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Amateur Radio Data Transmissions - For discussion of all modes used to send data such as APRS and packet.

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Old 11-04-2017, 5:18 PM
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Default Digital modes

This might be the wrong section for this, if so please move to correct sub forum.

I am pretty new to ham and really enjoying myself so far and would like to give some of the digital modes a try

Just wondering what the basic equipment needed is to be able to play with digital and maybe also monitor the hf bands, from a signal strength perspective is?

My set up consists of an Alinco dxSr8 transceiver and an ocfd for 80-10m up about 45 set up and as inverted v.

I have a very basic laptop that does not have a dedicated sound card so I was looking at the SignaLink usb slusb8r.

Would this unit alone be enough to link my radio and my laptop using one of the many programs out there or would I also need to purchase the pc interface cable for my radio as well?

Thanks in advance
ke0ncp 73



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Old 11-04-2017, 7:30 PM
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That setup should work.
You will need to buy or build the cable from the SignaLink to the mic input of the Alinco.
The main reason I don't use my Alinco for digital modes is that it has no ALC indicator on it.. With digital modes you do not want the transmitter to even bump the ALC or you start splattering all over the spectrum.

The only reason to buy the PC interface would be to have the digital program auto-set the frequency and or your logging program to monitor your frequency for logging purposes.
Those things can be set up manually very easily.

Run your TX at minimum power to make the contact and put a fan on it. Digital modes are very hard on transmitters. It is easy to be putting only 5W into the antenna from a 100W transmitter and have it shut down (or melt down) due to the duty cycle.

Look me up if you get the JT modes working, that is where I usually hang out.

Bruce
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Old 11-05-2017, 12:39 PM
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Bruce,

Thank you for the info and advice! Will just go for the signalink then and skip the interface cable for now.

As for software, any suggestions? If so maybe shoot over a msg?

Thanks again,
Matt


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Old 11-05-2017, 7:17 PM
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https://physics.princeton.edu/pulsar/k1jt/wsjtx.html
for weak signal contact only type comms FT8 is the new hot mode.

https://sourceforge.net/projects/fldigi/
for rag-chew and image type comms

You might want to try others but those two will get you started and both free.

Bruce
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Old 11-10-2017, 11:42 PM
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Default HAM Dital Modes

Matt -

I operate almost 100 percent digital and concur with Bruce regarding the software to use. It will cover just about any mode you may be interested in. FT8 is the hot mode at the moment, one reason being it's very robust and basically must faster than JT65 and JT9. All three are good modes for working a lot of DX and in most cases you can do it with very little power and a minimal setup.

I've worked China in the JT9 mode with 15 watts and a vertical antenna ground mounted to a chain link fence post. And one of the advantages of all these digital modes is that on those days when SSB phone ain't worth a hoot, digital always seems to be alive and well.
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Old 11-11-2017, 12:09 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KS0USA View Post
Matt -



I operate almost 100 percent digital and concur with Bruce regarding the software to use. It will cover just about any mode you may be interested in. FT8 is the hot mode at the moment, one reason being it's very robust and basically must faster than JT65 and JT9. All three are good modes for working a lot of DX and in most cases you can do it with very little power and a minimal setup.



I've worked China in the JT9 mode with 15 watts and a vertical antenna ground mounted to a chain link fence post. And one of the advantages of all these digital modes is that on those days when SSB phone ain't worth a hoot, digital always seems to be alive and well.


KS0USA

Thanks for the input. After spending a couple of hours scanning 40, 20, 17 and 15 SSB phone tonight and literally only just hearing a few stations due to noise I decided to pop down to the digital frequencies. Wow there was a ton of action! I am sold on the idea of the digital modes and will be getting set up soon.

Thanks again for the input!

Best


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Old 11-11-2017, 9:27 AM
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The SignaLink USB has been around for many years and I have been using one for digital HF mode reception for years. You'll not go wrong by purchasing one.

You will need a good decoding software like MultiPSK or FlDigi. Depends on what you are decoding Note that there is a free and registered version of MultiPSK. The cost for the lifetime registered version is well worth the price.

Software suggestions: MultiPSK has in my opinion the greatest number of digital modes. FlDigi is also a good one. YAND is good for NAVTEX, MMTTY for RTTY.

Have not tried transmitting though, will defer to those with experience. I mainly listen.

If I remember correctly, if you want to use SignaLink for transmitting you have to specify when ordering which xcvr you'll be using so they can supply you with the appropriate cable.

Have fun.
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Old 12-06-2017, 8:31 AM
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Default Alinco DX sr8

I use just about that exact setup. I use fldigi and I have the control cable. It works good. The no alc isn't a big issue. I ask contacts how the waterfall looks and haven't had any complaints.
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