Tag Archives: RTTY

Ohio Section Journal – The Technical Coordinator – January 2023 edition

One of the responsibilities of the Technical Coordinator in the Ohio Section is to submit something for the Section Journal. The Section Journal covers Amateur Radio related things happening in and around the ARRL Ohio Section. It is published by the Section Manager Tom – WB8LCD and articles are submitted by cabinet members.

Once my article is published in the Journal, I will also make it available on my site with a link to the published edition.

You can receive the Journal and other Ohio Section news by joining the mailing list Tom has setup. You do not need to be a member of the ARRL, Ohio Section, or even a ham to join the mailing list. Please sign up!

If you are an ARRL member and reside in the Ohio Section, update your mailing preferences to receive Ohio Section news in your inbox. Those residing outside the Ohio section will need to use the mailing list link above.  Updating your ARRL profile will deliver news from the section where you reside (if the leadership chooses to use this method).

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Now without further ado…

Read the full edition at:

Jeff Kopcak – TC

Hey gang,

I’ve traveled for work to our other facilities and taken advantage of training related travel. We were thinking I would have more travel opportunities. However, due to business need, sequestered to our homes for 2 years, and the freaking economy – it hasn’t happened. I had the opportunity to attend a work conference earlier this month and it gave me ideas to promote ham radio.

Work conferences are an opportunity to attend sessions and talks to gain skills, education, knowledge, keep current with industry trends, and network with others. If you’ve been to forums at Dayton, work conferences are 2/3/4 days of forums focused on an industry or segment. These could be: sales, information technology, manufacturing, human resources, C-Suite topics, project management, or general trends – like how work-from-home has changed and challenged work in the last 3 years. Similar to indoor vendors at Dayton, companies will sponsor booths with giveaways, swag, and maybe an opportunity to find a new job.

A number of co-workers and myself attended a conference called CodeMash in Sandusky at the Kalahari Resort (near Cedar Point if you’ve never been). This year was CodeMash 10000 (binary for 16). It was my first time at this conference. The conference is developer (programmer) focused but had tracks for information security, data, and career development. There were fun things to do including board games, laser tag, a maker space, evening events including casino night, and access to the resort’s indoor waterpark. The full conference runs four days in two halves. The first two days are called the “Pre-Compiler” consisting of two four-hour sessions per day. These are deep dive table-top exercises, discussions, and hands-on labs. Second two days are more byte-sized (see what I did there?) one-hour talks.

For work-related conferences, travel and accommodations are often paid for by the employer because these are training and educational sessions related to employment, job description, or a particular project. The employer hopes attendees return with new ideas and out-of-the-box thinking.

Depending on conference, cost can be way above beyond one’s means to attend on their own. CodeMash tries to be reasonable allowing individuals to attend at their own expense, if desired. A full 4-day ticket is between $800-$1,100 and the 2-day between $400-$550. Booking rooms through the conference at Kalahari offers discounted rates over normal nightly rates, though attendees can opt to stay at near-by hotels to be more economical. Kids have their own events called KidzMash, free with a registered adult.

Presenters for this conference are chosen by submitting abstracts to the CodeMash committee. If chosen, presenters get a free ticket to the conference as compensation for presenting. Sponsored sessions are hosted by companies sponsoring the event – these are listed as such and were on the last day. Presenters can plug their business and/or employer as their company is likely covering remaining costs. At least one presenter said they were there on their own dime as their employer “didn’t see the benefit” – and yet their lab session was standing room only.

Intro to Docker session. I’m way in the back row on the right. Twitter: @OtherDevOpsGene

I figured I wouldn’t have much time to play radio as the schedule was pretty grueling with breakfast at 7 am and sessions wrapped up around 5 pm each day – not including evening activities. In the past, I’ll bring at least one radio, a mobile radio if I’m driving and know I’ll
have extra time. Though I was driving and staying at the resort for this conference, I brought an HT, hotspot, and a couple RTL-SDR dongles because I like monitoring the Ohio MARCS-IP public service system. I was not expecting to have ham radio interaction during the conference.

