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Author Topic: Olivia Mode Why is it not more popular  (Read 2283 times)
NN2X
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Posts: 232




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« on: October 05, 2017, 04:42:03 AM »

Hello Fellow Ham Operators


For many of us, the thrust of Ham radio is to work DX, and finding different ways to meet this goal with least amount need of large antennas. 

CW was the king, but now with the likes of Olivia working signals under -13 dB below the noise floor, (WPM about 30), is hard to beat.

If you can't see the modulated carrier on the spectrum, yet have a QSO, that is something

In the real world, many Ham operators don't have the set to have the volume of DX Contacts...

With Olivia I can work fellow Ham operator with 40 watts using  Magnetic loop, (DX), or another with dipole in his or her attic (DX contacts). Of course JT65 is the best, but no QSO, with Olivia, you can have a great QSO.

The other day, I was working a Ham operator on BPSK, and he was fading (QSB), and weak signal which was hard to copy. I requested please use Olivia (8 / 500 on 14.072), and presto, now issues. He now is complete of Olivia fan.

There are other digital modes, that are competitive as well.

Yes, Olivia uses bandwidth, and typing speeds are about 30 WPM, but it is a nice mode to have a rag chew, and does not require large antenna arrays to close the link (To work the DX!)

My questioned, why hasn't Olivia become more popular given all the advantages and so efficient ( -13 DB below the noise floor)

NN2X 73

Tom
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KC4ZGP
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Posts: 1578




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« Reply #1 on: October 05, 2017, 05:16:29 AM »


Ditto Tom.

I too was on PSK-31 and the gentleman asked me to go to Olivia. I did and wow! I barely see the smear on the screen
and text comes in like no body's business.

PSK-31 barely see the waterfall, barely any text printed.

Why more don't use Olivia? Olivia is a ragchew mode whilst PSK-31 has migrated to macro mode.

One solid contact in one evening means everything is fine. And I'll talk your ears off. I want to hear from you not
your computer (macros).

But for now, it's Morse, 160 meters. The season is here! Giddy-up!

Kraus
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NN2X
Member

Posts: 232




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« Reply #2 on: October 05, 2017, 05:25:48 AM »

Hi Tim (KC4ZGP) I actually worked you on 17 meters (Olivia!)...Small Ham world!
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KC4ZGP
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Posts: 1578




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« Reply #3 on: October 05, 2017, 05:43:54 AM »


Ah ha. I knew Your call was most different.

Olivia on 17 meters. The new definition of rarity.

I can't even decently raise folks on 17 meters Morse. So down came the delta but I think our
QSO was via my folded dipole. I don't keep logs so I don't have a date.

Have you furthers successes on 17 meters, Olivia, PSK-31? I'm just at 20 PSK-31 and 160 Morse.
Kraus





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K0UA
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Posts: 1185




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« Reply #4 on: October 05, 2017, 09:45:22 AM »

One Reason Olivia is not more popular is that many hams have absolutely NOTHING to say. That's right, the radio service that is the epitome of one on one communication, has many members that can not or will not communicate with their fellow amateurs.

 People are in the hobby for various reasons, and not all amateurs like to talk. Either over a microphone or over a keyboard or a key.  Since Olivia is pretty much a chat mode (and a darn good one too), that leaves many out. This is also why FT8 is SO popular.  No talking required, not even by the keyboard. You can make contacts out the ying yang, and never have to talk to anyone.

I love FT8 for making contacts and award chasing.  But I also like Olivia for talking with people.  Some hams are very interesting to talk to.  Some not so much. But you have to try. And you have to want to communicate.
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K4EZD
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Posts: 143




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« Reply #5 on: October 05, 2017, 09:45:39 AM »

I tried Olivia a few times in the past but found it to be painfully slow to carry on a qso.  I find psk63 more enjoyable.  Just a personal preferance.

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AA2UK
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Posts: 173




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« Reply #6 on: October 05, 2017, 10:36:33 AM »

I am thinking since FT8 will now decode signals down to -22 to -24 it can't compete with WSJT-X.
Bill AA2UK
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K0UA
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Posts: 1185




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« Reply #7 on: October 05, 2017, 11:37:11 AM »

I tried Olivia a few times in the past but found it to be painfully slow to carry on a qso.  I find psk63 more enjoyable.  Just a personal preferance.



