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Author Topic: Tired of the same OLD 599 macro PSK or RTTY QSO?  (Read 23127 times)
WB8ROL
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Posts: 19




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« on: June 28, 2011, 10:34:51 PM »

If you like short, macro, contest QSO's all the time that is OK. There's nothing wrong with that.

However, IF you would like to have REAL chats, make friends, and actually get to know other hams on digital  then perhaps you should try OTHER digital modes that are more tailored to that sort of thing.

Olivia, Contestia, Domino, MFSK, and FeldHell are just a few worth exploring.  Some folks think of these modes as being more difficult to understand and use BUT they are NOT that difficult if you want to have real QSO's and are bored to death with contests and quicky "599 QSL 73" type QSO's.

I greatly perfer the Olivia and Contestia modes and information for these two can be found at : http://www.oliviamode.com

Other folks like FeldHell at lot and info can be found at : https://sites.google.com/site/feldhellclub/

You can google (or use other search engines) to search for information on other modes too (and additional information Olivia, Contestia, and FeldHell.)

Many people might think that these modes are seldom used or that they might be inferior.  They would be wrong.  They are LESS used, to be sure, than PSK31 but there is plenty of activity - especially if you put out a lot of CQ's.  JUST listening does NOT produce the best results - you have to make some noise!

For those of you who have never (or seldom) used any other mode than PSK and/or RTTY you may find a whole NEW world of REAL ham radio QSO's wating for you.  It's worth the effort to explore!

In the last 28 days I hv had 40 Olivia and 10 Contestia QSO's.  Also 1 MT63 and 2 Domino QSO's.  Most of these (2/3rds) were ragchews - something that does NOT happen often on PSK and RTTY since those 2 modes do NOT handle QRN, QRM, and QSB well.

--Gary WB8ROL
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AA6YQ
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« Reply #1 on: June 29, 2011, 07:09:17 AM »

Most of these (2/3rds) were ragchews - something that does NOT happen often on PSK and RTTY since those 2 modes do NOT handle QRN, QRM, and QSB well.

In my experience, there are three primary reasons for perfunctory QSOs in digital modes:

1. the op is trying to maximize his or her rate or is seeking new entities/zones, and is not interested in a rag chew

2. the op isn't comfortable conversing in English, and is relying on macros to complete the QSO

3. no effort was made to initiate a conversation

To mitigate #2, I added a callsign-driven language translator to DXView (freeware). This won't make you fluent in your QSO partner's language, but your mix of phrases in that language along with English will make it clear that you don't expect perfect English in return. It's a good ice-breaker, and you'll be surprised at how quickly you're able to respond with basic greetings in 10 or 12 languages without glancing at the translation window.

As for #3, ask a question about something other than your QSO partner's condx or wx. "What do you do when you're not on the radio?" often gets a good conversation going.








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VA7CPC
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Posts: 2831




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« Reply #2 on: June 29, 2011, 05:25:54 PM »

It's not the mode that matters -- it's the intent of the people in the QSO. 

I type pretty fast, and I often have _long_ QSO's using PSK31.  It just about matches my average typing speed.

Olivia drives me crazy.  I hate waiting for it to catch up to my typing, and I'm sure the recipient can read _lots_ faster than Olivia transmits.   [And yes, I give it credit for being very handy with very weak signals.]

RTTY is a fairly fast mode, easy to use "in conversation" -- but don't try to get a conversation going during a contest.

            Charles
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KB9UMT
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« Reply #3 on: June 29, 2011, 05:53:54 PM »

GE,
If you get tired of the macro short QSO's or Contests also try the WARC Bands.  More and more 12m is open and 17m has openings most the day into late evening now and 30 Meters is always open somewhere.  I spend most my time on 30m (then 17m) and I have been able to have some very long ragchews making friends not only in NA but also DX stations...give it a try as many ops on WARC Bands might be interested in the DX but also about the DX op/station to exchange just more than Call, 599, 73....most welcome a good ragchew..no matter what mode.

Have fun on the bands....and yes Contesting or shore macros at times a must but not always.

Don KB9UMT
www.30mdg.net 
Promoting 30 Meter Digital Activity on a great band...low power, cw or digital only in most areas of the World, between 20m and 40m perfect for domestic to DX open somewhere 24x7, good ops, experimenting, all digital modes
www.HamSpots.net
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AD6KA
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Posts: 2243




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« Reply #4 on: June 29, 2011, 08:35:41 PM »

Quote
As for #3, ask a question about something other than your QSO partner's condx or wx. "What do you do when you're not on the radio?" often gets a good conversation going.
That's always a good place to start.
Sometimes it works, sometimes not.
It SEEMS a lot of ops are looking at their keyboards, not the screen:

"Oh by the way OM, I'm not wearing any underwear, how about you?" de AD6KA bk

"Thanks report Ken, UR %100 print. Computer here is Dell Inspiron running....."

Ken  AD6KA
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W0BTU
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« Reply #5 on: June 30, 2011, 05:18:24 AM »

If you get tired of the macro short QSO's or Contests also try the WARC Bands. 

I would add 40 meters to that. I've had some pretty good PSK31 QSOs around 7035. Much better than 20.
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K2CMH
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Posts: 342




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« Reply #6 on: June 30, 2011, 12:41:02 PM »

Quote
If you like short, macro, contest QSO's all the time that is OK. There's nothing wrong with that.