First day of the conference at breakfast, this guy sits down at my table. It looks like he’s got a Yaesu Fusion radio with a whip antenna. I asked him “ham radio?” He says “yep, you?” “Oh yeah.” Talked with Dan – AD8FY about ham activities and his experiences as a pilot. He informed me there was an unofficial UHF simplex frequency and there would be a number of hams at the conference. This did surprise me as I wasn’t expecting it but again, first time. Feeling pretty good about the conference and some connection to ham radio.

During one of the Pre-Complier sessions, learned there was a Slack instance for the conference. Slack is an instant messaging platform available on just about every device. Slack started out as a professional communications platform (like Microsoft Teams or Google Chat) but became accepted as a community platform for things such as this conference. In addition to messaging, Slack can do VoIP calls, video calls, file sharing, and text messaging in channels (like a conference room) or to individual users. A feature I like is persistent messaging allowing people to see prior messages after joining. For example, I joined the Slack instance on the second day of the conference but I was able to see messages from the previous day. This is different from other chat services which only show messages sent after one has joined the channel.

Guy – KE8VIY SDR live demo, receiving ADS-B broadcasts

CodeMash’s Slack had many different channels: events taking place during the conference, discussions around hotel reservations, and water park. Announcements – changes, cancellations, updates, and general information. General discussions. Major cities had channels for attendees from those areas to network, such as #cleveland. Pre-Complier portion of the conference had a channel for presenters to post their slide-decks and labs. Slides channel for presenters from the second-half of the conference. Hobby channels included beer, wine, music jam sessions, and ham radio. Oh, really?

KE8VIY asked to have a #ham-radio Slack channel. Ten people conversed about radio and when they were monitoring the simplex frequency. Call signs seen: WX8TOM, WX8NRD, KD8NCF, KE8VIY, and myself. I found out later KD8NCF gave a presentation at the conference on Real-Time Web Applications.

Thursday afternoon, while heading to an afternoon one-hour session, saw this guy (that’s his name too) outside one of the conference rooms pointing an antenna around. Figured he was doing Wi-Fi hunting or something. He too had a HT with him. This was Guy – KE8VIY. He was preparing for his presentation later that afternoon using software-defined radio to decode ADS-B (aircraft broadcasts). Though he was unsure there would be any aircraft to track as all flights were grounded earlier due to a possible cyber-attack.

I told him I would be attending his presentation. Knowing a ham was doing this session helped swing my decision in his favor because there was another equally interesting session on another hobby of mine, homelabbing. That decision paid off because not only was Guy’s presentation excellent, it got the wheels turning on more ways to promote ham radio. “Tracking Aircraft with Redis & Software-Defined Radio” (GitHub repo) was the presentation.

I’ve never used Redis. Reading up on it, the technology works mostly in-memory as a structured data store, often as a caching service (session, page, message queue) or key-value database. According to Wikipedia, Twitter uses Redis and Redis is offered by the big-name cloud providers AWS, Azure, and Alibaba.

Guy’s slides were professionally done and visually appealing. Coupled with the slides, his personality, humor, and live demos, (if I didn’t know anything about it) he made ham radio seem fun and interesting. He stated he is a new ham and excited about what he’s been able to do processing radio signals. The audience was highly engaged asking questions and feedback was positive from hams that saw the presentation.

Most maybe thinking: you don’t need a license to receive ADS-B, how is this related to ham radio? That’s the tie-in. He worked in history of digital signals, formats, and all the things rooted in ham radio: Morse Code, RTTY, and APRS. Then demonstrated how he used a modern technology platform and a radio to capture and process digital signals, all at a developer conference. Well done!

There are a lot of slides in his deck. Due to the one-hour time limit, the first 30 slides and some diagrams were covered. He utilized Dump1090 for turning signals into raw data. Then used Redis (also his employer) to process, store, and make data available to consumers.

