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Author Topic: Are digital modes practical for prepping?  (Read 37335 times)

gil

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Re: Are digital modes practical for prepping?
« Reply #45 on: February 09, 2013, 12:01:31 AM »
I meant "Signalink" sorry.

Gil.

White Tiger

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Are digital modes practical for prepping?
« Reply #46 on: February 09, 2013, 12:47:06 AM »
I meant "Signalink" sorry.

Gil.

Ah yes...I should have realized that!

Still not sure if I can get one to work with my Omni D!?

I'm thinking I'm going to need a more recent model...like an Omni VI...just not sure how stout that model is (and I'll never give up my Omni D).
If you're looking for me, you're probably looking in the wrong place.

gil

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Re: Are digital modes practical for prepping?
« Reply #47 on: February 09, 2013, 01:44:30 AM »
Doesn't matter.. As long as you have a phone out and mike in you're good to go..

Gil.

WA4STO

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Re: Are digital modes practical for prepping?
« Reply #48 on: February 09, 2013, 10:42:44 AM »
Doesn't matter.. As long as you have a phone out and mike in you're good to go..

Gil.

Tim's Ten-Tec actually has a couple of 'gozintas and gozoutas'.  The one I always used to use was the microphone jack itself. 

But he's got "phone patch" RCA jacks on the back which should work, with the possible exception of the fact that the Signalink relies on the audio signals to 'key' the radio, and I'm not sure if the phone patch lines will accomplish that. 

Tim, I'd suggest that you use the microphone jack, with the only unfortunate issue being that you'd have to pull it and insert your microphone connector whenever you wanted to go back to voice.  Or you could build up a little switch box to let both be in line simultaneously.

'Course, you could always just give up on that nasty VOICE stuff entirely!!  ROFL.  c o u l d n t   r e s i s t !!

73 de WA4STO


KC9TNH

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Re: Are digital modes practical for prepping?
« Reply #49 on: February 09, 2013, 01:19:36 PM »
Hello,

I just got a laptop with Windows on it and installed RMS Express. I don't have the Winklink box yet but will get one soon and set-up a radio email address!

Gil.
Did you find one with XP on it, or did it come with Win7?  :)

gil

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Re: Are digital modes practical for prepping?
« Reply #50 on: February 09, 2013, 05:29:06 PM »
Quote
Did you find one with XP on it, or did it come with Win7?

I did not see a single one with XP. I certainly did not want Windows 8! So, I got a Lenovo E430 with the i5 processor and Windows 7 Pro. I left it on but installed Linux Mint 13 also and use that 99% of the time.

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16834312087

Gil.

White Tiger

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Are digital modes practical for prepping?
« Reply #51 on: February 09, 2013, 05:48:31 PM »
Doesn't matter.. As long as you have a phone out and mike in you're good to go..

Gil.

Tim's Ten-Tec actually has a couple of 'gozintas and gozoutas'.  The one I always used to use was the microphone jack itself. 

But he's got "phone patch" RCA jacks on the back which should work, with the possible exception of the fact that the Signalink relies on the audio signals to 'key' the radio, and I'm not sure if the phone patch lines will accomplish that. 

Tim, I'd suggest that you use the microphone jack, with the only unfortunate issue being that you'd have to pull it and insert your microphone connector whenever you wanted to go back to voice.  Or you could build up a little switch box to let both be in line simultaneously.
I wouldn't mind pulling the mic - at least until building another gozinta box...but I'd like to bounce that around a bit...and the bigger issue is: I don't remember what solution we arrived regarding the cables between the Ten Tec and Signalink?
'Course, you could always just give up on that nasty VOICE stuff entirely!!  ROFL.  c o u l d n t   r e s i s t !!
Hah! You KNOW that will NEVER happen! I love my SSB (ok, I get the sound/noise issue and the ringing in my ears when I go a little long on cycle time......but still like talking with someone else).

I love my Ten Tec , and Im looking forward to reconfiguring my fan dipole to allow me to dedicate my 80m for NVIS. I DO love the versatility the Signalink/Digital modes offer for OPSEC...especially during SHTF. Just not sure How to pull it off.
If you're looking for me, you're probably looking in the wrong place.

WA4STO

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Re: Are digital modes practical for prepping?
« Reply #52 on: February 09, 2013, 06:16:36 PM »
I don't remember what solution we arrived regarding the cables between the Ten Tec and Signalink?

alas, I can't remember IF we did...

