I've been running PSK on Ten-Tec gear for about 18 months now and here
are a couple thoughts:
1. I use Ham Radio Deluxe 3.2 which incorporates PSK Deluxe.... in my
opinion just about the best PSK application for more serious PSK use.
And it is free believe it or not. Everyone has there opinion here....
but I have used about 8 different apps before I settled in on HRD.
PSK Deluxe 31 has a Super Browser mode (other programs have it too NOW)
which allows me to quickly see all the PSK traffic in the available
bandwidth and then select an open spot OR an ongoing thread to join in on.
I park my transceiver at 14.070 or 7.070 and then open up the receive
bandwidth and read the traffic in Super Browser mode.
My interface is home brew with large, easy to adjust level controls for
audio in and out of the computer. I have pre-adjusted my Soundcard's
Line Input mixer control to about 1/3 to 1/2 range which seems to give
me the best compromise between S/N and potential distortion. My audio
comes from my transceiver's fixed level output and not the headphone jack.
When I turn on PSK Deluxe 31 (or any Soundcard application for that
matter) I adjust my interface's audio in level control so that the
waterfall (spectrum display) has just a noticeable amount of broadband
noise... just a trace amount. Because my interface is readily at hand I
can adjust this up or down rather quickly should another station begin
to capture the receive AGC bringing down the overall receive bandwidth
gain. Very easy to do when necessary and allows me to minimize the
'garbage' my Soundcard has to sort through to decode what I want.
If I see a station that I want to reply to and they are good copy and
everyone else is playing nicely then I leave the receive bandwidth
alone, click on the person I want to send to and then enter one of the
comm mode channels and have a go at it.
If the station I want is rather weak or another station is 'hogging'
bandwidth and capturing the receive AGC then I use the 'Power of
Ten-Tec'! I quickly change receive bandwidth's... ususally to 250 hz
(isn't it nice that we can select a small receive bandwidth when in
SSB?!!) and then quickly recenter the waterfall noise on the station I
am interested in using the Pass Band Tuning control. Whaaaa Laaa!
Maximum receiption condition for my station and the interfering
station's impact is minimized. Now you can't do it this way and switch
to sharper roofing filters as the PBT doesn't shift the roofing filter's
passband center frequency. I do, when conditions warrant, use the 1.8
kHz roofing filter as it's paring down of the total receive bandwidth
isn't too significant.
The narrowing the bandpass and swishing the PBT control to receiver the
desired PSK signal is a great way to pull out an otherwise marginal
signal and make it a very good one. I used this approach to great effect
last year on Field Day where I worked a ton of PSK stations from our
club's portable location.
Now, unfortunately not all manufacture's allow you to narrow up the
receive bandwidth in SSB mode, but if your transceiver does allow it...
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