Dave Hockaday WB4IUY, Youngsville NC USA FM05
The Shack

RTTY Operations @ WB4IUY/AC4QD

I enjoy operating RTTY here at WB4IUY. It's an old mode and is a bit tough on the equipment due to being 100% duty cycle on transmit. It operates by transmitting a constant carrier and shifting the frequency by 170 hz. This frequency shift is detected on the receiving end and the information is then extracted.

It's not necessarily considered a weak signal mode, but it is a lot of fun. The bands are fairly active with this mode, and I usually operate on 20m around 14.080-14.090 and 80m around 3.590-3.600.

Using HRD's DM-780 on RTTY

I use DM-780 (built into Ham Radio Deluxe) to work RTTY on bands that aren't crowded. It's easy to work RTTY with this software. I like it because you can see signals across 3khz of the band in the waterfall, and you can QSY within that 3khz with a simple mouse click. DM-780, however, only works AFSK with audio tones as opposed to actually triggering the FSK port on my Icom 756. It works well, but during times where the band is conjested, I'm unable to use the FSK filters in my rig's I.F. stages to help separate signals. So...I sat about on a mission to locate software that would allow my Buxcomm Rascal interface to provide true FSK and allow me to operate my rig in this mode.



I use MMTTY by JE3HHT to work RTTY in true FSK mode. I like this because I get to take advantage of the RTTY wide & narrow filters built into my older Icom 756 (non-Pro model). This works much better during contests or when the bands are packed with signals. My Buxcomm Rascal supports true FSK mode as long as it's connected to a conventional 9 or 25 pin serial port. Be aware that most computer interfaces are the same in that they don't work well for true FSK when connected to a USB port adapter. FSK typically won't work unless you have a USB-to-Serial adapter that can be programmed for 5 data bits and 45 baud. Many (most?) of these devices do not support this configuration, whereas nearly all COM ports do. (Thanks to Doug K4DSP for this helpful info!). Anyway, after a bit of reconfiguring on my computer's port use, I loaded MMTTY and ran the Buxcomm Rascal on the serial port for true FSK. Wow!!! Now this performs as well as my old Hal Interface and is a joy to operate on RTTY when the bands are jammed with signals.


- Legacy Com Ports and RTTY...


Hal Telereader Interface

This Oldie-but-Goodie is a beautiful RTTY and CW interface. It has it's own vacuum tube monochrome display built-in, and still works great today. I use it from time to time while interfaced to my Yaesu FT-901DE.

Hal Telereader Interface

Buxcomm Rascal Interface on RTTY

I've said this before, but I'll say it again... the best $50 I've _EVER_ spent on my shack was when I bought a Rascal Soundcard/Rig Interface from Buxcomm. I had never even heard PSK31 or other digital modes of that sort... When the Rascal came in the mail to me, I had it opened, installed, and making my first contact on the air in less than 30 minutes. It was a beautifully simple plug and play operation, and came with all cables and software needed to get it up in running in just minutes. You can find it on Buxcomm Communications' website at http://www.buxcomm.com/. It doesn't get any easier or less expensive to get on the digital modes than this! I've also made a mod to the Rascal for keyed CW, so I wouldn't have to change cables when I operated in CW (not MCW) mode. I've posted info and a drawing about this on the site, and you can see it by clicking HERE.

Buxcomm Related Posts on WB4IUY.BLOGSPOT.COM

- Lightning Damage to the Buxcomm

Buxcomm Rascal Interface

For the Rascal CW Mod, click HERE. For the Rascal Remote Operation, click HERE.

Real-Time RTTY Spots on HamSpots.net

Click HERE for CURRENT RTTY SPOTS on HamSpots.net.

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