eHam.net - Amateur Radio (Ham Radio) Community

Call Search
     

New to Ham Radio?
My Profile

Community
Articles
Forums
News
Reviews
Friends Remembered
Strays
Survey Question

Operating
Contesting
DX Cluster Spots
Propagation

Resources
Calendar
Classifieds
Ham Exams
Ham Links
List Archives
News Articles
Product Reviews
QSL Managers

Site Info
eHam Help (FAQ)
Support the site
The eHam Team
Advertising Info
Vision Statement
About eHam.net



[Articles Home]  [Add Article]  

Is PSK31 Getting Too Automated?

Gil (N2WJW) on December 26, 2011
View comments about this article!

Let me start off by saying I love just about every mode that ham radio has to offer even though I have my favorite, which is CW, I also like SSB and I get into the PSK31 kick every so often.

I have been doing PSK31 now for 10 years on and off and really enjoy the computer/radio interaction and the fact that one does not need much power to get out.

I just got back into it about a week ago after a 4-5 year absence and even though I have made dozens of contacts since, I have yet to make a "real" QSO. What I mean by that is the following... I either call or answer a CQ, after that comes the QTH, name and age all pre-programmed into a file, then the "brag" file and finally the "Signoff" file and that's it! I know for a fact some of the operators don't even touch the keyboard.

When I started ten years ago I thought there was a bit more interaction between hams on PSK31.

Am I alone here or is PSK just getting too mechanical?

Member Comments:
This article has expired. No more comments may be added.
 
Is PSK31 Getting Too Automated?  
by KX5JT on December 26, 2011 Mail this to a friend!
Of course this is totally my opinion and I am of the school of live and let live.

SO FOR ME... yes.. way too automated. I hate JT65HF for that very reason too. NO REAL QSO.. Just contacts.

BORING!!!!


But, if that's what you like, then enjoy!
 
Is PSK31 Getting Too Automated?  
by G0DOQ on December 26, 2011 Mail this to a friend!
same thing with 6m ssb
 
RE: Is PSK31 Getting Too Automated?  
by KX5JT on December 26, 2011 Mail this to a friend!
I like Olivia, Contestia and Hellschreiber modes. People do tend to have ragchews in those modes so they are WAY funner for me.
 
RE: Is PSK31 Getting Too Automated?  
by KX5JT on December 26, 2011 Mail this to a friend!
How did this end up as an article? Shouldn't this be a Digital Forums post?
 
RE: Is PSK31 Getting Too Automated?  
by N0UY on December 26, 2011 Mail this to a friend!
Lets face it. The entire hobby has gotten way too automatic. I imagine the first thing many people do is turn on there local dx cluster and see what has been posted raher than study propagation, grayline, and the old fashioned art of searching for contacts. I guess many have busy lives with all sorts of job, family, and self made obligations to consider so time for the hobby is abbreviate also.

But I think maybe some of the true reasons for this trend of abbreviated contacts is the lack of hobby related subject matter to discuss. Lets face it. After talking about your shack. towers, and antennas which is often a brag file by itself there isn't much else to exchange unless you have done something unique and then there is someone ready to tell you that you don't know what your doing. Why go there in the first place.

This automation is extremely present in the contesting aspect of the hobby now. I think we have lost some of the magic that attracted me to the hobby in the first place. I see we even have the forum police voicing an opinion on this one. ray
 
Is PSK31 Getting Too Automated?  
by KB2DHG on December 26, 2011 Mail this to a friend!
It is NOT the modes... It is the OPERATORS... One of the real reasons I got into this hobby is to chat and find out about people all over the world... I am interested to know, through the common interest
(Amateur Radio) what other hobbies, vocations and interest other people have... I like to find out about the towns and countries they live in ETC.


Well, no matter what mode we use, the gift of wireless communication has dwindled in to a signal report, QTH and what equipment we are using... Once in a while I get engaged in a fantastic chat and a nice long QSO and to me, that is worth it all...

I don't particapate in contest, to me the greatest reward is getting into a nice long QSO! no matter what mode I am using...
 
Is PSK31 Getting Too Automated?  
by AD7II on December 26, 2011 Mail this to a friend!

A little more software could spice it up. We could use voice-to-text, transmit the text with psk31, and use text-to-voice on the other end. A side advantage is that the ham on the receiving end could hear you sound like Bing Crosby, or Megan Mullally, or anyone in between.
 
Is PSK31 Getting Too Automated?  
by K9WJL on December 26, 2011 Mail this to a friend!
Well,
I really like BPSK-31, It's a nice way to make alot of contacts without alot of energy. I don't type too well, so I prefer not to "ragchew" just run and gun most of the time. I appreciate the macros built in to DM780, but I alway type something in to personalize it a bit like "happy holidays" or "you have a nice signal here" or "all the best". For me I prefer not to ragchew on this mode. It's sometimes amazing to sit here, point over Alaska, and work about 15 JA or other Asian stations all while having a few beers after work.
I find it constantly amusing that people will complain about how people use a certain mode in Ham Radio when there are so many to choose from. If you want to ragchew, get on 80M or 2M SSB. Lots of people love to talk there.
73 and happy holidays to all.
 
Is PSK31 Getting Too Automated?  
by KG8JF on December 26, 2011 Mail this to a friend!
Yeah, I understand where you are comming from. I usually just sit there and force the guy into chewing the rag. I will start talking about my set up, ad lib of course and then a little about me. Before you know it a half hour has passed and you have, indeed had a chat.
 
Is PSK31 Getting Too Automated?  
by AB1XG on December 26, 2011 Mail this to a friend!
I agree with the others. I understand the automated replies for those in other countries where English may not be their first language but I usually want more from a QSO when possible.

I prefer chewing the rag so I tend to play more with Olivia, Thor, DominoEX, etc ...

When I get home from a particularily rough or long day though, sometimes I may want to have a few QSO's but don't really have the "gas" for a good rag chew, then I jump on JT65, just what the doctor ordered for those situations.
 
Is PSK31 Getting Too Automated?  
by KT4EP on December 26, 2011 Mail this to a friend!
Macros and automated replies are great for foreign station QSOs as many of them, that I meet on-air, speak very little English, but they understand the gist of the macro usage. (I never knock 'em, I don't speak anything but English, some of them know more than one language but I digress).

Most U.S. hams I talk to barely get past the auto macro QSO/contact. I occasionally run into someone who wants to rag chew and it's very refreshing. I like to rag chew, too. I can usually detect right away if its a simple "swap RST QTH" contact and move on. It doesn't bother me.

I spent 15 years off the air for work and personal reasons. I got back on late last year, fell into the local repeater trap (sorry), tried HF phone but kept running into the amplifier crowd (again, sorry) but did meet some nice hams on phone. Same situation as psk31 in that many hams just want to swap info, they can't carry on a conversation. Nothing new there, it was like that when I got my ticket in 1991.

Then, I bought my Yaesu 817nd and discovered psk31 and I'm having a blast. 5 watts to communicate around the world, wow! It's great. The little radio put the fun back into ham radio, for me. Yes, psk31 can get a bit to automated but like with phone or cw or any other mode, its the operator, not the mode of communications that makes the difference.

btw, look for me, I'll ragchew anytime.. or if you just need a quick report, RST, for an award, that's ok, too.
Keith
KT4EP west Tennessee
 
Is PSK31 Getting Too Automated?  
by K3DNF on December 26, 2011 Mail this to a friend!
The nice thing about ham radio, is that there's diversity and room enough that folks can make contacts all over the place without touching a key or keyboard, and yet that doesn't stop others from enjoying ham radio in the way they choose to. We have enough bands and plans for everyone to enjoy.

