Saturday 27 February 2016

Minimalist Digital Modes


I began using digital way back in 1999 with my now vintage FT100. Those early days of digital were experiments in the infancy of PSK31 and other modes available on the early beta programs at the time. It sure has changed. In 2004 I was on the beta test team for Ham Radio Deluxe testing and reporting bugs back to Simon Brown in Switzerland. HRD is now in the hands of a commercial company and it gets better with every new release. Yesterday I hooked up my KX3 to an Acer Aspire One. The Acer is a small portable laptop that sports 1GB of ram and a 160GB hard drive. When new it ran WinXP and last week I upgraded it to Win10 Home. I installed FLDIGI and it all ran just fine and used about 650mb of ram - so there was still some unused memory. It all ran just fine and made a contact with Mary, KC4TIE in Kentucky. She gave me a 599 report. I was running a 12 foot wire antenna and the internal tuner of the KX3 tuned it up on 20m with no effort. I was operating portable at the kitchen table with the power set to 3 watts. This will be my new portable setup for digital modes now. Next on the list is installing some JT65 software to see how this minimalist setup works decoding real weak signals.