New digital mode for LF

A new narrow band digital mode optimized for MF and LF (160m and down) has just been released. Developed by Con, ZL2AFP the new mode is called CMSK.

CMSK uses Minimum Shift Keying (MSK). This is similar to Phase Shift Keying (PSK) but the frequency is shifted smoothly, achieving a 180 degree phase shift within one bit period, with the result that no amplitude variations occur, so the transmit amplifier need not be linear.

The mode has been designed specifically for use on the lower frequencies which provide good phase stability on received signals and low Doppler shift but can suffer from a high level of impulse interference. Four variants are available, ranging from CMSK8 which has a 12.5Hz bandwidth and supports a typing speed of 3.75wpm to CMSK125 which requires 200Hz and gives a typing speed of 60wpm. The default mode is CMSK63 which uses a 100Hz bandwidth and supports typing at up to 30wpm.

The software can be downloaded from Murray Greenman ZL1BPU’s website.

Julian Moss, G4ILO, is a regular contributor to and writes from Cumbria, England. Contact him at [email protected].

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