It has been a long time since I was a teenager, but I have vivid memories of
seeing RTTY stations in operation. The smell of the hot rectifiers and the
oil, along with the clacking, were hypnotic. The thought that someone in
the distance could hit a key and make a mechanism move at the receiving end
was just magical. I would imagine that people who have that old equipment
love it in just the same way that people love their restored old cars.
Much of the "magic" of ham radio has been lost over time, but to some of us
it remains just amazing that we can take a small box, hook it to a wire
strung over a tree limb, and talk all over creation.
----- Original Message -----
From: "John Clifford" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Sent: Friday, April 04, 2003 2:01 PM
Subject: [TenTec] Old Modes never die... they just get soundcard support!
> Interesting thread about preferability of FSK over AFSK for RTTY... but it
> leads to a question.
> One poster moaned that the old modes like CW and RTTY were dying. With
> resurgence in popularity of QRP CW I don't think that CW is dying, but I
> think RTTY's days are numbered.
> To most CW fans, Morse is special because it is the only digital mode that
> can be sent and received without a computer. It also has the advantages
> low bandwidth, efficiency (can make contacts on lower power than other
> modes), and relative independence from fluency in different languages to
> complete casual contacts due to Q-signs. To me, the major advantage of
> knowing Morse and keeping it alive is that it is the one mode that could
> used in a pinch with a cobbled-up radio. I have also found that many
> who get their General with the idea that they'll learn just enough Morse
> pass the test try CW and find it very enjoyable... the people who hate CW
> the most are those who have never actually had a CW QSO.
> I dont' understand the attachment to RTTY unless it is an emotional one.
> The newer HF digital modes offer the benefits of RTTY without its
> (wide bandwidth, not error free, have to 'sync' with the transmitting
> to be able to receive valid copy, multiple configurations make 'sync'-ing
> with others problematical sometimes). RTTY does have faster throughput
> PSK31, but alternative PSK modes such as PSK125 (my favorite PSK variant)
> faster than RTTY, has a much smaller bandwidth, is easier to tune, works
> better in weak signal conditions, and is just an easier method of sending
> and receiving text via computer. Too bad most hams try one new mode --
> PSK31 -- and never try any others.
> The one transmission mode I haven't bothered to re-align on my VI is FSK.
> don't run much RTTY (mostly use it via soundcard when I hear it and want
> see who's transmitting), and believe that a properly-adjusted
> computer/soundcard/rig will be indistinguishable from running FSK.
> Anyone have any reason why RTTY is preferable to the newer HF digital
> - jgc
> John Clifford KD7KGX