BPSK31 has become the Number One HF digital mode for casual keyboard-to-keyboard operating. Although not an error free digital mode, it does offer excellent weak-signal performance. PSK31 has been embraced by the QRP (low power) community since a couple of watts and a simple wire antenna can be used to work stations throughout Europe and some DX.. BPSK31 uses 30hz wide signals and low power transmitters. A basic PC is needed (486/66 or better) running Windows 95/98 and a standard SoundBlaster16 sound card.
Some frequencies on each HF band are commonly used for BPSK31 operations:
1838.150* This is due to the fact that the 7 MHz band is much wider in region 2 (the Americas), and the IARU bandplan reflects this.
7035.15 for region 1 and region 3, and 7080.15 for region 2 *
21080.150 (although most activity can be found 10 kHz lower)
A kind of interfacing circuit that permit to use pc's soundcard for PSK31, note this circuit have a kind of groud separation between PC and transcieiver to eliminate possible loop current and other interference
An interesting PTT
circuit from G3VFP to cover both the RTS and/or DTR source.
You can use a 2N2222 in place of the BC337 transistor in this circuit.
This is also the main distribution point for Peter G3PLX's implementation reference software, known in it's Windows compatible version as P31SBW or PSKSBW. It is here but will also be able to get last english version requesting ftp://det.bi.ehu.es/pub/ham/psk31/p31sbw.zip
- Motorola EVM Version by Peter Martínez G3PLX, now with on screen waterfall display : p31evd302.zip
- Texas C50DSK Version by Andrew Senior G0TJZ. Now compatible with Peter's latest release for DOS: psk31c50_r2.zip
- Adaptation of Peter's psk31evm301 for 56002 based EasyDSP DOS Version by DF6JB: psk31eas301.zip
- OH2GI-HAM SYSTEM is a DOS commercial terminal that supports the SCS PTC-II in PSK31. You can read about it in Here.
- Intercom is a free DOS program by Pier PA3BYZ that since version 4.1 adds PSK31 capability to many other modes. It can use several interfaces, hamcom type, soundcard, etc. It's homepage is here.
- The is a new french software named MultiPSK by F6CTE, which is now on version 1.1. It decodes PSK31 but it also adds a PSK10 mode with slower speed. Make sure you use 1.1 version if you plan to use PSK10, as there were small problems with the generation of the signal that lead to wide signals.
- The is a new commercial version of Wlog2000 by Franco HB9OAB, it features "logbook with full PSK31 features and PBBSpsk (personal Bulletin board system, on PSK) and AUTO QSO with full LOG CONTEST features and ADIF export for all activity", you can take a free test version at Wlog WWW site.
- Joseph G3ZCZ has rolled out a new version 3.06 of his coomercial "Lan-Link for Windows" software which supports PSK31. You can take a look at G3ZCZ homepage and download a test version.
- MixW32 is a Windows/SB commercial program by Nick Fedoseev, UT2UZ. It supports among others PSK31 in PSK and QPSK and a new mode named FSK31. You can get an old free version here. There is another commercial version (now on version 2.01) that also offers Pactor Rx, VHF/HF Packet Rx and (Tx (with keying interface), CW Tx and Rx. Here is it's Homepage. Here is also another official distribution point.
- There is a new free program in the PSK31 arena. It's named W1SQLPSK and it's coded by Joe Faria W1SQL. Along with the decoding of 20 signals at a time it also logs PSK contacts directly to a DBASE type file. It's available in the W1SQLPSK Homepage.
- There is a free program named WinPSK (2.x) by Moe AE4JY. Over version 1.0 it adds two interesting things, the first is a new user interface that favours disabled ham that cannot use mouse, through the use of Function keys and Macros. Latest version 2.11 adds full-duplex capability for Satellite use and TX offset . The second one is that he has produced a PskCORE DLL (Now ver 1.10, which fixes problems with laptops and Windows Me) that is available in binary (1.13) along with instructions (v 1.31) to use it that let programmers develop PSK31 terminals without having to deal with DSP questions. I keep a local copy of WinPSK 2.11 binary, source and (v2.10) user manual in .pdf format. In any case, take a look at Moe AE4JY Homepage.
- I forgot a notable program for many time, because Nino IZ8BLY and Murray ZL1BPU work on MFSK was dominant on my mind when playing with this package. The name of the program is STREAM and it's available in Nino's STREAM page. Along with MFSK it offers variations on some PSK modes.
- Here is another public release (1.4) of an amazing program named Hamscope by . It offers, several digital modes, as PSK31, MFSK, RTTY, ASCII, and Morse, with a very graphic user interface. And it's FREE. What is a novelty in the PSK31 scena, is an additional FEC: interleaved (216,64) TurboCodes. It's worth a look A very good work by Glen KD5HIO, available at Hamscope Homepage. Note there are spanish and italian help translations available.
- A new version of Zakanaka (version 1.24) has appeared. It's coded by Bob Furzer K4CY, and it's available in Zakanaka Homepage page. Note there is a Spanish help-file available.
