Operating PSK31 via the Remote
|Thanks to the great software by Moe Wheatly, AE4JY, and Dave Cook, WA0TTN, the Internet Remote
Base is now able to support PSK31 operations. Dave's ActiveX adaptation of Moe's PSK
library has made it easy (even trivial in some cases) to develop a remote control version
for this mode, including the falling spectral waterfall display of signals. The
current remote client interface is shown below.
|This interface includes many, but not all of the
features found in standard PSK programs such as DigiPan, WinPSK. Mix, etc. Details on
these programs and in PSK in general can be found a http://psk31.com
. The remote interface is also tightly coupled with the radio control so it provides a
seamless interface, including features not found in any other PSK interface, such as
narrow IF filtering (400z) that reduces AGC pull from a sting signal in the signal in the
USB passband (2.8KHz) and provides enhanced weak signal copy.
The control is divided into 4 major areas:
First set up the radio:
You should see a waterfall display with signals appearing varying colors from light blue (weak) to yellow (stronger).
Your first transmission
Now while that was not hard, you probably don't want to retype CQ each and every time it is sent. Also repetitive actions like signing on and off could be automated. Thus the invention of MACROs
Now that you are ready to go, it is good to set up a few MACROs to reduce the tedium of continually typing in the same thing and to make the switchover between transmit and receive a little easier. For those operations used to the extensive MACRO capability of the DigiPan, etc this interface will appear quite simple, but it should be adequate for normal remote ops (e.g. non-contesting).Several MACROs used at W4MQ are shown below
|The MACRO capability supports 4
Note that I have chosen to put my transmissions on new lines and to end them on new lines so the received text will not run into my own transmissions in the Receive Window. Experiment, experiment, experiment!!
Each MACRO is settable by selecting the MACRO button using the RIGHT mouse click. The editing windows illustrated above then appear. Remember to SAVE when you are finished.
To activate the MACRO you must either LEFT click on the MACRO button or use the key combinations CNTL+1 through CNTL+ 0 to activate the MACRO (you must use the standard number keys and not the numeric keypad). The top five buttons are numbered as 1 through 5 and the bottom five buttons are numbered as 6 through 10 (0),
The ABORT button will immediately stop the transmit at the host end and clear out all transmit buffers. If you hit a MACRO by error or the wrong stuff is going out-- this feature is very convenient!!
Using the Narrow IF Filter
I have found that even with the very efficient bandlimiting capabilities of the PSK demodulation software, the quality of receptions for marginal signals can be significantly enhanced by limiting the IF bandwidth. Previously most SSB receivers provided only voice bandwidth IF filters, e.g. 2.4kHz, or even 1.8kHz. Today many radios allow even narrower filters for SSB, but still not the 100 or 200 Hz that are available for CW. The Kachina radio (while now extinct) allowed any IF filter to be used on any mode. While the TS2000 is not that versatile, it does provide a variable IF filer capability which can be adjusted to a minimum bandwidth of approximately 400Hz (unfortunately centered at 1200Hz above the carrier frequency). Through the magic of computer control and software this is brought to the PSK interface transparent to the user. When the narrow is selected, the radio actually adjusts its receive frequency so the desired signal is at 1200Hz in the passband (note transmit does not change) and the waterfall display is adjusted to that the filter appears to be centered on the original signal. Thus with a little software "lights and magic" the IF filter bandwidth is made smaller and reception is improved!! The example below shows the results.