Poll

Where are you on PSK31 on some of the HF bands?

Yeah, can do it right now.
9 (47.4%)
Still got to set up some stuff but I'm almost there.
5 (26.3%)
Interested, but don't have anything for it.
4 (21.1%)
Meh.  Might, might not.
1 (5.3%)
Sorry, not gonna do PSK31.
0 (0%)
Forget PSK31 man, this other digital mode rocks!  (discuss below)
0 (0%)

Total Members Voted: 19

Author Topic: Poll: Where are you on HF PSK31?  (Read 8339 times)

Offline Alan Georges

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Poll: Where are you on HF PSK31?
« on: September 24, 2014, 10:42:07 PM »
Just trying to get a feel for a PSK31 usage to see if it's worthwhile to try and set up a digital net.

For what it's worth, here's last winter's discussion on PSK31: http://thesurvivalpodcast.com/forum/index.php?topic=47785.0
« Last Edit: September 24, 2014, 10:48:03 PM by Alan Georges »

Offline vulture774

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Re: Poll: Where are you on HF PSK31?
« Reply #1 on: October 01, 2014, 03:46:22 PM »
I gave up looking for parts at reasonable prices and ordered a Donner Interface this morning.   


Digital here we come!


Tom D.
KB3PKB
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Offline vulture774

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Re: Poll: Where are you on HF PSK31?
« Reply #2 on: October 01, 2014, 07:24:14 PM »
Ordered from here: http://www.donnerstore.net/

Less than 50.00 Shipped ( Got Extra Cables too)





Offline Alan Georges

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Re: Poll: Where are you on HF PSK31?
« Reply #3 on: October 01, 2014, 07:45:43 PM »
Very cool!  Now I've got to finish tuning the 80/40m so that I can get down to the bottom of the band – where digital rides – on 40m.  Half-hour project for this weekend.

Things work on the 40/20m, but its working 40m bandwidth mysteriously narrows when it rains.  Best for me to have both antennas in 100% order, and it's high time I tuned this little problem.

Offline vulture774

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Re: Poll: Where are you on HF PSK31?
« Reply #4 on: October 02, 2014, 05:30:29 AM »
Do you have good insulators on the ends of the wire?  Wet nylon rope can lengthen the wire if it couples.

Offline xsquidgator

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Re: Poll: Where are you on HF PSK31?
« Reply #5 on: October 02, 2014, 09:32:26 AM »
Yes!  to the idea of starting a digital net.
A friend got me into PSK31 about 6 months ago and it's good stuff, whether on HF or even on VHF.
I have had some luck with voice on HF, "sort of" was able to talk with Alan Georges once on 40m with an NVIS setup.  (RST wasn't 599 it was more like 111, not really useable.  We're about 700 miles apart)

With digital modes though, wow works really well, lots of signal with low power.  When the band's open, I've been able to QSO over 5800 miles on only 15 watts.
Would really like to see if I can connect to any TSPers with digital.  So far almost all of my QSOs on digital are just exchanging information on our stations.  Discussing stuff like we do here would be great.

PSK31 works well on VHF, too, especially if your radio will transmit SSB in the VHF or UHF bands.  I have a friend 18 miles away and we can talk to each other VHF simplex, *if* we both use 50 watts and use an omnidirectional antenna on top of a 25' rooftop.
But, if we change it over to USB or LSB on VHF and use PSK31, RTTY, or something similar, we can 'talk' 599 signal strength on only 2-5 watts.

Offline Smurf Hunter

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Re: Poll: Where are you on HF PSK31?
« Reply #6 on: October 02, 2014, 12:37:55 PM »
I'm thinking of setting this up initially on VHF just to get familiar with the software and process.  I've got an Android app that can encode/decode using the phone mic and speaker.

Sounds like that Donner interface is the way to roll.

Offline vulture774

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Re: Poll: Where are you on HF PSK31?
« Reply #7 on: October 02, 2014, 03:05:50 PM »
Donner Interface and the free version of Ham Radio Deluxe with its digital application!

Or Fldigi.  I may go that route.

Offline xsquidgator

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Re: Poll: Where are you on HF PSK31?
« Reply #8 on: October 02, 2014, 03:54:38 PM »
I copied the rig a friend of mine had.  ICOM-7000 with tuner, FLDIGI or DIGIPAN, and a SignaLink USB box.  Works great with quick setup.