Happy 2012!

Dave
 
Is PSK31 Getting Too Automated?  
by N4UM on December 26, 2011 Mail this to a friend!
I agree, it's not the mode...it's the operators. Only PSK31 seems to be burdened by an excessive number of non-communicative, boring, macrofreaks. Some of the reasons are obvious...others less so. I don't understand why the macrofreaks don't just all migrate to JT-65 where there is no pretense of communiction beyond the simple exchange of callsigns, reports and grid squares.

It's not the mode that's too automated...it's the operators that are too automated. It's kinda like that popular song from a few years back about cable TV..."67 Channels and nothin's on." Frankly, it's hard to choose between CB and PSK31.
 
Is PSK31 Getting Too Automated?  
by K8AXW on December 26, 2011 Mail this to a friend!
This very subject came up in the CW Forum and when I made the same observations as you I was somewhat taken to task!

PSK31 is an incredible mode...low power, signals hang in there even with bad conditions, etc., and it's fun to integrate the computer with the radio.

However, the PSK software is sophisticated enough that all you have to do is punch the F keys to make a "contact" from start to finish. And therein lies the problem.

Most of the time one can see the difference between using the Macros and the live keyboarding.

I stopped using PSK31 simply because I got tired of "canned" contacts. The contacts are simply me talking to some guy's computer. Not him!

So it's back to CW and SSB. In that order.
 
Is PSK31 Getting Too Automated?  
by KC2ROF on December 26, 2011 Mail this to a friend!
Just say NO!

Then don't do digital mode with operators that only use macros. Ask them to stop using macros exclusively. (I use them myself, but 80% of my digital QSO is typing.) If they don't comply, sign and find another operator. Or turn your radio off.

'Sign and Drive' to another operator or frequency.

JimC

 
Is PSK31 Getting Too Automated?  
by K0CBA on December 26, 2011 Mail this to a friend!
Not that anyone gives a rodent's rump nor is PSK31 any the worse for it, but that's what encouraged me to give up on it.
 
RE: Is PSK31 Getting Too Automated?  
by KB7QOA on December 26, 2011 Mail this to a friend!
I personally use a combination of macro and live-type. At least for the first few exchanges I use mostly macros, but I've rewritten them into a conversational style ("I'm using an FT0857D here, along with ...") formatted as a regular paragraph rather than the default ("RIG: FT-857D, ANTENNA:...") table style. I also customize the responses based on what the other operator said. For example, if I've received his rig information, I'll ask a question about it after I send mine. In my experience, if someone wants to chat they'll respond to my questions. If they ignore the questions a couple of times, then they're in it for the stat, not the chat, and I complete the QSO and move on to another one. While I like nice ragchews, a quick QSO is enjoyable as well, so it really doesn't bother me either way.

Typically what I do as well is start my reply as soon as they start sending. I type faster than the send buffer can go, and coupled with pre-typing the response while they're sending to me, it could appear as though my entire response is machine-sent. You can't always tell by character timing.

As others have already said, there is enough room on the bands for everyone who has a different interest. If macros bother you, watch a QSO that you like and try to contact one of those ops when they're done. Bail out of a quick QSO as quickly as you can and move onto another one. And there is always the big knob that can be turned, and/or the mode selector that can be switched.

73 de KB7QOA
Jeremy
 
Is PSK31 Getting Too Automated?  
by N5RTF on December 26, 2011 Mail this to a friend!
Perhaps we need a new call: CQ RC or CQ RAGCHEW to indicate that an operator is looking for a real conversation.

Other ops could respond or avoid based on their own preference.
 
Is PSK31 Getting Too Automated?  
by KB3CS on December 26, 2011 Mail this to a friend!
My personal preference is to have a QSO with the operator and not the operator's computer.
Otherwise, I feel my computer should not only QSL but also get the credit.

I pointed this article out to my friend M0TRN and he said:
" Just a couple of days ago, we were a group of people who had this exact discussion. We decided to do something about it! We started the No Macros Digimode Club. We hope it'll grow and promote person-to-person QSOs, especially on the PSK31 segments which seem pretty badly macro-ridden at the moment. Within the first 24 hours, more than ten members had already joined!
It's free and any licensed ham or SWL can join us at http://www.nmdc.org.uk "
 
RE: Is PSK31 Getting Too Automated?  
by KE6SLS on December 26, 2011 Mail this to a friend!
I couldn't agree more with N5RTF! I have a macro that calls cq ragchew. Like so many other ops, I prefer to ragchew and the auto reply seems like I get short changed!

I love macros for some stuff and use them, but I love real chat. When an op only gives me the macro stuff, I wish them well and move on.

Now there are more modes and that's where I find the fun. Lately, back to good ole MFSK. Between cw and these other modes, I'm a happy ham!

As for the 'canned hams', will, you know, some guys only contest on the bands--it's their thing. I don't want numbers, just good chat and that's my thing.

for you other guys looking to qso--try Thor, MFSK*, or even the fast PSK modes.. Were out here looking for you! Also, if you run the other modes, turn on your TX ID'er so it's easier for the rest of us to figure out your operating mode :)

73 ya'll

Jaye, ke6sls
 
RE: Is PSK31 Getting Too Automated?  
by HAMMYGUY on December 26, 2011 Mail this to a friend!
The only two macros I use are "CALL CQ" and "CALL <Callsign>". No others. If the other operator doesn't like my typing speed or seeing a back space to correct mistakes I guess he can sign.

I will say that PSK used to hold my interest, but with the heavy use of Macros it's become quite boring. I will monitor once in a while to see any DX.
 
RE: Is PSK31 Getting Too Automated?  
by N4NZM on December 26, 2011 Mail this to a friend!
Yup, Feld Hell and Olivia are the way to go for a real QSO. PSK31 is good for running up your QRZ counter.
 
RE: Is PSK31 Getting Too Automated?  
by KG4RUL on December 26, 2011 Mail this to a friend!
This is my NOTX macro - it makes up for my hunt-and-peck typing skills:

<CALL> de <MYCALL>
**
btu <CALL> de <MYCALL> kn<RCV>

**I type in my thoughts/responses here as the other station's text appears. Then, when the other station turns it back to me, I click on the TX button.

I also have macros for station info and equipment list.

If this is too "automated" for some stations, well then, remember my call and don't bother QSOing with me.
 
RE: Is PSK31 Getting Too Automated?  
by KG4RUL on December 26, 2011 Mail this to a friend!
OOPS!

Forgot to mention - anyone up for a HELL mode sked??
 
Is PSK31 Getting Too Automated?  
by G0GQK on December 26, 2011 Mail this to a friend!
The operating technique is different now than ten years ago, when it was used as an arm of the morse code operation, sending a huge block of CQ's and the call a dozen times.
This site, naturally,only sees PSK from the American perspective. An American generally speaks only one language, you are taught to write and speak in one language. In Europe there are many languages, and although many in the western countries of Europe are able to speak English, many,of them better than the indigenous members of Britain, they have limitations in writing English. There are also many of the 62 million people in Britain who have difficulties in spelling and writing, as is often evident, so they use macro's.
When you have a contact with a Russian station in Novosibirsk, don't expect him to use his keyboard skills, he doesn't have any, he uses macro's. Same applies to most Russian Federation regions, but it kept them operating when the bands were crap with deep QSB and now there are more PSK users per square mile in Europe than anywhere else on earth.
 
