Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Keep trying and you will finally get it!

My first PSK31 contact
For some time now I have been trying to get my feet wet with the digital modes and have had no luck. This morning I gave it another go with the setup, in the past I have tried Fldigi, Digipan, Digital Master 780 and WinPSK and the list goes on. These are all great programs as many use them and have great success but as for me I just was not able to make them tick with my set up. I became frustrated and it was do to me just not figuring out the setup. As I said this morning I tried it again but from another angle, there are two programs I use to control my rig from my PC the first being N4PY's program and the other program is DXlab. The DXlab program has many modules  from rig control, logbook, propagation, DX cluster and a digital program that's called Winwarbler! DXlab already controls my
Screen shot 
radio and does a fine job of it so I added the Winwarbler module and with a few configuration tweaks I had radio control and was able to read signals from the waterfall. It was now time for the moment of truth to see if I am transmitting a PSK signal. On 20m I pressed the "call CQ" macro button and low and behold my power meter showed 5 watts making it's way to the antenna!!! Next was to find someone calling CQ and make my first contact with PSK31. I saw W1AW/5 calling CQ and I gave him a call and W1AW/5 came back to me with a 599 report. I now can say that I am PSK active but there was not much time left to make any other contacts as things around the house had to be done. I was thrilled to get things up and running and the waterfall was very busy. One of the drawbacks to Winwabler is it's limited to PSK and RTTY but for now I'm ok with that.
The K3 all ready to go
This is the setup that I am running….
Rig is the Elecraft K3 in DATA A mode set at 5 watts
The sound card interface is the Signalink USB
Software is DXlab's  Winwabler
Antenna is the MFJ 1788
Some of the items on the "to do list" are
1. Set the macro's up as they are generic ones right now.
2. Learn more about the Winwabler  program.

10 comments:

  1. Hi Mike, good job! Now I hope to catch you one day with PSK31 or PSK63. I know DXlab, good stuff, but I was unaware of Winwarbler. Looks very good. 73 Paul

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    1. Good morning Paul, it would be great to have a PSK contact with you and yes I was aware of the digi component to DXlabs but just never thought about using it.
      Mike

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  2. Hello Mike, congrats on finally setting up digital. I've played with DXlab in the past but found all the separate programs a bit chaotic. However it looks nice on your computer. And it works, most important! It probabely is a nice thing to enter the RTTY contest this weekend to test things. 73, Bas

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    1. Good evening Bas, Im very happy to get things up and running for sure. As for DXlab I just have the programs running that I use and all the others do not start up. In the past I have done some RTTY and if the weekend works out I will try to get into the contest for some point giving.
      Good luck in the contest.
      Mike

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  3. Hello Mike, welcome in digimodes. As Bas wrote dxlab suite is a bit chaotic but, if it works for you is OK. Stay with dxlab for a while and after you can try other programs. PSK & RTTY are ok not only for the beginning but for long time also, have fun.
    Since you are a qrper you can try wsjt-x in the future. Hope to work you in digimodes.
    73

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    1. Im looking forward to moving beyond PSK and into other digi modes but I want to just have some fun with PSK and possibly RTTY as well. Hope to see you in the waterfall.
      Mike

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  4. Mike, I believe you'll have great fun with the digital modes. PSK is an excellent and relaxing mode for picking up contacts on HF. There are a lot of people active on digital modes who are not active on other modes. Good luck with it! de EI2KC

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    1. Good morning and it's true the bands I have found to be very busy.
      Mike

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  5. Hi Mike, been a while since we exchanged - well done indeed Yep I tried DxLab a way back but did not get on with it - HRD is too big - at the moment I run Fldigi on all my machines including Linux - you might try Hellschreiber some time - real fun mode but not too many using it - bye fr nw keep up the good work Mike.

    73 Peter G4NKX

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    1. Good morning Peter, very nice to hear from you and sorry for not publishing the comment sooner but I found it was sent to my moderation folder and that is a new one to me……anyway…..I have used DXlabs from day one as it was very easy for me to setup and the updates are often and work well. I did try Fldigi but was not able at the time to get it to work with my radio. I do have it on my PC and plan to try to get it going again sometime.
      Have a great week.
      Mike

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