These things fit my thinking of how ham radio should be promoted. Promoting to kids is admirable and exposing them to activities early in life is a great way to maybe hook them later in life. Credit to my parents because ham radio was one of those activities and it happened to stick. Though, I seem to be the exception rather than the norm. There are other things my parents had me join in school that didn’t stick and I really don’t miss those activities. A way kids get their license is part of a school program or curriculum. How many carry on and renew their license after 10 years is up? Retention needs work. Chances are better if family members are active and involved.

Guy – KE8VIY SDR live demo, ADS-B broadcasts shown on a map

I have been a huge fan of initiatives by the ARRL and clubs to use Makerspaces as a way to breathe new life into the hobby. Makers are like-minded people whom like to learn, create, and invent as does the experimentation side of ham radio.

Gainfully employed individuals would be my next target audience – you know, if I were on a committee. Somewhere in the neighborhood of 25-45-year-olds – those looking to keep themselves busy – whether they’re single, don’t yet have a family, or had their kids graduate college. These individuals have disposable income for equipment and time that can be devoted to learning and operating.

A conference like CodeMash is a near perfect match for promoting ham radio to technically minded individuals, including kids. Not having any statistical data, I would say the median age was probably mid-30’s, early 40’s. Obviously, there were younger and older individuals. With few exceptions from my interactions, participants were gainfully employed as their companies were picking up the tab for them to attend the conference. There were an estimated 1,400 attendees at this year’s conference. (attendance was still down from previous years, close to half). That’s 1,400 technical people, a great audience to promote ham radio.

Does a conference you attend offer a communications platform like Slack? Ask for a ham radio group to be created. Post a simplex frequency for general chit-chat. Maybe organize a meetup during meal time or after events that day to network with other hams. Maybe non-licensed people will drop into the channel or drop in at the meetup. Maybe they’ll get bit by the bug and be looking for an Elmer.

Think about current job responsibilities, technologies or services your company provides. Guy, in the spirit of ham radio, took an existing technology, re-purposed it to receive signals and turn the data into events, maps, and an API (application programming interface, used for integrating with other applications) from aircraft broadcasts.

How can a technology you’re created, are familiar with, maintain, or work with become an interesting presentation that ties in ham radio? Figure that out and maybe you’ll get a free ticket to a conference with the employer picking up the tab for travel expenses!

I brainstormed examples using technologies seen at the conference to do radio related things:

  • Real-time data processors like Kafka for mapping propagation
  • Networking skills and technology to improve resiliency and security of mesh networks
  • Table-top-exercise to recover from a disaster. Assume all existing connection and authentication methods are non-existent.
  • Receive signal data from a distributed radio network
  • APIs to administer digital systems with many connections
  • Automate test-cases and frequent software updates with GitHub pipelines
  • Incident response to handle compromises of repositories or stolen credentials
  • Docker & Kubernettes to build simple, easily deployable applications
  • Can the “cloud” fit the general directive of not relying on other technology? How to handle and recover from outages?
  • Designing web apps to replace multi-platform applications
  • Write the next white-paper
  • Create technical documentation standards

Development work isn’t part of my daily responsibilities since I changed jobs a number of years ago. Initially wasn’t too sure about the conference. In reality, I learned a lot about technologies I hadn’t yet explored on my own. Ham radio connections made it a much better experience and hope to attend next year. Let me know if you’ve done something to promote ham radio in a similar conference-type setting to like-minded (non-ham) individuals or used modern technology platforms to improve and better ham radio.

Thanks for reading and 73… de Jeff – K8JTK

NOTE: an article written by Bob – K8MD on a portable operation during a work trip was included in the printed edition. That is available by the full edition links at the top of this post.

Digital Communications in Amateur Radio: Conversational Digital Modes (PSK, RTTY, MFSK, Olivia)

This article appeared in the The Wood County Amateur Radio Club newsletter CQ Chatter February 2017 edition.

Read the rest of the series in the Digital Communications in Amateur Radio articles category.