Is PSK31 Getting Too Automated?  
by AB9TA on December 26, 2011 Mail this to a friend!
I agree with the others who have observed that Olivia, Contestia, MT63, MFSK, RTTY, HELL, et.el., have a high precentage of experimenters, tinkerers, and conversationalists who can hold a very enjoyable QSO.

Not to say I haven't had some excellent ragchews on PSK, they're just getting few and far between.

Unfortunately, PSK has lots of folks who are just macroflingers..

So, why not give some of those "odd" modes a try..
See you on the waterfall!
73, Bill AB9TA
 
RE: Is PSK31 Getting Too Automated?  
by AB9TA on December 26, 2011 Mail this to a friend!
Whoops, meant to say folks in the USA.

I get the point about macros being useful in overcoming language barriers..

73!
Bill AB9TA
 
Is PSK31 Getting Too Automated?  
by K0RGR on December 26, 2011 Mail this to a friend!
I'm not a big fan of macros, either, but I am also aware that many people don't type that well, and macros are their salvation. A lot of them can't spell 'cat' if you spot them the first two letters, either, but they can proofread their macro files.

But most of all, I am aware of several handicapped individuals who use all possible automation to be able to make contacts. If they have an interface of some kind that lets them move the cursor and click on it - perhaps by following their eye movements - they can have digital QSO's using the automation we have today. They see someone calling CQ and use the cursor to highlight their callsign in the received text. The software does a QRZ lookup and gets the other op's name and QTH from it. Then, all that's needed is to select the right macros.

In the past, some of these folks would have been on CW (and quite a few still are).

 
Is PSK31 Getting Too Automated?  
by N0AH on December 26, 2011 Mail this to a friend!
I don't know about it being too automated, but it sure seems to be showing up in unappreciated places around 7.027, 14.027.....basically, a lot of the xxx.027. The same 4 ops stateside too. Here's to another macro! HiHi- 73 my name is Paul. QTH DM79nn. Equipment TS590S TS590S Weather here is the same the same I like potatos fried fried.....
 
RE: Is PSK31 Getting Too Automated?  
by WA0TML on December 26, 2011 Mail this to a friend!
I like the idea of CQ RC or CQ RAGCHEW - never really thought of that. I am a ragchewing QRP DXer except during contests. I started as a Ham long ago when a Novice license was non-renewable and the goal of every new Novice was to join RCC, got mine on first QSO.

I am really wanting to try PSK31 and this article is very helpful to me, this next year you should find me /DU or with a Philippine Callsign. So since Christmas is over - Happy New Year. 73
 
RE: Is PSK31 Getting Too Automated?  
by NA0AA on December 26, 2011 Mail this to a friend!
I like PSK as a mode and appreciate it's interesting nature, but I too am not in favor of macro loaded Q's. I mean, that is fine for contesting, but usually I'm more interested in the people, places, etc. than the computer, microprocessor, it's speed, the size and speed of their RAM, video card [WITH RAM], how many RAID drives they have mounted, the size of their monitor and the color of their mousepad, and how many pages of paper are currently loaded in the printer.

I think for me, I'm trying for the most part to not use the computer with the radio - I don't use spotting nets for example [yet] and don't log on the computer either.

I have no issue with people who DO enjoy that form of operation, but I don't choose to join them.

 
Is PSK31 Getting Too Automated?  
by WB5MXO on December 26, 2011 Mail this to a friend!
Agree 100%. Info on QRZ.com DUH! Hard to get a ragchew anymore. Remember the good ole days of mechanical RTTY?
 
Is PSK31 Getting Too Automated?  
by K9CTB on December 26, 2011 Mail this to a friend!
Gosh, guys .... I have to agree with most here. I remember just trying to "get my feet wet" with PSK-31 and I've forgotten the band and the callsigns (which is my point) but it was some South American and European DX and I thought "Wow ... gonna talk with some DX on a new mode (for me)!" What I got was the station info and a nice "73 tnx" ... and that was it. Thing was, except for the callsigns, both exchanges were exactly the same format. Only the gear and QTH was different. As if both stations, thousands of miles apart, used the same template for the contact.

Maybe it is just me, but I shut down the station later that evening, thinking that neither of those guys did much more than tap one key for each exchange and that was it. (Was it good for them, too? - hihi) Who knows? Maybe now, it's completely automated and they don't have to type anything! Seems like a different type of ham radio than I was originally drawn to. As some have said, it's always OK to spin the dial until I find someone who actually wants to rag chew.

73,
K9CTB
 
Be greater than you seem!  
by AI2IA on December 26, 2011 Mail this to a friend!
Getting bored with PSK31? Get off it and go try something else like AM or Morse Code, or build an amplifier.

Never used PSK31? Think you might hate PSK31? Go try PSK31, you need it more than those who have been on it for years.

To refuse to try something new or to stick with the status quo is to be forever a child, a spoiled, selfish child.

Give your self a kick in the butt, whether you are soaked in PSK31 or if you never tried it. Push out! Move on! Stir up your mind. - ai2ia
 
Is PSK31 Getting Too Automated?  
by N9EYL on December 26, 2011 Mail this to a friend!
Yes. 73
 
Is PSK31 Getting Too Automated?  
by K8XF on December 26, 2011 Mail this to a friend!
I agree its the - press the macro nbr and sit back and do nothing. Sometimes that all you get. I recently returned to PSK31 and besides the macros canned speeches there are a few other irritants....I have the Timewave PK-232PSK modem and most times I move the curser/line to the next mountain peak and all hear is ...pse k...and also too many ops are running too much audio into the usb....I have lost many a qso when some clown starts to CQ and he covers up everybody with all sorts of extra mountain peaks. I almost have my WAS PSK...I am still waiting for a reply from Nebraska.

73
Mike K8XF

 
Is PSK31 Getting Too Automated?  
by KT4WO on December 26, 2011 Mail this to a friend!

I have been on the soundcard digi-modes for about 11 years and
on pre-soundcard modes for 8 years before that.

In the first 9 years on the soundcard modes I logged
thousands of QSO's. In the last 2 years, maybe 30. Why?

Well... the "Macro-warrors" the "599 Bandits" and the
500hz wide PSK31 signals. But you know the worst? ..

The guys who give the 500hz wide signal a 599!!!!

Years ago I told every ham what a great thing the new
soundcard modes were and tried to get everyone on....
Man...was that a mistake!!! ..
They go order their Signalink and turn all knobs to the right and
away they go. (but my manual says 4-bars of ALC for digital?)...yea
that was for FSK-RTTY ... not PSK!!!(but everyone gives me a 599?)..
I rest my case.

Trip - KT4WO

PS--Now I use ALE400 alot, if they can figure out MultiPSK they normaly are smart enuff to talk!!..haha

 
Is PSK31 Getting Too Automated?  
by K1CJS on December 27, 2011 Mail this to a friend!
It isn't only PSK31. It's not only digital modes either. It's the entire hobby. With all kinds of additions to make 'operating' faster and less physically demanding, the hobby has gone way too far to automatic ways of doing things.

