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Author Topic: Does Anyone PREFER Digital Modes for DX-ing?  (Read 1476 times)
KY6R
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« on: January 15, 2013, 04:25:50 AM »

I have been a computer programmer, DBA and database designer for 32 years. I sit in front of a PC / Mac all day, so I have had a hard time getting very excited about the digital modes. I use Fldigi with my K3, and have tried to work towards Digital DXCC, but every time, I just lose interest. I think I have 36 entities confirmed - some RTTY and some PSK. It could give me some DXCC Challenge points though . . .

I think its mainly because CW and SSB offer me an escape from my daily job, and the digital modes do not. Maybe the weak signal modes with low power will be of interest some day - not sure.

I'm curious to know if you PREFER digital modes over all other modes, and why.
« Last Edit: January 15, 2013, 04:37:40 AM by KY6R » Logged
AD9DX
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« Reply #1 on: January 15, 2013, 04:41:00 AM »

The big plus side for me is that almost all digital mode ops use LoTW.
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EX, KC9TRM, KB9IRZ
KB3LIX
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« Reply #2 on: January 15, 2013, 11:56:58 AM »

I enjoy RTTY, one thing is I can chase a DX station on RTTY
and no one in the room knows I am doing anything except
for clicking the mouse or moving the big dial.
(My setup is on the computer desk in the living room)

CW is next in line.
I can listen and hit the keyboard as necessary.

I DETEST phone. I started as a phone op ONLY, way back
a thousand years ago (in 2005) Since that time,
I have learned I can hear much more on CW, since the bandwidth is so much narrower than phone.

You can keep PSK-31, tooo slow.

However, JT-65 which is the slowest I have ever used
has yielded some new countries recently.

Palau & Uzbekistan come to mind.

And, most digi users utilize LoTW.
Another BIG plus.
« Last Edit: January 15, 2013, 11:59:20 AM by KB3LIX » Logged
NU1O
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« Reply #3 on: January 15, 2013, 12:06:23 PM »

I DETEST phone. I started as a phone op ONLY, way back
a thousand years ago (in 2005) Since that time,
I have learned I can hear much more on CW, since the bandwidth is so much narrower than phone.


I agree with Rich. I currently have no use for the digital modes except for fooling around once in awhile and I am not a programmer.  In the past two years I have operated phone about two thirds of the time and CW one third. I'd like to get the CW to 50/50.

73,

Chris/NU1O
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N6PSE
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« Reply #4 on: January 15, 2013, 01:14:02 PM »

I did some RTTY operating from ST0R, 7O6T and 3D2C. I must admit that I found it relaxing and enjoyable compared to the many behaviors on display from the massive SSB pileups.  I quiet enjoyed RTTY and being part of the RTTY record breaking team at ST0R. 
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K0YQ
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« Reply #5 on: January 15, 2013, 01:19:43 PM »

I enjoy and use all modes, but actively chase primarily Mixed DXCC and secondarily Digi DXCC for many reasons already mentioned.  I can "watch" digi signals with little distraction as I'm busy working or otherwise occupied.  I can work Digi or CW without bothering or waking anyone else in the house.  Weak signal modes like JT65 give limited setup guys like me a fighting chance, as does CW.  I really perceive that I don't get out well on SSB and I'm not really a ragchewer.  LOTW hit rates are WAY higher for digi modes versus other modes (at least for me).  I like the sounds of squeaks and diddles and digi ops are in general a really nice group.

It's all good though and whatever mode it takes.   Smiley





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N3QE
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« Reply #6 on: January 15, 2013, 01:35:48 PM »

I prefer CW, in terms of most miles per watt, QSK so less stepping on others in the pile, etc.

