Saturday, 26 March 2011

Digimodes versus CW in DX working

 I have found the HRD Logbook to be a real friend in CW DX working. Click to open this image, it should explain, what I mean:
HRD Logbook as CW worker's tool
When I hear a call, I type it in the Lookup field to check, If I have worked the ham on this band before (sometimes I might want to work him again). Immediately I get the info of him. If I start a QSO I click the Logbook button above the Lookup field, which conveniently adds the call as default into the log form that pops up.

Also, the DX Cluster real-time band stuff is shown, which helps you find your wanted DX targets. Almost too easy, eh? However, don't rely too much on the information there...there are sometimes wrong information and, yes, by listening, you will certainly find nice stuff that is not visible in the DX Cluster information.

I've spent some time to get experience in DX working on both digital modes and the "old" CW, i.e. morse code, that is listened with human ear. So far it seems that (at least my :) ) human ear is better than my PC in DX digging: PSK is quite OK for DX contacts, if the conditions are very good. I'm not yet very experienced with the MFSK modes, but MFSK seems to stand out poor conditions better. They say that OLIVIA is even better. Anyway, in conditions, where PSK31 tends to fail, I still hear CW signals that I'm able to recognize clearly.

Another interesting thing is that the PSK frequencies tend to be quite crowded, while there is often plenty of space on the CW frequencies, especially on the WARC bands. CW is powerful...I'm happy I learned it when I was young.

I've just started to study WSJT, because people say it's just an outstanding communication mode. Interesting times ahead...

1 comment:

  1. Hmm...I tested MFSK16 in a few QSOs. The chat with an american ham was copied 100% even when the signal was barely seen on the waterfall. It is obviously better than PSK31 for DX working? Also according to the theory it should be an excellent mode because of the immunity to phase differences. The price you pay is bigger bandwith and thus weaker signal. I'll try to find a friend for comparing these for real. Still I get the rare DX catches easier with CW :)