- There is a new version of the amazing program Digipan 1.6d. It adds to it's panoramic view of the entire audio band, where you can instantly tune a new QSO with a click of the mouse, dual channel reception, selectable colors for all windows, ability to transmit and receive on different frequencies, easier to use log, QSO data display on status bar, phase scope, Sound history, and IMD measurement. It's by Howard KH6TY and Nick "MixW32" UT2UZ. You can get a copy from here, or from Digipan homepage. There is also an specific transceiver mad by SWL labs that will allow taking an snapshot of the actual IF passband. See details here.
- There is a new version of the program WinWarbler by Dave, AA6YQ. It's based in PskCORE below and it can simultaneously decode and display PSK transmissions on three separate frequencies. It also manages RTTY signals through MMTTY engine. It's present version is 2.1.5. You can take a look at it in Winwarbler homepage.
- There is a new program from VK-land named PSK-PAL. It is written in vb6 by Erik VK7AAB and is based on PskCORE. It's able to monitor 3 channels at once. You can get it from PSK-PAL Download (March 10 2001 version) and take a look at it's associated egroup page.
- There is a commercial logging program which from version 5 supports PSK31, it is called DX4WIN and it's available in DX4Win Homepage. You can get there a demo version for free.
- There is a new free french program named DXPSK 1.7c by Christian F6GQK. It also uses PskCORE.dll. Take a look at his DXPSK Homepage. Although it's designeed to work with DXFILE from the same author, it can used standalone for free.
- It's also available in English!!!
- There is a version of Winpsk by Dave Knight KA1DT named WinPSKse (second edition) that is available now on version 2.23. It features between other dual reception. It's available from it's WinPSKSe homepage.
- There is a new shareware program by UA9OSV TrueTTY that is able to transmit PSK31 and RTTY with a SoundBlaster. It's available here.
- There is a new version of WinPSK, 1.2 by Moe AE4JY. It's features are impressive. Also it's the first fully GPL'ed windows and SB implementation, which means the source is available for free for non-commercial use. I keep a local copy of the binary, the source, the user manual in .pdf format and a technical supplement which is a must and real pleasure to read if you want to learn both implementation details and theory of operation. Also in .pdf format. Moe Homepage is here
- There is an Spanish help file for WinPSK translated as usual by Paulí, EA3BLQ. It's here.
- New version (1.2) for SHARC EZ-Lite EVM that adds to the "standard" modes variable transmission-speeds (PSK16-124 ) with stronger QPSK modes up to constraint length 9. Now it also has IQ input/output for direct connection to IQ UP/DOWN mixer (integrated hilberttransformator). It's for free. By Michael DL6IAK: mpskwiq
- RCKRtty Is a Windows Terminal capable of working PSK31 with SCS PTC-II and DSPCOM units.
- Latest version (1.08) for Windows 3.1, Windows 95/98, Windows NT with Soundblaster. (At least a 486/33, perhaps less with slower rates). This is the reference implementation of PSK31 against every version should be tested. For some people it is a little under-gadgetized, but it also runeable in not much powerfull systems. With Soft-decision Viterbi, better squelch, and a much better AFC. Now with Slash-0 configurable on reception. There is a new feature which will help users to give accurate and useful signal quality (IMD) reports to other PSK31 users. By Peter G3PLX :p31sbw108.zip
- There is a new Spanish Windows Help File for the Windows SB version 1.08 translated by Pauli EA3BLQ . It's here: p31sbw108-es.zip
- There is a new Russian Windows Help File for the Windows SB version 1.06 translated by Mike RV3DBL and Andrey RA3DOA . It's here: p31sbw108-ru.zip
- There is a new Czech Windows Help File for Windows SB version 1.06 translated by Petr OK1FCJ and Pavle OK1DX . It's here: p31sbw106-cz.zip
- There is a new Polish Windows Help File for Windows SB version 1.06 translated by Marek SP7DQR. It's here: p31sbw106-pl.zip
- There is a new Italian Windows Help File for Windows SB version 1.07 translated by Eduardo Alcolado I5PAC, and assembled in .HLP format by Pauli EA3BLQ. The file is here
- There is .pdf file translated by Maurice F6IIE that includes all the text of the psk31sbw 1.05 help file in french. It's here.
- There is a module for the Analizer 2000 program that implements a PSK31 modem. It uses Soundblaster. Take a look at it here
- WriteLog is a Logging/Contesting Windows program by Wayne Wright W5XD that offers a PSK31 module over Soundblaster. Take a look at it here
- Motorola EVM 56002 Windows with help, tunnig aids, and a waterfall indicator for easier tunning and a receive overload indicator. New version with Soft-decision Viterbi, better squelch, better AFC. Now upgraded to include a decibel readout of the intermodulation distortion on received idle signals. By Peter G3PLX.: p31evw125.zip
LinuxYou should always check for general Ham & linux applications at ftp://metalab.unc.edu/pub/Linux/apps/ham/
- There is a new Linux KDE X-Windows desktop program available from Luc LX2GT it's named KPSK and it's available in KPSK homepage. It decodes up to 2 signals, macros and fixtexts and a waterfall to help tuning.
