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Author Topic: DXCC RTTY - Is Standard RTTY (45.45) holding down DXPedition Digital QSOs Rates  (Read 2815 times)
K3VAT
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Posts: 715




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« on: October 06, 2012, 12:16:24 PM »

First, standard RTTY is defined here at 45.45 Baudot with a 170 Hertz shift.  The most common mode for digital communications by DXPeditions.

The vast majority of recent DXPeditions rack up the majority of their digital QSOs using Standard RTTY.  Although the recent 3D2C (Conway Reef) DXPedition logged nearly 20% of their digital QSOs with PSK31.

DX'ers familiar with RTTY Pileups know that QSO rates are, on average, much less than even with SSB; QRM from operators failing to use split (nearly all DXPeditions run split and most publish their frequency plan usually months before the operation) are more of a problem than in CW or SSB; and doubling seems to be more pronounced especially when the DXPedition is having trouble picking out signals and responding in a timely manner.

QUESTION:  Are their other digital modes that are more suited to DXPeditions?

Candidates could be RTTY 75 - substantially faster and this is used in the BARTG 4-hour contests;
PSK 31, 63, or even 125 - compelling attributes here are narrower bandwidth and much higher data rates (especially for PSK125).  I've watched both A61BK and EA8AT run stations as fast as folks could respond and exchange info using PSK125.  I wonder what their top Q-rates are.

Any other candidates?  Modes more QRM-proof?  Standard RTTY, IMHO, seems ready for a replacement.

73, Rich, K3VAT
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EI2GLB
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Posts: 498




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« Reply #1 on: October 06, 2012, 12:28:27 PM »

PSK125 would be a good mode to use 31 is too slow and 125 takes up about as much BW as a RTTY signal,

RTTY is my favourite mode but I'm not afraid of change but DXpeditions should forget about PSK31 it's for sending never ending macros that no one reads its not a DX mode and was never ment to be,

Trevor
EI2GLB
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KB3LIX
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Posts: 1109




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« Reply #2 on: October 06, 2012, 12:59:11 PM »

One problem with higher data rate on RTTY.
75 RTTY seems to have twice the errors as standard RTTY.
That would equate to MANY more repeats.

PSK 63 or 125 would be OK because of the built in error correction.

Personally, I enjoy RTTY and believe it is the best for DXPeditions.
The problem with DXPeditions using RTTY is the CALLERS.
In SOOOO MANY cases they DO NOT KNOW WHAT THEY ARE DOING.
No idea what "split" means.
No idea that they should SHUT UP when the DX is answering someone.
NO IDEA that they CAN spread out.

No idea that it is NOT NECESSARY to call them thusly: 
DXPed  DXPed   DXPed  de KB3LIX  KB3LIX pse K

a) they already KNOW their callsign
b) lose the de, they KNOW that by sending your call, that is who U are.
c) Lose the pse K, that is assumed.

Send you call once or twice and SHUT UP to see if he answers YOU.
If he answers someone else, SHUT UP until his Q is COMPLETE.
NONE of this constant calling S***.
If he doesn't answer ANYONE, send your call again
and SHUT UP and LISTEN.

A little of courtesy goes a LONG WAY.

IF all ops would LISTEN more and TRANSMIT LESS,
Q's wpuld come and go faster.
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W2IRT
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« Reply #3 on: October 06, 2012, 01:22:34 PM »

I agree with the above, but quite a few DXpeditions are equally to blame because of their own macros and their unfamiliarity with the mode in some cases. They don't need to transmit K1XXX K1XXX de XX9XXX 599 599 K1XXX K. I don't need the report twice (it's going to be 599) and twice is enough for the call. K1XXX 599 K1XXX BK is quite sufficient.

Standard RTTY split for a long time was understood to be up 3, now it's up 1 or 5 or 9 or whatever. Give a range, and in no case should it be less than 3kHz IMHO.

Another part of the problem is the huge number of hams who've gotten into digital DXing compared to just a few years ago. As such, DXpeditions to semi-rare entities are now seeing a large number of callers who need their entity on digital, yet they don't often start the digital operation until the last few days, rendering the pileups even crazier. And of course Clublog's greenies don't help, but that's a different argument.