Yes, the narrow slow speeds of Olivia are slow.  But the wider faster versions can move right along. That is another problem.. TOO many choices.  WAY too many choices.  Average joe ham just "picks one" and doesnt' have a clue what he picked.  May don't  use the Reed Solomon TX Id either.
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N6YFM
Member

Posts: 470




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« Reply #8 on: October 05, 2017, 02:07:04 PM »

Hello Fellow Ham Operators


For many of us, the thrust of Ham radio is to work DX, and finding different ways to meet this goal with least amount need of large antennas.  
CW was the king, but now with the likes of Olivia working signals under -13 dB below the noise floor, (WPM about 30), is hard to beat.
If you can't see the modulated carrier on the spectrum, yet have a QSO, that is something
In the real world, many Ham operators don't have the set to have the volume of DX Contacts...
With Olivia I can work fellow Ham operator with 40 watts using  Magnetic loop, (DX), or another with dipole in his or her attic (DX contacts). Of course JT65 is the best, but no QSO, with Olivia, you can have a great QSO.
The other day, I was working a Ham operator on BPSK, and he was fading (QSB), and weak signal which was hard to copy. I requested please use Olivia (8 / 500 on 14.072), and presto, now issues. He now is complete of Olivia fan.
There are other digital modes, that are competitive as well.
Yes, Olivia uses bandwidth, and typing speeds are about 30 WPM, but it is a nice mode to have a rag chew, and does not require large antenna arrays to close the link (To work the DX!)

My questioned, why hasn't Olivia become more popular given all the advantages and so efficient ( -13 DB below the noise floor)

NN2X 73

Tom


From a user psychology view, here are some reasons why it is not popular right now;

+  New digital mode users will "follow the herd" by asking friends what mode they are using,
    and therefore jump on JT modes and FT8 modes like all the rest.

+  The "bell curve" of new digital users seem more interested in "number of QSOs logged per hour"  (Q.P.H.)
    rather than good ol' fashioned socializing and rag chewing.

Just some observations about the crowd.   Now, ... if you want more users on Olivia, people like company,
and they like being led.    There are too many different olivia "modes" to choose from.  So if you don't already
know where the action will be, no one bothers to try.    Want to change that?
All it takes is a little tiny bit of "marketing", and then others that want to try something new but don't know
where to start, will indeed follow.

Just like the announcement threads for the A.M. Rally actually drew new people to try that old mode
(including me), doing the same for Olivia WILL attract attention.  You just need to "lay it out" for people.

How to proceed?    Simple;

+  Log onto the digital modes sub-forum on both QRZ.com and eham.net

+  Post a topic/message with a title similar to:  "NEW:  Olivia Mode QSO Gatherings"

+  In the body of the message, put something that covers;

     -  We are inviting all Hams to an informal group of users interested in making QSO's with the Olivia digital mode.

     -  We will hang out on the following frequencie(s) at the following times  <__________________>.

     -  We will use Olivia sub-mode 500/16 exclusively (or whatever you guys choose).
  
     -  Here are some links to how you can configure HRD, or FLdigi, or <____> and join us.

     -  Post replies here if you need help getting on the air.

     -  Please join us and start logging some Olivia QSOs today!

==========================

1.  You post this on both sites.
2.  You make sure that someone replies at least once a week to keep the topic on the main/first page.
3.  I would be happy join you on the air, I like new modes.

The above would constitute simple repeating marketing, and likely double or tripple the number of people
trying out Olivia.

Any takers?  Who wants to lead?    I would love to log an Olivia QSO or two, or ten  :-)

Cheers,

Neal
« Last Edit: October 05, 2017, 02:12:43 PM by N6YFM » Logged
K0UA
Member

Posts: 1185




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« Reply #9 on: October 05, 2017, 03:29:11 PM »

Without a doubt, hams are "herd animals".  FT8 is where it is at for now.  No actual talking or typing required, lots of DX, lots of contacts, BUT no actual person to person information passed.  You sure don't get to know your contact, other than going to his QRZ page.  And lots of guys have a blank QRZ page. Just the facts jack, no personalization at all.  But you are right, if someone would make some noise about a certain speed and bandwidth of Olivia, there would be some takers.  It would be fun too!
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KC4ZGP
Member

Posts: 1578




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« Reply #10 on: October 05, 2017, 05:52:50 PM »


It's hard to type with thumbs on a computer keyboard. Folks are always looking down at their
hands, thumbs in motion.

I remember the three-rowed teletpye machines I used in the air force. Circuits were
everywhere. Orderwires to boot.

