Is it a legacy mode or is it a Datamode?

PSK and RTTY could reasonably claim to be both.

Since my old Android phone (which ran the neat little DroidPSK app) bit the dust, I’ve not done any activating on these modes. I installed Fldigi on my Windows 10 tablet but found that the TX would stick on once launched, effectively making the system unusable. As I was using exactly the same set-up on WSJT modes with no problem whatsoever, this proved a confusing conundrum.

I never did solve it. However, I have overcome it. My Windows tablet but the dust last week, so I have a shiny “new” (Amazon refurb) one. And yesterday I found that PSK via Fldigi worked absolutely fine on it with my usual aerials and interface.

So for this morning’s daily exercise and outdoor recreation, I am thinking of trying some activating on 17m PSK and RTTY. I may then move onto FT8 and JT65. And then maybe some CW and SSB. And then possibly some 2m FM.

I’ll self spot everything, but here’s advance notice to get your Datamode systems up-and-running if you wish to try.


Looking at being QRV for this from around 1230-1300 until 1430+. JS8call and SSTV also possible. All 17m.

I would put them as legacy modes now. I was doing RTTY with ex-WWII mechanical teleprinters and valved FSK units along with an AR88 in 1973 in the school radio club. The equipment was 30years old then. PSK was used by amateurs for satellite downlinks since the early 80s. It’s popularity as a replacement for FSK RTTY started in 1998 with Peter Martinez G3PLX’s articles. Its biggest failing is that it’s not a constant envelope waveform and so you have to ensure you don’t overdrive or you signal becomes very wide. It’s questionable weather any 100W ham HF transceiver can be driven to more than 25-35W whilst remaining truly linear enough. It’s why MFSK modes are “better” as they are constant envelope so you can use class C amps if you want… or drive your HF rig to 100W and still not be too terrible a signal.

Personally, I avoid using the word “legacy” for tried, tested and frequently used modes. “Legacy” carries a hint of a derogatory attitude, like comparing tried and tested with new and shiny. To my way of thinking modes are either mainsteam or marginal, the difference lying in how many people are prepared to operate with them. CW goes back to the beginnings of radio but it is still heavily used, while something like Hellschreiber which is newer than CW is definately marginal. RTTY (ritty) is marginal until a contest happens!

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Legacy or not, no takers on 17m. Resorting to FT8 now.

Dictionaries seem to suggest it’s exactly the word to use.

Legacy: adj

  1. denoting or relating to software or hardware that has been superseded but is difficult to replace because of its wide use.

I am proud to be a legacy radio amateur.


Exactly where my point comes in. So-called legacy modes have not been superceded, as in taken the place of or supplanted, they merely had other options added that are not directly equivalent in what they achieve. For instance I have seen SSB described as a legacy mode but what has superceded it? Is there a real time conversational mode that has replaced all that PSK can do?

Yes, any M-ary FSK with FEC and unconstrained alphabets.

Anyway, so much for good intentions. 17m was a stupid choice of band. There was (of course) FT8 activity on the band, but no PSK, RTTY, JT65 or JS8Call - not even when I made some calls. Plus of course there isn’t an SSTV frequency on 17m - highlighting a slight issue with my M.O. of researching this stuff on my phone when I am already on summit!

After making a total of four contacts on 17m FT8 and CW, I self-spotted for 2m FM “in ten minutes”. I packed up my HF stuff - and then completely forgot to do 2m!

The one good aspect of the outing was that, for the first time ever in around 1500 activations of this hill, I did the route along the ridgeline from the Bridestones to the south. I returned via the woods and Gosberryhole Lane (track) to complete a satisfying circuit.

Back at home, me and Jimmy @M0HGY made homemade Scotch eggs for tea…


I hope that you did not inconvenience any mountain bikers.

I didn’t, though I was tempted. Whereas I respected the signage by not walking on the bike-only marked routes, the only mountain bikers I saw were all riding along a path that was signed as walkers only - no bikes. Typical of many cyclists sadly. The sure way to find a cyclist is to walk on a path that has signs saying “No cycling”.


I always walk up MTB down hill paths where possible. You can see them coming and get out of the way easily. Or walking down up hill routes. Walking down down hill routes seems contra-indicated to me.

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It is so desperately sad that the freedom of the hills has degenerated into this state.

The Cloud does look like a mess. The paths have been very unsympathetically “restored”. Unfortunately the travelator plans had to be shelved. Tom is mainly to blame overusing the path IMHO.

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I think a decent job has been done refurbishing the paths on The Cloud. They are better and safer to walk on, and drainage is so much better. Personally, I think the aesthetics are good too. Better than your spelling anyway. I think you meant “retired”?

Just imagine if they had their dogs with them on extending leads whilst riding on the paths!

Need a dislike emoji adding to the Reflector…