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Need Help Choosing Radio

Discussion in 'Working Different Modes' started by KI4JYN, Apr 10, 2012.

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  1. KI4JYN

    KI4JYN Ham Member QRZ Page

    Hey Guys I need some help with suggestions on which radio would suit my needs. I am interested in getting into psk31, and I am also interested in sstv. Does anyone have any suggestions with one radio that will work both modes and not cost me my first born. I apologize if this is in the wrong section, if it is could someone point me in the right direction. Thanks in advance.
  2. W5BIB

    W5BIB Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    DON !!... where ya been ?... I don't know about psk31 or sstv. If you need to know something about mode: A1,... shout out... welcome
  3. N1ZZZ

    N1ZZZ Ham Member QRZ Page

    Any modern rig will work quite well. It's easier to work with a rig that has a Data port. I'd also suggest one that can run with 100% duty cycle to keep the power transistor's cooler or run at very modest power (PSK31 will work fine with 10W and a dipole.

    Jeremy N1ZZZ
  4. WB2WIK

    WB2WIK Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    I agree with N1ZZZ. PSK31 is very efficient, like CW, and doesn't take much power to make contacts.

    SSTV often does, and a rig that can run sustained power without overheating is a good thing.

    There are MANY rigs on the market that will do both just fine. If it's for a home station and not mobile or portable, focus on the "larger" rigs that have big heatsinks and not the smaller mobile rigs.
  5. VE3FMC

    VE3FMC XML Subscriber QRZ Page

    I have used the following radios to operate digital modes, all worked well.
    Icom 718, inexpensive rig and does the digital modes just fine.

    Icom 735, worked fine, but interfacing with HRD did not offer many options with that software.

    Icom 7000. Great rig for digital modes and interfacing with HRD. However when operating digital modes I ran a small 12 VDC fan behind the rig to help with the heat buildup, especially when operating Olivia.

    Current rig is a Yaesu FT-950. Great rig to interface with HRD and digital software.

    One thing you may want to consider when operating SSTV. I found that mode requires some power in order to be able to send a good picture so others can copy. I operated on 40 M most of the time with Easy Pal software. Running 100 watts from your rig on slow scan can be hard on the radio as it is full duty cycle and the radio will be keyed down for longer periods of time while sending a picture.

    Far better to run an amp and run the rig at lower drive power into the amp. Far easier on the radio.

    As stated just about any modern rig will work for digital modes. A data port is a plus but you can also hook your interface to the radio via the mic jack.

    I use a SignaLink USB interface, it has been in line since September 2007 and has been problem free. I highly recommend it to anyone wanting to operate digital modes.

    I have always set the power on the radios at 100 watts and then I control the output with the TX gain on the SignaLink USB. These allows for no ALC reading, which puts out a nice clean signal with the digital modes.

    73, Rick VE3FMC
    Last edited: Apr 11, 2012
  6. KI4JYN

    KI4JYN Ham Member QRZ Page

    Thanks to everyone who has responded. I appreciate the help. I tried playing with different software, and live feeds from websdr and got hooked. Thanks again
  7. NA7U

    NA7U Ham Member QRZ Page

    What radio do you have now? For PSK you could actually just decode from the speaker is you have a mic to the PC, with any receiver that can tune the digi-mode speaker. If your rig has VOX then you can simply pipe your audio out through the rig's mic, not special interface needed and that avoids any problems with PTT. I'd gently suggest that you put aside SSTV for now, just because you will find a LOT more to the digital modes than just PSK.
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