Newer radios have recorders built in to record calls out--either voice or code. Can't afford a newer radio? Don't worry! There are add-ons that will do the same thing. And the joy of operating has gone out the window because of it.

This past field day, I saw the extremes that some operators will go to--running two or more rigs with automated voice call outs, and when answered, jump to the rig that the answering signal comes up on. And that wasn't only to spell another operator so he could get a bite to eat or a drink--that was ALL THE TIME! And these things are being used not only for field day, but for contesting as well.

I have no doubt that pretty soon someone will come out with a computer program that will just about totally replace the operator, with rote responces so all the operator will have to do is push buttons (or certain keys on the keyboard) to do a QSO. Not only digital modes will be able to go fully automatic--the entire hobby would have the option of doing it. Just where will the ham hobbyist who enjoys the ragchew go then?

People who say this hobby isn't dying a slow death ought to go back and look more closely. The personal touch is all but gone, automatic everything is taking its place, and pretty soon there will be all but nothing left for the ragchewer and the ham who enjoys operating for the fun of it.
 
RE: Is PSK31 Getting Too Automated?  
by K8QV on December 27, 2011 Mail this to a friend!
I guess we're running out of things to bitch about.

 
Is PSK31 Getting Too Automated?  
by W3DBB on December 27, 2011 Mail this to a friend!
With further liberalisation of Part 97 and advances in software it should be possible to achieve DXCC with minimal involvement on the part of the licensee. This can be marketed as an automated robotic service with the licensee as control op of course. Maybe we can call it cognitive radio or something intelligent sounding like that. Shoot skip while asleep, or at work, sometimes simultaneously. Contesting while water skiing. The possibilities are endless.
 
Is PSK31 Getting Too Automated?  
by KC2KCF on December 27, 2011 Mail this to a friend!
To start a conversation with a foreigner, some common ground is often needed to break the ice before branching out to more interesting topics. That common ground, in the case of radio amateurs, naturally would revolve around things like station setup etc.

On the other hand, many amateurs give all this information away on their electronic namecards like qrz.com or eham.net, down to personal details/interests that could be the nucleus for very interesting conversations indeed. Yet the first thing some (probably many) operators do after establishing a contact is to check out such online resources. During many a QSO, an operator even advises his peer(s) to find contact/QSL information online, etc.

Has anyone considered that if you exhaust the icebreaker conversation topics by off-loading them to another medium, there may not be much left to say over the radio to get a good chat started?


 
RE: Is PSK31 Getting Too Automated?  
by N9YNG on December 27, 2011 Mail this to a friend!
If someone has a crummy signal quality, I'll give them the appropriate signal report, explain what I'm seeing on the waterfall. I would want to know if I'm splattering all over the place. Same goes for signal strength.

I generally try to slip in something conversational at the end of my macro, while I am sending or waiting to transmit. If the other person wants to respond, thats cool. If not, thats cool too.

I've has some good rag chews using PSK31. It seems easier to initiate a conversation than using voice. I once talked to someone from my hometown, now living in the midwest. Turns out we were both born in the same hospital, about 30 years apart. That was pretty neat.
 
Is PSK31 Getting Too Automated?  
by W4FID on December 27, 2011 Mail this to a friend!
Yes, I feel it is ............. as are so many facets of life and our hobby.

Ask someone "how are you" and often you get a "canned" answer -- and in all honesty how often do you blow it off and not REALLY hear -- or care? I have even tested a few by replying "my elephant died yesterday" and not gotten a response from half of those I tested.

Often on PSK someone "works" me -- really their computer worked me -- and signed off when I was hopeful for a QSO that contained some interesting info exchange. But I don't "connect" with people on CW or SSB or RTTY or FM some times too. Maybe they have stuff in their lives that's not interesting to me. maybe I am not interesting to them. Maybe it's an off day for whatever reason and we exchange the basic stuff and sign. Seems more personal on voice but in reality it's about the same.

I do really enjoy PSK for the lower power aspect since I have poor antennas in my retirement community. And you can look them up or let your software do it and see if it's a needed state or grid or country or you've worked them before. That part is slick.

So I treat PSK the same way as I treat my limited antennas ........... you work who you work and you enjoy what comes your way.
 
RE: Is PSK31 Getting Too Automated?  
by N5RTF on December 27, 2011 Mail this to a friend!
I love it! Poor Joe becomes a silent key in his sleep, earns 3 more countries before he is buried.

New awards arrive every few weeks until his wife finally figures out how to turn the rig off.
 
Is PSK31 Getting Too Automated?  
by VE6TL on December 27, 2011 Mail this to a friend!
It appears that no one has yet mentioned the practical, sociological benefit of macro communication via PSK31. Somewhere out there, there is a ham who is contemplating writing a book. He/she is building a profile of ham radio operators and now has available a host of free information. After a few weeks of monitoring PSK31 QSOs, the database will be populated with QTH, age, year licensed, rig type and model, digital interface make and model, complete description of antennas, power, computer type and model, operating system, PSK software and version, shoe size, hat size and results of last colonoscopy. Nevermind that the digital information arrives at slow speed, as multi-frequency simultaneous reception can record ten or more QSOs at once.

And who will want to read such a book? Why, those who were willing to sit through all the "bragging" in the first place. I'm sure they'll find it fascinating. Maybe it really does matter which version of Digipan you're using.

Jerry VE6TL
 
Is PSK31 Getting Too Automated?  
by NQ4A on December 27, 2011 Mail this to a friend!
How are we going to learn and advance ham radio if we don't advance our selves? At 72 I have had to learn new tricks. JT65, PSK, RTTY, Olivia, Feld Hell, logging programs,rig controlling etc.
I don't know about you but I have have learned a lot with PSK, RTTY and writing macros. I might add macros are ever changing with the events of the day. Keeping you on the ball !
Someone talked about "impersonal".... how about a CW reply "TU 5NN XX4X" how impersonal is that?
Automated is as automated as you want it to be.
NEVER STOP LEARNING regardless if it is radio, yard work,or any other hobby. The day I quit learning, it will be over.
Jon Bennett NQ4A
 
Is PSK31 Getting Too Automated?  
by NQ4A on December 27, 2011 Mail this to a friend!
How are we going to learn and advance ham radio if we don't advance our selves? At 72 I have had to learn new tricks. JT65, PSK, RTTY, Olivia, Feld Hell, logging programs,rig controlling etc.
I don't know about you but I have have learned a lot with PSK, RTTY and writing macros. I might add macros are ever changing with the events of the day. Keeping you on the ball !
Someone talked about "impersonal".... how about a CW reply "TU 5NN XX4X" how impersonal is that?
Automated is as automated as you want it to be.
NEVER STOP LEARNING regardless if it is radio, yard work,or any other hobby. The day I quit learning, it will be over.
Jon Bennett NQ4A
 
Is PSK31 Getting Too Automated?  
by K5SBR on December 27, 2011 Mail this to a friend!
You just gotta love it. Whatever is old is new again. Read this article and the postings and then go back and read editorials, letters and articles in QST from the 20's and 30's, Radio Magazine pre-WWII, CQ post-WWII and so forth. Substitute PSK31 for the mode of the day - phone, spark, CW, RTTY, SSB, etc.

History should be a required topic for getting a ticket.