Would you mind posting some of the commonly used frequencies for the various modes that you are referring to.  I have tried to find someone using some of those modes but can never seem to.  I don't know if it is because I'm not listening at the right spot or if it's just because no one is on the air at that time.

73,
Carlton
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G0GQK
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Posts: 634




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« Reply #7 on: June 30, 2011, 02:17:17 PM »

The suggestion that PSK isn't suitable as a digital chat mode is not true, perhaps its just that users of other modes prefer to have keyboard chats.
PSK wasn't really invented for extended chats but there is no reason why conversations can't continue for hours, all you have to do is find someone who also likes to chat. This shouldn't be difficult in the US, you all speak the same language, but don't expect many on mainland Europe who wish to hear about your daily activities, their ability to write in English is limited, and many in Britain aren't keen on hammering a keyboard for more than a few minutes, its much easier to talk !

G0GQK
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KF7ATL
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Posts: 69




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« Reply #8 on: June 30, 2011, 06:08:31 PM »

I have recently started operating PSK, and was also dismayed because all I was getting was the 599-name-QTH type of contacts. Then, the other night I stumbled into a 30+ minute ragchew with a guy from Oregon. I had been ready to give up on PSK, but now I guess I'll keep trying for a while longer. The ragchews are out there, but you have to hunt for them. BTW, we started talking (read: bragging) about our kids. I think that's what kept the conversation going in this case.

Garth
« Last Edit: June 30, 2011, 06:12:32 PM by KF7ATL » Logged
AH6RR
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Posts: 846




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« Reply #9 on: June 30, 2011, 07:38:15 PM »

Some of us did not take typing class in school and are hunt and peck typers and a Ragchew would take a long time. But I do give 559 when warranted. Plus try being in Hawaii and calling CQ all it takes is 2 calls and the pile begins even without any contest.

Roland AH6RR
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AA6YQ
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« Reply #10 on: June 30, 2011, 07:43:04 PM »


"Oh by the way OM, I'm not wearing any underwear, how about you?" de AD6KA bk

"Thanks report Ken, UR %100 print. Computer here is Dell Inspiron running....."


I would have responded to your no underwear gambit with "tnx & 73 de AA6YQ sk"
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WW3QB
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Posts: 816




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« Reply #11 on: June 30, 2011, 07:52:00 PM »

One thing I like with FeldHell is that the mode is so slow that no one could tell how slow you type. I'm slow.

I have not done it in a while, but I did find that when I call CQ in FeldHell I did eventually get answered. I have had some good ragchews.
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STAYVERTICAL
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Posts: 874




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« Reply #12 on: July 04, 2011, 03:23:28 AM »

I have to agree with Gary.

Olivia is definitely more ragchew friendly, but the reasons are built into the modes ability to filter its users!
If you use Olivia, especially the slower versions, you have to have patience as a personality trait.
In addition, Olivia being a premier low signal mode, and able to give 100 percent print in conditions where PSK31 cannot,
encourages users to chat as they dont have to work so hard to read "between the lines" of corrupted characters in PSK31.

I use PSK31 extensively, love the mode, and do ragchew - but only if signal readability is reasonable.
In these times of poor conditions, getting reasonable signal strengths is not always easy, but a marginal PSK31 signal can be
turned into a fully readable Olivia qso over an extended time.

Again, there is no black and white in digital modes - just select that which does the job you want.
But on the premise that some digital modes do "self-select" users who have certain personality traits - I would have to agree.

I cannot imagine the "599 tu nice qso 73s de ... sk sk" crowd enjoying making a cup of coffee while their buffer finishes sending its contents to your qso partner - so by that criteria alone it excludes certain types of people.

So enjoy whichever digital mode you prefer - each is a valuable tool in your arsenal to communicate.

73s
« Last Edit: July 04, 2011, 03:31:43 AM by STAYVERTICAL » Logged
KX5JT
Member

Posts: 217




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« Reply #13 on: July 04, 2011, 09:09:14 PM »

All too often I read "OLIVIA" is too slow.  People, OLIVIA can be run in settings that make it fast.  There are different parameters one can set.  For accuracy, 8/500 or higher is run.  For speed, bring the tones and bandwidth down, try 4/250.

It's an accuracy vs. speed tradeoff.  You will often find the faster settings (lower numbered paramaters) are still way more accurate than psk all other factors the same.

I like CONTESTIA because it is faster to decode and moves faster.  Try 4/125!  CONTESTIA 4/125 is FAST and not much wider than psk and MUCH more accurate in not so great conditions.  The only problem with 4/125 is that RSID does not support it.  So call CQ in a slower setting then ask the operator to move over and have a great ragchew!

Gary, thanks for you great QST article a while back on OLIVIA and exposing the masses to that great Mode!

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W0BTU
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« Reply #14 on: July 05, 2011, 11:54:08 AM »

Thanks for that info!

Please tell my WHY we always need RSID in the first place. Can't an algorithm be written to determine what mode and sub-mode is being received?

This wouldn't work with very weak signals, or on a crowded band, but surely, someone has software that does this.
« Last Edit: July 05, 2011, 12:02:10 PM by W0BTU » Logged

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