I'm content with traditional RTTY, but both the DXpeditioners and the Deserving need to get with the program and help boost rates on their respective sides of the pileups.
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W2LO
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Posts: 216




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« Reply #4 on: October 06, 2012, 05:21:30 PM »

 The turning point for digital I feel was the operation by P5/4L4FN who was limited to ssb and rtty. As the majority of hams already operated SSB to some extent they realized that being on RTTY gave them another crack at something they might never be able to work again. They subsequently found that they liked digital and have stayed with it. Since then interest in digital has increased even more.

 Turning to exchanges, every (and I mean every) element, prosign, etc. that an exchange contains on either side diminishes the time available for working callers. Multiply these things out by the thousands of Qs an expedition makes and it just eats up the time.

 I understand and respect the opinion of others on this matter but I feel it is unnecessary for the DX to identify after every contact; every few QSOs is sufficient.

 DXpeditions have a finite amount of time available to put into modes, bands and target areas and this time is further compromised by bad weather, unexpected delays and poor SFI, as well as the hardships of being on a wet/dry/cold/hot isolated rock somewhere far from support. Unnecessarily lengthening exchanges just makes things harder.

 

 
« Last Edit: October 06, 2012, 05:32:31 PM by W2LO » Logged
K3VAT
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Posts: 715




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« Reply #5 on: October 07, 2012, 06:17:29 AM »

... IF all ops would LISTEN more and TRANSMIT LESS, Q's wOuld come and go faster ...

Thanks Bill,
Yes, most are aware that operator manners on RTTY definitely need improving.  How to best do that is ... well, open to debate.  Some of what you cite is also found on the other modes too, perhaps to a lesser degree.

... quite a few DXpeditions are equally to blame because of their own macros and their unfamiliarity with the mode in some cases. They don't need to transmit K1XXX K1XXX de XX9XXX 599 599 K1XXX K. I don't need the report twice (it's going to be 599) and twice is enough for the call. K1XXX 599 K1XXX BK is quite sufficient.

Thanks Pete,
Yes, that is a valid complaint, but I think that these DXPeditions are the smaller versions, perhaps ones with just a few operators, without much sponsorship and veteran operators.  I was primarily referring to the large, often multinational, well equipped and trained operator DXPeditions.

What I was soliciting here ALSO was more technical discussion.  The human foibles are pretty much known.  Debating the technical merits and disadvantages of various modes might lead to changes, albeit subtle, that would make digital DX'ing, specifically when pileups occur, more rewarding for both the DX and us operators.

73, Rich, K3VAT
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N3QE
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Posts: 2218




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« Reply #6 on: October 07, 2012, 06:27:53 AM »

No idea that they should SHUT UP when the DX is answering someone.

...

IF all ops would LISTEN more and TRANSMIT LESS,
Q's wpuld come and go faster.

As a long time CW die-hard who has recently been dabbling in RTTY... what we really need is a digital mode with something like QSK.

I have grown very very used to QSK in CW over the years. If I can't listen between every dit and dah, I feel like I'm blindfolded and wearing earmuffs if I need to operate CW without QSK.

But essentially every RTTY op is operating blindfolded and wearing earmuffs because QSK doesn't exist for RTTY.

QSK operating is so very very excellent in a contest or working DX. The instant the other guy starts sending, I can shut up just by taking my hands off the paddle. There ought to be a digital mode that works so well.

Without the existence of QSK in RTTY, KB3LIX's advice is on the money: short simple calls, nothing long.

The other digital modes I know of, e.g. PSK31, are even worse than 45 baud RTTY in that they go even further from short choppy exchanges.

