Thursday, March 21, 2013

PSK31 Ramblings

I'm working towards the eWAS award.  If you're reading this you are probably already familiar with the WAS type awards, but on the off chance that you are not, WAS means "Worked All States" and the award is a certificate or plaque that you get if you have confirmed communications with all 50 US states.  In the case of eQSL, the communication needs to be with someone that has AG status.  This means that someone from has verified that they are who they say they are in order to stop cheating.

All that leads up to this.  I was sitting at my rig calling CQ trying to contact some specific states when this appeared on my waterfall display:

Two stations, one at 725Hz and one at 1460Hz that collectively spread across two thirds of the available waterfall.  I've looked into why this happens, and it seems that this occurs when someone pushes their rig into a non-linear state.  This can be done several ways, but the usual culprit appears to be either using voice processing and ALC, having the volume output of your soundcard set too high, or trying to push too much power for the given mode.  Given that PSK is a 100% duty cycle mode, some radios splatter when they are push too hard, in most cases that I've read about anything above about 40% power output pushed the rig into a non-linear state.  I'm a little fuzzy on what that means exactly, but I'm doing my best to figure it out.

That was all said to lead up to this.  If you ever see me on the waterfall, please send me a screenshot of what my signal looks like!  Hopefully it will be a nice pretty signal since I run around 40W, don't use "PROC", and have the audio output ratcheted down so that the ALC doesn't kick in!

That oughta be about enough ramblings for this evening.


Richard, KK4JDO

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