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Author Topic: Too much info on PSK31??  (Read 33961 times)
KD5NLV
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Posts: 31




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« on: September 18, 2012, 06:09:21 PM »

Maybe i'm just being an old fart but does anyone else think that PSK31 qso's include too much canned useless information? I enjoy the occassional ragchew, but mostly enjoy working new states and DXCC countries. My exchanges are usually vary efficient and consist of relevant information. However almost all of the exchanges I recieve are filled with a ton of unnecessary information like listing every club, with member #, that they belong too, every single piece of radio equipment they own, even if its in storage somewhere else, the computer they use including the cpu speed,  operating system, moden, and router. I've even had a handful of guys send how many kids and grandkids they have. And almost every qso ends with TU for this bpsk31 qso of date, day, and time. I mean come on, really? Its incradible how different psk31 qso's are from anything I've had on CW, SSB, or RTTY.

I have no problem with long ragchews and exchanging any of this info if the qso goes in that direction. What I dont like is guys just mashing a macro early in the qso which sends a page of all this information that I really don not care about. It's a waste of bandwidth. Also, hasnt everyone heard of LoTW? Alot of people I work on psk31 use it but most do not. Too lazy to set up an account? You do know that eqsl means nothing towards DXCC, right?

Im also amaized at the number of psk31 op's who dont know what CQ DX means and insist on calling. FYI - The definition of CQ DX is not what it is on 11 meters.

Maybe the psk31 crowd is made up of new hams who are just happy to talk to someone so they load up macros with their life story, maybe it's borderline poor operating practice,  I dont know.
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N4CR
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Posts: 1668




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« Reply #1 on: September 18, 2012, 09:20:10 PM »

I agree that a few operators plug the kitchen sink into their macros but a lot of them don't. Take a look at the PODXS contests if you want to see terse exchanges. Most of the members of that group will not send the kitchen sink to you at any time.

What you attribute to 'almost all the exchanges' seems a bit of a stretch to me. I've got a few thousand PSK qso's under my belt and I think you are exaggerating a bit.

There's usually a personal info, an equipment list and a goodbye at minimum. That's pretty typical. Just like CW QSOs have a different flavor and pace than SSB QSOs, so do PSK-31 have a different flavor, pace and customs. Most DX stations won't put the equipment list in, but those that do seem to write a novel.

I see it like this. Everyone is different. It takes all kinds to make a society. Amateur radio is a cross section of society, so we see all kinds. Unless I'm in a hurry, I don't sweat it. If I'm the one calling CQ I can send my 73 at any time and move on to the next one. If I'm answering someone elses CQ then I have to converse with them as they see fit.

I have found it annoying when I do see someone write a novel in the brag sheet and hit the send button. But i never found it to be almost everyone.
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73 de N4CR, Phil

We are Coulomb of Borg. Resistance is futile. Voltage, on the other hand, has potential.
AD6KA
Member

Posts: 2237




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« Reply #2 on: September 18, 2012, 09:22:38 PM »

"Macro Ops" have been a problem for a
long time. Just button pushers.
MAYBE they don't think they are fast
enough to type ahead while receiving your
transmission, but I think that they are just lazy.

EXCEPTION: Foreign ops with limited language skills.
BUT...those ops don't load their macros with useless
information like how much RAM their computer uses.

When I run into a real "Macro Op" I will try once
or twice
to get them off topic by asking a personal question:
Do you do any fishing?
What other hobbies do you have?
What are you doing on December 21st, 2012? (Kidding.....) Grin

If they come back with yet ANOTHER macro I
just come back with "TNX QSO, BCNU, 73 de AD6KA SK".

Or sometimes if they are REALLY long, I will just tune away
and find another signal. Rude? Maybe, but so are 10 minutes
of macros!

