Monday, 5 April 2010

Dragged, kicking and screaming, back to 1998

Decided to give PSK31 a try today, just to see...

I used the microphone input to my trusty old FT101ZD, having already made up an "interface" when I started to look at WSPR. Interface is too strong a work - it is really just a cable :-)

I downloaded MULTIPSK 4.17, which is a bit of an overkill just to try PSK31 - but it works and the price is right (for the limited version at least).

I decided to use the 40m band as I'd heard were the PSK31 community hangs out (just above the top of the CW segment - sometimes not too far above it!).

After learning to drive MultiPSK I soon had contact with Toni, SP3NNE, but was too green with MultiPSK to have a meaningful QSO. Later, I contacted Rob, m0rby, who pointed out that I was QSY-ing upward on every over. Rob suggested this might be due to my FT101, saying it was common with older rigs.

I was annoyed at first (sorry Rob), thinking he was suggesting the old girl was drifting! But then I realized it wasn't drift - it was Rx/Tx offset. For subsequent QSOs I learned to keep my transmit frequency fixed and chase any changes in the far end's freq made in response to my Tx offset. I should have carefully set up the RIT / Clarifier on the FT101 but life is just too short! (Actually, this was resolved another way - see the Update below).

Had some nice QSOs (esp Horst, DD9ZZ, in Limburg), but came to the conclusion that PSK31 isn't really for me - it doesn't have the "immediacy" of CW. Perhaps I'll persevere a little longer...


Just made an attenuator to put into the audio input (allowing some better input SNR) and noticed that the preselect tuning was a bit off - which seems to have got rid of my Tx offset (no idea why). Now having easier time with QSOs (esp with Christer, SA4AZC, Eigil, OZ3AAF and Hansi, DB7HH). As I said to Reiner, DL8LRZ/P, "This is fun - but not as much fun as CW".

...-.- de m0xpd

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