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Author Topic: Tips for working DX on PSK31?  (Read 3698 times)
W6UX
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« on: June 10, 2012, 06:03:55 PM »

Looking for some good "rule of thumb" tips on nabbing PSK31 DX.

My gear: K3 with 2.7 kHZ, 1.8 kHz, and 400 Hz filters; Hex Beam antenna.  Usually limit power to 25 watts.

Is it best to narrow down my filter width to say, 100 Hz and just tune up and down within the usual PSK frequency windows looking for DX? When I open my filter up to 2.7 kHZ, I get bombarded with strong stateside signals and the weak traces won't decode (AGC?).

Thanks,
Jeff
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VA7CPC
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« Reply #1 on: June 11, 2012, 06:15:51 AM »

a) If you have IF notch filter(s), use them to block the strong signals.

b) try running with AGC off, and riding gain with the RF/IF Gain control.  That prevents the strong signals from making the weak signals disappear.

c) If you're not using a multi-signal decoder (e.g. Digipan), you should be.

             Charles
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AG6WT
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« Reply #2 on: June 11, 2012, 07:00:26 AM »

If there is one signal pumping your AGC, you can try your notch filter or IF shift to eliminate them but still see a big section of the waterfall. If there is more than one you'll have to resort to a narrower filter of course.

If you are trying to see if any desirable DX is on the waterfall, one tool you can use is the hamspots.net spotting website. It will at least tell you who is out there and on what band. Once you've selected a band, just watch the waterfall for their call. You need a multi decoding program like Digipan, Fldigi, or HRD. If strong stateside signals are swamping the weak DX, watch the conversations and see if anyone is in a QSO with the DX. If found, you are in luck because now you know where they are and you can adjust your VFO and narrow filter to cut everything else out.

If the DX owns the frequency, call them at the end of the QSO. If they don't own the frequency, try calling them in a nearby clear spot at the end of the QSO. I've nab a few that way.
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AA4PB
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« Reply #3 on: June 11, 2012, 08:33:30 AM »

MixW has some macro features that you can use on radios like the Icom PRO to automatically retune and set DSP IF filters. Perhaps some of the other software does also. I have macros for WIDE and NARROW buttons. On WIDE you see the whole waterfall and select a signal to copy. Then click the NARROW button and the receiver's IF filter narrows to 50Hz and the radio VFO dial retunes to put that signal in the center of the 50Hz IF passband. Click the WIDE button and everything goes back to the original settings. It makes it very handy for eliminating all the other garbage in the waterfall and keeping it from pumping the AGC.
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W6UX
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« Reply #4 on: June 12, 2012, 03:39:41 PM »

Ok thanks for the replies.  Forgot to mention I'm using WinWarlber.  It has multi-decoding, can work 3 QSOs simultaneously, and integrates with DXLab which I use for my main logging software.

-Jeff
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VA2FSQ
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« Reply #5 on: June 24, 2012, 05:46:03 PM »

Thanks for the notch filter tip!!
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VA2FSQ
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