73 and see you on the bands,
Ed,K5SBR (since 1958)
 
Is PSK31 Getting Too Automated?  
by KT4NR on December 27, 2011 Mail this to a friend!
I have no issue with macros. I will start a QSO with them to get the formalities out of the way, much the way we initiate a CW or Voice conversation with certain pleasantries. Often my macros get modified on the fly based on something shared by the other operator which can often lead to great conversations. (Last night spoke to a WW2 vet for a while before I had to head to bed. Great conversation!)

I do not like it when folks just share a macro and run. Though with DX I can understand it, as they may not have enough English to do much beyond that. If that is the case fine. Chances are no one wants to watch me struggle through my really rusty french either.

Frankly, if you are going to share macros, fine do so and make some use of them to initiate a conversation. If you are not into rag chewing, at least be nice enough to be willing to create a macro that says, "This is a macro only chat."

Now if only we could un-automate the power levels folks run on data modes that wipe out several KHz at a time....
 
RE: Is PSK31 Getting Too Automated?  
by K2BEW on December 27, 2011 Mail this to a friend!
+by KX5JT on December 26, 2011
How did this end up as an article? Shouldn't this be a Digital Forums post?"

Great point a paragraph and a half is NOT what I would call an article.

The author makes a statement and then asks a question.

This is a discussion, not an article, and definitely belongs in he "Discussion Forum".

tom
n2bew
 
Is PSK31 Getting Too Automated?  
by AL7GA on December 27, 2011 Mail this to a friend!
I think many of the comments about rag chewing in general falling by the wayside are quite true. I have only been licensed for 35 years, but I too have seen the decline of long QSO's. Much of it is likely due to the fast paced world of communications in general, and will probably not change. Frankly, I used to be very aggravating to pile-up stations who wanted to work Alaska (or North Dakota before that), because I wanted to visit a bit with each station. Now, I have settled into the reality of others' preferences. I try to shake things up a bit on JT65HF by throwing in a weather report or the like, but generally do the accepted 3 TX contact. On PSK or phone, I follow the lead of the other station. If he is only wanting to work me for points, that is OK, I will let him get on his way. If he wants to talk awhile, learn more about me or Alaska, I am more than willing to type as fast as I can.
 
Is PSK31 Getting Too Automated?  
by KD0UN on December 27, 2011 Mail this to a friend!
I think the observations are correct, but I still like the mode. Many of the guys are not good typists, and even the ploddingly slow PSK 31 is too fast for them -- MACROS make it work. I would like for the guys to put up a bit of a buffer, though, rather than the two standard ones (QTH/NAME/REPORT) and then (Station info).

It's nothing new, though, since when I was working RTTY years ago, I had my CQ loop, Test loop, Info tape, and Brag tape that I ran through the TEE DEE.

Best thing is -- I can radio, watch TV, and maybe take a trip down the hall without missing a beat on the QSO.
 
Is PSK31 Getting Too Automated?  
by N4HZ on December 27, 2011 Mail this to a friend!
PSK-31 is a great place for hams who may be a bit timid to use automation and be a part of ham radio. I love rag chews and do a lot of them on PSK31. It's an opportunity to engage others who may not feel they are good at conversation. Sure I get brushed off some....other times it's as if I met a new friend. Just try and engage with a friendly approach, treat a novice with the same respect we'd give to a guru ham and have fun when a rag chew is the result. I'm finding some good rag chews on 40 and 80 where I used to see few signals. I let other's brag file do it's thing then attempt to engage.
73
Roger
N4HZ
 
Is PSK31 Getting Too Automated?  
by AA7FY on December 27, 2011 Mail this to a friend!
but such is the SSTV world today too, you send a picture you receive a picture. I too enjoy PSK and being a RTTY I limit my macros to the DX contacts that really don't want to chew the rag anyway. But for me I think my log has more PSK rag chews than macro banters!! 73 de Mark
 
Is PSK31 Getting Too Automated?  
by WB4SNU on December 28, 2011 Mail this to a friend!
I like to ragchew. I have changed over to QRP--CW so I can have a new experience with the radio's. I wanted to try something different so I changed. I built the Elecraft K1, then put it on the air and now I know that someone is either pounding or typing back to me. I am not real fast yet but that will come.
I've tried Olivia, RTTY, PSK31, blasting through with linear SSB, but CW with 5 watts is now my cup of tea.
If you are not satisfied with contact chasers then try something else. There are contact chasers in all of the modes.

Richard WB4SNU
 
Not just data  
by M6GOM on December 28, 2011 Mail this to a friend!
HF SSB is the same. Conversations are mostly now 5/9 73 QRZ?
 
Is PSK31 Getting Too Automated?  
by W5LXG on December 28, 2011 Mail this to a friend!
I feel the answer to the QUESTION in the subject line is "NO"...it is NOT. PSK31 is PSK31..it is what it is. PSK doesn't set the tone of the QSO type, it is the human operator. There are horrible bores on CW too, and on SSB and on FM and on RTTY. If a guy wants to send QTH/NAME/5NN and 73 DROM, so be it. I wonder what the fellow who started this thread intended? Change how QSO conduct should be arranged so HE likes it. Thank God we have all the available bands, modes and the freedom to operate as we please under FCC rules. To each his own, I say. After a particular QSO, if I find the other guy doesn't make for a fun or interesting QSO, I mark my log accordingly. Then, hopefully, I won't answer him again if I call CQ nor reply to him after CQing. 73 and above all...have fun and gripe less. Steve
 
RE: Is PSK31 Getting Too Automated?  
by N5RWJ on December 28, 2011 Mail this to a friend!
Yes I agree, if you want PSK 31 to be more QSO like, then you must add Voice interface.
 
RE: Is PSK31 Getting Too Automated?  
by N0AZZ on December 28, 2011 Mail this to a friend!
If I wanted to BS and rag chew I would go to 75m SSB. Keep them short and sweet that way you can make quite a few contacts quickly. If someone starts a QSO I just sign and leave all I want is the call and a signal report thats it.
 
RE: Is PSK31 Getting Too Automated?  
by K9MHZ on December 28, 2011 Mail this to a friend!
What's attractive about PSK31 is the low power required and the emphasis on keeping your drive lower as well. You can QSO with a very minimalist setup, and if someone delves into the "why" of PSK31 inner workings, it's actually quite fascinating.

Not a bad way to go to QSO and learn something more interesting than cranking on the 1.2 gigawatts and firewalling the mic gain to get that big SSB signal.

 
RE: Is PSK31 Getting Too Automated?  
by KX5JT on December 28, 2011 Mail this to a friend!
HAH!!! A conversation on 75M SSB??? Maybe.. sometimes something intelligent may happen.

I like to ragchew with people all over the world so I will NOT stay on 75m SSB.

It's like this... Live and Let Live. If you want a quick contact from me fine. If you want a ragchew.. engage me. Any mode, any band.

 
Is PSK31 Getting Too Automated?  
by KE4ZHN on December 29, 2011 Mail this to a friend!
It makes me sad to say this, but amateur radio itself has become too automated. Every HF QSO is the same...you're 5/9 cya later...qrzed??? What kind of crap is that? You can set up a computer to do what many of these contest style operators do on the air. I like to compare it to picking up a phone, dialing random numbers and when someone answers say hi to them and hang up. Where is the personality? Where is the friendly conversations hams used to enjoy? I realize that not all hams wish to engage in a chat but come on guys....5/9 and bye? You can get more enjoyment out of watching paint dry.

