ZS2EZ DIGITAL OPERATIONS

 

Ever since starting to experiment with WSJT in 2001, digital modes have been my primary interest in Amateur Radio. I have over the years experimented with many different modes of operation, and still try to keep abreast with new developments and modes. I try to look at as many of the new modes as possible, and make my own decisions as to whether they suit me or not.

I have operated fairly extensively in RTTY, and ever since starting HF operation in 2005, RTTY has been a mode dear to me. It did not take me long to establish that RTTY was far more suited to DXing than PSK31 - although I still enjoy the occasional foray into ragchewing on PSK31, the quickfire DXing in RTTY has always appealed to me. I have a separate page dedicated to RTTY operations HERE.

Several other modes have also provided me with a lot of operating pleasure : I have over the years operated a considerable amount of PSK31 and PSK63 (I am a member of the European Phase Shift Club, membership nr. EPC-0558) and have 132 DXCC entities in my log (120 confirmed). I have also operated JT65 on HF quite extensively, and am currently working towards my WAS on this mode. I have also enjoyed modes like Olivia and MFSK16, and on VHF have operated FSK441, JT6M, JT44 and ISCAT.

My Digital DXCC totals have climbed nicely over the past few years. After my February 2016 DXCC submission, I am the highest-ranked ZS station in the ARRL's Digital DXCC Listings, with an official total of 300 - a significant milestone.

I have used a variety of software, but have primarily settled on a few stalwarts. I use the the brilliant DXLab Suite by Dave Bernstein AA6YQ. with DXKeeper taking care of my logging, so it is important for me that software works smoothly in conjunction with DXKeeper, SpotCollector and Commander. For RTTY and CW keying I make use of WinWarbler (the digital program in the DXLabs Suite), but for PSK31/63/125 I tend to prefer either FLDigi or MixW (both with N2AMG's Gateway programs to DXKeeper). For JT65 (and JT9) I use UA3DJY's JTDX, linked through VK3AMA's amazing JT-Alert software to provide direct logging and interaction with DXKeeper. I also have MultiPSK installed, but seldom use it.

One notable exclusion from my operations is ROS; Due to the erratic behaviour of the author and the quite frankly alarming behaviour of the software itself, I very quickly distanced myself from this mode - and continue to do so! I refuse point-blank to run any software that posts to clusters on it's own, blacklists callsigns in hard-coding, or accesses the internet in any way without my specific control. I find myself unable to trust a software author that behaves in such a way....

I am always willing to try skeds on any Digital mode offered by the software listed above!!

For the morbid curiosity of those interested in such things, my band breakdown of DXCC entities worked/confirmed on the various digital modes is displayed below:

BAND
WKD
CFM
80
12
12
40
100
95
30
123
116
20
244
238
17
162
145
15
187
180
12
146
134
10
133
123

LAST UPDATED 24 JANUARY 2017

 

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