Got a new rig for Christmas? How about working digital? The most popular digital modes in ham radio are conversational modes (keyboard-to-keyboard). Best way to describe these is the instant messaging or text messaging of ham radio digital modes. One station sends a message to another station. The other station does the same in return. Conversations can be about anything – the weather, where that person lives, traveling, or life stores – for as long as you want. These modes include (in order of popularity): PSK, RTTY, MFSK, and Olivia. All, except Olivia, are available on the W1AW digital operating schedule. Others will pop up on the bands from time-to-time too or you may choose to play around with a buddy using other modes.

For the popular flavors of these digital modes, I performed a transmit time test. The text was one paragraph of “Lorem Ipsum” with 83 words consisting of 569 characters. I recorded how long it took to transmit the message in minutes and seconds to compare the speed of each flavor. The results were close between equivalent modes. PSK-31 and RTTY-45, for example, took about 2 minutes. This indicates that the advantage is not necessarily in speed but which mode works better in a situation. Popular HF frequencies are also listed. There is a lack of consensus on some of the exact frequencies. It won’t be uncommon to hear these modes in other portions of the data sub-bands. Different flavors tend to operate on the same frequency to stir up activity.

Commonalities among conversational modes include the RSID (Reed-Solomon Identification) tones which universally identify a digital signal at the beginning and, occasionally, the end of a transmission. RSIDs are more popular on rarer and wider modes like PSK-63, MFSK, Olivia, and other rare modes. An RSID tone is about 170 Hz so announcing your PSK-31 signal at 31 Hz will interfere with other conversations.

It is common to give a signal report using the IARU RSQ reporting system. Like the RST system of “59,” RSQ adds an additional number “599.” These numbers stand for:

Readability (percentage of good text received):

  • 5: 95+%, perfectly readable.
  • 4: 80%, little to no difficulty.
  • 3: 40%, considerable difficulty and many missed characters.
  • 2: 20%, occasional words distinguishable.
  • 1: 0%, unreadable.

Strength (measure how strong the signal trace is on the waterfall, there are only 5):

  • 9: Very strong trace.
  • 7: Strong trace.
  • 5: Moderate trace.
  • 3: Weak trace.
  • 1: Barely visible trace.

Quality (measure of unwanted artifacts in the signal: pops, clicks, splattering, harmonics, and unwanted modulation):

  • 9: Clean signal.
  • 7: One barely visible sidebar pair.
  • 5: One clearly visible sidebar pair.
  • 3: Multiple visible sidebar pairs.
  • 1: Splattering over much of the spectrum.

Also brush up on CW shorthand as these are used in exchanges. Commonly used abbreviations: btu (back to you), k (any station may transmit), kn (specific station only may transmit), sk (done transmitting, clear), pse (please), de (this is).

Reminder: review the first two articles in the series for information that will be omitted here including some modes operate your transceiver at 100% duty cycle, use upper sideband (USB), and don’t drive the transmitter with too much audio as the signal will be wider than intended.


PSK-31 is the most widely used HF digital mode. It’s popular because of its narrow signal. PSK was at the forefront of the digital sound card revolution in 2000. It was discovered that ordinary sound cards and computers had enough power to become digital-to-analog converters. Peter – G3PLX created PSK-31 to perform well with weak signals and operate at a narrow bandwidth. In a perfect world, within 3 kHz you could potentially have nearly 100 individual QSOs happening at once.

PSK stands for Phase Shift Keying, the modulation method used to generate the signal. It’s a common mistake to believe that 31 stands for the amount of bandwidth the signal occupies. It does occupy 31 Hz, however 31 stands for the bit rate of 31.25. There are other flavors of PSK: PSK-63, PSK-125, and PSK-250 each less likely to be seen on the bands than the previous.

It might be observed that software applications may have BPSK and QPSK in their list of operating modes. BPSK stands for Binary Phase Shift Keying and QPSK Quaternary Phase Shift Keying. The differences between these two are significant. When people refer to PSK, 99% of the time they are referring to BPSK. QPSK is a better choice under adverse conditions because it adds a significant amount of error correction ensuring nearly 100% copy of the transmission during signal fade or interference. However, both stations need to be on frequency, within 4 Hz, for error correction to work correctly. It takes a lot more work for two stations to be in sync with each other using QPSK.

