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Author Topic: What digital mode is most common now?  (Read 599 times)
KE7KXS
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Posts: 26




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« on: November 10, 2017, 03:36:37 PM »

Hi, I'm wanting to try decoding digital signals. Years ago PSK31 was very popular.

What mode does the community use now? What frequencies? What software?

Thank you, Caesar.
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K8AC
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Posts: 1765




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« Reply #1 on: November 10, 2017, 04:04:12 PM »

Right now it seems most of the activity is on FT8 on all bands.  The software is WSJT-X with JT-Alert.  Connections to your PC and rig are the same as for PSK31.  The activity takes place within about  a 2.5 kHz bandwidth beginning usually at 74 kHz inside the bottom of the CW band.  There are some exceptions.  The WSJT-X documentation covers the frequency recommendations.  There's an active WSJT Yahoo group. 

73, Floyd - K8AC
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K0UA
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Posts: 1362




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« Reply #2 on: November 10, 2017, 04:12:57 PM »

Hi, I'm wanting to try decoding digital signals. Years ago PSK31 was very popular.

What mode does the community use now? What frequencies? What software?

Thank you, Caesar.

For this moment in time the most popular digital mode is FT8. You use WSJT-x software it is free.
https://physics.princeton.edu/pulsar/k1jt/wsjtx.html

you will likely want JT alert to go with it.  I can't imagine running it without  JT alert, but a lot of folks do.
http://hamapps.com/

Get all 3 pieces of JT alert.  The program, the database and the sounds.  You will need to download the database periodically when you see the words updates in the JT alert header.

Keep in mind FT8 in NOT a conversational mode.  You only use it to make contacts for awards, and it also contains WSPR which you can use to see how well your signal is getting out to the rest of the world.

http://wsprnet.org/drupal/wsprnet/map

If you want conversations, then still PSK31 or Olivia. .  One place to get a program that will run both of those modes and many more is FLdigi

https://sourceforge.net/projects/fldigi/

FLdigi will also contain a pretty fair RTTY app. RTTY is just used in contests any more. and Dx peditions.  Not much ragchew RTTY any more.  Might find a little, but not much.  There are about a thousand other modes.  Most of them are in FLdigi.

You will need CAT control of your rig and depending on how new the rig is, you will likely need an audio interface.  There are lots of ways to do it, but most of the newer rigs made in the last couple of years have built in modems, and no interface is needed.  It is usually done over USB for both the audio and CAT control.

If you have any questions come back and we will try out best to help.

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W5DXP
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« Reply #3 on: November 11, 2017, 11:47:19 AM »

Hi, I'm wanting to try decoding digital signals. Years ago PSK31 was very popular.

Being in the same situation here (except had previously been setup for PACTOR) I chose PSK31 first because I prefer to ragchew. There's plenty of PSK31 activity on 40m and 20m with my IC-756 set to 7.0698 MHz on 40m USB and 14.0698 on 20m USB using a $10 Easy Digi
board and DigiPan - I plan to try FT8 later.
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KE7KXS
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Posts: 26




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« Reply #4 on: November 11, 2017, 12:15:37 PM »

Thank you I appreciate it. I'm slowly getting there. I've got UHF/VHF pat down into receivers.

I'm trying for SSB at the moment and trying to get the right antenna configuration).

I've installed FLDigi and WSTJ-X but am not decoding anything yet. Further I can't distinguish what might be wsjt, psk31,or ft-8 on the waterfall :-)

Thank you, Caesar.
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K0UA
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Posts: 1362




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« Reply #5 on: November 11, 2017, 01:08:03 PM »

Thank you I appreciate it. I'm slowly getting there. I've got UHF/VHF pat down into receivers.

I'm trying for SSB at the moment and trying to get the right antenna configuration).

I've installed FLDigi and WSTJ-X but am not decoding anything yet. Further I can't distinguish what might be wsjt, psk31,or ft-8 on the waterfall :-)

Thank you, Caesar.

Cesar, the frequency of operation will tell you  what you need to know.  And WSJT-x  (provided you have CAT control) will take your receiver to the correct frequency for each band for FT8 for example.  On 20 meters you should have hundreds of signals on 14.074  Upper Sideband data mode.

Make sure you have installed a timekeeping NTP (network time protocol) software to keep your computer in perfect time. This is important.  Make sure you are in USB data mode, This is also important.  Make sure your are feeding your interface/program with the correct audio level from your receiver, and it HAS to work.   If it is not working, something is set up wrong.

PSK 31 is a bit more problematic as you will need to set up and tune in and click on each signal in the waterfall you want to decode. (well there is a decode all in the bandwidth mode too in some of the programs) Look around 14.070 USB data mode. for signals. There aren't as many as there used to be.  How does your waterfall look, and in what program?
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KE7KXS
Member

Posts: 26




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« Reply #6 on: November 19, 2017, 11:34:21 AM »

Hi,

I've managed 2 QSOs at 40m, WSJT-X FT8 mode, there are many activities.

I'm using FLDigi for PSK, and yes it seems elusive.

Yup, using my Mac's NTP client & nist as time server.

Thank you, Caaesar.
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AA2UK
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Posts: 303




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« Reply #7 on: November 20, 2017, 09:22:27 AM »

Depends for HF and VHF depending on prop FT8 rules.

On 630 meters and 2200 most stations use JT9 for weak signal work. WSPR for beacan mode.

For 6, 2 and 222mHz generally MSK144 is used unless 6 meters opens then it's pretty much, wait for it, FT8. FT8 on 2 meters thru 432mHz allows stations to work greater distances then they normally would using SSB and CW.

If your an EME guy/gal JT65 still rules but QRA64 is catching on.

Bill, AA2UK
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