Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Youtube comparision standard HF packet, 300 baud BPSK, Robust packet

While it is not a "scientific" comparison, there is a good video that compares the throughput of running HF packet, 300 baud BPSK, and robust packet at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FApm2thQqIo&feature=youtu.be 

Many thanks to K2MO for putting that together!

Not to be the complete spoiler, the results indicate that 300 baud BPSK outperforms standard HF packet (as expected) and robust packet outperforms 300 baud BPSK.

Robust packet is furnished with proprietary HF modems that run from approximately $300 to $1800 depending upon other features included (such as Pactor).

So, if you don't want to spend $300, but need a boost in performance in HF packet, 300 BPSK is the winner with a price of $0.  All you have to do is download the UZ7HO program and use it as the "modem" on your favorite terminal or APRS program.  In addition to the standard 300 baud and 1200 baud packet flavors, UZ7HO now supports both BPSK and QPSK.  The BPSK is a strong performer on HF, while the QPSK allows up to 4800 baud on a STANDARD radio as opposed to a "9600 baud" mode radio.

Friday, November 20, 2015

Neat multiplexing test on VOA RadioGram

For those that hang out with us on FLDIGI, you'll remember that we did some nets where we had multiple modes running in the same audio bandwidth.  Olivia 8-500 on the bottom, MFSK-16 in the middle, and some PSK-125 at the top.  All you have to do is run multiple instances of FLDIGI to the same soundcard.  You can even transmit two or three modes simultaneously.

Looks like VOA is getting into the game.  See below:

Hello friends,
This weekend’s VOA Radiogram will include some experiments.
Simultaneous text and image. One experiment will be the simultaneous transmission of text and an image. The text of the VOA News story about men overeating will be transmitted in MFSK32 at the usual center audio frequency of 1500 Hz. The MFSK32 image accompanying this story will be transmitted simultaneously at a center audio frequency of 2200 Hz. You will need two instances of Fldigi; that is, start Fldigi once, then start it again. If you cannot run two instances of Fldigi (some operating systems don’t allow it), you can decode the image at 2200 Hz later from a recording. (You could also run Fldigi and MultiPSK simultaneously.)
At 15 seconds after the text begins, a tuning signal will help you find the exact center frequency near 2200 Hz. The image itself will start 20 seconds after the tone begins.
I had to reduce the audio level of both the text and image by 3 dB so that the combined audio of the text and image would not overload the transmitter and your receiver. This simultaneous transmission will be followed by the image only, at 1500 Hz, and at full audio level. 
QR codes. The broadcast will include two QR codes.  They look like this …
You scan the QR code, usually with your mobile device, to obtain information.
The first QR code will follow the VOA News Story about Middle East hackers. It will provide the link to the full text of the story. The second QR code will be at the end of the show, with the VOA Radiogram transmission schedule.
I don’t know much about QR codes, so your advice would be appreciated. Are the transmitted QR codes too big? Unnecessarily big? How small can I make them? (The smaller they are, the less time required to transmit them.)
Here is the lineup for VOA Radiogram, program 138, 21-22November 2015, all in MFSK32 except where noted:
 1:32  Program preview
2:44  Earth-like exoplanet may not be habitable*
7:29  New tool to search for extraterrestrial life*
11:13  Analysts warn of Middle East hackers*
20:43  Men overeat to show off to women (simultaneous image)*
23:45  Closing announcements*
28:41  Olivia 64-2000: Transmission schedule
* with image
Please send reception reports to radiogram@voanews.com .
VOA Radiogram transmission schedule
(all days and times UTC):
Sat 0930-1000 5865 kHz
Sat 1600-1630 17580 kHz
Sun 0230-0300 5745 kHz
Sun 1930-2000 15670 kHz
All via the Edward R. Murrow transmitting station in North Carolina.
The Mighty KBC will transmit a minute of MFSK32 Sunday at 0130 UTC (Saturday 8:30 pm EST) on 7395 kHz, via Germany. This is part of the KBC broadcast to North America Saturday 2300  UTC to Sunday 0200 UTC on 7395 kHz. Reception reports for KBC reception and decoding to Eric: themightykbc@gmail.com .
Thanks for your reception reports. Today I hope to answer the last of the reports from program 130, then I’ll put together the MFSK image gallery from program 131.
I hope you can tune in and write in.  Have fun with the experiments.
Kim Andrew Elliott
Producer and Presenter
VOA Radiogram

