Giving PSK31 a go

Last weekend I was able to setup my Elecraft KX3, Toshiba netbook and Signalink for digital operations. The first mode I chose to try out was PSK31 as I had used this mode in the past and was somewhat familiar with it. The software I chose to go with was Digipan and again it was software I had used in the past. The sound card set up as I remember can be very frustrating but Signalink has provided a very good step by step setup for windows 7. Once I was finally setup and had the software and rig co-operating I only had time to receive some signals from the waterfall. Seems the setup is working just fine on receive (20m at the time) as I was able to decode France, Germany, U.S and Italy. I did try to answer some CQ's and was not heard but as I said time was running out for radio time and I had to pack it in. Some if the kinks that still have to be worked out are….
1.  Getting the macros set up the way I want them.
2.  Fine tuning the settings on the KX3 for digi operations.
3.  For some reason the output on the rig is set to 5 watts but the Isoloop control box only shows 1 watt              output but I also have my LP100 meter hook in (which for some reason started working fine again) as well and it shows about 4.87 watts.  Im going with the LP100 meter.
4. Digipan does not have CAT control Im told you have to use another program for that. CAT control is nice for band changes compared to dialling band changes.

Mike Weir, VE9KK, is a regular contributor to AmateurRadio.com and writes from New Brunswick, Canada. Contact him at [email protected].

4 Responses to “Giving PSK31 a go”

  • Harry K7ZOV:

    I use FlDigi. Here is a link to make life easier setting it up:
    http://k4mtx.wordpress.com/2013/04/11/kx3-fldigi-setup/

    Also make use you do the Temperature Compensation. It can be found here:
    http://www.elecraft.com/manual/KX3%20Custom%20VFO%20TC%20rev%20A8.pdf

    That is a must. Hope this links will help get you on PSK31 quickly. One last thing. The KX3 will run nicely at 5 watts, but for long hauls 3 watts is better. I have done short runs, that is fast marco exchanges, followed by cooling off periods, at 10 watts. However after having a number of FT-817’s over the years I have found that 5 or less watts will net you contacts on a daily bases with little to know effort. Feel free to write me if you have any other question…

    73 Harry K7ZOV

  • GB KC5GB:

    Hi, Mike-
    I don’t know if you’ve tried DXLab b4, but its great for PSK. Using WinWarbler(very easy to setup and with many functions in it), Keeper and Commander, you can do everything. All integrated and bug free.
    Cheers,
    GB

  • Mike VE3WDM:

    Good afternoon Harry, I have looked at the Fldigi page and will look further into it this week. I will for sure try it and see how things work. As for the temp compensation that sure does sound like some procedure! I will have to take the time to do it but it just freaks me out to put my KX3 with the freezer.
    Thanks very much for the links
    Mike

  • Mike VE3WDM:

    Hello GB, I do have DXlabs and find it to be an excellent program I will also look into WinWabler as well.
    Thanks for the info.
    Mike

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