PSK31 on 2 meters with Signalink USB ...
I have been a ham for about 3 years now and do a ton of listening and a little talking here in Richmond, VA. I have a 2 meter HT (wouxun) and I finally got the Signalink USB (wired properly) and a Kenwood cable (which works great!). The question is, where do people operate on 2 meters w/ psk31?? Is there a standard 'calling frequency'? I am VERY new to this ... are there any other common digital modes that can be used with 2 meters? I would love some help,
I have operated PKS31 a few times on the simplex VHF frequencies. - We ended up hanging out at 145.500 Mhz.
All of the digital modes work great on VHF, and SSTV works great there, too. Lots of fun.
Some of the digital modes I have used on VHF are: Packet, PSK31, PSK63, Q15x25, and MT-63 2000. - These days I use MT-63 2000 the most, with the free FLDIGI multimode soundcard software.
FLDIGI is very nice. It has versions for Windows, Mac or Linux, it is free, and it offers a wide variety of digital modes to play with. For someone who would like to experiment with the different digital modes, I believe that this is the best advice that I can offer.
The main thing is to have fun and learn something, that's what makes amateur radio a great hobby.
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My 2 mtr is always on to psk31, I never hear anything. I often send out CQ some where around 144.200.
If there is a ham club in your area I'd fish around there. There are a few guys here in Colorado doing some of the digital modes (lots on APRS, but few on other modes) and a few at our club have been talking about getting VHF packet and other digital modes going again. I recently got going with vhf at home (previously only used it mobile) and am looking to join in soon. With 2 meters being local propagation only, its really more of a regional question not just of where, but when as well.
I have done PSK on 2 meter SSB, but never attempted it on FM. Never even considered it. Will the HT do SSB?
It's not very active these days, but there is a Yahoogroup dedicated to PSK and other digi modes on VHF and UHF : http://groups.yahoo.com/group/PSK_VHF_UHF_HAMRADIO/
144.150 USB was the frequency most used for PSK. Recommended frequencies of the other common VHF/UHF modes will be found on the website, as well.
Overall, we found that PSK was too sensitive to multipath on VHF, and multipath is very common. Still, I checked into the net run by KB9UMT on 2 meters every week - a distance of about 300 miles from here in SE Minnesota to his QTH near Peoria. MFSK actually worked better.
A lot of folks are playing with the NBEMS suite of protocols for FM, and on VHF/UHF they tend to use MT-63/2000 over FM. This mode is pretty tolerant of different audio levels, so you can actually do it without an interface - just play the speaker from the computer into the mike on your HT or VHF FM rig, and vice-versa. With the HT just sitting net to a computer, it works pretty well, usually. We have a weekly VHF net on 2 meters up here, and it's also on Reflector 9627 for IRLP. The net is at 9 p.m. Central time.
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for the MT-63 2000 , do you know some "common" CQ frequencies on 2 meter FM?
There aren't any. In general FM is not a good choice of for this sort of mode. SSB is better. I'm not sure you can even get MT63 to work on FM.
I recommend you look at the 2m band plan and ARRL Considerate Operators' Guide. The ARRL Repeater Directory is also a good source of the band plan by frequency for all of V/U. Historically there are two or three frequencies that were recommended for Packet Operation. TAPR (Tucson Amateur Packet Radio) group may have info on their website, www.tapr.org
Realistically, even at the height of the packet rage twenty years ago it was unlikely to send CQ and make contacts. If you want to experiment with different modes you need to find someone local to schedule sessions with. I strongly recommend you have a second radio either a V/U repeater, HF or even telephone for live coordination. That is how we worked out the bugs in packet operations (over several months).
Without a repeater, you may find that data modes on V/U are very touchy. Certainly packet is. Be sure to confirm antenna polarization (vertical or horizontal) with your partner. Even a small 2 or 3 element yagi or quad makes a big improvement in signal strength.
Last edited by KB4QAA; 03-29-2012 at 08:19 PM.