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Author Topic: Other modes besides PSK?  (Read 31814 times)
N0FPE
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« on: May 07, 2011, 01:17:52 PM »

With all the programs offering multiple modes in the digital area why do the majority of people stay on PSK and not try the other modes? Some of the newer digital modes are better than PSK in weak signal and error correction. But when one gets on the bands you find 99% of folks using PSK. try calling CQ on say Throb, Thor, Hell80, or any one of the dozens of other digital modes and you will be met with total silence. Maybe that's the way it is/was for the CW folks!!
SO roll that mouse over and click on one of the other modes and give it a try!

Dan/NØFPE
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W8JX
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« Reply #1 on: May 07, 2011, 01:55:25 PM »

Well one reasons very few programs seamlessly support most digital modes. (even HRD misses some of them).  Also PSK31 is almost kinda a no brainier to ID, tune in and use. Myself, PSK31 is kinda a last resort as I prefer to operate other modes (Olivia, Throb, Domino, MFSK  etc).  It can be a biy harder to ID various Olivia and Domino modes by sound alone and it scares some away from them but with proper software is is not hard to figure out.  Once a while ago I hooked up with a guy  and we went thru a dozen different modes with click of mouse. (Actually when we first hooked up with Olivia he was using HRD and downloaded MultiPSK and switched to it to play with other modes that HRD did not support.) BTW I have done PSK 63 and PSK 125 too. 
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AA6YQ
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« Reply #2 on: May 07, 2011, 03:44:11 PM »

With all the programs offering multiple modes in the digital area why do the majority of people stay on PSK and not try the other modes?

Because many of the other modes aren't sufficiently better, but consume significantly more bandwidth; as a result, panoramic reception is limited to a choice of two or three signals that fit within a typical transceiver's passband, as compared with the tens of PSK31 or PSK63 signals from which ops can choose

   73,

        Dave, AA6YQ
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W8JX
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« Reply #3 on: May 07, 2011, 04:57:05 PM »

With all the programs offering multiple modes in the digital area why do the majority of people stay on PSK and not try the other modes?

Because many of the other modes aren't sufficiently better, but consume significantly more bandwidth; as a result, panoramic reception is limited to a choice of two or three signals that fit within a typical transceiver's passband, as compared with the tens of PSK31 or PSK63 signals from which ops can choose


Not really true in that while  some will most use more bandwidth, some have error correction and will also perform better in lousy conditions. It is possible to have reliable chats with other modes when PSK will not print. And as far as 30 signals in band pass verses 3 or 4 this is no big boon. Just more potential QRM to swamp AGC.  Some of the "other" modes also have a lower transmitter duty cycle than PSK too. (easier on radio). One of the mode (Domino) doe not even care if radio drifts as it locks on frequency shift not base frequency.  Until you have done other modes, you really have not "tasted" digi modes properly as there is so much more out there. I will gladly past up any PSK contact for one in other modes when given a chance too.
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VE3FMC
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« Reply #4 on: May 07, 2011, 05:10:43 PM »

With all the programs offering multiple modes in the digital area why do the majority of people stay on PSK and not try the other modes?

Because many of the other modes aren't sufficiently better, but consume significantly more bandwidth; as a result, panoramic reception is limited to a choice of two or three signals that fit within a typical transceiver's passband, as compared with the tens of PSK31 or PSK63 signals from which ops can choose



Not really true in that while  some will most use more bandwidth, some have error correction and will also perform better in lousy conditions. It is possible to have reliable chats with other modes when PSK31 will not print. And as far as 30 signals in band pass verses 3 or 4 this is no big boon. Just more potential QRM to swamp AGC.  Some of the "other" modes also have a lower transmitter duty cycle than PSK too. (easier on radio). One of the mode (Domino) doe not even care if radio drifts as it locks on frequency shift not base frequency.  Until you have done other modes, you really have not "tasted" digi modes properly as there is so much more out there. I will gladly past up any PSK contact for one in other modes when given a chance too.

I agree with John on this matter.

I for one love Olivia, although at times contacts using that mode are harder to come by than PSK31.

There are two reasons I love Olivia. A lot of my operating is during evening hours, especially during the summer. So noise is a factor and Olivia will blow the doors off PSK31 when it comes to 100% copy.

Second, I find a lot of ops who use PSK31 can't type worth a hoot. So all they do is send macros to carry on their QSO's. Might as well use JT65 then, no typing involved with that mode.

I have had some really good long rag chews using Olivia, not so on PSK31.

Branch out and try some other modes. I use HRD/DM780 and there are enough modes in that software to keep you going for a few days  Grin
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AA6YQ
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« Reply #5 on: May 07, 2011, 05:29:43 PM »

With all the programs offering multiple modes in the digital area why do the majority of people stay on PSK and not try the other modes?