RMS Express Training and COMEX Debrief

Just a quick reminder that the COMEX Debrief/RMS Express training session will be tomorrow (Saturday, November 21st) from 2:30 PM to 4:30 PM at the Broken Arrow Central Library.  Listen to those who operated RMS Express during the last MARS COMEX and also learn how to install and operate RMS Express on your computer, soundcard interface, and radio.

Door prize is a Signalink USB interface, so the lucky winner will actually get a free soundcard interface.

If possible, please RSVP to ae5me at yahoo dot com.

Thursday, November 19, 2015

OKAPRS Net November 14th Log

Log from the Saturday, November 14th Oklahoma Statewide APRS net:


and AE5ME (net control) for a total of 17.

 Many thanks to all who participated.  Next net will be Saturday, December 12th.

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

ARDOP Demonstration by K2MO

Many thanks to K2MO for the good video of operating "ARDOP".


Haven't heard of "ARDOP"?  It is the next generation of soundcard modem beyond Winmor.  It is designed to be platform independent and run on Windows, Mac OSX, or even Linux.

More detailed information is available at


Friday, November 13, 2015

Oklahoma Statewide APRS net Nov 14 at 1 PM

Just a quick reminder that the statewide Oklahoma APRS net will be Saturday, November 14th from 1 to 2 PM.

144.39 MHz 1200 baud packet will get you online.

Don't have a TNC?  Use a program like UZ7HO to make your computer's sound card act as a TNC.

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

New "SIM31" Mode

Dany ON4NB passes on the following information on a new digital mode called "SIM31"

Please Check Link:

SIM_PSK 31/63 versus PSK-31/63:
New digimode based on BPSK varicode.
What is the SIM mode?
After PSK mode, already described in these web pages with the program "DIGIPAN",
for a few months, a new digital mode has made its coming into the freeware programs designed by and for hams.
This is the SIM_PSK 31/63 (Integrated Structured Message BPSK31)
In six months, this freeware has evolved a lot, it is still in testing phase, but comparative tests
have shown that it works very well on HF, VHF and UHF, in SSB and FM.
automatic QSO mode :
SIM_PSK has now a "automatic QSO mode ", very useful for testing, the study of the propagation, but also
and especially for the beginners, because they can observe how to use the software, without having to
intervene during the QSO.
Speed / performance :
To increase the reliability and speed of transmission, the program includes "macros" that have their own
varicode and that can be selected to define each stage of a contact.
CHAT mode :
The "chat mode" allows sending free text. It can therefore be used to send informations not included into
the macros, or to chat with friends, BUT in this case, each character is encoded separately, so you lose
the advantage of speed obtained by the words and / or phrases having their own varicode !
Therefore the chat mode also reduces the robustness of code against interferences.
Language selection :
SIM_PSK is the only software by which you can communicate in your own language, and allowing your opposite
number to receiving in the language of its choice (among the languages programmed in the software) ...
Automatic selection mode :
Recently, the program received a new tab, allowing to choose an "automatic selection mode"
This tab should be used only for decoding, in reception.
If you initiate a call do not use this tab ! select the button "SIM mode" provided.
The designer of this software, Nizar Ben Rejeb is a Tunisian SWL. Several OM's are actively contributing
to help him by testing, debugging, and distributing via this website.

They are : ( for belgian Hamradio stations ) Bernard ON2TSF - Didier ON5DVO - Michel ON7TV - Paco EA5GVJ (ON6LP)
and yours truly, Dany ON4NB, but many people from other countries are also of a great help for us...

