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Author Topic: PSK31 and Boatanchor Tranceivers  (Read 2052 times)
K4WQ
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« on: February 16, 2004, 01:13:42 PM »

Ok, you can teach an old dog new tricks.  After many years on SSB and CW, I would like to try PSK31.  Looks like a fairly easy thing to do if you have a PC with a sound card.  My concern is the HF rig.  Presently, I am using an old Heathkit SB-101.  I probably won't have the resources to purchase a new rig until later this year.  Has anyone had any luck using a vintage rig like an SB-101 for PSK31?  Or should I wait for a newer rig?  It seems on the surface that I would have to connect directly to the mic input of the SB-101.  Anybody out there able to successfully interface this type of rig?  Thanks.
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OBSERVER11
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« Reply #1 on: February 17, 2004, 01:11:03 AM »

I would be more concerned with the stability of the transmitter then the interface. Will and old rig be able to hold the frequency or will it be drifting all over the place? Remember, PSK31 is very narrow and a drift is usually more than many software packages can track.
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VA7CPC
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« Reply #2 on: February 19, 2004, 01:13:24 AM »

I started out with PSK31 by putting the xcvr mic in front of my computer loudspeaker, and putting the sound card mic on top of the xcvr speaker.

Turn on 'VOX' (if your xcvr has it), get the levels set up in Windows, and that setup works fine if you keep the audio frequency above 2 kHz.   For a while, anyway -- I eventually bought a Rascal from Buxcomm.

How much drift do you have?  While the signal is 33 Hz wide, the software's AFC might be able to handle a fair bit of _slow_ wandering.   If you start moving over someone else's frequency, there _would_ be trouble.  The PSK31 "band" is only about 2 kHz wide, and signals are often within 100 Hz of each other.

Let us know how this turns out -- maybe you _can_ teach an old dog new tricks.
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K4WQ
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« Reply #3 on: February 23, 2004, 09:59:26 PM »

I tried the setup you had.  PC mic in front of the radio speaker and radio mic in front of the pc speaker.  Worked fine.  I splurged and got a couple of shielded cables.  Ran one from the radio headphone jack to the mic input of the soundcard.  Ran another cable from the line out of the card to the phone patch jack on back of the radio.  Set the radio to VOX and let it rip.  Works fine for now.  The SB-101 hardly drifts at all after letting it warm up for about an hour. If I anticipate operating for a while, I will leave the radio on for a few hours.  The only problem I encountered is when I am sending for more than 3 minutes at a time, the HP-23 power supply CB trips.  I guess the old power supplies were not designed for the duty cycle required for PSK31.  I originally had the power output set at 40 watts.  Now, it is 25 watts.  Seems ok for now.  PSK31 is a blast!!!
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KB2HSH
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« Reply #4 on: October 16, 2004, 02:59:46 PM »

I tried the "speaker/microphone" method with my Argonaut...and it worked.  However, I have fairly bad drift.  Not quite as bad as the old Eico "7-drifty-3".  I have had 2 QSOs with very patient ops...and "read-the-mail" from some GOOD DX QSOs.  Once my Argonaut V arrives, I'll be having fun BIG TIME!

Thanks for the inspiration.


John HSH
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