The problem won't go away, only get worse.
There's more "Push Button Ops" every day.
So I guess all we can do is set a good example
or ignore them.
73, Ken  AD6KA
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N7SMI
Member

Posts: 338




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« Reply #3 on: September 19, 2012, 08:09:45 AM »

This is the first complaint about macros I've ever seen. 
Roll Eyes

I'm relatively new to PSK and will send the standard Name, RST, QTH, Grid macro at first contact. This is not unlike how you'd start a normal conversation. l then try to engage in a short conversation sans-macros (except a BTU, 73, etc. helper), but rag chewing on PSK is usually painful for me - much too slow, and worse when the other guy only types 5 words a minute. But I like feeling like I'm talking to a human. If they just push macros, I quickly move on. If they are interesting, I'll chat all night.

Devoting an entire line to the QSO data and time is just silly. I don't know anybody that doesn't own a clock, nor do I know anybody that could care what your club membership numbers are or what model of computer you're using.

The best solution to most of these problems is to not fall into the trap of doing it yourself.
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AG6WT
Member

Posts: 453




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« Reply #4 on: September 19, 2012, 08:25:25 AM »

The macro problem seems the worst on 20 meters in the late afternoon/early evening when it's most crowded. If a little conversation is your goal, try working the edges of the PSK31 windows or working the less popular bands. I've had a few long winded qsos on 40 and 80 but never on 20. When there are fewer contacts to be had, you are more likely to connect with someone who will chat. Also try "ragchew" modes like Olivia and DominoEX just above the PSK31 watering holes. Those are great modes for talking under marginal conditions where PSK31 just won't cut it.

As for LoTW, check out the K3UK sked page. It's primarily a page for hams to make contacts for WAS and DXCC but there are many digital ops there that will chat and use LoTW.

Ray KJ6AMF
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AA4PB
Member

Posts: 12854




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« Reply #5 on: September 19, 2012, 09:04:53 AM »

I think many use macros because they can't type. I'd probably rather see a macro than having a hunt and peck typist send at a rate of 1 character per second.
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W5DQ
Member

Posts: 1209


WWW

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« Reply #6 on: September 19, 2012, 09:21:34 AM »

Maybe i'm just being an old fart but does anyone else think that PSK31 qso's include too much canned useless information?

This is a recurring topic here and on the 'Zed. I know I've posted a couple about it over the last few months or so.

It boils down to the fact that many PSK31 ops are older guys who have brought over the 'ragchew' from SSB but can't think about operating and can't type fast enough or well enough to keep up a good flow so they cram everything they can imagine ever saying to another ham into a myriad of macros. Then when someone comes along for a QSO, they just do a macro dump and you get it all. The really bad thing is once the macro guy starts his dump, you have no other recourse other than to sit there and wait till he done and then ask him to NOT SEND MACROS (that will probably send him over the cliff) or spin the dial and look for another QSO. I have seen some extreme examples of macro dumping that started right off the bat with the FIRST exchange and ran for over 2 minutes of dumping every fact about the guy's life short of his shoe size and favorite 'physical activity' with the XYL  Shocked

The problem is not so much that they use macros (there is nothing wrong with macros if done correctly) but they use them way too excessively and incorrectly. The ideal way to use macros (IMHO) is to have short responses and facts in a series of macros that can be used in place of typing, stringing them together or one at a time as needed and not a single macro of your life's experiences, successes/failures and medical history. Yet that is exactly what many of them do!!!  Angry

I finally had enough of it and now refuse to use PSK31 anymore. I have migrated on to other digital modes like JT65-HF. It might be boring as watching paint dry but at least there aren't any macros involved and each QSO is roughly the same 4 to 6 minutes long and then on to a new one.

Gene W5DQ
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Gene W5DQ
Ridgecrest, CA - DM15dp
www.radioroom.org
NT6X
Member

Posts: 12




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« Reply #7 on: September 19, 2012, 09:37:18 AM »

I think many use macros because they can't type. I'd probably rather see a macro than having a hunt and peck typist send at a rate of 1 character per second.


I think his gripe was about the boat load of useless crap (club memberships, HF Amps, breakdown of computer componients, etc) thats in the macros. Not macros in general. I also think there was a jab at guys with long winded signoff messages with stretched out thank you's followed by day, date, time, bpsk31 qso # on 20m.

All of which I totally agree!
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STAYVERTICAL
Member

Posts: 873




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« Reply #8 on: September 19, 2012, 02:18:33 PM »

I am a very active PSK31 operator (as well as other digimodes).