Thursday, November 5, 2015

MT63 -- a neat "higher speed" mode

Check out the nice video at https://youtu.be/C96VB6MpI5I.

MT63 is a digital radio modulation mode for transmission in high-noise situations developed by Pawel Jalocha SP9VRC. MT63 is designed for keyboard-to-keyboard conversation modes, on HF amateur radio bands.

It is essentially a bunch of PSK carriers (64 to be exact) used to send data.  If you go to MT63-2000, throughput of 200 wpm is possible (20.0 cps or 200 baud).  That compares favorably to MFSK-32, which runs at 120 WPM.  However, the bandwidth of MFSK-32 is only 630 hz, compared to the 2000 Hz occupied by MT63.

As you can see from the video, MT63 is very interference tolerant, allowing even a completely different mode to operate "on top of it".  That is illustrated in the video link above.  Our practical experience is that Olivia will win the contest of working the weakest signal, but when MFSK-32 is possible, MT63 is also possible with comparable results.

Yet another mode for your communication toolkit!

Monday, November 2, 2015

More information about MARS COMEX November 8th

This was posted to the ARESOklahoma Yahoo group (http://groups.yahoo.com/neo/groups/aresoklahoma)

ICS-201 and ICS-205 forms for the upcoming COMEX have been uploaded to the file area of this Yahoo group.  They provide detailed information that is summarized below.

1) The exercise officially goes from 071200Z Nov to 102359Z Nov and is a simulation of a CME (Coronal Mass Ejection) event and geomagnetic storm.  That will put the exercise from 06:00 AM Saturday, November 7th to 6 PM on Tuesday, November 10th.

2) Messages will be sent within the MARS network to KC5MWZ.  KC5MWZ will forward the messages via RMS Express/Winmor to the AE5ME-12 system.  Messages should be addressed to KC5MWZ@KC5MWZ to insure they are routed correctly through the system.

3) EOCs and individuals will retrieve the messages from the AE5ME-12 system on either HF (Winmor) or packet (VHF).  No telnet connections will be allowed, as it is assumed that internet facilities have been compromised and are unreliable.

4) EOCs and individuals will respond the messages and place them back on the AE5ME-12 system to be relayed back to KC5MWZ.  KC5MWZ will then collect the messages and pass on the appropriate information back to MARS.

5) 071200Z through 080900Z Nov will be the "notification" phase of the COMEX.  That will be from 06:00 AM Saturday to 03:00 AM Sunday.  A CME is considered "likely" and preparations will need to be made to protect radio and computer equipment.

6) At 080001Z Nov (6:01 PM Saturday), MARS will be notified of the pending CME.  All equipment is to be disconnected from ALL wiring and antennas between 080900Z through 081200Z Nov (3:00 AM Sunday to 6:00 AM Sunday).  No radio operations will be conducted during the simulated "geomagnetic storm".

7) High Intensity Network operations will commence shortly after 081200Z (6:00 AM Sunday).  Requests for information for county messages will be forwarded to MARS and MARS stations will begin contacting counties.

8) While the exercise it expected to last until Tuesday, I would expect the most intense amount of messaging to be after 6:00 AM on Sunday until 6:00 PM Sunday.  The AE5ME-12 system will be operating on a combination of battery and generator power during the first 24 hours of the exercise, then restore commercial power on Monday and Tuesday.

9) The 146.985 repeater will be available for technical questions during the Sunday portion of the exercise.  If you are having problems sending or receiving messages on RMS Express, contact AE5ME on that frequency.  Messages still get routed through VHF and HF on the published frequencies in the ICS-205.

10) A group of 8 hams have been busy getting up to speed on RMS Express and operating on either VHF or HF on the AE5ME-12 system.  The list includes KF5RCI, AD5JL, WB5ANX, WA5VXI, WD9GET, WY7RM, KD5NJR, and KC5SHE.  Of course, KC5MWZ and AE5ME will be involved as the "hub" stations for OKC and Tulsa respectively.

If you have any questions in the meantime, you can reach me via email at ae5me at yahoo dot com.

--Jeff AE5ME