First contacts with the Warbler
Despite Summer not being the best time of year for 80m QSOs I have made a couple of contacts over the last two nights with the recently completed Warbler.
The first was a PSK31 contact with AE1Q who was about 285 miles away in Belgrade Lakes, Maine. The next was an Olivia 8/500 contact with VE3FMC in St Thomas, Ontario, about 325 miles away. Both QSOs proved to be tougher copy for the other stations as the Warbler puts out only about 2 Watts. However, they were successful QSOs and as can be seen by the picture above the Warbler receives well.
AE1Q gave me an IMD report which was -24 dB which is reasonable given the simplicity of the rig, but I would like it to be below -30dB.
I was fortunate and pleased that the second contact was using Olivia. This is a nice mode for QRP. For those wanting to try Olivia I recommend you read the information on the Olivia website by Gary, WB8ROL, including his QST article. Gary writes great articles (including one in the recent amateur radio edition of Linux Journal) and I have enjoyed a few Olivia QSOs with him.
Finally, if you do want to try Olivia or any multifrequency keying mode with the Warbler, you must remember that you are operating on LSB with the Warbler. Most digimode operators will be using USB so the frequencies will be reversed. The digimode software, Fldigi, offers a simple solution to this, you must select the “Rv” or ‘reverse’ button (see the lower right of the Fldigi window above, which is selected and green). You do not need to worry about this button if you just use PSK31 as it is symmetrical about a centre frequency.