It's certainly been a while since I've made an update to this site! But yes, rumors of my death are greatly exaggerated ;) I took a hiatus from my amateur radio hobby for a few months so I could focus on my not-for-profit, furry/otherkin oriented business enterprise called GekkoFyre Networks. Check it out! We provide web-hosting services such as virtual private servers, SSL certificates, over 485+ domain name extensions to choose from, hosted and managed groupware-based email offerings, WordPress hosting, soon-to-be-offered gaming services, and much more.
Lately with concern to amateur radio, I have been heavily exploring JS8Call and having conversations with others as far as the United States and even Sweden. The idea with JS8 is to take the robustness of the FT8 codec and layer on a messaging and network protocol for weak signal communication via HF, allowing more lasting conversations (of a somewhat simplistic nature) to be held. You are limited to exchanging just the most basic of details with FT8 as that is simply what it's designed for; short, abrupt messaging that progresses quickly. Therefore, you require a bit more patience in order to get good results out of JS8 but it's well worth it, especially if the HF band in your area is rather noisy regarding EMI.
As of yesterday, I finally purchased the MFJ-1836HK34 cobweb antenna upgrade for my pre-existing MFJ-1836H antenna, and boy have I been longing for this for some months now. Although I've had to firstly send it to a Shipito warehouse in California where it'll then finally be routed to my residential address in Australia, simply because directly shipping from DX Engineering costs a whopping ~USD$250 which is outrageous. I'm particularly looking forward to the 40 m band that this upgrade will enable, because it seems to have quite a bit of activity while listening to it currently on my transceiver. Plus atmospheric conditions seem to be favoring 40 m as of the past few months.
That said, I'm looking forward to the club meetup tonight in Morwell with Eastern Zone Amateur Radio Club (EZARC), since it's been some months when I've last done this~