Because many of the other modes aren't sufficiently better, but consume significantly more bandwidth; as a result, panoramic reception is limited to a choice of two or three signals that fit within a typical transceiver's passband, as compared with the tens of PSK31 or PSK63 signals from which ops can choose


Not really true in that while  some will most use more bandwidth, some have error correction and will also perform better in lousy conditions. It is possible to have reliable chats with other modes when PSK will not print. And as far as 30 signals in band pass verses 3 or 4 this is no big boon. Just more potential QRM to swamp AGC.  Some of the "other" modes also have a lower transmitter duty cycle than PSK too. (easier on radio). One of the mode (Domino) doe not even care if radio drifts as it locks on frequency shift not base frequency.  Until you have done other modes, you really have not "tasted" digi modes properly as there is so much more out there. I will gladly past up any PSK contact for one in other modes when given a chance too.

I didn't say the other modes weren't better, I said they weren't sufficiently better. By that, I mean that their advantages -- such as those you cite above -- do not outweigh their disadvantages, specifically the small number of signals that "fit" within a transceiver's passband and the resulting scarcity of QSO partners compared with PSK.

There's plenty of software supporting those other modes, and most ops have given them a try at one time or another. They don't return to PSK because they're ignorant, they return to PSK because it best suits their needs and interests.

When Peter G3PLX first introduced PSK31, it didn't gain much traction beyond tire-kickers until Skip KH6TY introduced panoramic reception in Digipan; then adoption exploded. Threads like this one were not required to drum up interest -- intrinsic value was more than sufficient.

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W8JX
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« Reply #6 on: May 07, 2011, 09:36:05 PM »


I didn't say the other modes weren't better, I said they weren't sufficiently better. By that, I mean that their advantages -- such as those you cite above -- do not outweigh their disadvantages, specifically the small number of signals that "fit" within a transceiver's passband and the resulting scarcity of QSO partners compared with PSK.


I suspect you never used them to any extent because PSK is indeed inferior to a lot of them in a lot of ways. It is popular because it is simple and requires little effort, not because it is superior.  BTW I find it curious how concerned you are about how many signals are in bandpass. When I do work PSK I narrow it to one or two (same with other modes and RTTY and tune around) not 20 or 30 in a wide front end and how many signals do you have in bandpass with voice SSB?
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VA7CPC
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« Reply #7 on: May 07, 2011, 11:55:44 PM »


I didn't say the other modes weren't better, I said they weren't sufficiently better. By that, I mean that their advantages -- such as those you cite above -- do not outweigh their disadvantages, specifically the small number of signals that "fit" within a transceiver's passband and the resulting scarcity of QSO partners compared with PSK.


That sums up my feelings.  I've experimented with Olivia and Domino.  Yes, they'll work on weaker signals than PSK31, and their "perfect print" S/N ratio is lower.  In return for that, you pay with wider bandwidth, fewer users, and (for Olivia) the frustration of a mode that's r  e  a  l  l  y     s  l   o   w.

And there aren't many people to talk to!<g>

PSK31 falls right in the "sweet spot" for compromising bandwidth, speed, and weak-signal performance.  Nothing better (in _all_ ways, not just for extreme weak signal work) has come along yet.

                   Charles

PS -- it's interesting that one of the oldest digital modes -- RTTY -- is still in heavy use.  It works better under contest conditions than anything else.



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AA6YQ
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« Reply #8 on: May 08, 2011, 01:09:02 AM »


I didn't say the other modes weren't better, I said they weren't sufficiently better. By that, I mean that their advantages -- such as those you cite above -- do not outweigh their disadvantages, specifically the small number of signals that "fit" within a transceiver's passband and the resulting scarcity of QSO partners compared with PSK.


I suspect you never used them to any extent because PSK is indeed inferior to a lot of them in a lot of ways.

Your suspicion is incorrect. I acknowledged that modes like Olivia and Domino have advantages over PSK. The reason they aren't popular, however, is that their disadvantages outweigh their advantages.

It is popular because it is simple and requires little effort, not because it is superior. 

That's like saying "Porsches win races because they are fast and reliable, not because they are superior". Simplicity and ease of use are important virtues.

BTW I find it curious how concerned you are about how many signals are in bandpass. When I do work PSK I narrow it to one or two (same with other modes and RTTY and tune around) not 20 or 30 in a wide front end

Then you would have had a tough time working PP0T on 15m PSK yesterday. The ability to see all callers simultaneously and quickly spot PP0T's listening frequency was essential.

When DXing, the ability to decode many stations simultaneously is highly advantageous.

and how many signals do you have in bandpass with voice SSB?