Wish I could go back in the air force. Yo Rinny!

Kraus
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N9AOP
Member

Posts: 615




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« Reply #11 on: October 05, 2017, 08:42:08 PM »

Olivia 64/2K will actually work slightly under the noise level but is a little wide in the amateur band.   MARS made extensive use of this mode until changing over to a STANAG mode.  Before Olivia and Domino, there was wide use of MFSK for kbd to kbd contacts and it worked better than RTTY under poor conditions.
Art
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AA6YQ
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Posts: 2623


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« Reply #12 on: October 05, 2017, 09:04:31 PM »

Metcalfe's Law states that the value of a network is proportional to the square of the number of nodes. An amateur radio mode is a network; thus it's "value" is proportional to the square of the number of users. In particular, a mode will not be perceived as attractive unless it attracts a critical mass of users. This is a classic chicken-and-egg problem.

Why did PSK31 quickly attract a critical mass of users?
- requires just a soundcard and a computer
- runs about as fast as most ops can type
- provides good weak signal decoding
- squeezes a lot of QSOs into a standard transceiver's passband, making PSK sub-bands (and thus PSK31 QSO partners) easy to find, and enabling panoramic reception
- supports panoramic reception, making it possible to see every station QRV in a PSK sub-band and select a particular QSO partner

Why has FT8 quickly attracted a critical mass of users?
- requires just a soundcard and a computer
- doesn't require much typing
- provides great weak signal decoding
- squeezes a lot of QSOs into a standard transceiver's passband, making FT8 sub-bands (and thus FT8 QSO partners) easy to find, and enabling panoramic reception
- supports panoramic reception, making it possible to see every station QRV in an FT8 sub-band and select a particular QSO partner

Why hasn't Olivia attracted a critical mass? It doesn't squeeze a lot of QSOs into a standard transceiver' passband, so it's harder to find Olivia QSO partners, and panoramic reception requires a wide-band SDR. The profusion of variants, as noted in a previous post in this thread, increases the perception that Olivia QSO partners are hard to find.

Chicken-and-egg problems must be overcome with some sort of kickstart. With PSK31, that kickstart was being the first soundcard digital mode, with panoramic reception in well-defined sub-bands serving as an afterburner; the simple PSK31 app that Peter G3PLX provided got things started, but it was Skip KH6TY's Digipan with panoramic reception that put PSK31 into orbit. With FT8, the kickstart was "most of the weak signal benefits of JT65 in a ~90 second QSO", with panoramic reception in well-defined sub-bands serving as an afterburner.

There have been several previous attempts to stir up interest in Olivia and other modes, but they never achieve critical mass.
« Last Edit: October 05, 2017, 09:14:08 PM by AA6YQ » Logged
K0UA
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Posts: 1185




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« Reply #13 on: October 06, 2017, 07:05:54 AM »

Due to this thread, last night after I got done chasing states on FT8, I decided to go exploring for some Olivia.  I was on 40 meters, it was after 11:00pm here. Well I found two flavors of Olivia going and one Contestia and several PSK31 signals.  I decided to answer a CQ on PSK31, and had a nice QSO, the W6, who didn't spring a single macro on me, and we just kbd to kbd chatted for about 20 minutes.  We had a good time and by then it was time for bed.  So I didn't get on Olivia.  I still think there is too may Olivia choices and why do we need modes like Contestia?.  MT63?  others... too many others.  Maybe I am being a curmudgeon, but when we diversify, we dilute. How many versions of FT8 are there.  Just one.  When you get on FT8, you know exactly what frequency to get on and you know you can find everyone on that band on that frequency.  Pretty much the same for PSK31 too.
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AA6YQ
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« Reply #14 on: October 06, 2017, 12:25:37 PM »

  I still think there is too may Olivia choices and why do we need modes like Contestia?.  MT63?  others... too many others.  Maybe I am being a curmudgeon, but when we diversify, we dilute. How many versions of FT8 are there.  Just one.  When you get on FT8, you know exactly what frequency to get on and you know you can find everyone on that band on that frequency.  Pretty much the same for PSK31 too.

Not every digital mode designer is seeking to create the next "mass market mode". Perhaps the Olivia designer's goal was to provide a family of modes that could support a range of speed-quality-conditions tradeoffs, allowing users to choose the optimal variant for the situation at hand.

FT8 is excellent for DXing, but not so great for emergency communications.

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