Author Topic: What's the best 'field' operating mode of digital?  (Read 5017 times)

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RazorCityDen

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What's the best 'field' operating mode of digital?
« on: March 18, 2012, 10:18:43 AM »
I run a FT-897D in various 'portable', 'mobile' and 'base' situations, but mostly portable running on one kind of battery or another. All I really know about the various digital modes is what I've had to learn to get my General ticket and what I'm learning in the Extra study guide. :o The OPSEC end of digital along with the ability to operate during poor band conditions really speaks to me!

Is digital practical under my operating conditions?

Are there any Prepared Hams willing to Elmer me along with this endeavor?

Thanks,

 

idial1911

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Re: What's the best 'field' operating mode of digital?
« Reply #1 on: March 18, 2012, 10:49:21 AM »
The best might not be the mode others are on the time, I think you need a good mix of "best" and active.

I'd look into two main ones if I was you PSK31 and winmor. There are a few of us that would be more than willing to help you along.

To answer if digital is practical, yes and no. It's something I'd like to have in my kit, and I do. However you have to understand a few things running digital requires a computer, and a signallink type box. The power is lower, and you can reach out farther so you make up some over SSB, but it's all a balance. Seems like lugging a computer around, and a signal link isn't the best use of carry on space. That said, maybe you bug in, and are on commercial power but something bad has happend.

To start you need to pickup a signal link. Do you have one yet?
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RazorCityDen

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Re: What's the best 'field' operating mode of digital?
« Reply #2 on: March 18, 2012, 07:05:11 PM »
By 'signal link' do you mean a terminal node controller or multimode communications processor?

Do you have a recommendation for something that will run on battery power?

As far as a computer goes can a guy get by with a compact 'disk-less' type netbook?

Thanks for your time  8)

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AD

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austinrob

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Re: What's the best 'field' operating mode of digital?
« Reply #4 on: March 18, 2012, 11:50:07 PM »
you can get by with less than a netbook if you're just doing PSK, RTTY or CW. http://www.nue-psk.com/

A netbook would be plenty to handle digi mode software though.

idial1911

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Re: What's the best 'field' operating mode of digital?
« Reply #5 on: March 19, 2012, 07:14:29 AM »
A netbook is plenty.

Signal link is a seperate sound card that allows you to hand the audio in and out.
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spacecase0

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Re: What's the best 'field' operating mode of digital?
« Reply #6 on: March 19, 2012, 12:58:10 PM »
the nue-psk thing costs more than a netbook
I am sure it uses less power, but solar is not that pricey

KC9TNH

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Re: What's the best 'field' operating mode of digital?
« Reply #7 on: July 25, 2012, 11:41:43 AM »
I run a FT-897D in various 'portable', 'mobile' and 'base' situations, but mostly portable running on one kind of battery or another. All I really know about the various digital modes is what I've had to learn to get my General ticket and what I'm learning in the Extra study guide. :o The OPSEC end of digital along with the ability to operate during poor band conditions really speaks to me!

Is digital practical under my operating conditions?

Are there any Prepared Hams willing to Elmer me along with this endeavor?

Thanks,

 
RCD:  Apologize, late to the thread.
Given that most concede that CW is a digital mode I'd say there's your answer. It seems to require very little in terms of equipment/payload and, as I reaffirmed during the floating band-in-the-toilet conditions recently, it can get to its destination when other methods are a bit limited. It requires the least bandwidth; this has the collateral effect of being able to operate at lower output, ergo less battery draw in transmit, as well as less 'signature'.

Note: It does take a personal investment in training but, gotten down to, nearly anyone can be doing 10-12 wpm in short order. If one already knows a limited audience they're communicating to, it lends itself to some VERY economical preformatted report templates, making for even less time on the air. Receive capability for CW could be setup with very little, some wire and a quality SW receiver accurate enough to tune the transmission. So one-way (field to the hub, TOC, dining room table) could be accomplished quite easily without one end transmitting a single dit.

Is [this] digital mode practical? Eminently in my view.
Willing to mentor? Sure, tng material suggestions or anytime you want to meet for a slo-speed QSO after you feel comfortable you can PM or email me. Heck, SKCC has a freq that is normally just monitored by Elmers waiting for new folks to make that first tentative CQ, guys who could probably do 40wpm with a bug and happily do 10 with a straight-key.

It's no detractor if CW isn't one's cup of tea; it's just out there, has been, and will be. Lots of other modes that seem to move more data faster, but they have their bandwidth requirements too. So just one option in the tool-kit and just my $.02 adjusted for the dollar, euro, or drachma, since one salad fork from Grandma's silver dinner service is worth more than any of them now.
 ;)
Attached is pic of my pull-off-the-road digital setup.

OPSEC/SIGSEC concerns for the real reasons usually not overtly mentioned are addressable, just not on an open internet forum by me.  8)

idial1911

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Re: What's the best 'field' operating mode of digital?
« Reply #8 on: September 10, 2012, 08:09:04 PM »
Is that a maxpedition bag? That is a pretty slick idea to be mobile..

As for mode, I find PSK31 to be the easiest to deploy. Some rigs do it on the screen too so no need for a PC either.
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bryanthegoon

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Re: What's the best 'field' operating mode of digital?
« Reply #9 on: September 10, 2012, 09:44:55 PM »
There was an article somewhere recently ( possibly QST ) about someone using an Android cell phone and a home brew interface to do various digital modes.  I will have to see if I can find the article now that this post is making me remember it.