Saturday, March 08, 2008

PSK31 on 20m is becoming very active

99% of my Ham radio activity is now on PSK-31. This interesting mode is very efficient and lets me chat, keyboard to keyboard, with interesting folks around the place. Kind of like Instant Messenger but with radio for transport instead of the internet.

I was having reasonable success but thanks to the kind assistance of VK2HRE in Geelong, I've now got my RF Feedback issue somewhat under control.

Running just 5W into a simple 20m dipole a little over the roof, I have chatted with Japan, Bourail (near New Caledonia), Bribie Island (off Queensland), New Zealand, NSW, QLD, VIC, SA, and Tasmania.

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Initially, I tried 80m and 40m but didn't hear much activity, probably mostly due to the interference I suffer here in the suburbs probably from switching power supplies. Now that I've switched to 20m, 14.070Mhz and thereabouts, the band has really come alive.

In case you haven't seen this before, each of those vertical traces is someone talking, none of the signals shown above are very clear but probably 60% readable.

Some of the stations seem to be only interested in collecting contacts, they exchange information and then say good bye. There are some very nice folks out there keen to have a real chat.

Update: had a brief contact with RW├śLM who is located in Vladivostok, Russia. This is my furthest contact so far and amazing given that I'm running just 5W here.

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