22 Feb 2013

PSK31 mode

Julian G4ILO mentions his enjoyment of PSK31 on HF on his blog today.  Although I've had a fair few QSOs and some good DX with this mode over the years, I'm not a great fan of it.

Although Julian rightly says it is a very good mode that well complements CW and SSB, and it is certainly true that the PSK31 part of the bands are often busy when CW and SSB signals are absent, to me QSOs feel too formalised with exchanges that follow fairly standard formulae. Too often it feels like a PC talking to a PC. Maybe I should try next time to avoid using these pre-programmed messages and go for a normal free-form keyboard "chat" instead.

It's a while since I've tried PSK31 on HF. Maybe next week when the grandchildren go home I'll give it another go.

The ARRL reports that Varicode, as used in PSK31, has now been officially recognised by the ITU. See http://www.arrl.org/news/amateur-created-varicode-adopted-as-itu-recommendation .

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