PSK newcomers guide to operating guidelines and etiquette.

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

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  1. N0AZZ

    N0AZZ Ham Member QRZ Page

    I use macros for everything on all digital modes but all I work is DX. As you will see even the CW big dogs run them in contests as well as SSB all info I need is there. If I feel the need to carry on a conversation with a op I use SSB as most do any more.
  2. AE1PT

    AE1PT Ham Member QRZ Page

    The waterfall in HRD/DM780 is nice, but the Superbrowser is your friend!

    Set it to decode about 10 simultaneous streams--more if you have a newer computer with at least 2gb of memory. Otherwise, it is subject to freezing, especially if you have a spot/cluster window running. Using the Superbrowser, you can monitor the text of those stations, have automatic call ID and region lookup--and pounce on a CQ merely by double clicking on the stream!

    As noted, a clean linear signal is the best signal. Nothing is more irritating than an OP running a signal with 4 or more sidebands fouling the band. The IMD meter discussed is nice, but I prefer KF6VSG's monitor and software. This displays a graphical representation of your signal, the IMD, and AUTOMATICALLY adjusts your sound card for optimal signal output! See here:

    Macros are important--and be prepared for quite a few quick exchanges. There are many stations--especially in Eastern Europe, Russia, and South America who do not speak English--yet are active and trading contact QSO's. As others have said, keep your macros to the point. You can have several versions for any purpose. I have found this really handy.

    As everyone likely knows, text can be added to a macro while it is sending--you must stay ahead of where the active transmission line is or it will run you over and go on to the remainder of the macro. Properly used, this is a great way to personalize a macro send, and determine whether your contact speaks English and is interested in a real QSO or just an exchange. Even English speakers might only be operating to collect call signs...

    After a while, you will note that there are a lot of the same operators on each band segment night after night. A couple weeks down the line and you will have worked most of them. While the frequencies given are a starting point--tune up the band a bit and see what is there. Often 7.035 will be nothing more than a few CW ops--and the action is at .037 or .038. The same is true for 14.070.

    Band conditions can change quickly--stations roll in--or everything just disappear. Smaller stations call CQ and fall right off the waterfall. Also, just because it looks like the band is dropping and pretty empty, don't be afraid to call CQ. I have worked Finland and the Balearic Islands on an empty waterfall...:p
    Last edited: Jun 4, 2010
  3. N0IU

    N0IU Ham Member QRZ Page

    You have received some pretty sound (no pun intended!) advice and I agree with most of it... except for this piece of rubbish! I enjoy casual rag chews on many different modes, including the digital modes.
  4. KL5Z

    KL5Z Ham Member QRZ Page

    I also vote to ban the use of "brag files". Unless you are using some form of super cool set-up, no one really cares about your processor in your computer. I have seen this get out of hand with OPs giving their monitor size and such. If you do find it necessary to send your set-up, I will know what a Kenwood TS-2000 is even is you don't put "RADIO:" in front of it, same with rigblaster, signalink, etc.

    If this doesn't end soon I may add a macro with the make and model of the Air Conditioner and Beer Fridge and Desk Chair in my shack.
  5. N5YPJ

    N5YPJ QRZ Moderator QRZ Page

    Now that is interesting information!:D
  6. K7JBQ

    K7JBQ Moderator Volunteer Moderator QRZ Page

    Given the excellent suggestions in this thread, I'm thinking of the following new "brag:"

    1) Radio: Yes
    2) Computer: Floor-mounted box
    3) Interface: Between 1) and 2)
    4) Operator: Created in the back seat of a 1938 Chevrolet.

  7. AE1PT

    AE1PT Ham Member QRZ Page

    Some of it is pretty funny. I use two different macros depending upon what I am seeing out of the other station. The first is the "colon" type, and the second all text, as in "My station is an Icom 751A running into a 135' (41.15M) doublet at 50' (15.25M). The software is HRD/DM780. You can find more info on my shack at QRZ.COM. BTU XX1XX de AE1PT kn." You know, that pretty well sums it up! If the other OP is interested in finding out more or discussing it--you will find out in short order...:p

    The nice thing in DM780--and I suspect other digital control apps as well--is that one can include a clickable link to a personal website or one's QRZ bio page that can fill this info in along with photos--if the other station is interested. I have gone through many ragchew conversations with DX operators over what we are looking at on each others web pages!

    Now the signal report thing (RST or RSQ) we all understand is usually complete rubbish--and that the setting for this is hardly ever changed from one contact or another. Everyone is a 599. The power claim is what nags me. Often this is a deliberate or accidental lie. "10W here OM." Right. After a while, one gets an "eye" for those who are running the rig wide open--and those who have tired of having their response to a CQ not heard. I am certain that there are those reading this right now who have put several hundred watts into the wire to bag that station in Iceland, Greece, or Paraguay. Every night one is not hard pressed to find regulars in France or Italy running the hottest 20W signal you ever saw...:cool:

    If one wants an eye opener as to how much many DX stations appreciate lengthy brag files--note how some just disappear at the end and see that they are already sending out another CQ...:eek:
  8. AB8MA

    AB8MA Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    Which Engine? It's important, you know. :)
  9. ZL1UZM

    ZL1UZM Ham Member QRZ Page

    It is essential to know the specs of the spark plugs, because all starts there.
  10. N4ST

    N4ST XML Subscriber QRZ Page

    As you can tell from the advice given for PSK QSO content, it's not much different from any other. You have the guys that want to rag chew about their last surgery and those that get upset when you end your transmission with a 'K' because you're wasting their time. Those that get upset about this type of thing need to take up a new hobby (or increase their meds).

    One thing I do see in new comers is the complaint about "rapid QSB", and while propagation can do strange things, more often than not, these newbies are running with a wide open pass band (2.5 KHz) on their receiver and when a strong signal pops into that pass band their 100% print QSO just disappears. This can happen no matter how clean that strong signal is. I like to run with a wide open pass band because it's fun to surf the waterfall, but when you're in QSO, if a strong signal pops into the pass band you need to crank in some filters or put a notch on the strong signal to maintain your QSO.
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