Having done some RTTY contesting I know it is possible for the runner to set a good consistent style to set the tone of all the callers (or at least any caller that has a chance of getting through). Taking charge of the pile-up is even more important for a DXpedition. If the DX feels he has the best opportunity to control the pile-up by using prosigns and repeats liberally, he probably has a good purpose to them. If he comes back quickly to the short callers, he will encourage short callers. It's really up to the DX to set the pace.
« Last Edit: October 07, 2012, 06:33:12 AM by N3QE » Logged
W5DQ
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Posts: 1209


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« Reply #7 on: October 09, 2012, 11:45:08 AM »

One problem with higher data rate on RTTY.
75 RTTY seems to have twice the errors as standard RTTY.
That would equate to MANY more repeats.

PSK 63 or 125 would be OK because of the built in error correction.

Personally, I enjoy RTTY and believe it is the best for DXPeditions.
The problem with DXPeditions using RTTY is the CALLERS.
In SOOOO MANY cases they DO NOT KNOW WHAT THEY ARE DOING.
No idea what "split" means.
No idea that they should SHUT UP when the DX is answering someone.
NO IDEA that they CAN spread out.

No idea that it is NOT NECESSARY to call them thusly: 
DXPed  DXPed   DXPed  de KB3LIX  KB3LIX pse K

a) they already KNOW their callsign
b) lose the de, they KNOW that by sending your call, that is who U are.
c) Lose the pse K, that is assumed.

Send you call once or twice and SHUT UP to see if he answers YOU.
If he answers someone else, SHUT UP until his Q is COMPLETE.
NONE of this constant calling S***.
If he doesn't answer ANYONE, send your call again
and SHUT UP and LISTEN.

A little of courtesy goes a LONG WAY.

IF all ops would LISTEN more and TRANSMIT LESS,
Q's wpuld come and go faster.

EXACTLY! I can't believe the way some operators try to contact DX in pileups. Having heard idiots transmit their call on SSB for more than 6 times in a row while others send the stereo-typical newbie (or unknowing new digital mode op) string of 3 by 3 calls over and over again, never appearing to listen for a response. You name it and on most DX pileups you'll hear it. I heard some dork sending 'diddles' on RTTY on TT8TT last night for over 45 seconds at a time, repeatedly. Not sure if it was a jammer or just someone who doesn't know how to control their equipment Huh

I realize that sometimes it is taught by many 'club classes' that the PROPER format to call someone on ham radio is send their call 2 or 3 times followed by "THIS IS" or "DE" and then your call 2 or 3 times. The problem is many of these classes do NOT add that in pileups, this will USUALLY only gain the 'offending' operator a bunch of grief. In our club's General Class syllabus, I have added a short session on 'Intro to DXing for the New General Licensee' describing how to work a typical DX pileup and some of the DO's and DONT's of working DX. I have recorded some very good operators and some very bad operators to illustrate the differences. I also assembled a CD containing copies of many open source DXing how-to / techniques papers (in PDF format) garnered from the internet covering various DX operating topics to help the newbie DXer get started in the right direction plus lots of operating aids for the budding DXer.

I know I'm 'preaching to the choir', but it can't emphasized enough that in order to be a successful DXer, one must first learn to LISTEN correctly.

Listen to hear the DX station - if you can't hear them, don't try to work them.
Listen to the pileup - find open spaces to call when you're ready
Listen to learn the timing of the DX station - is he answering early callers, late callers, areas, loud stations first, moving over wide split, you name it!
Listen to your transmitted signal - is it top quality or is there a problem?
Listen for partials - did the DX get just your suffix - is he asking for a repeat?

Do not transmit if the recognized call is not even close to your call - if I call with W5DQ and the reply is for station ending in "Foxtrot", I need not answer
Do transmit where you have the best chance of being heard - if there is reply pileup 2kHz up from DX sending freq on CW, try moving up 500Hz to the edge of the mini-pileup
Do not transmit your call when the DX is transmitting - he's not going to hear you (see above about timing)
Do not transmit your call repeatedly - just going to piss of the pileup and/or the DX
Do transmit your FULL call

And probably one of the biggest problem area for newbies ..... LEARNING TO USE SPLIT EFFECTIVELY

These are just some of the stuff I cover in the 'Intro to DX' session. I hope it helps turn our new ops into better DXers.

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