Some stations may request an IMD (Inter-Modulation Distortion) report. This metric can only be observed while the other station is in transmit mode but no text is being sent; idle in other words. The station might type a message saying they’re looking for an IMD report and leave it idle for 10, 15 seconds, or more. There will be a measurement on screen in negative dB; lower the negative number the better. Readings in the -25dB to -30dB rage are considered very good, -20dB or greater is considered bad. A bad reading is usually caused by driving the transmitter with too much audio.

Transmit test: PSK-31: 1:58, PSK-63: 1:00
Frequencies: 3580 kHz, 7070 kHz, 10140 kHz, 14070 kHz, 21070 kHz, 28120 kHz.


After six decades of use by hams RTTY, known as Radioteletype, is still a very popular mode for contesting and DXing on the low bands. RTTY has a long history and HF digital operators are very comfortable with it. Many transceivers also have RTTY built in. This mode works better in decoding large pileups than other modes. RTTY is efficient in that it works at a speed of about 60 words per minute – which is about the fastest one person can type. Other modes are typically much slower.

RTTY is based off the Baudot digital code which represents each character as a series of bits for telephone or radio communication. W1AW will refer to RTTY as Baudot on their operating schedule. Looking at a RTTY signal on a waterfall, the 1’s and 0’s are represented by twin tones for the mark (1) and space (0) tones. The two data streams are separated by the shift or space between them. When people refer to RTTY, they will most commonly refer to RTTY-45 (baud) but 75 can be seen as well. Inverted RTTY flips the mark and space data streams.

Transmit test: RTTY-45: 1:53, RTTY-75: 1:09.
Frequencies: 3580-3600 kHz, 7040-7100 kHz, 14080-14099 kHz, 21080-21100 kHz, 28080-28100 kHz.


Multi-Frequency Shift Keying, known as MFSK, is “super-RTTY” which uses multiple tones instead of the two used in RTTY. The most popular is MFSK-16 using 16 tones. MFSK was developed as a flexible point-to-point solution to combat multipath propagation problems. It is very good at detecting noise and reducing transmit errors with error correction all while utilizing low bandwidth. MFSK is slow to decode so be patient!

An exciting addition to some MFSK flavors is the ability to send small images. MFSK-16 can send images but not MFSK-8. A 320×256 sized color image took 4:26 using MFSK-16. It’s unlike Slow Scan TV where the software will size the image and overlay a template. The image needs to be fully prepared before it can be transmitted.

Transmit test: MFSK-16: 1:45, MFSK-8: 2:48.
Frequencies: 7072 kHz, 14072-14076 kHz.


MFSK is good in poor band conditions but Olivia offers even better performance. Developed by Pawel – SP9VRC it is named after his daughter Olivia. It is called the JT65 of conversational modes because it’s incredibly slow but unlike JT65, it’s not a structured exchange.

There are different combinations of bandwidth and number of tones used, such as 500/16 is 500 Hz with 16 tones. Fldigi reverses these numbers for some odd reason and will read “Olivia 16 – 500.” Locking on to an Olivia signal may take 15 seconds. If the software is not decoding after that time, the bandwidth might be correct but the number of tones maybe wrong. For this reason, a call for “CQ” may take a minute or longer so stations can lock on and return a call. Be patient!

Olivia is great for poor band conditions because a trace may not be seen on the waterfall but a signal might be decoded! One example I share is a buddy of mine and I tried operating Olivia. We established contact and had strong traces on the waterfall using only 1.5 watts. We decided to compare it to sideband voice. We couldn’t contact each other on sideband until we were nearly up to 100 watts!

Transmit test: Olivia 500/16: 4:56, Olivia 500/8: 3:20.
Frequencies: 1835-1838 kHz, 3583.25 kHz, 3577 kHz, 7035-7038 kHz, 10141-10144 kHz, 14072-14075.65 kHz, 14106.5 kHz, 18102.65 kHz, 21072 kHz, 24922 kHz, 28122 kHz.