I think the main reason that the macros are so long is that people do not customize them.
Most of the popular software comes with predefined macros, and there are other tag pages which allow you to enter your information.
So some ops see the page with rig, antenna, power, club, age ...... and just fill it all in.
The macros, by default will cross reference this information and dutifully send it all.

I can usually tell which software the op is using by seeing the info coming from his macro, since the default is rarely changed.

Perhaps many ops are not computer literate enough, or confident to customize the macro's, or they just don't know they should.

Most digimode programs have an option to save your current macros as a file.
You can then reload this macro file anytime to restore your macros to that state.
I do this all the time when reloading digimode software, in the same way that I reload my logbook ADIF file with new software.

So to those ops who are wary of changing macros, first save your current macros (look under the macros heading in your software).
Then reload it to ensure it works ok.
Then customise the macros as you wish and then save a copy of that as another filename.
In this way you can always get back to where you started.

In the same way that many devices and software is left with default passwords and configurations, digimodes software is just the same.
Personally, when I see that long default macro coming down the line, I know I have a few minutes to boil the kettle for a cup of coffee.

Or if you are on Olivia, you could probably make that nice little spice rack the xyl is always nagging you about.

73 - Rob
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K5TED
Member

Posts: 731




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« Reply #9 on: September 19, 2012, 10:05:15 PM »

Taking notes here... 

1. If you don't tend to conduct your QSO's as I see fit, then you are crap

2. Your operating is crap if you don't do it the way I think is good

3. In the absence of actual regulations, I am the ultimate authority of how you conduct your QSO's. Failure to comply makes you crap.

4. Finally, if you don't log your QSO's the way I like you to, then you are crap.


Good deal. Glad we got that cleared up and well defined.

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AC4BB
Member

Posts: 46




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« Reply #10 on: September 19, 2012, 10:23:21 PM »

Then either go elsewhere or tell the op TMI.Nuff, said.
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N9AOP
Member

Posts: 145




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« Reply #11 on: September 20, 2012, 01:50:28 AM »

I think that long macros by some folks and this mode go together and I would expect nothing less.  It's sort of like on CW where some op's run all of their words together without any spaces.
What does surprise me is when I have a PSK qso with someone half way around the world and they send me all the macro info including their e-mail and then say to QSL via that tired old burro.
That is like taking a jet to LA and then having to take the stage coach to your hotel.
Art
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K0JEG
Member

Posts: 665




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« Reply #12 on: September 20, 2012, 04:53:36 PM »

I think many use macros because they can't type. I'd probably rather see a macro than having a hunt and peck typist send at a rate of 1 character per second.


I think that's a lot of it. I tend to be a fast but inaccurate typist, so I do a lot of backspacing. Now, I don't really care if people see me not type every line out perfectly, but maybe some do. I've often thought these people should try Dragon Dictate or some voice recognition software instead of the macro diarrhea. But I guess some people want to see the same old brag files. I really don't want to "brag" about my station, it's just like everyone else's. Japanese radio, Chinese computer and aging operator. American cables tie it all together.

I also think the software is somewhat to blame too. If the programs acted more like an IRC/IM client, where the text is only sent after a carriage return/line feed (that's enter key to those of you who've never used a teletype) instead of keying the transmitter and sending out text immediately, I think it would tend to minimize use of macros. This I think because you wouldn't be under as much pressure to type quickly.

Heck, it might even allow for some round-table style QSOs and nets instead of 1 to 1 conversations.
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N4UM
Member

Posts: 474




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« Reply #13 on: September 20, 2012, 05:13:25 PM »

The solution is really quite simple.  Once the microcephalic macroholic makes his presence known by attempting to inflict his "information" on you...just bump your vfo dial and let him send his useless drivel into the ether.  Don't bother saying  goodbye or 73 or any of that stuff.  Just let him merrily send away while nobody is listening.  Eventually he may just catch on if enough people don't bother coming back to him. 

Rudeness in the face of rudeness is a virtue.
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WA2AAR
Member

Posts: 90




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« Reply #14 on: September 20, 2012, 06:27:20 PM »

If you don't like what goes on on PSK just go to another mode.
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