Saturday, May 23, 2009

PSK31 and QRP

Thank heavens that there is something like PSK31, meanwhile CW and SSB are going on with calling CQ TEST. And under bad propagations of course.

PSK31 is very QRP friendly as the software (for me it is Digipan) is amazingly powerful in decoding weak signals that are just barely visible in the waterfall display. Most PSK operators are running low power and a few watts on 20 or 30 meter.

You often hear that morse (CW - Continuous Wave) is supposedly the only superior mode in terms of readability of weak signals. Not so! Many digital HF modes operate perfectly under low signal-to-noise reception conditions, thanks to their limited bandwidth.

Moreover, you save yourself the hassle of manually decoding a morse signal. (Unless you like to do this, of course.) The only inconvenience with PSK31 is the fact that you need (to carry around) a PC which also happens to consume a lot of power.

Queen of the digital HF modes is PSK31 (Phase Shift Keying) with a bandwidth of only 31Hz. In addition to a modest HF station, an old PC with a sound card, a connection box and the highly recommendable free DigiPan software, is all you need to get on air. (Source ON4AA)

Today I worked on 20 meter with BPSK31: Serge UR7UC from Ukraine; Alvio IZ2QGE from Italy; Momo Z31MM from Macedonia; IQ1NO from Novara Italy.

Have a nice weekend!

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