Presentation on theme: "Amateur Radio Digital Communications A Not So Complicated Overview of Digital Modes and Techniques… Well Kind of Anyway By Bill Richardson, N5VE I."— Presentation transcript:
Amateur Radio Digital Communications A Not So Complicated Overview of Digital Modes and Techniques… Well Kind of Anyway By Bill Richardson, N5VE I
What is “Digital Mode”? Major Digital Modes CW – Technically you are manipulating 1’s and 0’s to make a message PSK – Various speeds, reliable RTTY (ASFK, FSK) MSFK Pactor – Booo, hiss hiss, feel the anger!!!
Minor Digital Modes Hellschreiber - Fax based Throb – 1, 2, or 4 tones per second MT63 – Sounds like static or alien communications, and really wide spectrum JT65A – Slow, short communications Olivia – Really wide spectrum, often confused with MSFK in sound and appearance
Why digital? Puttin’ the hammer down! - Without an amp that is. More efficient than the ups and downs of a voice communication. Usually a constant or better average power output on most modes You can piece together QSO’s easier from observation Helps the hearing impaired Efficient spectrum use – squeeze everything out of limited space ALL modern DIGI modes are done in USB regardless of the band
Sounds – Yes it is a TEST If you fail, you will have bodily disfigurement
Equipment Needed Preferably a modern rig with CAT capability Soundcard Interface – one with tx and rx adjustments Computer Cabling – USB preferred
Interfaces and other Equipment
It can as complicated as YOU want No… I don’t think so….
Common Digital Software Free – Ham Radio Deluxe DM780 bundle, Digipan, DXLabSuite, MM software such as MMSSTV, HamScope (may be free ??), FLDigi Pay – MixW, Stuff from MFJ, many others – Beware! Free Is always BETTER - every time!
Ham Radio Deluxe/ Digital Master Biggest advantages – 1 st - IT IS FREE… Say it AGAIN…. FREE – 2 nd - Very diverse in what you can do with the program (both HRD and DM780) – 3 rd – Supports cat control of most modern rigs, but works with most anything as well
Waterfall vs Spectrum PSK
Waterfall vs. Spectrum PSK
Waterfall vs. Spectrum Don’t be shy Try to ID the signal
Waterfall vs. Spectrum And the signal is- PACTOR This is why you need both spectrum AND waterfall capabilities!
Major MODE - PSK Good – efficient, many users, software is everywhere a little goes a LONG WAY Good – Comes in at least 3 baud rates
Disadvantages PSK – has a few MAJOR disadvantages OVERDRIVEN SIGNALS !!!!!!!! Not as many operators – but growing really fast! Setup can be difficult Understanding your own software and setup! Most of all it is hard to get use to the common practices and identify modes. Ex. – where to use modes and for what purpose (40 meter PSK)
Major PSK concepts DO NOT HAVE ANY ALC --- AT ALL!!!!!! Turn off your processors! The bad results of both not being done are as follows Run only as much power as needed – But again… ALWAYS monitor your ALC Use your filters to know out bad signals
Normal PSK QSO with Estonia
RTTY – Good Ole’ Stand BY Two types – FSK (the original) and AFSK (soundcard based) VERY reliable and is used by lots of people world wide Relies on shift and parity As in all modern DIGI modes, ASFK is USB unlike traditional FSK being in LSB or USB.
MT63 – Sounds like Aliens
MT63 Used for reliable communications Can take up lots of spectrum You do not have to hear it to decode it! Hard to get setup to receive with different software Great for short data transfer – ex. tactical or emergency traffic when conditions are bad.
THROB – NO, not your heart It uses 1, 2, or 4 tones/throbs per second Sounds really cool Not really reliable as others Hard to line up with the traces
Hell !!!!!! No, not the hot place …. Just the FAX mam.
Continuing HELL, Hellschreiber that is Old mode that came out of War It is a FAX mode Sounds like scratchy CW or a Scratchy Cricket Several different types of Hell exist – different rates as well as mode (ex. Feldhell, FM hell, PSK hell) Very fun mode to mess around with
Interference from HELL
Olivia – Wide and Proud Great for harsh conditions when you need to be heard – GREAT weak signal!!!! You do not need to see the signal or even hear it for the decoding process. Hard to line up the traces. If not exact… you get NOTHING! Sounds VERY similar to MSFK Comes in different numbers of tones as well as width to accommodate customary uses (yeah right!)
JT65A – To the moon my son! JT65A – originally used for EME communications VERY short text – really for confirmation only. Coordinated with UTC time – Your computer MUST be synchronized with UTC Long varying pitched tones
JT65A Current uses Used on HF and 6 meter bands for DX Cannot support long of even mid level QSO WSJT is the standard program used Hard to configure Works best with a dedicated soundcard interface and computers that have free comm ports 8 and below
JT65A - Image
Controversy in Digital Realms CW Skimmer Controversy – you can observe hundreds of QSO’s in progress. Is it legal in contests? ARRL? Yes, but they do not like it!!! Pile up buster!!
CW Skimmer Images
If CW Skimmer is controversial… then what about this?
Sources of Info and Questions
If your brain now hurts… you learned something… It is just a steeper learning curve than other modes