I tried PSK31 and I like the mode. However, the canned macro crap is as bad as the guys on phone. Same crap different mode. As much as I love this hobby..its becoming flooded with boring people who wont give you the time of day if their lives depended on it. I thought the whole point of amateur radio was communication...not just blowing people off. Its pretty ironic that we are supposed to be communicators and we seem to go out of our way NOT to communicate anymore.
 
Is PSK31 Getting Too Automated?  
by KD9Y on December 29, 2011 Mail this to a friend!
No, I don't thnk so, not more than any other mode. It is nice to push buttons, and you can alway use your keyboard.
Roland KD9Y
 
RE: Is PSK31 Getting Too Automated?  
by W4HIJ on December 29, 2011 Mail this to a friend!
Maybe some of us don't want to listen to some old timer yammer on and on about his most recent surgery or what radio was like in 1935 when he was a young ham . Sometimes I don't mind conversation especially when I find something in common with a contact. Those are nice, had one like that on PSK the other day and we still used macros at parts of the QSO. Other times, I'm working on my WAS or something and I just want your state. Give me a report and a 73 and let me get the heck outta there. JT-65 is a very cool method of chasing awards cause it cuts out all the unneeded(to awards)BS.
I don't find it boring at all. To each their own!
73,
W4HIJ
 
RE: Is PSK31 Getting Too Automated?  
by AA4PB on December 29, 2011 Mail this to a friend!
Heck, why not take it one step further and just have the computers call CQ and make the contacts while we are at work or asleep. It could even automatically submit the contact to LOTW and receive awards via e-mail. All the ham needs to do is call a service tech for an annual equipment check up to make sure it is working at maximum efficiency :-)
 
RE: Is PSK31 Getting Too Automated?  
by KG4RUL on December 29, 2011 Mail this to a friend!
"Heck, why not take it one step further and just have the computers call CQ and make the contacts while we are at work or asleep. It could even automatically submit the contact to LOTW and receive awards via e-mail. All the ham needs to do is call a service tech for an annual equipment check up to make sure it is working at maximum efficiency :-) "

Except for the automatic award submissions, that sound a LOT like WSPR?
 
RE: Is PSK31 Getting Too Automated?  
by W7AIT on December 29, 2011 Mail this to a friend!
YES. No fun anymore.
 
RE: Is PSK31 Getting Too Automated?  
by KS0USA on December 29, 2011 Mail this to a friend!
I engage in QSOs on PSK31 just like I do in the phone (SSB) mode. Macros in digital modes are nothing more than a convenience to exchange some basic information, instead of typing it all over. Get on the bands other than 20 meters and youll engage in ragchew PSK QSOs. Ive had ragchew sessions ranging anywhere from 10 minutes to 2 hours.

What I find extremely interesting is some of the old timers, who were formerly CW only operators, have developed an impairment in their hearing or some other related physical problem and thus found it difficult to continue with CW, but have discovered PSK affords them an opportunity to continue their interest in ham radio by seeing the print on the screen. And some of them cannot type so well and use macros, which is okay too.

What an opportunity to learn about earlier times in ham radio from the old timers.

And by the way, there are some speech to print programs available for digital modes, which sight impaired hams use.

73
W0PSK
 
RE: Is PSK31 Getting Too Automated?  
by W4HIJ on December 30, 2011 Mail this to a friend!
Bottom line. No matter what the mode, if I find a common point of interest with someone, building antennas, model trains, RC airplanes etc. I'll probably stick around and have a conversation....if not I won't. No matter what, I'm going to use macros on PSK for the repetitive stuff. I hate that I may have sounded harsh in my other post but a lot of guys do tend to talk about stuff like that.
The other thing is that I take exception to those who seem to use every thread about rag chewing to take shots at JT-65. JT-65 is a wonderful mode that allows people with less than stellar antenna situations to make contacts, even chase DX. Other than that, folks like me who actually have a ton of room for antennas like it when we just want to make contacts. Sometimes for me, ham radio isn't about having a 45 minute long conversation with someone, it's just about seeing how far my signal goes on a given day. On JT-65 I can rack up 20 contacts all over the country and world in the time it might take me to have one potentially boring conversation on PSK-31 or SSB.
73,
W4HIJ
 
Is PSK31 Getting Too Automated?  
by KE0N on December 30, 2011 Mail this to a friend!
I spend 50% of my time on HF using digital and 50% using CW. I enjoy both equally. However, for rag-chewing there is nothing like straight key CW or getting on with the gang on the local 80 meter net. There are several roundtable ragchew opportunities out there for the cw gang (SKCC, NAQCC, FISTS, Sunrise Net. Tomorrow is Straight Key night (ARRL).

Eliot KE0N
 
Is PSK31 Getting Too Automated?  
by N6CIC on December 30, 2011 Mail this to a friend!
Very interesting thread. I think PSK31 is fantastic for its capability of world-wide communication with low power. The macros don't bother me, and if someone wants to have a rag-chew, I will respond, if not, I finish the QSO and move on. As far as reg-chewing is concerned, I find CW to be my favorite mode. SSB on 80 meters all seem to be the old-gang groups and one rarely hears a CQ. On 20 meters it is high power and 6-element beams on 70 ft. towers. So for me PSK31 has opened up a world of opportunity, macros or not.
73s and Happy New Year!
Scott, N6CIC
 
Is PSK31 Getting Too Automated?  
by KO3D on December 30, 2011 Mail this to a friend!
For me the most frustrating contacts are the "macro rag chews" where the other operator is sending 500 word macro essays. When you respond to something he sent, you get no response because it is all canned.
 
Is PSK31 Getting Too Automated?  
by K6KAP on December 30, 2011 Mail this to a friend!
I am a newcomer to PSK31 (two weeks now). I am one that has always interested in new technology.
I have been very disappointed in "Push Button" QSO's. When I try to have a real chat, I'm usually met with another macro response. I think I'll stay with CW.
 
Is PSK31 Getting Too Automated?  
by K3JIM on December 31, 2011 Mail this to a friend!
If I see one more "OPERATOR CREATED" Brag file I am going to scream !!!
 
Is PSK31 Getting Too Automated?  
by KA5DWI on January 1, 2012 Mail this to a friend!
Sadly, I think about all of the digital mode QSOs are canned. Thank you personal computer.

If it wasn't for my iambic keyer, straight key and bug, CW would be automated too. As my arthritis gets worse in old age that might be just happen.

My only complaint is that we have way way way too many digital modes. I thought RTTY and PSK31 were enough and WSJT for just special VHF and UHF applications. Now I hear so many different flavors, I just shake my head in disgust.

I have used canned PSK31 very effectively for 7 years to do propagation research through PropNET: www.propnet.org
It has allowed me to do an extensive review of Spring/Summer and Winter Es. Go to the "Research" blog and read about it. You might learn something.

You have to make do and use what you can to make you enjoy the hobby, whether you use a key, a computer or your vocal chords. To each their own.

