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Posted: 1/20/2011 7:55:55 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 1/20/2011 8:05:00 PM EDT by HomeSlice]
The regional net thread has convinced me I need to figure out the digital modes.

Does anyone have a link to a good primer on how to start using PSK31 and MT-63?

If it was specific to an IC7K that would be great, but not necessary.

I download HRD and ordered one of these: (IC-CABLE-8)

from here: http://www.xggcomms.com/page3.htm, though it hasn't shown up yet, based on the recommendation of a guy on the IC7K yahoo group. Still need a serial/USB adapter for my laptop.

Thanks in advance for any help,

EDIT: formatting funk
Link Posted: 1/20/2011 8:22:33 PM EDT
Nice cable.

If you have just a stereo patch cable you can take the headphone output from your radio and patch it directly into your microphone port on your PC. This is enough to decode PSK. In theory you can even place your mic next to your PC speaker and send!!

While that works, it doesn't always wrok well.

Most USB/Serial adapters are using the same chipset so they tend to just work. I actually have a pair of them plugged into the radio laptop and they work fine together. I think I paid $30 for the most recent one at microcenter. Once you get the cable I think the rest of this will fall together for you pretty easily.
Link Posted: 1/20/2011 8:32:47 PM EDT
This guy has some good videos on how to setup and use PSK31: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FmsFhz_dyAg
Link Posted: 1/21/2011 10:47:03 AM EDT
There are several great training resources on our website:

Link Posted: 1/21/2011 12:00:34 PM EDT
Let me know how that cable and HRD works for you on the 7k I'm looking at the same set up.

Link Posted: 1/21/2011 6:31:55 PM EDT

I sure will, hopefully it shows up next week. Thanks for the info everybody, I've got a ton to read/watch.
Link Posted: 1/21/2011 6:54:32 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 1/21/2011 7:29:47 PM EDT by CZ75_9MM]
On several of my Yaesu rigs I used a serial cable for CAT and made my own audio patch cables with 1:1 isolation transformers I robbed off some old modems. That way I don't get the 60hz prison bars on the waterfall.

On my IC-746 I just use a Rigblaster Plug and Play. It only works well on certain Icom rigs from what I have seen.

ETA: This interface may be worth a try as well. Hard to beat the price and it provides isolation.

Donner's Digital Interface
Link Posted: 1/22/2011 3:40:24 AM EDT
I have been using the signalink usb with great success on psk31. One cable to computer and one cable to radio and you are done.
Link Posted: 1/22/2011 2:37:41 PM EDT
Signalink, Rigblaster, all that... the XGGCOMS and Donner interfaces just work, good KISS setups. I've used both.

Most hams I've had PSK31 contacts with, those from countries other than the USA, generally use homebrew interfaces that are similar to the Donner interface, or some variant. I note they seldom use the more complex interfaces. One ham I had a contact with, a guy in Cuba, used a little 2" speaker glued to one end of a short piece of 2" pvc pipe. On the other end was a little cheap computer mic stuck in the end with some foam rubber. This gave an interface with total electrical isolation as well as isolation from room noise. He had two of these, one going each way between computer and radio. You just can't get any simpler than that. And it worked just fine!

Sometimes we make things too difficult for ourselves.
Link Posted: 1/29/2011 9:39:26 PM EDT
My cable showed up, and welcomed me with a lot of BSOD's (blue screen of death). However, I'm pretty sure that's my USB/RS232 adapters fault, not the cable.

Between reboots, I've gotten to play a little on digital. The first day I spent chasing some tones that were really (JT65?) I thought were PSK31, because I don't know what they look/sound like. I found a couple of youtube videos that show/tell the difference, but I'd like to have something printed out so I could recognize them on sight/sound.

Does anybody have pics, or a link to pics, of what the various digital modes look like in the waterfall? That would help a newb like me out a lot...


Link Posted: 1/29/2011 10:02:58 PM EDT
Here's some screen shots of the waterfall showing various digital modes, with recordings too: link

And if you're looking for PSK31, start on these frequencies: link
Link Posted: 1/30/2011 6:12:16 PM EDT

Thanks Harry, that helps a lot. Any idea what this one is?

I hear it around 3.578 +/-. Sounds like carnival music...

Link Posted: 1/30/2011 7:58:25 PM EDT
I don't know about that one. I'll have to poke around and see if I can figure it out. It kind of looks like Throb but it's too sparse.
Link Posted: 1/30/2011 9:15:02 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 1/30/2011 9:17:50 PM EDT by A_Free_Man]
Throb and Throb 2 sound like crickets chirping, to me anyway. Throb 4 sounds more caliope, playing 1/2 step and 1/4 step tones. That looks like Throb or Olivia.

I have a number of screenshots and mp3's of various digital modes that I downloaded from somewhere. Still, some you just can't tell.

Could also be mfsk.
Link Posted: 1/31/2011 3:04:39 AM EDT
Homeslice: that looks like JT65 but it's reversed. Do you have your rig set to LSB? While phone is LSB on 160-40, all digital is always USB on all bands. You won't decode anything if you are not USB.

To decode JT65 you need a program called JT65-HF.

Link Posted: 1/31/2011 3:49:41 AM EDT
Yep, was on LSB. Though DM780 does seem to decode PSK31 fine, that's a good tip!

I'll check out JT-65. Thanks!
Link Posted: 1/31/2011 4:23:06 AM EDT
Looks like the cable is working does it allow for rig control as well?
Link Posted: 1/31/2011 8:47:48 PM EDT

Yes, it pretty much does everything as far as I can tell. I'm using HRC+DM780. Disclaimer tho, I have yet to actually transmit anything but my callsign, so how well is TBD. So far so good, tho.
Link Posted: 1/31/2011 8:48:37 PM EDT
Hey guys, any idea what this is?:

Link Posted: 1/31/2011 8:58:24 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 1/31/2011 9:00:54 PM EDT by EXPY37]
Originally Posted By HomeSlice:

Thanks Harry, that helps a lot. Any idea what this one is?

I hear it around 3.578 +/-. Sounds like carnival music...


Slice, that's close to the color burst crystal frequency of 3.5795 MHz in the oldtimey color te-ve's from 2 yrs ago....

Try turning off ur TV.


2. Digital Net

Tuesdays at 8:00 PM on 3.578 MHz upper sideband PSK31 with a 1.5 KHz offset in the audio passband. Alexandria Radio Club W4HFH

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