Best Rig for PSK-31

Discussion in 'Working Different Modes' started by N5CEY, Jul 25, 2010.

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  1. N5CEY

    N5CEY Ham Member QRZ Page

    OK, for starters, I became relicensed the first part of May of this year after a 25 year absence.:D During that time I lost most of my hearing, and can not work ssb or CW any longer.:( When I got back on the air after getting my license back, I was totally excited about this "NEW" (for me) mode that allowed me to READ my QSO's.:) Since May5th, I've managed to work 42 states and 24 countries, and counting.:) I currently use a TS-530S, and/or a TS-120 transciever with a 20M moxon and/or 6btv vertical or 2 20M 1/4wave phased verticals. Man, I love this mode.:D I am currently wondering though if I should invest in a rig with a little better RX in it. I know that I don't need additional output power, I work qrp stations frequently with good results, but sometimes I see stations working dx that just leave a slight trace on my waterfall and I switch between antennas and still no luck. Would appreciate any feedback about what rigs have "hot" receivers and "cool" output amplifiers. I had a Kenwood TS-930 that I couldn't take over 15 watts else it overheated and shut down.:mad: All comments greatly appreciated.
    73'S, N5CEY
  2. N6LTU

    N6LTU XML Subscriber QRZ Page

    I was out of the hobby for about 20 years and got my license back in April. All of these "new" modes were not available back then so I've had a blast learning all about them. I recently bought a Yaesu FT-450 and its working great on PSK31, also does a good job on SSB with my very low to the ground dipole. Others on here will give you better info on the RX capabilities of the various rigs out there. BTW, before I got the FT-450, I was using a Kenwood TS-820S, that one still works too, but I like the IF DSP on the FT-450.

    Hope to see you on the waterfall!!!!

    N6LTU - Doug
  3. KI6USW

    KI6USW Ham Member QRZ Page

    I've only been a Ham for just two years, but I still remember one, important rule:

    "The antenna is the most important part of the system"

    Maybe it is time to study/search for antennas that work better than you are using now?
    If it is the 5BTV you are referring to; maybe you need to use a lot more radials. I keep hearing how well this antenna works when it is saturated with enough radials.
    If the dipole it too low; then get it up a little farther. There is always room to improve any antenna situation - unless you already have a 100 ft tower...;)
  4. G0JKZ

    G0JKZ Ham Member QRZ Page

    an ideal rig for any digimode and one that won't break the bank is the icom ic-7200.

    It has a direct usb connection so no messing with interfaces or any external boxes, just plug in and play. Mine is great coupled with ham radio deluxe, it does everything you could want.

    Ok, some say it is ugly but hey, they don't have to look at it, they just have to hear the signal it puts out.

    KI6USW has a valid point too.... no matter what rig you have you still need the right metal in the sky.
  5. KA1MDA

    KA1MDA Ham Member QRZ Page

    "6btv vertical or 2 20M 1/4wave phased verticals"

    A little more info would be helpful. Are these ground or roof mounted? How many radials? What length?

    Tom, KA1MDA
  6. N5CEY

    N5CEY Ham Member QRZ Page

    The 6BTV Vertical is ground mounted with 30 radials, 2 cut for each band, the balance cut for 20 meters. It works very well, good swr, and some pretty good dx - S. Africa, Indonesia, Japan, Russia, France, Italy. The Phased 1/4 wave 20M verticals are an experiment in process - they only have 10 1/4 wave radials, and are ground mounted, 1/4 wave apart and feed 135 degrees apart. Very good swr (1.15 each), but I have not confirmed the radiation pattern yet. The 20 Meter moxon is up at 22 ft, with a rotor. I agree with KI6USW about antennas and am an avid antenna NUT, but that doesn't address my question of which rig has the best rx for what I'm trying to accomplish, and can handle psk31 at a reasonable power level (25 - 50 watts) without melting down.
    Tks, N5CEY
  7. KR2D

    KR2D Ham Member QRZ Page

    Look for a rig with IF DSP that gives you very narrow filters for the digital modes. For example, my IC-746PRO can go down to 50Hz - just enough for a single PSK-31 signal. This capability is extremely useful during crowded conditions.

    Also look for a rig that has 100% duty cycle for digital modes. Again, my IC-746PRO has that capability.
  8. AC0FP

    AC0FP Ham Member QRZ Page

    Given your antenna situation I would say you need a rig with a 500 Hz CW filter to run your PSK31 signal through, or as others have suggested a newer rig with "IF DSP". A narrow filter makes a world of difference in receiving narrow band modes like PSK31!


    fp :)
  9. N8LWF

    N8LWF Ham Member QRZ Page

    YES. Great suggestion. I have an ic-7200. Besides having the USB port for both audio in/out and rig control, but it has a great receiver. I haven't wished for more filter options yet. What a wonderful radio. I have it fully integrated with HRD. I've also got it completely functional with WSPR software.
  10. G0JKZ

    G0JKZ Ham Member QRZ Page

    pretty much the same as my setup....

    i ran mine side by side with my buddies pro 3. it was exactly the same as the vastly more expensive box. as for filtering... it won't ever need any more seeing as it is pretty much fully variable.

    I love my 7200...
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