73s
 
RE: Is PSK31 Getting Too Automated?  
by N5PVL on January 2, 2012 Mail this to a friend!
CQ CQ CQ NO MACROS DE N5PVL

CQ CQ CQ NO MACROS DE N5PVL

Pse QSO


 
RE: Is PSK31 Getting Too Automated?  
by KH6FT on January 2, 2012 Mail this to a friend!
I totally agree with the response, you wanna show-off your stenography skills & type a long letter go right ahead, if being a long-winded "Gum'-flapper is your thing go back to SSB or find another "Gum-flapper" who wants to sit there and read that stuff--(Boring !!) If I feel like Yakking I go to SSB, If I dont feel like yak'n I do the 'Hit-n-run" and go digital.There's a Time and place for everyone and any-mode in any situation...Aloha -KH6FT
 
RE: Is PSK31 Getting Too Automated?  
by NE7AA on January 2, 2012 Mail this to a friend!
Look at the history of Packet. It was fun to "hop" from Portland Oregon to Long Beach or just work a pbbs. got to big to be fun.
Rich
 
RE: Is PSK31 Getting Too Automated?  
by DL8OBF on January 3, 2012 Mail this to a friend!
Guys,

I guess it goes for all types of contacts and is not specific to PSK31. Rare DX-contacts and contest exchanges should be short, but for everything else ....

For instance I had a CW-contact with a regular U.S. station (from the Boston area). We admittedly had a previous contact last year, but he responded only with "SK and the date of the contact".... no "73", no signal report, no ...

I would not call that ham-radio, it is just the exchange of contact information for the purpose of QSLing.

Just my 2 Euro-cents,

vy 73
Uwe, DL8OBF (KE7CVQ)
 
RE: Is PSK31 Getting Too Automated?  
by N5RWJ on January 3, 2012 Mail this to a friend!
With the advancement of Codec 2, PSK-31 OPS should be freed from the keyboard and the need of most macros.
For REF info www.rowetel.com , move down the page to you find codec 2.
 
RE: Is PSK31 Getting Too Automated?  
by AA6YQ on January 3, 2012 Mail this to a friend!
1. Improve your conversational skills. There are many ways to draw your QSO partner out of a macro-fest and into a conversation. "What do you do when you're not on the radio?" is one effective opening line.

2. When working ops from countries where English is not widely spoken, use words from your QSO partner's native language. Yes, you'll have to work to do this, just as non-English speaking ops must work to QSO with you.

3. Claims that DXing can be successfully automated are ludicrous. Apps can automate administrivia (QSLing, credit submission), Apps can monitor and predict propagation, and apps can identify active DX stations that are need to advance award progress -- all of which help focus a DXer's time and effort. But Apps can't make the QSO in the face of QRM, QRN, QSB, and competition from fellow DXers; success depends on the op's experience and skill.

73,

Dave, AA6YQ (author, DXLab)
 
Is PSK31 Getting Too Automated?  
by KA4DQJ on January 3, 2012 Mail this to a friend!
It ain't too automated for me. I don't even have an interface; I just run two cables from the microphone/speaker connections of the rig and the laptop, set the rig for VOX activation, use Digipan and I'm on the air.
 
Is PSK31 Getting Too Automated?  
by K3VAT on January 4, 2012 Mail this to a friend!
Why not make PSK63 the de facto mode for macro-QSOs and PSK31 for 'real' QSOs? HNY 73 Rich K3VAT
 
RE: Is PSK31 Getting Too Automated?  
by K1BRF on January 4, 2012 Mail this to a friend!
EmCom usage has enormous potential using PSK-31 and automation is critical. Data rate throughput per slice of bandwidth has to be optimized by ham radio to protect spectrum and that is aided by automation. The old "give me. Good old spark coil" thinking has got to go. Automation? How personal is ALE?
 
Is PSK31 Getting Too Automated?  
by KDMSKY59 on January 6, 2012 Mail this to a friend!
I went back to mw dx which is where I started with a GE transistor radio in high school. No more tx for me. Just a Perseus, SDR-IQ and a good antenna.

Radio bliss
 
Is PSK31 Getting Too Automated?  
by KC2RGW on January 6, 2012 Mail this to a friend!
Agreed with the commenters, use the alternate 'odd' modes as the users of Olivia/Contestia/Thor/Domino etc tend to like to chat more frequently than PSK-31 users.

USE RSID, enable it for TX and RX if you are using modes other than PSK. It goes a long way for other people to figure out what mode you are in.

The other tip is to go 1kHz off the 'usual' PSK area and call CQ there. Generally if an op is sharp enough to search around a bit, they will engage in a chat too.

I don't mind a quick contact for an unusual place or a new country, but most of the time I like to chat.

You can have some really amusing moments when on PSK-31 if after the

>>>MY STATION>>>>

you simply ask "Oh you have an Icom 7200 huh, how do you like that rig so far?" BTU

It's really amusing how many people just panic and disappear if you require them to interact. When I'm bored I'll do this over and over for a good chuckle. It's a really quick way to get an actual QSO going too.

One of my regular contacts is 89 yrs old and if he can manage typing along for a chat, anyone can. No excuses.

Further tips, the upper bands generally don't lend well to long chats as the propagation is too unstable, so 20m and lower in frequency tends to be better with 30m,40m, 80 and 160 being even better for long chats in the evenings. I stick mostly to 40m and 80m when I'm in rag chew mode. I also CQ saying "rag chew" which pretty well advertises what I'm up to.
 
Is PSK31 Getting Too Automated?  
by KD8NGE on January 8, 2012 Mail this to a friend!
Like anything else, it is what you make it.
I am a published author, historic re-enactor and lecturer: my natural inclination is to conversation.
As soon as I get PSK31 up and running my QTH I'll try and strike a blow for anti-macro-ism!
 
Is PSK31 Getting Too Automated?  
by KI3N on January 8, 2012 Mail this to a friend!
Sometimes PSK can be that way, especialy when you're working foreign contacts that dont have a firm grasp of the English language ...this mode is more of a Godsend for them since they can have 'canned' exchanges ready to go.

Sometimes US operators may be more comfortable with macros because of the speed of transmission; a hunt-and-peck typist lags behind poorly at psk31 transmission speeds, but these same ops may prefer Olivia where they have the time to type at a much more reasonable speed comparable to their typing abilities. Also, some people just dont converse as well in the written word as they do verbally. That being said, I *have* had some really excellent 'ragchew' psk contacts on a wide variety of topics, and I enjoy the chance to break free from the macro for a good (non-contest!) QSO.

73 de KI3N
 
Is PSK31 Getting Too Automated?  
by G8WWD on January 12, 2012 Mail this to a friend!
Funnily enough I joked at our local club last week that what some members wanted was PSK31 automated even more so that they simply switched it on, left it for a few hours and checked back later to see what QSO's it'd had. Wouldn't be difficult to do really! LOL.

73
Gordon G8WWD

 
Is PSK31 Getting Too Automated?  
by N6HPX on January 15, 2012 Mail this to a friend!
I have been doing PSK31 for about 6 yrs now, and everyone of my contacts except for a few have been just like doing chat mail like that of yahoo or others. I enjoy it but have to admit its is kinda hard to get use to sitting in front of the computer for hours with out any speech. But I rather do it this way than to run the other modes they call radio like that of d-star or echo link which to me is not real ham radio(through the internet)

For me on the other side of the world the PSK31 and JT65HF has been somewhat fun and do want to work other modes, like SSTV and RTTY. PSK is fun in my book.
 
Is PSK31 Getting Too Automated?  
by WA2NTK on January 15, 2012 Mail this to a friend!
Conversation in general is a learned skill. A learned skill that is constantly being eroded by non-personal modes of communication such as cell phone texting, social media outlets and yes keyboard to keyboard modes of radio communications. I can assure you that it is only going to get worde as time passes. So when you find a good QSO enjoy it as you have no way of knowing when another one will come along.Ralph WA2NTK
 
Is PSK31 Getting Too Automated?  
by KV9L on January 15, 2012 Mail this to a friend!
I'm going to have to say yes. I don't know if its laziness or just lack of typing skills but I am starting to see less information exchanged in "QSO" than in a contest.