However, I'd want to stick with the earlier suggestion (above) which involved running the audio OUT from the SL to the audio IN of the mic plug.  And the audio IN from the SL to the audio OUT of the mic plug.

If there's a 'ground' on the SL cable, then connect that to the 'ground' of the mic plug.  and then the PTT (which the SL might NOT have; it might just use the 'VOX' feature of the TenTec, not sure...) would go to the PTT of the mic plug.

My recollection is that we struck out when trying to find a commercially available cable for the two.

But since then, I've successfully asked for, ordered, and received a cable from my old (very old) Kantronics KAM (similar purpose to the SL) to the data jack of my IC7000.  You can inquire about the needed SL --> Ten-Tec Omni cable by emailing:

randy dot fha at gmail dot com

He's a known, reliable guy.

73 de WA4STO

gil

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Re: Are digital modes practical for prepping?
« Reply #53 on: February 09, 2013, 06:29:44 PM »
Here is what  I got from Ron Wilhelm, the Elecraft guru:

Quote
You do not need a SignaLink box to use any data modes, including RMS
Express - just feed the audio in an out to the soundcard.
You may need a galvanic isolator (transformer) between the KX3 and the
soundcard to improve the signal to noise ratio and reduce "ground loops".
The audio level considerations are important.  Many laptop soundcards
have only mic level inputs and the KX3 headphone output level will
overdrive it without an attenuator.  Going the other way, the soundcard
Line out is at too high a level to directly drive the microphone input
of the KX3, so again an attenuator is required.

The advantage of using an interface device like the SignaLink (or
others) is that they do provide not only an external USB soundcard, but
also the galvanic isolation and the level conversion.

White Tiger

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Are digital modes practical for prepping?
« Reply #54 on: February 10, 2013, 01:52:13 AM »
I don't remember what solution we arrived regarding the cables between the Ten Tec and Signalink?

alas, I can't remember IF we did...
That's right...I don't think we ever did...
However, I'd want to stick with the earlier suggestion (above) which involved running the audio OUT from the SL to the audio IN of the mic plug.  And the audio IN from the SL to the audio OUT of the mic plug.
This part sounds doable...
If there's a 'ground' on the SL cable, then connect that to the 'ground' of the mic plug.  and then the PTT (which the SL might NOT have; it might just use the 'VOX' feature of the TenTec, not sure...) would go to the PTT of the mic plug.
This party's starting to sound like Charlie Brown's teacher...
My recollection is that we struck out when trying to find a commercially available cable for the two.
it is all becoming clearer to me now...and you're correct...
But since then, I've successfully asked for, ordered, and received a cable from my old (very old) Kantronics KAM (similar purpose to the SL) to the data jack of my IC7000.  You can inquire about the needed SL --> Ten-Tec Omni cable by emailing:

randy dot fha at gmail dot com

He's a known, reliable guy.

73 de WA4STO
Thank you my friend, I appreciate you trying to get me an answer! I will contact him and see if this puzzle can't be solved!
If you're looking for me, you're probably looking in the wrong place.

White Tiger

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Are digital modes practical for prepping?
« Reply #55 on: February 10, 2013, 01:56:16 PM »
Luck, that is very interesting, thank you for sharing it!

I learn a lot from osmosis - show me what you're doing and it might help me figure out what you're doing...doesn't ALWAYS happen, but more often than not it lends something to "breaking the code"...

I'm slowly starting to get me head around it.
If you're looking for me, you're probably looking in the wrong place.

WA4STO

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Re: Are digital modes practical for prepping?
« Reply #56 on: February 10, 2013, 02:43:11 PM »
Here's some more info on how hams are using the digital modes.  Note the use of FLAMP in this case.  FLAMP can be grocked at:

http://w1hkj.com

-------------
As many of you know, we have been trying the 20M Transcontinental NBEMS Net as part of a 90 day trial.  Many tweaks have been tried and suggested as 20M has not been in good shape and slow digital modes with relays provide many challenges to the concept of transcontinental traffic handling via a live net.  Since the start of the experiment, Flamp has been added to the tool box.  We also formally began a after-net move to 40M for regional follow-up to the transcontinental communications..

The events of today proved interesting.  The net was called on 20M and again fair to poor conditions were experienced.  We also has a Winmor station passing traffic on the usual net frequency. We move down the band, RSID works well for net members when NCS is off the usual frequency.  Traffic for the net has been infrequent of late and I, as NCS, , forgot to ask for stations with traffic.  After a few check-ins AD5XJ broke in with traffic that we took immediately.  AD5XJ recognized the conditions and chose MFSK32 to send FLAMP traffic .  FLAMP's abuilty to send just a missing block or two proved invaluable for the weak signals and QSB. 

