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PSK31 from Plynlimon tomorrow


#1

Hello all,

I am tentatively intending to activate GW/MW-001 Pen Pimlimon Fawr along with Geoff M3SFN tomorrow (will post an alert soon). Dad will be operating on 2m SSB and I intend to activate using PSK31 on 80m.

It is my intention to use a dial frequency of 3.585MHz USB and an audio frequency of 1000Hz (to keep us clear of the main PSK31 allocation). I would ask that any chasers use a split and come back to me on either side of 1khz if at all possible. I will be using cocoaModem in dual receiver mode, so this should work. I am very open to suggestions regarding this approach (and also to do with any other aspects of the activation).

I will be using my 40m Inverted V and an ATU, so the radiation pattern will not be spot on, and the centre height a little to low on my pole, but fingers crossed. It is at least the right mode to be using with less than optimum antennas.

Fingers crossed, hi!

73,
Dave, 2E0BYA


#2

In reply to 2E0BYA:
Will try to be around to listen for you Dave - good luck.

Roger G4OWG


#3

In reply to G4OWG:
Thanks Roger, I really appreciate it. Times are now published in the alerts.

I just gave the setup a “dry run” at home and it seems to work fine. I’m all excited now =)

Dave, 2E0BYA


#4

In reply to 2E0BYA:
Hi Dave

Would really like to have a PSK QSO with you but do you know roughly when you’ll be QRV?

I’m off to the “outlaws” for mothers day so will not be around unless it’s early. :frowning:

73 Marc G0AZS

PS …and then you posted the alert as I was writing this… :slight_smile:


#5

In reply to 2E0BYA:
Listened heard nothing - did this happen?

Roger G4OWG

ps Band conditions very poor today.


#6

In reply to G4OWG:

Thanks for listening Roger, I appreciate it. It did happen, but conditions on 80m were so poor I couldn’t even hear a single station in the main PSK allocation (in fact, all I could hear on the whole band was one side os a faint SSB QSO). I called CQ a good many times at my stated spot, but to no avail. In the end I managed a PSK31 QSO with Ivo S57ULI on 20m, my hardest earned PSK QSO ever I should not wonder =)

The wind was so strong that the mast was being bent through 90 degrees throughout its length - the tip was parallel with the ground! I will try to put some photo’s of my first PSK activation on flikr soon. It was a lot of fuss just to have one QSO, but I still felt a sense of pride and it is an encouraging start. The summer is coming and its certainly a challenging and fun mode to play around with on the hill. Its a strange feeling firing up a laptop in a shelter cairn =)

Geoff M3SFN and myself both qualified on 2m SSB in the end - thanks to all those who worked us and apologies to all those sat watching the waterfall - fingers crossed for next time.

73,
Dave, 2E0BYA

PS. My other thought was that PSK could be carried out on 2m when condx on HF are poor - do people have the kit/interest for such a thing?


#7

In reply to 2E0BYA:
Yes Dave bands were poor - as for 2m I’ll try anything :slight_smile:

73 and here’s to next time

Roger G4OWG


#8

In reply to G4OWG:

The bands were very strange, 60m was very long skip. Stations on the South coast were S9+ yet stations from the NW and Lake District were very, very weak.

Andy
MM0FMF


#9

In reply to 2E0BYA:

Hi Dave,

PSK on 2m is fine from here - it could enable me to work summits out to the west which wouldn’t be workable on SSB. If you’re coming further east sometime, maybe we could try some SSTV… the real challenge being to take a photo at the summit with a digital camera, load it to the PC and send it out. MMSSTV would work well with doing that as the overlay is independent of the background picture.

Keep on plugging away at it.

73, Gerald


#10

In reply to G4OIG:

Hi Gerald,

I like it - it sounds like a fun and challenging thing to do on a summit, kind of ties into some thoughts I was having on the way up to Pumlumon earlier on.

My primary computer nowadays is my old Apple iBook G3 800MHz (basically because it’s now the only working computer I own, hi!) so MMSSTV is out of the question, but I have just downloaded a copy of MacRobot - I’ll have a play and see what it is like. An eePC would be a nice thing to own right about now =)

I think datamodes are a good way to activate because it brings back the feeling of “will I, won’t I” that I had when I very first started SOTA (and for that matter, the start of any real transmitting on my part). Of course, I know nowadays that there is always 2m SSB to fall back on, but I look forward to the day when I can qualify a hill on data.

It would be quite a nice touch though, rather than telling people about the WX, to be able to send a picture of it =)

73,
Dave, 2E0BYA


#11

In reply to 2E0BYA:

It would be quite a nice touch though, rather than telling people about the
WX, to be able to send a picture of it =)

Here is a picture of the wx on Blackhope Scar SS-094 yesterday.


