Other SOTA sites: SOTAwatch | SOTA Home | Database | Video | Photos | Shop | Mapping | FAQs | Facebook | Contact SOTA

PSK activation from GM this weekend

Well I’m all kitted out for mobile PSK31 (and more now) Gawd… another 1.5kg to heave about! I intend to get out this Sunday (you watch the wx turn awful now). Not quite sure where and when, that still depends on the wx and my legs. But a possible pairing is Ben Each SS-034 and Stuc a’Chroin SS-010 or Meall Bhuide SS-060 and a tiddler on the way home.

But I want to sound out a few ideas that I hope will help make digimodes a bit easier. Of course with the way the bands have been I should be so lucky to get a pile up, but, for once we GM hams have the advantage that many of the chasers are 200+km away minimum. This helps on 60m certainly.

Assuming that there is some propagation and that anyone wants to work me, I think it would help no end if anyone answering my digi CQs does not answer me on my TX frequency. With the way things have been and following on from Barry’s comments in his Caterpillar bull, many chasers will not be able to hear each other. If you all netted onto my TX and replied at the same time then I’m not going to be able to pick anyone out. From experience, unless one signal is massively louder than all the others, you cannot pick out one PSK signal from the others, unlike when listening to SSB/CW. So spread out. RX bandwidth is from 300-2500Hz, so if I’m using an audio frequency of 1000Hz, there’s a huge amount of space for people to answer on. Pick a frequency and stick to it. I’ll work splits with my TX frequency fixed and I’ll tune about on RX. Possibly I might use the beacon frequency for digimodes. There’s loads of space around the beacon CW freq. and maybe a few non-SOTA types may hear me too.

If anyone has any better suggestions then I’m happy to listen but I think that things should work OK with this kind of split. I’ll be trying 80m and 60m primarily. In fact since I found that on the 817 the preamp and attenuator settings are stored per band, my 80m rx seems much livelier. Yes I had the attenuator off and the preamp on on 60m and didn’t realise that they were they other way round on 80m. No wonder the band seemed dead the last few times I tried!

Tests suggest that I should be able to get at least 1hr battery life on the digital side. It will be interesting to see how the SLAB holds up on the 817 with the 100% duty cycle. Of course I’m looking forward to see if I can qualify a summit on 0.5W only. That would be extra special. :slight_smile:


In reply to MM0FMF:

Good luck with this Andy, I hope it goes well. I have the gear for PSK now but I have only had it working for one QSO so it would have been a good chance to test it out. Unfortunately I will be in work on Sunday but maybe I will get you next time. At least it will give me the chance to figure out how to drive the software.

73 Steve GW7AAV

In reply to MM0FMF:
Hi Andy
If in the shack over the weekend I will definitely be looking for you on Digi.
Recently I worked the Spratly Is DXpedition on 30m PSK - the op was listening up 30-300 Hz and was doing a good job picking them out.
So, good luck with your endeavours - fingers crossed for WX like yesterday and today.
73 de Cris

In reply to MM0FMF:
Hi Andy
Good Luck with the PSK from a summit. I shall be listening for you.
Over the last few days the skip on both 60 and 40 mtrs has been quite long; e.g. I have not been able to copy the Westmoreland beacon on 5.288.5 MHz for several days now. So if you have a chance, try 80 mtrs as well, please!
The norm for split working on PSK31 is 200 Hz and up (1000 Hz up appears to be the maximum used by DX expeditions). Like Cris I worked the LA expedition to Spratly using a split of abt 300 Hz up from their transmit freq. on 30 mtrs.
Let’s hope the WX stays in your favour.
73 de Ken

OK, well I’ve put up alerts for Ben Each SS-034 and tentatively Stuc a’Chroin SS-010. I’m not sure about that second one yet. It doesn’t look terribly hard on paper but in practice that is another matter! We’ll find out when I’ve finished on Ben Each. The biggest downside to a second activation is that I’m not likely to get back to the car till nearly 1800BST plus another 90mins to get home.

My plan is to TX PSK on an audio freq of 1000Hz. For 60m, dial frequencies will be as listed for everyone’s NOV and USB of course, most likely 5.3985 MHz USB. Due to the cooperative nature of 60m, I’m happy to operate split over the whole audio passband. For 80m, I’ll set the dial frequency to 3.723MHz LSB and use 1000Hz audio. If that frequency is in use I’ll move about in 1kHz steps. Now someone is bound to be upset by some digimodes on that frequency. Well, my dipole isn’t good lower down so they’ll just have to be upset! On 80m I think callers should keep to the audio range of 1100Hz to 1500Hz.