DX WinLink Sessions using QRP & Compromise Antennas

Discussion in 'Amateur Radio News' started by OH8STN, Aug 29, 2017.

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  1. KN4EMY

    KN4EMY Ham Member QRZ Page

    I am a new ham but have interest in the digital communications aspect. Can you expand on your rig setup? Do you use any CAT controllers? Thanks in advance
     
    OH8STN likes this.
  2. OH8STN

    OH8STN Ham Member QRZ Page


    Welcome to the "hobby".
    I am primarily a portable digital mode operator, so I like to keep things as simple and lightweight as possible.

    Ultra portable
    For casual portable comms, I like to stick to chat modes like PSK31, PSK63, ... For that I'm using an Android Tablet, WolphiLink audio interface, and Yaesu FT-817ND without CAT control. For the most part digital modes like psk, rtty, jt65, ... are on a fixed dial frequency, but unique audio frequency. The audio frequency is usually changed within the app itself, so there's no point to have CAT control in those cases, leaving your audio interface and a list of operating frequencies for the mode, all that's required. I have a variety of antennas, so one is picked based on location, mode of transport, ... on the day.

    Advanced fixed/portable comms
    For more Advanced Communications eg. FSQ, Olivia, ... I'm still using the Yaesu ft-817nd, but the audio interface is ZLP MiniProSC. Naturally I move over from a tablet to a laptop. The laptop is running FLDIGI for the most part. I am using a USB CAT control interface for the ft-817, allowing FLDIGI, to control push to talk and frequency of the radio. In hindsight I would have taken the ZLP MiniSCPro which has audio interface and CAT control in the same little device, with individual cables coming out of it for CAT control and audio interface ports on the 817.

    WinLink & PC-ALE, WSPR, FT8, JT65, ...
    I'm also using CAT control for WinLink, ALE, ... through there apps respectively. Same audio interface as mentioned above.

    One mistake we often make as new operators is mixing up cat control with the audio interface. In older radio designs like the Yaesu ft-817 control an audio interface are on two different ports. Many operators use the CAT control for logging purposes, or to simply allow their digital mode app to control the frequency of the radio. The audio interface is used to manage audio levels into and out of the radio or laptop and sometimes to manage the push-to-talk as well. On newer radio designs there's often a sound card already built in with CAT control and audio IO on a USB port.

    Anyway your question sounds like an up-coming video from the field.
    73
    Julian oh8stn





    Welcome to the "hobby".
    I am primarily a portable digital mode operator. For casual comms, I like to stick to chat modes like PSK31/63, Olivia, FSQ, ... For that I'm using the
     
    WA2LXB likes this.
  3. KM4DYX

    KM4DYX XML Subscriber QRZ Page

    Julian is the go-to expert on digital comms in my book. FWIW, Julian and I both use FT-817s. The 817 is going to be pretty much functionally identical to your 857 (as listed on your QRZ page.) All you really need to get started is a soundcard like the Signalink USB or similar. The Wolphilink will work with Android.

    May I suggest JT 65 if you like to chase DX and Winlink HF email for contingency communications. Like Irma. Hope you are prepared for that monster heading your way.

    73,
    Al
     
    KN4EMY likes this.
  4. KN4EMY

    KN4EMY Ham Member QRZ Page

    Thank you for the reply. Never really ready for something like this but still prepping. Antennas are down and will do voice comms only. Right now the 857D is in a pelican case with PS, tuner, and wiring (including a cheap dipole). I will also use my cheapo Baofeng with an Ed Fong J-pole for 2 meters. I will also put up a CB to monitor channel 9. Thanks again.
    Mike
     
  5. AL6C

    AL6C Ham Member QRZ Page

    Winlink Africa? That is what is on my mind. I'm new here. Just got my amateur radio license a few hours ago. Only learned of Winlink a few days ago. I am interested in an inexpensive QRP automated solution for emergency coms. Is there some inexpensive (for Americans-Europeans) fully automated thing, maybe using SDR and a Raspberry PI? In my imagination I see a simple vertical 3 band thing. But maybe I don't understand Winlink much... not yet. I have a home in Africa.

    PS. Just opened this, which helps a bit, but demonstrates it is far to expensive, unreliable, and power hungry. So maybe my idea has not ever been done before now. http://www.philsherrod.com/Winlink/Getting_Started_with_Winlink_and_WINMOR.pdf
     
    Last edited: Sep 14, 2017

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