I love and recommend software applications that are capable of operating multiple modes (multimode) using one application. This keeps the clutter down of installing multiple applications for each mode. The two I use are Digital Master 780 (DM780) as part of the Ham Radio Deluxe suite (http://ham-radio-deluxe.com/). This package is not free and only available on Windows. If that is out of your budget, then I recommend Fldigi (http://www.w1hkj.com/). It’s free, open source, and cross platform available on Windows, Mac, and Linux including Raspberry Pi. Both of these support many different modes and are constantly being updated and with newer modes.

MixW (http://mixw.net) and MultiPSK (http://f6cte.free.fr/index_anglais.htm) are alternatives and support most modes. There are specific mode applications like DigiPan (http://www.digipan.net/) for PSK and MMTTY (http://hamsoft.ca/pages/mmtty.php) for RTTY. Both are no longer maintained but are reported to work well with later versions of Windows. Other programs have known issues with versions of Windows later than Vista. Keep that in mind when trying older programs.

The software applications are similar in setup and operation. Exact labeling might be different from application to application. I am going to reference Fldigi, though not going in-depth with settings, it should get you started. Install Fldigi with the default options. A configuration wizard will appear the first time the application is started. Fill out all your station information. Select the sound card interface (USB Audio Codec for SignaLink). If the transceiver is using something other than the SignaLink for keying, select the appropriate radio and COM port for TX control.

There are many parts to the Fldigi window. Standard menu options are seen like “File,” “Op Mode,” “Configure,” etc where operating modes or Fldigi configuration can be changed. Below that is Radio Control and Logging. When using internal logging, you’ll want the frequency to be correct. Rig control will help greately to automatically log the correct frequency as you change the VFO. Below that is the tan box where received messages will be displayed as well as transmitted messages will be copied here. The blue box is the transmit window where messages are composed for transmitting. If you have a white box to the left of the transmit and receive panes, this is the signal browser. This will display all conversations taking place, using the same mode, on the same frequency at once! Below the transmit text box is a line of colored buttons which are macros. Macros are pre-populated and commonly exchanged texts so you don’t have to keep typing them (right-click the button to edit). Below that is the frequency scale in Hz and waterfall. Below the waterfall are the waterfall controls. The line below that are the status messages and readings. To the right of the waterfall are two vertical white and a gray bars which indicate the strength of the decoded digital signal and squelch setting.

Tune your radio to one of the PSK frequencies to get setup. 20 meters is better during the day and 40 at night. The waterfall should start turning blue and yellow. If it is black, check the audio paths between the radio and computer, verify the audio input is set correctly in the Fldigi setup. Radios with a main and sub-band often cause confusion as to which band sends audio to the computer. If there is blue and yellow but a lot of black on the waterfall, check and disable radio filtering. Pro tip: the waterfall is a great educational place to visualize the filtering changes of the radio.

Now from the menu select “Op Mode,” “PSK”, then “BPSK-31.” To select a digital signal on the waterfall, simply click on the waterfall and the cursor will move to that location. Signals under the cursor will be displayed in the receive pane. It’s important to move the cursor on screen and do not adjust the radios VFO. Once a strong PSK signal is selected, you’ll notice the white squelch bar fills with green. The green needs to be above the light gray squelch slider to break squelch and decode. This is the first place to look if the cursor is over a signal but it is not decoding. Having the squelch set too high will miss decoding weaker signals and having the squelch too low will produce a lot of garbage text in the receive window. If a specific signal is strong but not decoding, the signal could also be multipathing, thus confusing the program. Watch conversations a good while to make sure you understand how the program works and for conversation syntax. Many programs have a “Signal Browser” or “Signal Sweeper” (DM780) which will decode multiple conversations at one time! In Fldigi, this can be broken out in a separate window under the “View” menu option.

Someone calling CQ will send CQ two-three times. I am K8JTK and Steve – W8HF will be the other station in these examples.