We are discussing digital modes in this thread, not voice.


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W8JX
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« Reply #9 on: May 08, 2011, 10:29:18 AM »

Yes were were talking about digi but you mentioned the need for 20 or 30 signals was a plus and I thought not and SSB voice is only one signal (ideally anyway)  I use a combo fo IF and AF filters to narrow bandwidth and never use whole spectrum when doing PSK.  As far as missing DX on PSK, to me (anyway) DX is not a quick hello/59/goodbye be it sideband or digi. I like to visit and chat and find other digi mode operator more likely to chat too (not that some PSK users do not chat too). 

Also like I said in this plug and play ham radio world, PSK is far easier to use (conditions permitting) than other modes just like SSB is easier than CW even though CW is superior to SSB in bad conditions just like other digi modes are to PSK.
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AA6YQ
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« Reply #10 on: May 08, 2011, 11:05:16 AM »

Yes were were talking about digi but you mentioned the need for 20 or 30 signals was a plus and I thought not and SSB voice is only one signal (ideally anyway) 

Yes, one generally listens to one SSB signal at a time.

PSK31 and PS63 are narrow bandwidth modes, and applications are available that decode many signals simultaneously from the passband of most amateur transceivers. Well-implemented applications make it easy for ops to see which stations are being decoded by their station, choose one with whom to hold a QSO, and then repeat the process. For many ops, this is a compelling usage scenario; the evidence for this assertion is that

  • - PSK31 uptake was modest until Skip KH6TY introduced multiple-signal PSK decoding (panoramic reception) in Digipan; then PSK uptake skyrocketed
  • - no subsequently-introduced digital mode without panoramic reception has come close PSK31's adoption, despite offering better reliability or higher speed

When another digital mode offers a usage scenario significantly more compelling than that now offered by PSK, digital-mode ops will switch; until then, they won't. Olivia, Domino, et al have failed to accomplish this; "talking up" their speed or reliability advantages will have no significant effect, as efforts similar to this thread have repeatedly demonstrated over the past N years.

I use a combo fo IF and AF filters to narrow bandwidth and never use whole spectrum when doing PSK.  As far as missing DX on PSK, to me (anyway) DX is not a quick hello/59/goodbye be it sideband or digi. I like to visit and chat and find other digi mode operator more likely to chat too (not that some PSK users do not chat too). 

Yes, PSK permits several different styles of operation.

Also like I said in this plug and play ham radio world, PSK is far easier to use (conditions permitting) than other modes just like SSB is easier than CW even though CW is superior to SSB in bad conditions just like other digi modes are to PSK.

PSK's weak signal performance is comparable to CW's (though not in all conditions), and panoramic reception offers a usage experience so compelling that many ops prefer it to SSB. That's why it's so popular.
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W8JX
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« Reply #11 on: May 08, 2011, 11:44:49 AM »


PSK's weak signal performance is comparable to CW's (though not in all conditions), and panoramic reception offers a usage experience so compelling that many ops prefer it to SSB. That's why it's so popular.

Oh man the BS is getting deeper here. Comparable to CW and many ops prefer it to SSB?   Even CW is more popular than PSK even today as a tune across bands will easily prove. And SSB is far above that.
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AA6YQ
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« Reply #12 on: May 08, 2011, 12:16:00 PM »


PSK's weak signal performance is comparable to CW's (though not in all conditions), and panoramic reception offers a usage experience so compelling that many ops prefer it to SSB. That's why it's so popular.

Oh man the BS is getting deeper here. Comparable to CW and many ops prefer it to SSB?   Even CW is more popular than PSK even today as a tune across bands will easily prove. And SSB is far above that.

"Comparable weak signal performance" means "in the same range", not "superior to" or "more popular than". "Many ops prefer it to SSB" does not mean "PSK is more popular than SSB".

Your response above ignores the central point that PSK is more popular than modes like Olivia and Domino because it offers a compelling usage experience that digital mode ops value more than the speed and reliability advantages of the latter modes.

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VE3FMC
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« Reply #13 on: May 08, 2011, 04:59:06 PM »

Yes were were talking about digi but you mentioned the need for 20 or 30 signals was a plus and I thought not and SSB voice is only one signal (ideally anyway)  I use a combo fo IF and AF filters to narrow bandwidth and never use whole spectrum when doing PSK.  As far as missing DX on PSK, to me (anyway) DX is not a quick hello/59/goodbye be it sideband or digi. I like to visit and chat and find other digi mode operator more likely to chat too (not that some PSK users do not chat too). 

Also like I said in this plug and play ham radio world, PSK is far easier to use (conditions permitting) than other modes just like SSB is easier than CW even though CW is superior to SSB in bad conditions just like other digi modes are to PSK.

