INTRODUCTION TO THE DIGITAL MODES OR HOW TO HAVE FUN WITH YOUR PC ON HF DIGITAL MODES OVERVIEW Presentation focuses on PSK31 RTTY approach is very much the same: just different frequencies There are dozens of other digital modes In your hand outs are links to web sites that will show you what these modes look like on the waterfall Lets get some terms straight first! TERMS OF THE ART • • • • • • • Waterfall Display Macros Overdrive IMD (Intermodulation Distortion) Passband (Usually a 3000 hz range) RSQ (Readability, Strength, Quality) Varicode EQUIPMENT NEEDED HF RADIO Soundcard (internal or external) Macintosh or Windows PC Connecting Cables Software RADIOS I’VE USED FOR PSK Yaesu 897D Yaesu 857D (Current mobile) Kenwood TS-590S (selling) ICOM IC-7100 AVAILABLE SOFTWARE DX Labs Suite (free) FLDigi (free) $$ Ham Radio Deluxe $$ CONFIGURATION ONE To Antenna Radio PC Signalink SIGNALINK SETUP Connect the Signalink to the CAT receptacle on the radio. Connect the USB to the Computer Signalink identifies itself to your PC as USB Audio Codec CONFIGURING SIGNALINK Radio CAT USB PORT ON PC KENWOOD & ICOM RADIOS WITH BUILT IN DEMODULATORS ICOM 7100 USB PORT PC OR MAC WITH USB PORT SOFTWARE • FLDIGI • FREE SOFTWARE • WORKS ON BOTH PC AND MAC BASED COMPUTERS • FREQUENTLY UPDATED, OPEN SOURCE CODE • ONE OF THE FEW PROGRAMS THAT WILL WORK IN THE MAC ENVIRONMENT • WORKS WELL WITH SIGNALINK USB DX LABS SOFTWARE • DX LAB SUITE • ALSO FREEWARE • ALSO FREQUENTLY UPDATED • ONLY WORKS ON A PC • GOOD SUPPORT FOR SOFTWARE ON YAHOO FORUM • FAVORABLY REVIEWED IN QST IN DECEMBER • LIKE HAM RADIO DELUXE IT IS A MODULAR DESIGN HAM RADIO DELUXE • • • • • HRD SOFTWARE COSTS $99 FOR FULL LICENSE ONE YEAR OF FREE UPDATES WITH LICENSE PURCHASE ONLY WORKS ON PCs GOOD SUPPORT FOR LOTW, eQSL.cc, QRZ, etc. DIGITAL MODES USES DIGITAL MASTER 780 FLDIGI SET UP Choose the right rig CAT controls Personalize your copy with your name and callsign Personalize your Macros CHECK SOUND CONNECTION CONFIGURE OP MODE PICK A FREQUENCY MACROS CUSTOMIZED MACRO USEFUL MACROS CQ Macro (cq cq cq de ad0dq ad0dq ad0dq pse k) Answer macro (<Call> de ad0dq ad0dq ad0dq pse kn) G2KU Macro: Name, age, location, locator, QSO macro: (station, software, antenna, S/N, IMD, QSL request) SK macro (thanks, have a nice life, you’re the 945 th person …) BTW macro (<call> de AD0DQ….) COMMON MACRO FEATURES Most turn on the transmitter when selected Most transmit consistently to the end Most shut off at the end of the macro The closing or SK macro usually makes a log entry. HAM RADIO DELUXE $99 product Easy to configure Offers remote configuration if you get stuck Useful for more than just PSK/RTTY CONFIGURE RADIO HELPFUL FEATURES RSID System (Reid-Solomon) Helps you see and react to new calls HOVER OVER TRACK IDENTIFIES PREVIOUSLY WORKED STATIONS PULL INFORMATION FOR MACROS FROM RECEIVED TEXT FULL RANGE OF MACROS AUTOMATED LOG ENTRIES FULL WATERFALL DISPLAY IMPORTANT TIP Courtesy of W4RK Most of the photos here showed bandwidth set very wide IMPROVE SIGNAL TO NOISE Purpose of wide passband is to permit you to identify many signals. Sometimes, particularly with weak signals, that is counterproductive. To improve the S/N ratio on a weak signal, restrict your passband. While 2000 might show you a lot of band, it also brings in a lot of noise If you narrow your bandwidth to 250 or 200, you get a much cleaner signal MAKING CONTACTS FIND THE RIGHT FREQUENCY AND SIDEBAND USB is standard May or may not want Preamp on SET YOUR POWER RIGHT CHECK YOUR ALC SETTING Adjust this back by turning down the volume on the Signalink device, or otherwise directly adjusting ALC on your radio TURN OFF SPEECH PROCESSING Preamp Off ADJUST YOUR PREAMP Preamp On FIND A SIGNAL ON THE WATERFALL PSK 31 signals Find someone calling CQ TUNE TO CENTER As noted, tuning the receiver to put the signal in the middle of your passband, and then reducing the passband down to 250 – 150 will improve signal to noise ratio. WATCH A FEW FIRST NOTE WHAT INFO IS EXCHANGED AVOID THE NOID • • • • • • • If you use Ham Radio Deluxe, macros can give you fits. The macros supplied with the software are dated around 2007. There are dozens of helpful macros that you can modify. But if you modify the standard macros, any modifications are not saved. You have to create your own set of macros, which can be handy When I did PSK at Frankenstein, I had my own Special Event macros When I make contacts from Missouri, my macros are different than when I am in Alabama or Florida • There are up to 10 different sets of Macros in HRD FIRE UP YOUR MACROS! Get experience by answering CQ calls first. Then try some CQ calls. Some people want only reports-and-off Others want to rag chew Whatever you like, you can find it. Good DX’ing folks!