New to Digital HF
After attending the PRA meeting and FT8 presentation by W0EAY I decided to try out digital HF.
With some help from W0EAY I got the ARRL book on the topic, picked up a SignalinkUSB, hooked it up to my FT891 and got on the air with Fldigi. I am an OT and follow instructions well and did not find getting involved to be too daunting although IMO Fldigi's manual leaves a lot to be desired!
My first QSO on PSK31 was a Japanese station with only 20W of transmit power on my stealth 40/20m inverted vee. I know my antenna is very limiting...thats why I do lots of portable QRP operating....I can install a better antenna in the field.
My question is this...I was hoping for more activity on PSK31 but quite frankly it just isn't there. When it is it is great. I am able to work DX more easily on PSK31 than SSB or CW, however, it does not appear to be that active. Is it because of my limited antenna or is activity on PSK31 sort of hit or miss...like the analog modes?
I'm thinking about attending an elmering night to discuss operating PSK31.
Welcome to Digital HF! Congrats on diving into the digital pool. You have some great advice with guys like Woody! He did a great presentation.
If you're working Japan on 20W, considering the band conditions, you are doing it right. Your observations on PSK31 activity is on target; it is hit/miss. With the evolution of digital modes, the latest most popular digital HF mode is FT8. Although FT8 is not as "personal" as PSK31, there is a very strong following right now.
Way to go on jumping in on digital modes of HF. Keep up the great work! 73 de N2SRK
Thanks for the input Dan. Winter Field Day contributed lots of folks on the air Saturday. Much more activity on PSK31. I do like the mode. I was planning on attempting FT8 but I think I may attempt with it first RTTY first. I've never tried RTTY before.
I did find the Fldigi CW mode read CW better than most of the CW readers I've found on transceivers. Fldigi is impressive.
I just thought I would update my progress in digital HF. There are active days and quiet days...just like any other mode.
However, I've been running into lots of other folks who are new to PSK31. As an example, only a few days after my first digital QSO I got to welcome two other people as their first digital QSO. This tells me that digital HF is becoming a popular place to be at the moment.
Build it and they will come!