First Time With PSK and RTTY Questions, Please

BOBRR

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Hello,

Have been using SDRConsole for my normal sw listening with a SDRPlayRSPdx.

Thought it might be interesting to try the two built-in (no VAC cable req.) modes it has;
PSK 31,63,125,and also RTTY.

Have never played with digital modes before.

Live outside of Boston.

Might anyone suggest some free's for both that I can try from this location ?

And, in a general sense, what is each used for these days ? Still popular, etc. ?

Any hints re settings, etc. ?

Thanks, stay well,
Bob
 

n9mxq

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WB9YBM

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Might anyone suggest some free's for both that I can try from this location ?
And, in a general sense, what is each used for these days ? Still popular, etc. ?
Any hints re settings, etc. ?
Yes, RTTY is still being used--even has contests in December & January. CQ Magazine is probably the biggest proponent of this mode (they're involved in at least one of the two yearly contests) and have ha many RTTY articles published over the years. Frequency-wise, 40M right below the novice CW sub-band is where there's RTTY Activity (also on other bands but I forgot where).
 

ka3jjz

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I really wish that the folks at SDRPlay would have chosen more useful modes, particularly since there are so many out there with their protocols well documented. ALE (also known as MIL-STD-188-141A) is used by both hams and LOTS of other non-ham entities. Of course it would be tough to keep up with every ham digital mode, as there's so many out there besides Baudot RTTY and the various PSK variants. Mike
 

n9mxq

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He's using SDRConsole.. from Simon (HRD). AFAIK SDRPlays software doesn't decode anything
 

ka3jjz

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My bad...but the comment still stands. There's just a bewildering array of ham digital modes, it's really tough to keep up....Mike
 

n9mxq

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I agree. I remember when I started HF digital, DM780 was pretty much all you needed.. now, geesh, you need 4-5 pieces of software..
 

jwt873

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I agree. I remember when I started HF digital, DM780 was pretty much all you needed.. now, geesh, you need 4-5 pieces of software..
Yes, it gets hard to keep track of the digital mode of the week :) It seems that FT8 has pretty well taken over.

I've never seen anything like it. I play with FT8 a bit. I was on 17 meters yesterday and the band was wide open between North America and Europe. I worked about a dozen countries using that mode. So I thought, 'enough of this'. and looked around the band for SSB signals so I could actually speak to someone.

There had to be at least 20 stations churning away on 18.100 Mhz (The FT8 frequency). When I tuned around the rest of the band, I should have been hearing all sorts of European stations callling CQ DX... But there were no SSB signals at all..

And.... On RTTY.... This link has the frequencies that ham RTTY operators normally use: RTTY Sub-bands – AA5AU
 

popnokick

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Here's another mode (and more software) for you - JS8Call. Uses the FT8 protocol for QSOs that contain more than a signal report -
JS8Call
 

GB46

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Yes, it gets hard to keep track of the digital mode of the week :) It seems that FT8 has pretty well taken over.
That's an amazing mode! Late in the afternoon I find an enormous amount of DX activity on 14.074, and today the North American stations were practically outnumbered by those from Japan. Depending on the band, I can always find something to monitor in that mode any time of day. It sure replaced JT65 in a hurry!

The FT4 mode is not quite as active as FT8, being newer, but at times it can keep the display continously scrolling, since it's faster than FT8. I only find FT4 on 14.080, however. The other frequencies are either quiet or in use by CW stations.
 
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