Real RTTY using a Flex6000 Series

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The Flex6700 is talking to the HAL ST-6 terminal unit, which is then connected to a Teletype Model 28 KSR.

I just a few hours ago concluded my first ever RTTY QSO with a TTY on both ends of the RF link.  It was to a ham in PA who was helping me get my setup tested and in working order.  He stated that I was just above the noise floor at his location, but my RTTY signal sounded excellent!

Thanks to those that responded to my search for a "How To" article, as it really helped keep me on the right track and in the long run I learned a bunch!

Steve G./N4TTY
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Steve - N4TTY

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  • Excited about this marriage of old and new technology!

Posted 5 months ago

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W7NGA

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Great news Steve. I have been looking for a Model 28 to replace the one I had in the 60's. I have a few HAL ST-6's and a ST-6000 here that I use with my R390A for RTTY. Really easy to use the FLEX and DAX, but almost zero activity unless a contest is active. Just something about the cacophony of a clacking mechanical machine and the smell of oil in the morning!

73's

W7NGA dan
Seaside, Oregon
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Steve - N4TTY

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You use DAX to talk to the HAL units?  I guess I thought DAX was for communicating with software like MMTTY or FLDigi and the like.  You are still a "Glass TTY" at that point I guess.

Steve G./N4TTY
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W7NGA

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DAX and CAT on the FLEX 6600 using Fldigi and HAL ST-6000 on the Collins R390A and 75A4. Yes, glass TTY .. I wrote the software in C and assembly long ago.
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Steve - N4TTY

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I think I'm starting to get the picture, but that may have been my issue getting my setup done.  Over thinking the issue.

Since you wrote the software long ago it had to be before Fldigi and DAX.

How were thinks hooked up then and how are they hooked up now?

With Fldigi and DAX why not use just the FLEX 6600?  What's the purpose of the HAL TU and the R390.

Remember my questions are from a noobies piont of view.

Steve G./N4TTY
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Clay N9IO

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Congrats Steve on getting to the end of a long road.
I remember when you first started your quest.
My model 19 with Hal TU wasn't a hit with my xyl since she worked around noisy mainframes way back in the day.
Dan may be right, it's the lure of the oil in the air.
No experience quite like it.

73' Clay N9IO
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Steve - N4TTY

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Thanks Clay!

I know I'm one of the luckiest in the area of XYLs, as mine gets a big kick out of them.  She has a M28 KSR sitting in her office that we used yesterday to copy the 2019 ITTY Calendar off of the ITTY Autostart channel.

And Tim at Flex can tell you the story about what I had to promise her for getting to purchase my 6700 at the Stone Mountain HamFest several years back..  He was there and actually part of the story.

By the way she got her license, KJ4QIB, but doesn't do much talking on the radio.  She says it was in self defense so that she'd at least have some idea of what I was talking about.

Steve G./N4TTY
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W7NGA

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I'll don my flame-suit and say that I think too many look only as far as making contacts. For me, the true essence of amateur radio is the journey. You won't make many contacts using an old Model 28 teletype machine, but boy-oh-boy is it fun getting the process and machinery working. I was involved with the designer of SSTV, Copthorne MacDonald, and had a most wonderful time designing a flying-spot scanner and phase-locked-loop receiver and CRT. Now, you simply download software and off you go. <running for cover>
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Don Cunningham

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Dan,
So well said.  I too experimented much as a new ham in 1972.  I made my own circuit board out of the Radio Amateur's Handbook, built up the circuitry on that board and hooked it all to an OLD Dumont 304 Oscilloscope and REALLY enjoyed SSTV in those days.  I followed later with a Robot 400 unit with Voyager I and II.  EXCITING times, for sure.  RTTY was ALL home made TU's till I could afford "store bought" with all Teletypes from Model 15's through 28's.  I hate that I traded off the last KSR 10 years ago.  The contacts are still just as fun as before, just I would rather be working on the Model 28, building the latest in TU circuitry, and just enjoying those old, multi HOUR QSO's, not the Hi/Bye with brag tape ones I find now.  Hope several of the stations take the time to join in GreenKeys contacts on New Year's Day.  Not a contest, just an event.  It was reported in the ARRL Letter a couple of weeks ago.  Hopefully a lot of the old rag chew ops will be there during the event.
Don, WB5HAK