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Saturday, 21 July 2012

C5 or 6W PSK31 or RTTY

I must be mad as will attempt data modes when in C5 and 6W so I write this as a few have asked what my working practice will be so How to work me in C5 or 6W: RTTY and PSK If I am on either mode I will usually be active first thing in the mornings (that is local time in Senegal (6W) or The Gambia (C5)).I will almost always start by beaconing for some time on the frequency I will use.Please note I have said I have volunteered to help rookie ops from US obtain a qso using these modes with a new DXCC and I will be in the ARRL Rookie Roundup(19th August) and the SARTG WW (18th and 19th August). If you can hear someone is having difficulty making a contact please let them try before swamping them, most will be new ops and at or near qrp power levels.I will be using RTTY and PSK as conditions and activity allow, I will certainly will be making efforts to give everyone who wants a QSO the chance to work me. I'll not explain how to use either data mode or how to set up your transceiver  to use them there are loads of references out there that will do that far better than I can.As I have been asked I use DM780 software from Simon HB9DRV. I use a modified usb external sound blaster sound card. FT897 or FT817 in digital mode with a 500Hz filter fitted. I use rig to PC interfaces. (Interface from G4ZLP for cw keying with Winkeyer USB from you have never used either data mode then, my trip is mid to end August so you have a couple weeks, when you are set up try listening to the frequencies for these modes the easiest is to start on 20m and listen for RTTY around 14085. RTTY is a bit like two triangles being run constantly, with a clear difference between the two tones. PSK will be found nearer 14070, and is almost a steady warbling. A PC “Waterfall” display will show anything from none, a few or a lot of stations. There are loads of modes displayed  I will be on BPSK31 (narrow band width 31Hz) and RTTY 45.45 Baud with 170 Hz shift.To find me, look for M1KTA in the waterfall as I have asked to use my home call with a suffix or prefix in both DXCC.I will be either operating qrp or damned close to being QRP so do not expect me to be the loudest signal, if there is a really load signal that is probably someone down the road from you (figuratively speaking).Try and see what stations I am working, I will not be transmitting on the same frequency.  Then you can try transmitting – if you are running a rig in USB mode first turn the speech processor off if you do not have a rig with a dedicated data mode option! Then click the “TX” icon and away you go – but be careful – you must limit the power output of your transmitter to about 35% of the PEP power rating – so for a 100 w pep transmitter use no more than 35 watts RF out on either of these modes. You can adjust this using the Mic gain control.A little practice will result in easy QSOs on these modes, but you need to get that practice in before trying to work a DX station – as there is more to learn! I will be working split – this means that you will need to transmit above my frequency but you should see both my tx signal and the stations I have just worked (hopefully will be you too) 1-3KHz above. For both PSK and RTTY 1-3 kHz is probably the best choice, I do not expect any pile ups but there might be the odd 'queue', if there is I will use the split facility and say so some software allows you to select a different transmit frequency simply by instructing the sound card to “split” or lock to it.

If you manage a qso and would like a qso on another band or mode then please listen as I will usually state what I am doing later on, find me when I am working that band or mode I will not QSY as I will be a one man band. Unless I ask which means you are DX as well :-)

The ONLY EXCEPTION is if anyone wants to try JT65 on 2m EME during moon rise 15th to 22nd August that I have not already been in touch with.

Please note I will not remotely be interested in your rig, antenna, kids school, sound card, dogs name etc and so many things that are included in psk or rtty contacts... your callsign and exchange, that is it please do not send me anything else. I will log through LoTW and direct cards through buro when I get home. If you have alternative qsl card info or do not want a card tell me otherwise send nothing.


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