Like John I wonder why the ability to have 20-30 signals on 14.070 is a requirement? Besides I have never seen that many PSK31 traces on 14.070 or any other popular PSK watering hole.

And like John, I like to rag chew a little bit. PSK31 normally does not offer that, when working DX and often when working hams with in NA. Hell I had a QSO with a fellow VE3 on PSK31 and asked him what rig he was using. He simply came back with 73, Tnx for QSO #XXXX de VE3***.

Apparently he could not type as everything he sent me was a MACRO. He never repeated my name, sure sign of being a Macro Man.

I have seen 3-4 Olivia signals all in different QSO's during winter evenings on 3.582. Seemed to me that everyone was getting along just fine.

I guarantee you that I can copy an Olivia signal that is right in my noise level on 80 meters when I can not copy a PSK31 signal. So for me, making that contact and not making that contact means I have to use Olivia.

To each his own, John and I will stick with our slow Olivia and make contacts when we can with who we can.

BTW, my best DX using Olivia? Sweden on 80 meters, he was running 20 watts, I was running 20 watts. And my 80 meter dipole has a whooping apex height of 30 feet. I have never copied, or seen a PSK31 signal on 80 meters from Europe.
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AA6YQ
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« Reply #14 on: May 08, 2011, 06:05:47 PM »

Yes were were talking about digi but you mentioned the need for 20 or 30 signals was a plus and I thought not and SSB voice is only one signal (ideally anyway)  I use a combo fo IF and AF filters to narrow bandwidth and never use whole spectrum when doing PSK.  As far as missing DX on PSK, to me (anyway) DX is not a quick hello/59/goodbye be it sideband or digi. I like to visit and chat and find other digi mode operator more likely to chat too (not that some PSK users do not chat too).  

Also like I said in this plug and play ham radio world, PSK is far easier to use (conditions permitting) than other modes just like SSB is easier than CW even though CW is superior to SSB in bad conditions just like other digi modes are to PSK.

Like John I wonder why the ability to have 20-30 signals on 14.070 is a requirement?
I described PSK as offering a compelling user experience -- the ability to see many different callsigns that your station is decoding and choose one with whom to have a QSO. While choosing from among 5 is good, choosing from among 10 is better, and from among 20 is even better. Metcalfe's Law states that the value of a network is proportional to the square of the number of connected users. One can thus see why protocols like Olivia or Domino have such a difficult time, and why their adherents must work hard to scare up QSO partners -- witness this thread.

Besides I have never seen that many PSK31 traces on 14.070 or any other popular PSK watering hole.

I just tuned to 14070, pointed my antenna east, and captured the 30+ PSK signals shown here:

www.dxlabsuite.com/winwarbler/20mPSK31Heard.jpg

What are you using for an antenna?


And like John, I like to rag chew a little bit. PSK31 normally does not offer that, when working DX and often when working hams with in NA. Hell I had a QSO with a fellow VE3 on PSK31 and asked him what rig he was using. He simply came back with 73, Tnx for QSO #XXXX de VE3***.

Apparently he could not type as everything he sent me was a MACRO. He never repeated my name, sure sign of being a Macro Man.

Some ops do prefer perfunctory QSOs, and others suffer from macro-itis, but anyone with even modest conversational skills can have great QSOs in PSK31 -- or any in other digital mode, for that matter.

I have seen 3-4 Olivia signals all in different QSO's during winter evenings on 3.582. Seemed to me that everyone was getting along just fine.

I guarantee you that I can copy an Olivia signal that is right in my noise level on 80 meters when I can not copy a PSK31 signal. So for me, making that contact and not making that contact means I have to use Olivia.

As I have repeatedly acknowledged, Olivia's weak signal performance is better than that of PSK. Obviously, this advantage has not been sufficient to attract mainstream usage, for reasons already explained in detail. Domino et al are on the wrong side of Metcalfe's Law.

To each his own, John and I will stick with our slow Olivia and make contacts when we can with who we can.

"To each his own" is entirely reasonable; blaming Domino/Olivia's lack of broad adoption on digital mode ops being lazy or impatient is not reasonable.

BTW, my best DX using Olivia? Sweden on 80 meters, he was running 20 watts, I was running 20 watts. And my 80 meter dipole has a whooping apex height of 30 feet. I have never copied, or seen a PSK31 signal on 80 meters from Europe.

I have made several 80m QSOs with European ops using PSK31 and PSK63. I have not worked EU on 160m PSK31, but have not made a concerted effort to try.

As a DXer, my most memorable PSK QSOs were with TO4E on Juan de Nova, and with Ramesh VU2RMS in Bangalore - both on 20m.
« Last Edit: May 08, 2011, 06:10:03 PM by AA6YQ » Logged
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