First Digital-Mode QSO!
Tonight I made my first digital-mode contact! Using PSK-31, I worked special event station VE3FRST (“UN International Year of Forests”) on 40 meters. Michael, VE3NOO, kindly emailed me this screenshot of the moment:
A few things had me fumbling around, but over the next few contacts I started to get the hang of it. After VE3FRST I went on to work another station in Ontario, one in Alabama, and one in France with PSK-31 before retreating to my key and working Costa Rica with CW.
I highly recommend the DigiMaster PRO PLUS! It comes with a USB soundcard and was very easy to hook up and get going with Ham Radio Deluxe/Digital Master 780. It performs both as a CAT interface and as a data interface, and works great.
I learned the hard way that not all CAT cables are worth buying. Buy cheap, and you’ll buy twice like I did. My first one was a cheap cable from “affordableradio” on ebay. It uses the Prolific chipset for the serial-to-USB interface. Stay away from Prolific! The only thing prolific about it was the prolific number of spontaneous disconnections and “Blue Screen of Death” crashes. I tried everything — every driver I could get my hands on, I/O buffer adjustments, etc. but it was junk. I couldn’t bring myself to sell it to another ham, so I returned it. No refund yet, but here’s hoping.
That Digital Master Pro + looks like a really nice unit, especially for the price. A unit that does the same thing from other MFG’s cost nearly $400. I downloaded the PDF manual to check it out.
Tnx for the tip.
73 de AA1IK
You’re right, Ernie. It has received some good reviews over at eham.com. After my difficult experience with the first cable, I sure enjoyed the plug-and-play ease of this unit.
congrats todd… i’ve worked ve3noo loads of times and always have a great sig from him..
hope to work you on the band some time
VE3FRST was my first ever HF contact. They were also technically my first PSK-63, and my first ever Digital contact. I guess getting a special event station as the first ever contact is pretty lucky. I was running 10 watts into a homebrew wire dipole strung up around the cieling of the shack, and I don’t quite have a radio/soundcard interface so I was getting audio to the rig by keying up the microphone in front of my computer speaker. I was amazed that it worked, and I worked a station 1000 miles away from my QTH on less power than it takes to run the speakers that are hooked up to my computer!