Repetition is good for weaker stations that might miss a letter or two. A responding station may respond with: K8JTK K8JTK de W8HF W8HF pse kn.

The two stations might begin the exchange using macros. These are good conversation starters. Macro messages typically include age of the operator, when they were licensed, radio and antenna, digital software program (Fldigi), computer operating system, physical location, etc, etc. This macro is called the “Brag” macro because you brag about your station. Beware though, for slower modes like Olivia, it can take a LONG time to send the same macro that takes seconds using PSK. The two stations could conclude the exchange or go back and forth typing out messages using the keyboard.

When receiving a message from another station, the responding station can begin typing a response in the blue transmit window even before the other station has finished transmitting. Always begin with something like “W8HF de K8JTK” so the other station knows you are responding to them, then continue with your message. If you’re conversing with a station and they don’t respond back after your message, they may have lost your signal, their program crashed, or became distracted. I typically wait 30 seconds – 1 minute and try a quick call back to the other station: W8HF W8HF W8HF de K8JTK K8JTK K8JTK, did I lose you? W8HF de K8JTK pse kn. I’ll try this 2-3 times and if they don’t return, I’ll log the QSO and move on.

End of transmissions should conclude with something like “btu Steve W8HF de K8JTK pse kn” noting the station is turning it back over to the other station. Concluding the conversation will end with something like: thx for QSO Steve, 73, W8HF de K8JTK sk. Other stations will end with a similar macro that includes their QSL information or when they upload their logs.

To transmit CQ, find an open space on the waterfall and click to bring the cursor to that spot. Tones will be generated in the same place as the cursor on the waterfall during transmission. Tune up on frequency and call CQ using the “CQ” macro. Some macros start and/or stop transmitting on their own. The “T/R” button under the waterfall is your best friend to start or stop transmitting. Some of the macros have the sequence “^r” at the end. This is an Fldigi command to change from transmit mode to receive mode aka transmission complete. This can be typed in manually at the end of messages too. PSK Reporter (http://pskreporter.info/) can be used just like JT65 to see how far you’re reaching.

Logging is fairly straight forward. RTTY and Olivia are logged as their respective mode only. BPSK is logged as PSK31, PSK63, etc. QPSK31, MFSK8, and MFSK16 are all logged as listed. If an RSQ was exchanged, log it accordingly. IMDs for either station can be recorded in the comments for future reference.

One idiosyncrasy with Fldigi: the position of the cursor in the transmit pane is critical. Fldigi will remain idle during transmission until the cursor is moved further down or moved to the end of the message. Many people are confused by this behavior and other programs don’t seem to follow this convention. For example if you had a sentence with “this that” and positioned the cursor after “this,” characters before the cursor will be transmitted until the point of the cursor was reached. The word “this” would be transmitted then Fldigi will remain idle in transmit mode until the cursor is moved. When moved, “that” will be transmitted until the program reaches the cursor again. Position the cursor at the end of the message during transmit and all will be well.

That’s it. These conversational modes are very open and very free form. Contesting will have a structure but casual operating is very informal. This outline can lead to operating other modes like Contestia, Thor, Throb, MT63, or Hell. Yes “Hell,” short for Hellschreiber, is a facsimile based mode where there is a reason everything is printed twice.

Find out more information:
“PSK31: A New Radio-Teletype Mode” by G3PLX: http://www.arrl.org/files/file/Technology/tis/info/pdf/x9907003.pdf
“Get on the Air with HF Digital” book: https://www.arrl.org/shop/Get-on-the-Air-with-HF-Digital
“RTTY/PSK31 for Radio Amateurs” book: https://www.arrl.org/shop/RTTY-PSK31-for-Radio-Amateurs-2nd-Edition/
“Nifty E-Z Guide to PSK31 Operation” book: https://www.arrl.org/shop/Nifty-E-Z-Guide-to-PSK31-Operation/
“How to get started with PSK-31 Ham Radio” by K7AGE on YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PL8D7C6EBD6E2081E2