Offline Smurf Hunter

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Re: Poll: Where are you on HF PSK31?
« Reply #9 on: October 02, 2014, 04:20:59 PM »
Most hams I talk to use the SignaLink USB.  Is there a material difference with the donner, or is it just nicer quality?  It's about twice the cost of the donner.  Then again, if it does something the donner cannot, may be worth the extra $$$.

Offline Alan Georges

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Re: Poll: Where are you on HF PSK31?
« Reply #10 on: October 02, 2014, 05:38:31 PM »
Do you have good insulators on the ends of the wire?  Wet nylon rope can lengthen the wire if it couples.
Good insulators?  Well, they came from MFJ so....   ::)

Yeah, they're OK, if not exactly oversized.  I've just got to get off my rear first thing Saturday morning and re-tune the 80/40.  At least on 40m, that thing shrugs off any kind of weather.  We'll see if the re-tune broadens the bandwidth on 80m.

Offline cellblock776

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Re: Poll: Where are you on HF PSK31?
« Reply #11 on: October 08, 2014, 01:00:01 PM »
Tested and working.  Can do right now.

Offline Carl

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Re: Poll: Where are you on HF PSK31?
« Reply #12 on: October 08, 2014, 02:37:27 PM »
I'm thinking of setting this up initially on VHF just to get familiar with the software and process.  I've got an Android app that can encode/decode using the phone mic and speaker.

Sounds like that Donner interface is the way to roll.

The Donner interface is a great choice,I have one for PSK and other digitals formats and one runs my Echo Link node for over 6 years now.
I suggest DIGIPAN as a great,small,low impact software (FREE) and easier than HRD Ham Radio Delux to set up and use,Remember Digipan when you get fed-up with HRD. Disclaimer HRD is wonderful softwaqre b ut is way more complicated than we need for our purpose.

Twenty watts PSK (due to the narrow band width) is equal to 2000 watts SSB VOICE! And the PC with Digi Pan will HEAR signals up to 18 DB (3 S  units) below ambient noise ...talk about a power boost for your radio.

From my hospital bed...Carl
« Last Edit: October 08, 2014, 02:43:34 PM by Carl »

Offline Smurf Hunter

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Re: Poll: Where are you on HF PSK31?
« Reply #13 on: October 09, 2014, 11:05:28 AM »
Perhaps of interest for Android tablet and phone users:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bVnHOFXE9RU

Offline Smurf Hunter

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Re: Poll: Where are you on HF PSK31?
« Reply #14 on: October 09, 2014, 11:13:56 AM »
Sorry, should have just posted the vendor's website:

http://www.wolphi.com/interface/

I have to admit, I really did the clean interface of a single 3.5mm phone plug into a phone or tablet compared to a mess of serial/usb/mic/speaker cables into a laptop of desktop.

Offline frankd4

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Re: Poll: Where are you on HF PSK31?
« Reply #15 on: October 09, 2014, 11:56:53 AM »
I have an Icom 7200 built in TNC USB cable to the PC, PSK31 less than 20 Watts get all around the world 40 Meters I highly recommend learning PSK31 sometimes it's the only thing that gets through when nothing else will.

Offline Carl

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Re: Poll: Where are you on HF PSK31?
« Reply #16 on: October 09, 2014, 12:06:18 PM »
Sorry, should have just posted the vendor's website:

http://www.wolphi.com/interface/

I have to admit, I really did the clean interface of a single 3.5mm phone plug into a phone or tablet compared to a mess of serial/usb/mic/speaker cables into a laptop of desktop.

As long as impedance mis=match does not worry you and a major loss of effectiveness.Also adds a lot of trash to what should be a clean transmission signal.

Offline scoob

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Re: Poll: Where are you on HF PSK31?
« Reply #17 on: October 10, 2014, 07:38:04 AM »
Finally picked up an HF rig (IC-706), and mostly interested in digital.  Thanks for the Donner link.  I thought I was stuck with something double the price (Signalink or Rigblaster), which just isn't in the budget.  Tuner and/or analyzer is going to be priority for now though. 

