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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

    Thanks for the feedback - I guess the icom 746pro or the ic-7200 are the radios of choice right now. Since I'm partial to Kenwoods (not sure why), any suggestions in that direction? I've heard quite a few negatives about the ts-2000, but heard some good things about the TS-480. Otherwise, thanks for the input, gives me something to chew on.
    73's, N5CEY
  2. WS9K

    WS9K Ham Member QRZ Page

    I use a TS-480SAT and I'm very happy with it
  3. K6OK

    K6OK Ham Member QRZ Page

    This is not Kenwood, so I'm sharing this for general information about rigs particularly suited for PSK.

    I use an older rig, the Yaesu FT-990. It has a feature that I find very helpful with any of the digital modes. The radio has two tunable digitally Switched Capacitance Filters (SCF) which are used as both high- and low-pass audio filters. What's impressive about these audio filters is how sharp they are. As you tune the SCFs its like pulling a black curtain from either the right (low end) or from the left (the high end) across the waterfall.

    The cleanest audio comes from the widest IF filters. The nice thing about the SCFs is you can leave the radio in wide IF mode (2.4 kHz) and use the SCFs to eliminate all of the other audio noise on either side of the desired signal. For example, if you are listening to a PSK signal at 1100 Hz, you can raise the low cut SCF to 1000 Hz and drop the high cut to 1200 Hz, allowing only 200 Hz of audio bandwidth to go to the computer's sound card. All of the other signals and noise are eliminated. I find this improves the readability of signals. I suspect what's going on is that with audio filtering the sound card has less crosstalk and noise products to deal with, and so computer decoding improves because the S/N ratio is improved.

    The only drawback to the SCF system is that a very strong signal will still pump the AGC. In that case I have no choice but to drop to a narrow IF filter.

    If there's any interest I can post a screenshot or movie of the SCF filtering in action.

    IF DSP is a good thing but it is not the be-all end-all. High quality analog audio filtering in front of your computer's sound card can help improve digital decoding as well. You could probably achieve the same result with any modern DSP rig by inserting a high quality passive audio filter between the rig and the sound card.

    -- Jim
  4. N9SB

    N9SB Ham Member QRZ Page

    The TS-480 with both cw filters installed is a very good radio for the digital modes.
  5. N0WYO

    N0WYO XML Subscriber QRZ Page

    ...Same with the TS-570. I have a 570 and most of the time I run it with all that stuff turned off running the CW noise reduction on, and don't have problem one with high traffic decoding.
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