[UK-CONTEST] PSK & RSGB 80M CC Events - ( was QRM on the PSK freq)

cris at gm4fam.plus.com cris at gm4fam.plus.com
Tue Apr 27 05:38:48 PDT 2010

Very interesting comments Lee - hard to dispute any of your fine logic ):

I am quite surprised how ofen PSK31 is used in preference to PSK65 by
dxpeditions, because the latter gives a much better rate (and of course
the bandwidth doesn't matter so much right now).

I may be wrong (often am!), but doesn't PSK65 have a narrower bandwidth
than RTTY?  It certainly is just as fast for data exchange.

FWIW: There was a very interesting PSK65 contest in November last year and
I noticed much activity on 160m including a couple of stateside.

73 Cris

> Personally, I consider the world-wide view. PSK has become an established
> mode of communication in amateur radio, and has become very popular, in
> terms of "general chat" QSOs perhaps becoming more popular than RTTY when
> tuning the HF bands. Its benefits for low signal operating are proven.
> However, worldwide PSK contesting has not taken off to anywhere near the
> same extent. The relatively slow rate of PSK31, the relatively long start
> /
> stop transmission periods, the difficulty of resolving information in a
> pile-up situation, the relatively poor variety for contest logging
> solutions, and the requirement of *not* being as loud as possible for PSK
> are sometimes quoted as reasons why PSK is not great as a contest mode.
> Despite PSK being well established, worldwide PSK contests are still small
> in number compared with RTTY, and in contests where both PSK and RTTY are
> permitted modes, RTTY activity wins hands down. This may all change over
> time, but I don't see much evidence of this happening in the short term.
> "Market forces" rule!
> Dave G0CER mentions some other worldwide PSK contests. I'd suggest only a
> small number of the 80m CC entrants enjoying PSK are supporting other PSK
> events. Part of the rationale of the 80m CC series is that they introduce
> amateurs to contesting, and then inspire them to take part in other
> events.
> Active promotion of PSK may seem unusual when it is not a mainstream
> contest
> mode. Higher speed PSK has been suggested as a solution to the slow speed
> complaint about PSK31, but this has a tradeoff in terms of higher
> bandwidth
> requirement, and on the international stage, perhaps even lower interest
> still.
> One of the reasons that persuade entrants to use PSK in the 80m CC
> Datamodes
> sessions was down to bandwidth - there was insufficient space to fit
> everyone in on RTTY. The allowed RTTY frequencies have been extended
> upwards
> beyond 3600 for the 80m CC, but often there is SSB there and the two don't
> mix well, so in practice this extra space gets little use.
> So having said all that, I don't particularly enjoy PSK contest operating,
> nor see many reasons for championing its use for domestic contests.
> However, there are many UK contesters who are reporting enjoying trying
> something new from their Soapbox comments, and the 80m CC scoring system
> to
> promote more PSK activity has reduced complaints of overcrowding on the
> band. The RTTY / PSK split also requires a little thought to be given to
> strategy too, perhaps as a taster for making band / mode strategy
> decisions
> in other contests.
> 73,
> Lee G0MTN
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