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Digital Basics - where do you find them?

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  • Digital Basics - where do you find them?

    I think I have PSK31 and FT8 pretty well figured out. How does one learn the basic procedures for other forms of digital communication? For example RTTY; what settings are normally used? USB/LSB-data?, Power?, FSK?, AFSK?, calling frequencies, etc? Ditto for Olivia. I have seen Olivia 8/250 but none of the others. Which is more common? Contestia - what is that all about? I have found answers to some of these in "Get on the Air with HF Digital" and "HF Digital Handbook" , and on some on the ARRL web site but there are a lot of holes that need to be filled. I am an old school brass pounder and brand new to digital. If someone can point me to some good reading on the subject, I would appreciate it.

  • #2
    Hi Jim, there is a good page with sound samples:
    Other good pages: and
    and also

    All digital modes normally use USB, preferably with a digital input bypassing ALC and other voice settings.

    The answer to your queston about RTTY is not easily found, as all the settings depend on your radio.

    I have several ways to do RTTY:
    1. FlexRadio Flex-6500 has a dedicated RTTY mode with twin peak filter. Software is HRD DM-780 (USB/AFSK)
    2. IC-756PRO has FSK for RTTY, I use a SCS PTC-IIPRO TNC to provide FSK, Software Alpha (USB/FSK)
    3. Kenwood TS-2000X, I use a microHAM interface to provide RTTY, Software HRD DM-780 (USB/AFSK)

    All these radios can go up to 100 Watts continuous power.
    The calling frequencies are here:
    and here:

    As to the modes used, you can look at the PSKR statistics:

    I hope this helps a bit.

    Vy 73, Alex - DH2ID

    DH2ID station: Flex-6500, Sony VAIO notebook, Windows 7/64bit

    Motto: providentiae memor!


    • #3
      Thank you Alex - that information will be helpful. I have searched on the internet for answers and have found a lot of different opinions, many 180 degrees apart. As far as RTTY, I jumped in with both feet this weekend with the DL-DX RTTY contest and learned a lot. I found that with my Kenwood TS-590SG, I use USB, data, around 60 watts and use the Kenwood built-in sound card via USB to my computer. Trying the FSK mode on the Kenwood did not provide any modulation of the signal, but USB- data seemed to work fine. I amassed a whopping total of 230 points in the contest. Not a lot of points but it was a lot of fun and I learned quite a bit. Thanks again for the advice.