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Yes, snow and blizzard conditions. But only for about 10 minutes!

I’ll be giving datamodes a bash when the wx improves a bit and it’s reasonable to stay longer on the summits. Just now it’s far too cold to consider trying. I’m just thinking about how to type without gloves.

Andy
MM0FMF


#12

In reply to MM0FMF:

Good old ASCII art. You are obviously right - the cold is the biggest limiting factor. Gloves are particularly problematic because trackpads only like skin. And of course, the age old problem of reduced battery life. And rain. The better weather would be of great help.

That said, the sun makes things difficult to see on a screen, I’d thought of getting a black cloth and bunging it over myself and the laptop, but that some what defeats the point of playing radio on the top of a beautiful mountain, hi!

Dave, 2E0BYA


#13

In reply to 2E0BYA:

Hi Dave,

I use an old Cyrix P333 based machine at home which is a lot quieter on VHF than the newer machines I own. It runs MMSSTV okay, MMRTTY and for PSK I use a program called Stream by IZ8BLY, mainly because I prefer the screen to other PSK programs.

I wholeheartedly agree with Andy in that I see this as a spring-thro-autumn activity when lingering on a summit is not a problem. It would go particularly well with an evening activation in the warmer weather - maybe take the BBQ as well, Hi!

I think the best approach to qualifying a summit on data, particularly through contacts with chasers, is to keep the subject alive on this reflector. It has certainly worked for me in respect of 70cms SSB and 23cms FM. Richard G4ERP has also been championing 70cms SSB which has helped and he will soon be QRV on 23cms as well.

Maybe it is time I started looking for an old laptop…

73, Gerald


#14

In reply to G4OIG:

Maybe it is time I started looking for an old laptop…

Me too - the afore mentioned iBook just died! I suspect the DC board. Bleh!

Dave, 2E0BYA


#15

In reply to G4OIG:

Maybe it is time I started looking for an old laptop…

I think possibly an old PDA or a new micro-notebook would be better solutions.

There’s pocket digi (sorry don’t have the URL to hand) which runs on PDAs. PDAs are now completely lame since the Blackberry came along and you can pick up powerful ones for peanuts on eBay etc. I’ve got a selection but all have gubbed batteries or I’d have tried this earlier. Then there’s delicious micro laptops like the Asus EEE-PC701 which is tiny but powerful, weighs around 1kg, but has a 900MHz CPU, 5 hr battery life.

I have to agree that keeping the subject on the reflector is the way to stir up activity. You’re comments about 70cms SSB are what has prompted me to start preparing for such activities later this year.

Andy
MM0FMF


#16

In reply to MM0FMF:

Hi Andy,

I was looking at the Asus Eee - as you say tasty and not a bad price for the basic model. It would certainly fly in comparison to my station PC. Hmmm, quite tempted… my backpack weight climbs nearer to overload!

73, Gerald

P.S. Sorry to hear you’re now on the look out as well Dave.


#17

In reply to MM0FMF:
Pocket digi http://www.n0hr.com/PocketDigi/PocketDigi_intro.htm

I have an iPaq with duff battery - just found new one on E-Bay for £8 so will give this a try.

Roger G4OWG


#18

Hi all
I’m a big psk31 fan and would really like to see some SOTA activations with the mode. I use Pocketdigi on my current pda which is an MDA Vario 2, a superb little machine, with wifi. It also worked on my MDA Compact which is older. Both these are phones/pda and I wouldn’t be without them. The MDA compact is cheap on Ebay, in fact I’ve got one that I need to advertise in case anyones interested…:wink:
I have had qso’s with pocketdigi using an FT817. It can be done with a complicated setup involving a bluetooth headset. Its easier just to let the pda transmit into the microphone. I use it mainly when I’m in bed with my scanner to decode psk and other modes. It really is very good.
Looking forward to my first SOTA PSK31 qso!
Cheers
Q GW3BV


#19

Hello folks,

Just posted a couple of Photos of the Pumlumon PSK expedition on the SOTA Flickr pool.

Unfortunately, the iBook has since gone kaput, but I do have a nice new Packard Bell EasyNote XS20 to replace it (the windows version of the cloudbook), so /P PSK31 (and other datamodes) is still possible (especially since I can now run MultiPSK).

73,
Dave, 2E0BYA


#20

In reply to G4OWG:

Hi Roger,

I have just bought a small Cassiopeia Palm PC with Windows CE to try Pocketdigi. It might be a bit slow and I could have interface problems, but worth a shot at it… something to play with until work buys me an Asus Eee.

73, Gerald

P.S. 5/3/08 - now done some more reading and the device seems to have mic in and speaker out so I should be okay if the software plays ball.