- There is a program now on version 0.6.1 by Volker, DL1KSV named LinPSK, it is originally based on WinPsk 1.0 and decodes 4 psk signals simultaneously. It uses Qt 2.2.x . It's available in the LinPSK Homepage.
- There is a new version of PSK31, by Luc Langehegermann, LX2GT, it's called G-psk31 for Linux with a GTK+ Interface. Uses DL9RDZ's new PSK31 Implementation (0.75) and you can get it in it's .0.2.4a version here. Take a look at G-PSK31 Homepage.
- Hansi Reiser DL9RDZ and Ted WA0EIR have merged efforts and they offer now twpsk 1.1 PSK31 for Linux and Lesstif, the improvements are the possibility to decode several signals and once and a IMD display. Their result is avalaible here and the homepage is here
- PhaseShift is a program by Edson PU1JTE for operating PSK31 on Linux. It makes use of the Qt library and is based on the PSK31 code writen by Hansi Reiser, dl9rdz and Ted Williams, wa0eir. You can take a look at the software on version 0.4 here Does anybody know where is hosted now PhaseShift Homepage?.
- There is a shareware program called Multimode by Chris N3JLY that starting from version 2.1.0 is able to do PSK31 on RX/TX for macintosh users. You can take a look at it's Homepage. You can also take a look at the Japanese distribution site by R3TVH Takashi Sawaguchi here .
Operating System Independent
- The last versions of the nice SCS PTC-II and PTC-IIe implement a PSK31 terminal, that you can use with any communication program as:
PSK31 by Hardware, or should I say, Hardware independent? ;-)
- George N2APB has prepared an Integrated and Portable PSK Station for 80 and 20 ... without using a PC! It's based ont the simple PSK transceiver boards from NN1G and Small Wonder Labs, along mith a Motorola EVM56002 . Characters are sent with a Morse Paddle. Details are available here
- After a year in the air the PIC based implementation of PSK31 by Clint KA7OEI, has been modified to allow serial control. He uses this setup for beacons on MedFer experimentation. Details along with sources for PIC programming are available here.
- Small Wonder Labs has just announced the PSK-20, a 20m transceiver kit designed for PSK31 that uses Digipan to take a glance at the IF passband. Details here
- Graeme Zimmer VK3GJZ has prepared a BaseBand PSK31 Decoder Module and is working in a project for a PSK31 Transceiver which uses a PIC16C877 processor to read from a standard PC keyboard and write to a 40 x 4 LCD screen that joined to his decoder a (to be designed) PSK31 Encoder Module. You can take a look at this work here
Some other Links (in Italian..)
Active digital mode frequency list compiled by Jason Buchanan - N1SU
There is a lot of discrepancy as to what frequencies are recommended vs. desirable for use on the digital modes. Other modes like MT63 are even more confusing because of their robust flexibility - interleave and width for example. One person's favorite may or may not be another's favored digital mode frequency. The most common digital mode frequency is 14.070 USB - I have success at starting a QSO with PSK31 and then QSY up the band and switch to another mode.
The list below should be considered a guide and not the required frequencies. You may have to tune up and down a few KC to find other active stations. The 20 meter frequencies are probably the most active but are also subbands for RTTY and packet use so be mindful of others!
Region 1 Europe digital mode frequencies are typically in the lower portion of the band which is an SWR bonus if your antenna is tuned for the CW portion of the band.
Soundcard digital modes are used using USB, never LSB. Clover, RTTY, PACKET, AMTOR and PACTOR typically use LSB, however.
Frequencies listed below are for dial QRG:
Digital modes excel at LOW power. Using more than 20 watts causes interference to others on the band (AGC pumping) and does not help get you through poor band conditions. MFSK16 will work quite well at 5 watts.
Common practice today, unfortunately, has been to run digital modes at the highest possible output power. If QRO is necessary to accomplish a QSO, regulate the output power using the microphone gain while PC audio output is at maximum - do NOT connect your computer's amplified output to your radio, use only the line level outputs. Using the amplified outputs typically produce distortion and splatter the band. The cleanest signal transmitted typically can be obtained by using lower microphone gain and higher line level output volume. As with all digital modes, speech processing and ALC should never be used. PEP wattmeters should be used to determine the actual output power.
ZL1BPU has written an excellent book about digital modes. Look for his book titled Digital Modes for All Occasions The book contains information about mode duty cycles and bandwidth which is quite useful when determining our rig's capability to run the different modes.
The best way to guarantee successful contacts with digital modes other than PSK31 is to email the mailing lists and set a sked, or QSY up the band a few KC and switch to a different mode.
This list is very open to suggestions and corrections - please send any corrections/comments to me. If you know of other frequencies that are more popular than those listed above please let me know!
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