Digital Operation Suggestions from 30 Meter Digital Group Ops:
*** Please remember on 30 Meters, we are SECONDARY USERS - we must not interfere with primary users of the band ***
Suggestion by Fred DL6XAZ
Users please ensure that they switch on TX-RSID in calling CQ only but not during a QSO; it may be disturbing for the partner and at the same time make
pop up the program info box at other users without need.
Suggestion by Darin VE3OIJ
How about "allow enough time between cycles of your CQ macro that people can get a word in to let you know they're returning your call" ? One of the
greatest frustrations of digital operation is the operator who has his CQ macro set for 5 second recycles so he spends his time transmitting right over top of
your desperate attempts to call him.
Suggestion by Loren KC7CWQ
Whether using RST or RSQ, give and ask for valid signal reports. If I am wide, let me know, don't give me the standard 599. Good operators want to know how
their signal appears on the waterfall. Loren 30MDG #0023 KC7CWQ
Suggestion by Don KB9UMT
Do NOT use mic processor, do NOT have any ALC….DO use low power…20w to 30w will do as well as 50w and your rig finals will thank you for it and run
cooler…do NOT use 100% full 100w power….Do ask for TRUE/REAL signal reports and if your report is poor DO look into why you have a poor signal
report…..if the band is busy DO USE narrow digital modes...DO HAVE FUN on 30m and take the time to ragchew and get to know others as we are here today
and SK tomorrow
Suggestion by Jesse WB5NPW
“it's happened to me more than once but if i'm answering someone's cq with "his- call de my-call" don't call me. give me chance to work the person i'm working first
Suggestion by Cliff KU4GW
I think cutting the rig's mic gain or the PC soundcard output back til no ALC shows on the rig's ALC meter is the single most important thing to know
operating PSK31." 73 de Cliff KU4GW 30MDG#865
Suggestion by Daithi GI7OMY
First of all - find an empty spot in the band, watch it for a while to make sure it is empty. If no station is calling CQ, but the band seems open, find a clear
frequency and listen for a bit, if clear, then send QRL? QRL asks is the frequency busy? If someone responds with QRL, no need to respond and
clutter up the frequency. If no response to your QRL, repeat a couple of times and then call CQ. Sending just QRL without your callsign is against the rules, but most do it anyway.
If you answer a CQ call, QSY off at the end - don't start calling CQ - the guy you just worked may have been there for some time and you're forcing him to hunt for an empty spot - he may have spent some time finding his spot at the start and he's not going to be happy if you push him off it.
If you see a call area that you want in QSO, do NOT call them as soon as they finish - wait for one of the two stations to send QRZ or CQ. The guy you want might not be the one operating on that spot and will have QSYed off (or should have)
Have a list of Abbreviations, Prefixes, and Q-Signals handy. Some DX stations cannot converse in English but you both can get the essentials across with Q- Signals. Listen for a DX station calling CQ or wait until they have finished with a QSO.
Good operators will send KN as a turn over, which is “go ahead, over, others keep out.” Sending just K opens it for others to break in and this is OK if that is desired. SK is the signoff that should be used or CL (“clear”) or 'QRT' if closing your station.
Give a call DX11DX DE WZ9UUU WA9UUU AR (AR means that I am through with this transmission). The DX station knows their call, so send it once. Sending your call twice allows the other station to hear it, then confirm it. If you make the connection, the usual follow up is his or her signal report, repeated twice if the contact is shaky and weak, then your name and QTH. Don’t send more than that on the first round. Turn it back to the DX with a K or KN. This will allow the two of you to evaluate if a QSO is sustainable or desirable. On the next over, ask about QSL information if you want it, before the band slips out.
A signoff looks like this: DX11DX DE WF6TTT, FB VLAD TNX NICE QSO HPE CUL VY 73 GM SK DX11DX DE WF6TTT Use SK or CL (Closing
Station) on your final transmission not AR or K (N)
Tail-ending. Wait until another QSO is complete, and then call the station you want to contact. If the frequency is being used by the other station, you'll find out fast because he will start to call CQ over your signals - always check first, transmit after. Also, if there is a pileup, don't fire up a call right on the heels of someone else - the originating station does need to be able to transmit and if everyone is calling him without a break, he isn't going to get a chance to call you or anyone else
Do not break into a QSO - even if you can't hear one of the stations involved, it doesn't mean they aren't there. Wait for the SK at the end of the one you can hear, wait a minute for the other station to sign off and then call in. Just make sure that the one you are calling is the one who was originally using the
If you hear a station calling another, it doesn't matter whether you are dying to have that prefix in your log - YOU are NOT the one being called so do NOT dive in with your call.
Do not give into the temptation to increase the RF power for a weak station. Even if you get him, remember that there are a lot of other stations operating
inside that 3 KHz band and what you WILL do is to swamp their signals and, if they are operating a weak station, you are wiping them out. If you can't work him on 50 Watts max - forget it and try later.
Another suggestion - do NOT run a high power tuning signal in the middle of the band - low power and take it up to the 3KHz marker
*** Some tips for Digital Mode users:
Power Level - for digital modes, limit your power output to one half ( ½ ) the radio's maximum rated output. Most sound card digital modes
use a "100% duty cycle", which means that your radio will be transmitting at all times, even when characters are not being sent.
Most radios were not designed for 100% duty cycles, especially at full power. So reduce your transmitter power.
HF Radio Settings
Tuning - PSK31 benefits from a radio that can tune in very small steps, e.g. 1 Hz. If your radio can't do this, use the RIT (receiver
incremental tuning) feature of the radio. The automatic frequency compensation feature in PSK31 software also helps.
Filters - more on this to come (will update soon)
Speech Compression -- should be OFF.
ALC (Automatic Level Control) - watch the ALC meter to make sure it is below the maximum. In general, you don't want to 'overdrive' the
radio with sound card audio levels that would create 'splatter' (unintended signals) on adjacent frequencies.
AGC (Automatic Gain Control) - does not affect receive audio when it is being pulled from a fixed-level audio pin in the radio's ACC or DATA jack.
VOX - If you prefer, or if you don't have a spare serial / COM port on your PC, you can use the VOX feature of your radio for PTT
control. Activate VOX in your transceiver, and set the level, delay and anti-trip controls, as you would when using microphone (voice)
input. Remember however that if you have your microphone connected to the radio, any incidental noise in the room can also be transmitted
when using VOX.
Microphone - If you are using the ACC jack to control transmissions, you may need to disconnect your microphone from the radio to avoid
sending room noise along with digital signals
*** WM2U's TIP LIST
• Set sound card sampling rate to 11025Hz
• This must be at least a 16 bit sound card.
• No Signal observed? Check your WAVE slider is not zero.
• Set Rx and Tx frequencies to 1000Hz.
NOTE: This value will get you up and running but if you plan on using a filter change it to the center frequency.
• If using LSB check the "Inverted QPSK" box.
• Too much noise! Try using a narrow CW filter.
• Using a Word Processor, write your buffered messages and save them as .txt files, placing em! in a folder called 'buffers' created
in the main PSK31 folder.
NOTE: This is NOT a form of type ahead buffer. It is simply a method
to pre write 'Standard' messages hence saving you keyboarding time.
*** MORE HELP TIPS
o Your sound card output must NOT overdrive your Mic Input.
o Do not overdrive the sound card input from the Radio.
o Get used to the Waterfall/Phase indicators for tuning.
o Do not use your Speech Processor.
o Be patient. This is a new mode. You will not find all the features you are used to yet!
**** I would not recommend using the speech compressor for digital modes....the mic gain on the rig along with the soundcard output