After closing the 20M net, as announced last week, I moved to 7072.5, made sure the frequency was not in use, then re-sent the Tornado Watch traffic that AD5XJ had sent.  Two regional stations in NY and PA responded .  One with a 100% report and one requesting fills.  I asked the PA station to send the traffic and not only did the NY station acknowledged 100% copy but a "new" station, one in Virginia, responded with a 100% report.


So, it seems to me that we have a good process here, for transcontinental to regional traffic passing.  It is not rocket science , other nets like NTS do the same.  What I am beginning  to think is different though, is perhaps not always running the net the traditional way, where we take up time asking for check-ins.  When I moved to 40M, I did not call a net.  I just announced my presence and then sent the Flamp traffic. 

More to think about, but I will add one more thing.  The NBEMS folks have a winner in Flamp, and a winner in the sense that 14065 and 7072.5 have become de facto frequencies for NBEMS communications.

Andy K3UK


-------------

73 de WA4STO

gil

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Re: Are digital modes practical for prepping?
« Reply #57 on: February 10, 2013, 04:01:07 PM »
Hi all,

I would like to emphasize again that one doesn't have to learn Morse code to use CW. Fldigi decodes Morse very well and allows sending via the keyboard, just like any other digital mode. The advantage of CW is that it can also be decoded by the human brain. That is of course my primary tool for decoding, but yours can be your computer. I actually do use Fldigi at home as a backup, when my brain decides to use it's resources for other background tasks and I lose decode capability for a short while  :o

So, what's the advantage? Well, first of all, obviously, you can reach more stations with this digital mode, since Hams without a computer can copy you. In a major SHTF situation, I suspect most digital stations will be down quickly, for lack of power to recharge batteries. Only the best prepared stations will continue to operate, and for how long? Second, as an example, I plan on a one week camping trip in a few weeks. The site I am thinking about is nine miles from the road. That means pulling a small cart with five gallons of water, food for a week and my camping gear. There is no way in hell I will add the weight of a laptop, bigger battery and solar panel. A small CW rig is not only a must but the only option in such a case. Something like an FT-817ND would work, but then we get into battery capacity problems again. CW is where it's at when it comes to leaving the house with communication capabilities.

My KX3 has RTTY and PSK31 built-in, allowing to send using the Morse paddles. It's great, but honestly, it doesn't do anything more than CW... Sure, Morse might be a bit slower than another keyboard-input mode, but it works just the same.

So, even if you don't want to learn Morse, you can still use it as a computer-controlled digital mode and reach more people than you would other wise do.  Given that most digital QSOs are just the RST73 type, which for me I think is a waste of my time, Morse offers more rag-chewing opportunities.

Gil.

RadioRay

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Re: Are digital modes practical for prepping?
« Reply #58 on: February 10, 2013, 04:25:46 PM »
For Emergency communications, in my opinion WINMOR and PACTOR are simply amazing!  The ability to send REAL e-mail, with full error correction when all local commercial infrastructure is down - well, that's simply amazing.  Besides doing this to 'normal' e-mail addresses, there is also the ability to operate ham-to-ham e-mail transfers non-real-time, just like e-mail, but again, not requiring internet or commercial infrastructure. I've used this for a very long time, back when I had that capability. Buddies and I would check-in with each other as the timing was good for us, and when prop was good between stations.  Ths makes managing a large group's communications easy, because WINMOR/WINLINK stations can SCAN many bands/frequencies listening for stations trying to connect with them and those modes works well below the noise level (like Morse).

I love Morse and rely upon it because of its amazing efficiency, being light, effective, small and not requiring a computer.  If a comuter IS in the loop - WINMOR is amazing.


>Ray
« Last Edit: February 10, 2013, 08:31:09 PM by RadioRay »
"When we cannot do the good we would, we must be ready to do the good we can."  ~ Matthew Henry

gil

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Re: Are digital modes practical for prepping?
« Reply #59 on: February 10, 2013, 05:38:22 PM »
Quote
If a comuter IS in the loop - WINMOR is amazing.

Exactly what I plan on doing.. Winlink from home, just in case, and CW portable..
I am glad I put Morse under my belt first, the rest is easy  ;D

Gil.

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Re: Are digital modes practical for prepping?
« Reply #59 on: February 10, 2013, 05:38:22 PM »