, at the end of the QSO he asked me to "spot him on the cluster". Now I think I know what this means, I am aware of the DX cluster, but I don't use it and I would not have a clue how to "spot" some one.
A Local amateur friend has a Two HF rigs, both conected to the PC and uses the "Ham Radio Deluxe" software. He has the DX cluster on the screen and if he sees an interesting DX station he can just click on the callsign and the rig is automatically tuned to the DX station frequency. I could do this, there are two computers in the schack and my FT1000MP could be computer controlled. Why don't I do this- I'm not sure-maybe I should. Perhaps I am a dinosaur, I still use a paper logbook and sometimes its nice to use the radio without a PC switiched on.
Conditions generally seem to be picking up. I notice that 15 metres and 17 metres are open more now. My 40/80 metre shortened dipole appears to be working fairly well, it also loads up an all bands from 80 metres upwards.
As far as the mobile HF setup is concerned I have been concentrating on 40 metres. Over the past few weeks I have heard many VK and ZL stations on 40 first thing in the morning with good signals. So far I haven't worked any as they always seem to have big pile ups. I have had some inter UK contacts on 40 mobile though and am enjoying the facility of HF when I am driving.