FT8 – A personal critique 19

FT8 - A personal critique
FT8 (or Franke-Taylor design, 8-FSK modulation) has taken the amateur bands by storm and for better or for worse, it’s changed the profile of activity since it launched in 2017. It doesn’t garner universal love from the amateur community, in fact it seems to polarise us; you either love it or you hate it. I ...

Applying for data mode awards (the easy way)

Applying for data mode awards (the easy way)
Recently I discovered a really easy way of applying for the various Digital operating awards, and I thought I’d share it with you all. If you’ve done any PSK or FT8 operating, you may have already earned quite a few, but not even realised it. There are a number of Digital operating clubs that run ...

Top 10 Amateur Radio Uses for the Raspberry Pi 19

Top 10 Amateur Radio Uses for the Raspberry Pi
The Raspberry Pi has proved to be a phenomenal hit with hobbyists around the world. Originally conceived to get children into computer programming, it was quickly adopted by hobbyists due to its cheap price and GPIO output pins. Indeed, initial demand was unprecedented and supplies were limited for some time after launch and this still ...

Why Bother with eQSLs? 3

Why Bother with eQSLs?
eQSL cards… these tend to stir up quite a few emotions in amateurs, some love them, some hate them. This post will look at the advantages and disadvantages of eQSl cards so you can make your own mind up. First of all my experience of eQSL cards has been positive and inescapable. As a datamode ...

Beginners Guide to RTTY Contesting

Beginners Guide to RTTY Contesting
Although PSK31 is more popular than ever there still seems to be a preference for RTTY when it comes to contests. This is down to speed, ease of use and the resilience of the mode. It’s also a mode worth getting familiar with because a lot of DXPeditions and special event stations run RTTY. In the recent ...

How to Give Useful PSK31 Signal Reports 2

How to Give Useful PSK31 Signal Reports
While using the PSK31 mode you often see people giving signal reports using the RST method (Readability, Strength, Tone). This was originally devised for Morse Code use, but has also widely been used for other modes like SSB (where Tone is dropped). Naturally many operators come from CW and SSB backgrounds when getting into data ...

The Average JT65 QSO

The Average JT65 QSO
I’ve recently branched out from my usual PSK31 operating and started with JT65. This is a mode that i’ve been meaning to get into for a while especially due to its effectiveness at very low power. The first big change i noticed is that JT65 has a very structured QSO format certainly which certainly doesn’t ...

PSK63, PSK125 and Beyond

PSK63, PSK125 and Beyond
PSK31 was designed to be slow to allow for keyboard to keyboard QSO’s, but sometimes you feel the need for speed. You may only have a short amount of time to operate or you may have had one too many coffees, when this occurs you can turn to PSK63, PSK125 and even higher to the ...

Common PSK31 Abbreviations 3

Common PSK31 Abbreviations
A number of abbreviations are used during an average PSK31 QSO, these are all borrowed from Morse code abbreviations. These may be familiar to you if you’ve had any CW experience, but for me this was all new so i had to learn it from scratch. The initial PSK31 contacts i decoded were a little hard to ...

Top PSK31 Tips for Beginners (Part 2) 8

Top PSK31 Tips for Beginners (Part 2)
I originally wrote my Top 10 PSK31 Tips for Beginners post to help others overcome the hurdles i had to work out for myself. The blog post has proved quite popular, so i thought i’d continue with some additional tips i have learnt since writing the first post. I hope you find something useful here to improve your ...