But since I started RTTY, I have found there are a number of countries that are quite uncommon on CW, but show up on RTTY regularly. So for example I do not have Pakistan confirmed by CW, but I do have Pakistan confirmed by RTTY. Also, I have RTTY LOTW  but not CW LOTW confirmations from a couple of common (small) countries where the RTTY guy does LOTW, but the commonly heard CW guy does not do LOTW.
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KH6DC
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« Reply #7 on: January 15, 2013, 02:47:26 PM »

I use most digital modes and wish DXpeditions would use JT65 more.  I used to live in a studio duplex so at night with wife and son asleep I could use digital modes or CW without shouting into the microphone.
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73 and Aloha,
de Delwyn, KH6DC
WS3N
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« Reply #8 on: January 15, 2013, 03:23:17 PM »

RTTY has become my favorite, for many of the reasons others have already stated. I spend most of my day working on a computer, too, but that only makes a computer interface seem like the easiest way to approach the radio. On most days, the only part of the rig I touch is the on/off switch.
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W2IRT
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« Reply #9 on: January 15, 2013, 04:18:41 PM »

I don't prefer digimodes but I do chase everything possible on RTTY for the Digital modes DXCC. I don't particularly like it or enjoy it, but it's needed. I vastly prefer CW for DXing, but I'll do whatever it takes to work 'em all.
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NK7Z
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« Reply #10 on: January 15, 2013, 04:28:44 PM »

I have been a computer programmer, DBA and database designer for 32 years. I sit in front of a PC / Mac all day, so I have had a hard time getting very excited about the digital modes. I use Fldigi with my K3, and have tried to work towards Digital DXCC, but every time, I just lose interest. I think I have 36 entities confirmed - some RTTY and some PSK. It could give me some DXCC Challenge points though . . .

I think its mainly because CW and SSB offer me an escape from my daily job, and the digital modes do not. Maybe the weak signal modes with low power will be of interest some day - not sure.

I'm curious to know if you PREFER digital modes over all other modes, and why.

Hi,

I also worked in computers for many decades...  I do prefer digital modes...  I have managed to separate in my mind the work part of computers from the fun part of computers...  The computer is nothing more than a tool to me now...  Much like a paper and pencil.   You would not refuse to use paper and pencil to copy CW because you use them at work would you?  I would not!  So for me the computer is really nothing more than a new way to write down things...  I also program in my off time, (even though I did it for a few years at work, and ended managing an IT department), so maybe I am a bit different...  In any case, using RTTY and MixW, working all RTTY, all LoTW, WAS, or DXCC is not all that hard...  

Good luck with your computer phobia, using a computer for ham radio is not like working at all!  At least for me...  I hope for you too sooner than later!  

EDIT:  The return rate of Digital ops via LoTW is around 50 or 60%...

73's
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Thanks,
Dave
For reviews and setups see: http://www.nk7z.net
N2NL
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« Reply #11 on: January 15, 2013, 04:30:28 PM »

I definitely prefer CW to the digital modes.  My experience is that digital pileups are generally more chaotic, because for some reason it is easier for someone to push a function key to transmit a macro over and over than it is to send their call by paddle.  

Example:  JA SSB pileup on a DX station - maybe 5% will call non stop no matter who the DX station is trying to work.
JA CW pileup on a DX station - maybe 15% will call non stop no matter who the DX station is trying to work
JA digital pileup on a DX station - 50% or more will call non stop no matter who the DX station is trying to work.

EU is similar, but higher percentages across the board.
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KY6R
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« Reply #12 on: January 15, 2013, 04:58:10 PM »

My preference (by a long shot) is CW. With a nice Begali key. I think the tactile aspect and almost musical rhythm is a really nice break for me after being at a keyboard all day.

I was a percussionist in school band, and then played guitar and keyboards in the 80's in dive clubs in SF (Hotel Utah, Nightbreak, Kennel Club, etc). So - the "musical" quality of CW is there for sure. When I was a kid, I used a "Bug" - which had even more of a "swing".

But hey - I guess CW is the first digital mode  Grin
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WS3N
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« Reply #13 on: January 15, 2013, 05:09:50 PM »

I don't particularly like it or enjoy it, but it's needed.

You must have a tidy and well-organized shack.  Wink
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WD4ELG
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« Reply #14 on: January 15, 2013, 06:23:51 PM »

N6PSE, THANK YOU for ALL that digital activity.

* My ADD brain drifts quickly while waiting for the JT65 QSO to complete.
* PSK31 feels like it is all canned macros
* But RTTY, I love it.  I have had several excellent rag chews and great QSO's on that mode.  Plus it feels nostalgic.

Having said that, I am still 90% CW.
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