PSK newcomers guide to operating guidelines and etiquette.

Discussion in 'Working Different Modes' started by W1MRK, Jun 3, 2010.

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  1. AG3Y

    AG3Y Guest

    Most important guideline I can think of is NEVER allow your ALC meter to fluctuate! If you get any upscale reading in ALC at all, you are either approaching, or have already crossed over from linear operation to non-linear. It is non-linear operation that causes the poor IMD readings and the extra "tracks" and "ghosts" on the waterfall!

    People have said for years that PSK is a "low power" mode. That isn't necessarily true, but it DOES require a clean, LINEAR signal! ( RF exactly equivelent to the modulating AF )

    73, Jim
  2. N4CR

    N4CR Ham Member QRZ Page

    Make sure you set it out to 24 hours. Right now, your tags are out about 18 hours. Seems you were heard on both coasts. In fact my receiver spotted you here in Orlando.
  3. G0GQK

    G0GQK Ham Member QRZ Page

    As suggested, no ALC visible, switch off the processor and don't use more than 30 watts output, it isn't neccessary. Many forget that PSK is a visual mode, not an audio mode, in other words you read messages on the screen, you're not listening to CW so why use Morse code text ? Use plain English except for the usual acceptable terms used on SSB.

    You will need to use macro's, that's why the software has them. Give your contact his signal report, your name, your QTH, your county and if you are having contacts with stations in Europe, your IARU locator eg FM76ea. Send your details immediatly, don't start chatting about the weather, your dog, and what you ate for breakfast, and why ? Because the bands are lousy, the QSB is deeper than the Mariana Trench and you will most probably vanish into the ether and the other station will be left wondering who you were, or have to check your location in QRZ.

    You could be a prized location for someone in Europe, do the job properly and make somebody happy.

  4. NN4RH

    NN4RH Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    No superfluous unsoliticed information. I really don't give a rat's behind what kind of computer you're using or how much memory you have. Avoid unnecessary repeats. Once is enough. And No semicolons! I hate semicolons! It's a sure sign that the other guy clicked a macro and really isn't engaged with you. Real people don't use semicolons.

    Here's the sort of "QSO" that makes me want to puke:

    R R R R R
    Name: Ron Ron Ron Ron
    QTH: Lorton VA Lorton VA Lorton VA Lorton VA
    GRID: FM17jq
    Latitude: 38.202234
    Longitude: 77.2178819
    County: Fairfax
    Computer: Dell Inspiron I1420
    Processor: Intel Core2 Duo T5750 at 2.00 GHZ
    Memory: 3.00 GB
    System Type: 32 Bit
    Operating System: Windows Vista Home Premium Service Pack 2
    Software: FLDIGI version 3.20
    Rig: Yaesu FT-950 or FT-897D with 500 Hz filter and Alinco DMV330C Power Supply
    Antenna: 40 meter dipole or a Butternut HF2V or Random Wire or G5RV
    QSO Logged: June 3, 2010 at 18:42:04.11
  5. N5YPJ

    N5YPJ QRZ Moderator QRZ Page

    As mentioned in earlier posts never let your ALC fluctuate. What Jim said is true PSK is not necessarily a low power mode but it does work very well at low power as do most sound card modes, you should not find the need to run more than 25 to 30 watts to make contacts. Resist the urge to crank up the drive if someone doesn't answer you on the first call or two, your efforts will only create an over driven signal.

    Please be aware that there can be conflicts in frequency allocations on 40 meters - the suggested 7.070 Mhz operating frequency does fall in the XE phone band, please don't run 100 watts to overcome the QRM, the XEs are legally operating in their frequency allocation, over driven signal will only cause more problems.

    Besides listening before starting to call CQ, kick back and enjoy what some of the best ham technology has to offer - PSK 31 really opens up a lot of DX contacts to hams running lower power and who use simple antennas - world wide contacts on 40 meters can be made with a little patience and on 20 meters world wide DX is common place.
  6. K7JBQ

    K7JBQ Moderator Volunteer Moderator QRZ Page

    so, just wondering; where's the semi-colon?


  7. W9PSK

    W9PSK Ham Member QRZ Page

    I think macros are useful for relaying information you give to every station. I always try to engage the other operator in regular conversation, but only after I have transmitted basic info using macros. Some folks want to chat, others just want to make the contact and move on.
  8. KL7AJ

    KL7AJ Ham Member QRZ Page

    Hi Mike:

    I don't see a lot of bad behavior on psk31, actually, other than an occasional broad signal. The biggest "crime" on PSK31 is being BORING. Enough with the brag sheets....let's have some actual real time conversations! PSK is designed for this!

  9. NN4RH

    NN4RH Premium Subscriber QRZ Page


  10. AG6WT

    AG6WT Ham Member QRZ Page


    Regarding macros, I use them but try to use them in a way that's appropriate for the type of QSO.

    For example, I have one macro that simply reports a RSQ and my name. I use this when starting a QSO with an English speaking station that looks like they might be interested in a ragchew. If band is determined to be open between us, then I'll just start chatting and stop using macros after that. I have a brag macro with a description of my station but I don't send that over unless the conversation turns towards our equipment.

    For DX contacts, I have a macro that gives the RSQ, my name, my QTH, my grid, and QSL'ing info. It will also repeat my callsign, RSQ, and name more than my "local" macro so that if the conditions are poor we are more likely to be able to confirm the contact. No station or computer info or long drawn out salutations. If the DX doesn't speak English it's a waste time and if there is a pile up it's rude.

    For contests, I create a macro that encapsulates only that information needed for the log, nothing else.

    The point is, macros have a place but make sure you have macros programmed for the type of QSO you are making. I think a big part of the problem is that programs like DM have very long preprogrammed macros that most operators never change.

    Also here are couple of other websites for you to book mark. is a good place to see where the PSK31 operators are. If 20m is quiet, you can check here to see if it's a case that the bands are terrible of if everyone has moved up or down. is a good place for PSK31 skeds if you are interested in awards.

    73 de Ray KJ6AMF
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