Offline Sailor

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Re: Poll: Where are you on HF PSK31?
« Reply #18 on: October 10, 2014, 12:44:20 PM »
As long as impedance mis=match does not worry you and a major loss of effectiveness.Also adds a lot of trash to what should be a clean transmission signal.

It is a tool that has its place. 

Tac-Comm carrier and my phone makes a great small package with the par end fed trail antenna.  I can throw it in my medium Alice pack and can practice easily in the field. 

Offline backwoods_engineer

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Re: Poll: Where are you on HF PSK31?
« Reply #19 on: October 12, 2014, 08:36:54 PM »
As long as impedance mis=match does not worry you and a major loss of effectiveness.Also adds a lot of trash to what should be a clean transmission signal.

???

Why would there be problems with a low impedance source driving a high impedance load?  Just have to turn down the volume, as the voltage developed will be higher than on the intended 8-ohm load.

Offline FreeLancer

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Re: Poll: Where are you on HF PSK31?
« Reply #20 on: October 12, 2014, 10:40:15 PM »
For someone who's never been on the the air with HF, but has a Yaesu FT-450D, a RigBlaster Plug and Play, and a Windows laptop, what else do I need for PSK31, besides an antenna?  Is it just software I need to add at this point?

Offline radiomacgyver

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Re: Poll: Where are you on HF PSK31?
« Reply #21 on: October 13, 2014, 05:44:14 AM »
I use FLDIGI most of the time (for PSK).  http://www.w1hkj.com/   

You might also want to find a small program that allows you to save the configuration on your computer sound settings while using this program.  Getting the levels just right can be a little tricky and you may not want to readjust them .

MMSSTV,  MixW & MultiPSK are all similar and work great for most other modes. This is just a sample of what is out there and great to start off with.

Just remember to keep your power low (under 50 watts is plenty) due to the duty cycle of your transmitter.

Offline xsquidgator

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Re: Poll: Where are you on HF PSK31?
« Reply #22 on: October 13, 2014, 08:12:15 AM »
For someone who's never been on the the air with HF, but has a Yaesu FT-450D, a RigBlaster Plug and Play, and a Windows laptop, what else do I need for PSK31, besides an antenna?  Is it just software I need to add at this point?

You could just key your mic and play the computer sound into the mic when you transmit, and use the PC condenser mic to capture the audio coming out of your radio.  That will work.  (Try it with a VHF HT and FLDIGI sometime- FLDIGI is the freeware a lot of people use to convert text into PSK31 or other modes).

It's much better though to use some hardware to get the audio directly into and out of your radio.
I bought and like the SignaLink USB device which is a little over $100.  You buy the specific one for your specific radio.  One cable connects the Signalink box to your radio's digital input, and a USB cable connects the Signalink to your PC.  On your computer, the Signalink box is just another audio driver.  There are a couple of adjustment knobs on the box which you may need to adjust, and you may need to adjust the "Mixer" audio levels on your pc.  The Signalink instructions are good but I did have to read them a few times to "get it".
It's worked well for me and I liked knowing I was getting the correct specific piece of hardware to bridge between my radio and the pc.

Offline Alan Georges

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Re: Poll: Where are you on HF PSK31?
« Reply #23 on: October 13, 2014, 07:39:36 PM »
You could just key your mic and play the computer sound into the mic when you transmit, and use the PC condenser mic to capture the audio coming out of your radio.  That will work. 
If you do this, watch the TX power meter.  Make sure to keep it down to about 25% of rated power.  There are several ways, but I just leave the power dial at 100% and hold the mic about 9" away, and move it up toward my iPhone's speaker until I get to about 25% power.

Careful, don't over-modulate your transmitter doing this.  Momentarily having it too high probably won't fry things, but keep an eye on that meter while you're moving the mic back and forth.

Offline xsquidgator

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Re: Poll: Where are you on HF PSK31?
« Reply #24 on: October 14, 2014, 06:41:36 AM »
++1, mega-dittos, etc on the watch your power level and xmit duty cycle.
My ICOM-7000 is rated for 100 watts on HF, but ... when running digital with the mic keyed for a minute or more, things get hot.
My ICOM has a little fan that I think speeds up as it gets out of the blue temps into the orange and up towards the red... but makes me nervous.
I get that kind of thing with transmit power set at only 20%, so I usually back off to 10 or 15 watts (%).  10-15 watts is plenty to get out there when the band is open.