Happened to me tonight on 40M, replied to a CQ, got a reply back with a INFO macro, replied back with a INFO macro and some text explaining I was testing out an antenna.... got a 73 macro in return.
Wonderful "QSO"
 
RE: Is PSK31 Getting Too Automated?  
by N6HPX on January 16, 2012 Mail this to a friend!
Most of the time I call the CQ on PSK or JT65,in the so called Robot mode, is just long enough to make a contact, but after we establish one we do make one on one conversations, like my friends in 9V1 and Madagascar and many JA's,where we chat like those of Yahoo. But we usually have good contacts until the propagation shifts, never had that kind of conversation with some one at 20 watts and have it last more than 20 minutes.And its been fun for me over the past 6 yrs.

Still trying to figure out RTTY modes and SSTV as I got many signals but never been able to establish contacts.

 
Is PSK31 Getting Too Automated?  
by KD6NRP on January 16, 2012 Mail this to a friend!
I've been a PSK31 user since 2007 and a straight key CW operator for one year.

I don't think PSK31 is "getting" more automated. The level of automation appears to have remained about the same. Although I make extensive use of macros, I sometimes have unscripted, extended conversations that go beyond exchanging name, QTH, and station setup.

Straight key CW, on the other hand, isn't automated and is much more interactive. But most CW QSOs are rather terse and limited to exhanging name, QTH, CW club membership number, station setup, and the weather.



 
RE: Is PSK31 Getting Too Automated?  
by AB7KT on January 17, 2012 Mail this to a friend!
"When I get home from a particularily rough or long day though, sometimes I may want to have a few QSO's but don't really have the "gas" for a good rag chew, then I jump on JT65, just what the doctor ordered for those situations. "

This sums it up for me. I work what most people would consider weird hours (common in my profession). There are a lot of times I am dead tired and just want to unwind for a half hour or so before I go to bed. Or, I just wake up and want some ham radio entertainment while I get sparked up on some coffee. Tonight is a prime example. I was up all night last night at work. This is my first day off and I am way below par energy wise: both mental and physical energy. I want to enjoy my hobby and this offers me a less intense way of doing it.
While reading this forum I have worked several JT65 contacts. You may find that boring. You may not understand how I can call this ham radio that I am reading an on-line forum AND working contacts on ham radio at the same time. But, I enjoy it. I am not huring anyone else.
What's the problem with that ?

I enjoy ragchewing as much as anyone on here. I definitely have the gift of gab. I have spent the vast majority of my time on ham radio ragchewing. For about 30 years I didn't chase DX, I didn't chase awards, I didn't contest, I didn't check into nets: Every contact I made was a ragchew or an attempt to ragchew. As I get older I find that I don't ALWAYS want to ragchew: sometimes I just don't feel like it. I also found that I finally desired to chase a little DX and chase a few awards like WAS and in the process I have made quite a few: "callsign/signal report/73 type of contacts. And I enjoyed it.

While this may not be your cup of tea, realize that your view of the world isn't the only view of the world and just because it is yours doesn't make it the last word on the subject.
 
RE: Is PSK31 Getting Too Automated?  
by AB7KT on January 17, 2012 Mail this to a friend!
I guess I should have added that I can type at 60 wpm. I just don't always want to sit up to the desk and do it.

I get a kick out of these guys who say that they try to force the other person into a ragchew.
"This isn't about YOUR enjoyment of the contact, this is about MY enjoyment of the contact, therefore we are doing things MY way whether you like it or not".
 
Is PSK31 Getting Too Automated?  
by K3LUE on January 18, 2012 Mail this to a friend!
If we choose to use macros, it would be a good idea to rework those macros and get a little creative. How many times have we heard, or read, "operator created on....." I think the macro examples are to be used as suggestions.....they don't have to be the last word.
Ron
 
Is PSK31 Getting Too Automated?  
by K2ID on January 23, 2012 Mail this to a friend!
Enough so that I do not bother with it anymore. It is like having a conversation with a Magic 8 Ball. :)
 
Is PSK31 Getting Too Automated?  
by N6HPX on January 25, 2012 Mail this to a friend!
I enjoy the one on one contacts via PSK31 and also JT65HF and I have to admit it might be boring for some. For myself I have increased my country contacts by 40 or 50.

I have a problem with the other modes like D-star and Echolink, to me thats not radio,its internet radio,and in my case I travel the world via ships, and in most cases still need a local permit to operate from the places. Like as example 9v1, or 7n1 but for others it might be exciting.

 
RE: Is PSK31 Getting Too Automated?  
by AI4QJ on January 27, 2012 Mail this to a friend!
You can choose to have a QSO....just type. If the contact is comfortable with English, you can have a QSO most of the time. Think about the alternative, if the 'constant' information like QTH, name, station etc. were not automated, you would be typing that same information every time which would not be much fun at all.
 
RE: Is PSK31 Getting Too Automated?  
by AI4QJ on January 27, 2012 Mail this to a friend!
You can choose to have a QSO....just type. If the contact is comfortable with English, you can have a QSO most of the time. Think about the alternative, if the 'constant' information like QTH, name, station etc. were not automated, you would be typing that same information every time which would not be much fun at all.
 
RE: Is PSK31 Getting Too Automated?  
by AI4QJ on January 27, 2012 Mail this to a friend!
You can choose to have a QSO....just type. If the contact is comfortable with English, you can have a QSO most of the time. Think about the alternative, if the 'constant' information like QTH, name, station etc. were not automated, you would be typing that same information every time which would not be much fun at all.
 
Is PSK31 Getting Too Automated?  
by K7BAW on February 8, 2012 Mail this to a friend!
Lost in the noise of viewpoints is the very real fact that for some of us digital mode is the only way we can interact. Why because our hearing is so poor that Phone or CW are not options. While I am a new ham, I work exclusively in digital and enjoy it. Sometimes I have extended chats - one was an hour long- and other times I just like to swap macros. I regularly meet people I have contacted before and we spend a few minutes getting up to date. It is all good, it is all ham radio in the truest sense and generally it is a lot of fun. Let's not knock it, but rather accept what and how digital is used, and remember that for some of us, if there were no digital modes we would not be active hams.
 
Is PSK31 Getting Too Automated?  
by K8GY on February 11, 2012 Mail this to a friend!
I too prefer to have a real QSO as well. I have found that the lower bands are somewhat better for less automated type QSOs. Take heart it does happen and more often than you might think. I think it is also more likely when you are working state side stations due to the language barrier of some operators. Don't give up on PSK it's a great alternative when the voice bands are too busy I also have some hearing loss so I don't have to strain when operating. You can also have music going in the shack as well.

Love the digital modes.
 
Email Subscription
You are not subscribed to discussions on this article.

Subscribe!
My Subscriptions
Subscriptions Help

Other Recent Articles
Amateur Radio Enthusiasts are Handy in Emergencies:
Ham Operators Deliver Messages from Maria-Battered Puerto Rico:
New 630 Meter Band Available October 15:
Swindon and Cricklade Railway Join Worldwide Radio Communication:
Hurricane Damages Giant Radio Telescope -- Why It Matters: