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Author Topic: PSK31, Digipan and frequencies - I'm confused!  (Read 10595 times)

Posts: 665

« on: May 07, 2010, 06:00:16 PM »

I've just started out with PSK31 on my Kenwood TS 850S.  Installed Digipan and a Multicom interface unit.  All looks good and I did a test on 20 metres (14071.50 to be precise).  I was able to 'see' my signal on a PSK31 web receiver in Kiev, Ukraine.  But when I changed frequency on my rig to 14071, my signal on the Kiev rx went up! Now it's showing around 14072...

Hmm, maybe I can check to see if my signal has been spotted by someone.  I go over to Hamspots and yes, my signal has been seen in west coast USA! (my QTH is Thailand).  But wait a minute - they have spotted me on a different frequency completely!! (It's still on 20 metres, but is reported on 14,200).

Now, this is all rather confusing.  My signal is getting out, but not apparently where it should be!  Is it simply that the spotters reported the wrong frequency?  Why does the web rx show me on a higher frequency when I tune down on my tx? 

I've used this rig for SSB over many years and I don't think there is a problem with it.  So maybe the problem is with my set-up or operating procedure.

Could these problems be due to overdriving the rig with the PSK31 audio?  No-one has reported badly about my signal.

Digipan is not controlling my rig frequency - I manually tune to a frequency in USB, hit the call function key in Digipan and off I go.

Advice is very much appreciated

Simon (currently lost somewhere on 20 metres...)


Posts: 426


« Reply #1 on: May 08, 2010, 09:16:58 AM »

Simon S0ZIB,

I don't think you have anything wrong at all with your rig or the direction you signal is going up or down on the frequency/waterfall.  You have to remember a few things about all the online rxvr's and also those that report spots to the PSK Reporter...all are dependent on the operators settings and knowledge.

For instance the Kiev 20m PSK online live rxvr is a program created by Denis UU9JDR and a useful on at that to monitor 20m PSK activity in his part of the someone can see their own signal (clean, wide, how good does your signal look?) and also monitor live at the moment PSK activity on 20m at his location in good propagation tool too.  But it still is a program all the same so he might have it program incorrectly showing when you are actually going up in frequency it shows your frequency going down on his online PSK live rxvr display....your rig might be correct but the program showing the direction of your frequency/signal incorrect.

As far as the HamSpots many of those are feeding in from manual spot pages and also the PSK Reporter.  Those from the PSK Reporter are other Hams just like you reporting what they are hearing/spotting from their location.  The problem is that some are using the programs like HRD DM780, Fldigi, MultiPSK etc but are NOT interfaced with the rigs frequency so they are copying, reporting, spotting the signals but as far as the band and frequency it would be a MANUAL entry in the program since they again are not interfaced to the rig.  For an example of this:  Station AB1C has his SWL rig that doesn't support rig control set to 14.070 on the SWL rig and the digital sounds are going to the HRD DM780 software and then reporting to PSK Reporter BUT in error AB1C has set DM780 to 14.200 or even a worse error he was reporting the night before on 80 meter at 3.580 but forgot today while listening/reporting 20m spots to manual change the frequency since he is not interfaced to the SWL rig so all his 20m reports are stating they are on 80m band...not good!  This happens so don't have too much faith that every spot report is it the specific frequency or even the band...BUT lucky for all of us there are hundreds reporting so most will be accurate, just look at a few more reports.

One of the best ways to know if you are correct is asking the other ops when in QSO on the air....the other way is if you yourself have an extra rig or SWL unit and computer and you experiment watching your own signals or how different modes operate.

Hope this helps but really it could be nothing at all you are doing and your rig be fine.

I know when Richard PA3GWH setup our 30 meter live PSK online rxvr program that he noticed this since Denis UU9JDR was so kind to let us use his program....Richard setup ours up for the 30 meter band and also use LSB instead of USB for the program and our 30m online rxvrs ...I believe and anyway I think our 30 meter ones are accurate when going up or down in frequency (they still vary some on exact frequency on the spectrum or waterfall due to other things though).  Give our 30 meter ones a try and see how they work for you....20m and 40m is not the only active digital bands, give 30 meters a try too!

The infor on the 30m and more below....try the websdr one too!

de kb9umt Don

30 Meter Online Live PSK31 Rxvrs (NA & EU)
VE1CDD 30m PSK31 Receiver in Halifax, NS, Canada (FN84ds)
View of the 30m PSK31 band segment in Voorburg JO22EB Netherlands
30m PSK31 band in PEER Loc.: JO21re, 73 Eddy de ON7KEI

All 3 of these 30 Meter PSK31 links can be found here also:

Software courtesy of Denis Nechitailov UU9JDR MixW/Rigexpert
UU9JDR 20 Meter Online PSK Rxvr from Kiev, Ukraine can be found here:
This receiver shows PSK31 activity on the 20m band (14070-14074 kHz Kiev,

(NOTE: Please remember the time difference day/night band conditions from NA to EU-best time for activity on these online rxvrs from 1600 utc to 2300 utc…also need latest Java/Flash updates to view these live online PSK31 rxvrs)

Other very unique online Live receivers can be found here:
If you have a pc/laptop with built in mic then the above SDR receivers along with downloading simple PSK or other digital software can decode digital signals in the digital parts of the band…have both up and running turn the volume up and start decoding live digital signals.

Reporting digital activity while in the shack (or even if not in the shack) lets others know the band conditions from your area of the World…but calling CQ on the band even better!  Below other references for band/propagation conditions:


Posts: 14443

« Reply #2 on: May 08, 2010, 11:39:35 AM »

Normally you run USB for PSK31. Using USB, your actual transmit frequency is the radio dial frequency plus the audio frequency in the waterfall. This means that increasing the audio frequency increases the actual transmit frequency.

If you are using LSB then its just the opposite. The transmit frequency is the radio dial frequency minus the audio frequency. That also means that as you lower the audio frequency you increase the transmit frequency. LSB works fine for BPSK31 because it is not polarity sensitive. QPSK31 won't work on LSB unless you invert the polarity in the software.


Bob  AA4PB
Garrisonville, VA

Posts: 634

« Reply #3 on: May 08, 2010, 02:13:56 PM »

Hello Simon,

All new users worry about frequencies and what all those numbers on the operating page are showing, well don't worry !
And stay on USB, there is no need to go to LSB, everybody uses USB. If you operate where all the others are operating there's nothing to be concerned about. Just make sure you only use about 30 watts output, no ALC showing, no processor, and RIT is off and your tranmissions will be quite acceptable.

If you fancy trying an updated 21st century version of Digipan, download Airlink Express, it has lots of benefits over Digipan, and it looks better as well.


Posts: 426


« Reply #4 on: May 08, 2010, 04:16:46 PM »

As stated by others DO USE USB for digital modes on YOUR reference was the online psk rxvr program and use of USB/LSB on those online rxvrs so sorry if you or others misunderstood my reply (not knowing the program setup by Darin you wouldn't understand)...again that is correct for YOU to be in USB.

de kb9umt Don

Posts: 2243

« Reply #5 on: May 10, 2010, 02:05:56 PM »

In PSK31 ,especially Digipan, it really doesn't matter if you are using
USB or LSB, ***as long as the Digipan knows which one you are using***.

Click "Configure" at top of Digipan Screen.
A menu will drop down, Click BAND.
This will give you a list of all the bands and your
choice to use LSB, USB or Tones for *each* band.

In old versions the default mode was "Tones".
See what you're says.
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