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Keeping it simple?

Discussion in 'Working Different Modes' started by WA4ILH, Aug 11, 2019.

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  1. WA4ILH

    WA4ILH Subscriber QRZ Page

    Keep It Simple Stupid ... I have a Kenwood TS-480 SAT and a fairly new SignaLink USB interface and have downloaded Digipan 1.7 and FLDIGI 4.0.13. (Windows 10) PSK31 works great and I am not interested in running FT-8 at this time. What suprised me is that neither of these free programs appears to support FSK or even CW. AmI missing somthing?
    Tom WA4ILH
  2. KG7WGX

    KG7WGX XML Subscriber QRZ Page

    Fldigi supports AFSK, through the generation of audio tones for mark and space, and it uses a similar scheme for CW mode (except only one tone, of course.) As with any digital mode using a sound card, the levels have to be adjusted carefully.

    I understand the author of Fldigi does not believe that buffered serial ports can do Morse timing properly, so the more traditional practice of using a serial port control line is not supported.

    Fldigi also supports WinKey for CW mode, as this off-loads the Morse timing job to the keyer. If you have a WinKey USB, you just have to configure Fldigi to use it and you're all set.

    One of the problems with the SignaLink is that it has absolutely no support for external keying or rig control. It generates a PTT signal from its own VOX circuit, and provides a sound card (the SignaLink USB model), but nothing else.

    If you want to run software which uses serial control lines for CW or FSK keying, you need an additional interface, or an "all-in-one" interface which provides the functions of the SignaLink USB plus rig control and keying outputs.
  3. WA4ILH

    WA4ILH Subscriber QRZ Page

    Thanks for the reply. My SignaLink USB controller goes to a high speed (enhanced?) USB port on my laptop. I have a electronic keyer. Can I just use the key in the regular key jack on the TS-480 SAT when I transmit CW? I have a 150 MHz Tektronics trigger scope which I use to double check the purity of my RF output envelope. I usually run digital modes at greatly reduced power levels than 100 watts. (40 watts max,usually less) Of couse, there is the problem that the SignaLink likes to transmit in the Upper Side Band mode and, if I use the keyer in the rig, it would need CW mode.
    Tom WA4ILH
  4. KG7WGX

    KG7WGX XML Subscriber QRZ Page

    I believe the TS-480SAT has two jacks, one for PADDLE and one for KEY. If you have an external electronic keyer which you prefer to the built-in keyer, connect it to the KEY jack.

    If you are trying to use Fldigi to only decode Morse, you just set it up for CW mode and don't use Fldigi to send from the PC keyboard. Set the transceiver in CW mode and use its filters and QSK settings.

    I like CWGet better than Fldigi for this purpose. It doesn't do anything except decode Morse, and it has a simple user interface to let you set the software's filter center frequency and decode threshold. It doesn't handle bad Morse or poor signals any better than Fldigi, but at least it is easy to use. ;)

    I would choose a sidetone pitch (in the TS-480SAT Menu, # 34) which you can hear, if you have selective hearing loss. Then, when you zero-beat a station, you should be able to hear both the station and your sidetone.

    As you tune a signal, select the tightest filter setting you have to eliminate background noise. Sometimes, you can cut background noise by reducing RF gain and/or turning off a preamp. I'm not sure if the TS-480SAT can do these, but it is something to explore.

    You might also look into external audio filters. I don't have any experience with these, but I understand they can help with noise reduction if your transceiver doesn't have this capability built-in. Here is one example -

    I have what I have been told is "normal" age-related selective hearing loss, and I prefer a sidetone of 650Hz over something lower or higher in pitch. If my hearing gets worse, I may be in the market for one of those fancy filtered speakers.
  5. WA4ILH

    WA4ILH Subscriber QRZ Page

    Yes , I like my external paddle to send CW. Neither version of my Fldigi or Digipan appears to have a button to select AFSK or CW. I'll look for CWGet. I used to use FSK back in the early 70 with an old model 15 mechanical page printer. Ah.... the smell of hot oil in the morning.....
    The TS-480 SAT has an RF preamp which can be disabled or,even add 20 db of attenuation. It also has DSP Noise Reduction (1 & 2). And, I have an external speaker which is supposed to have DSP. My "age related" hearing disability (I'll soon be 72) is worse in high noise environments and hearing high frequencies. (actually, if I have my hearing aids in, I have an audio resonent peak about 4 KHz. Thanks for the input.
    Tom WA4ILH
  6. KG7WGX

    KG7WGX XML Subscriber QRZ Page

    Fldigi considers everything to be a "modem". So, there is a setup screen for CW as one possible modem choice -

    Fldigi CW modem.jpg

    The manual covers what all this stuff actually does. Much of it is related to transmitting in CW mode, which you can ignore if you are just using it as a decoder.
  7. WA4ILH

    WA4ILH Subscriber QRZ Page

    Thanks for this.
    Tom WA4ILH

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