ETH067 – I Think I Have The PSK31 Bug Thanks to Ian Kahn, KM4IK
Over the past 67 episodes of my podcast, there has been a couple episodes that have really peaked my interest and kind of lit a fire under me to do whatever that topic is myself. Things like APRS back in episode 6, and Broadband Hamnet in episode 29. However, neither of those got me back onto HF. My HF rig has basically gone unused for close to seven years or so and has been in a box for the last three years!!
I honestly have never been big on voice communications on HF. All of the times that I have operated on HF has either been at home calling CQ or looking for someone else calling it or during things like Field Day. At home I rarely got anyone to answer my CQ call; I think I was getting out. During field day it was, basically the exchange and on to the next contact. Neither of these things were very fun to me.
Digital modes, especially thing like PSK31, seem to be right up my alley! So I decided to look for someone that knew something about it, that I could learn from. I finally found Ian Kahn, KM4IK and he agreed to come onto my show and talk to me about it. We had a great conversation and I learned a lot. If you are interested in learning about PSK31, head over to the show notes of the episode, you can listen right on the page, or you can search for Everything Ham Radio on the major podcast directories.
Ahh the digital modes are endless fun! Personally my favorite is psk-63, but have many qso’s on psk-31 since it is the most popular mode. Now just do yourself a favor. Don’t turn into a Macro operator. Use that keyboard and let your fingers be your voice. It is so much more enjoyable having a long qso from 5 to 25 watts.
Now after some playing do some more branching out on the waterfall with the other modes. A good one get practice on is winlink sending out email via RF. Very useful for groups like ARES. Hope to work you on the waterfall sometime!
I got hooked on digital shortly after PSK31 came out and have had fun with it ever since. PSK31 is my main mode. PSK63 is better and faster and seems to be more popular in Europe…thus making it more interesting to me for DXing. I have also started to get into OLIVA. Really, really slow however you will make more 100% qso’s and find people tend to like to rag chew more with OLIVIA then with PSK.. Have fun with it.. And I hope the WSJT-X bug gets you too… I call it radio Ping-Pong… Check it out and see why I call it that… I will say that if you want to make easy contacts and lots of them for awards JT65/JT9 is the way to go. Also if you like experimenting with antennas and really low power to see how much bang you can get for your buck..more like penny’s, this is a good digital mode to try. Good luck and have fun.