Here are the things I think this mode should do.
1 - Auto offset the display frequency of the slice on the 2125 Mark tone. As an added bonus, it would be nice to be able to adjust the mark tone for those operators who like a lower tone.
2 - When clicking on the center of a RTTY signal, the slice should jump there centered in the filter bandwidth and not on the zero beat frequency.
3 - FSK should also be an option. However, this is something that could wait if needed since AFSK can be used until FSK is implemented.
I realize that this is something that has been discussed in the past, but I feel that many are looking for new and exotic options. I'm talking about just the basics like every other rig on the market today has. Then, once we have the basics, we can look at long term enhancements to digital modes. I personally feel that this would make the 6000 series much more appealing to many more RTTY enthuseists and ultimately grow sales.
I would be very interested in hearing what others think about this and how important this feature set would be to you.
I have owned all sorts of legacy radios with built in RTTY modes. Frankly these were pathetic compared to computer based RTTY which make life so much easier in contests.
While I have never won a RTTY Contest (I have come first in a few SSB ones)... I frankly really do not understand the alleged benefits of a dedicated RTTY mode or why you would need one when the computer based RTTY programs already do so much more?
I would love to hear about the benefits over computer based modes?
Seems to me that some form of "macro" facility is needed, whereby groups of settings can be arranged for whatever mode, RTTY included. This would collect the equivalent of a series of CAT commands that could be invoked at the press of a button or a menu selection. Certainly easy enough to do with outboard software. I have all kinds of special setups that I'll use for monitoring the ionosphere on WWV, or for FMT work, or for digital modes, etc. No one special mode will hit all uses, but a macro facility would enable anyone to set things up as needed.
73 de Dave, N7AIG
I can say first hand that the RTTY decode ability of the integrated RTTY mode in the Kenwood TS-990 is superior to any software program I've used on any radio. I was able to copy the real weak RTTY stations.
The issue is as others have pointed out, getting the decoded data out of the radio to the logging program easily and also being able to use custom macros on TX make the software programs easier to use.
Now if we could have the dedicated filtering in the radio and still use the third party programs we'd have a home run. A simple twin peak filter would definitely help!
Let's look at some of the reasons why we purchased a software defined radio to run CW. I just tuned in the W1AW/4 station on 40m who is running split. I know that because I can see all the stations responding to his CQ from 1 to 3kHz up on my display. This is an amazing feature that I dearly love. Now I set my XIT to +1500 to put me in the middle of the pack and turn it on. I now see a narrow red vertical bar showing me exactly where I will be transmitting. With this feature, I can also move my transmit signal using my FlexControl to match the frequency of the station that was just worked. In addition, I can also click on a spot from my DX Cluster application, and my radio is tuned to the transmitting stations frequency. I think everyone who runs any CW at all will agree that this is an amazing set of features for running CW.
This beautiful picture all falls apart when I try to do the same types of things while running RTTY. I set my Flex to DIGIL since lower sideband is the standard for transmitting RTTY. I click on a spot in my DX cluster which tunes the radio to the station I want to talk to - well, sort of. By default, all the filters for DIGIL or DIGIU are centered on 1500Hz. This is fine if you are running PSK or packet, but I use MMTTY and prefer to use the standard high tones. OK, I can reset the passband to fit the high tones. Now I select a narrow filter from the filter list. Hmm, It just moved my center frequency back to 1500Hz. Not nice. Now I realize that not only are my filters centered on 1500Hz, I also realize that it tuned the receiver to the zero beat frequency and not even on the 1500Hz filter center.
We finally tuned the RTTY signal to the right place and got the filters adjusted. Now I have to set up the XIT to run split. That seems straight forward. I type in my offset and click the button to turn it on. Up pops my red bar showing me where I will be transmitting except it is 3kHz wide. Instead of showing me the width of my RTTY signal on transmit, it is showing me the full size of the transmitter bandwidth. That is not very useful when trying to place your transmit signal in just the right place so that rare DX station will hear you.
I realize that there are a couple of different schools of thought on running RTTY. One would be the traditional method running programs such as MMTTY and 2Tone. The other would be applications like Fldigi and DM780 that are originally designed around operating PSK and other not RTTY digital modes. I happen to prefer the traditional method as do most serious RTTY contesters. Implementing a dedicated mode for RTTY that makes RTTY work the same way as CW will benefit both camps of RTTY operators.
As a fairly new user of SmartSDR, I am hoping that I missed something here and the readers who know the software better than me will be able to show me how to run RTTY like I run CW. If not, I hope enough people who love their Flex radios will post comments of support the addition of these basic features in the near future. Remember, I am just asking for the basics here. The built in decoder and other bells and whistles can wait for later.
I had finished a QSO. I moved down a few Kc and called CQ. An operator called me and told me as a courtesy that I was out of band. When I inquired further, he informed me that he was an OO. (Official Observer) He said he normally sends the pink notice of violation. It is a note saying your messing up or their is something wrong with your rig and to remedy the situation. Since I was still on air, he explained what an OO is and what they do and gave ma a verbal notice.
The accepted unwritten rule of do not transmit within 3 Kc of the band edge will keep you in safe ground. There is a reference mark for the center frequency. Make sure it is in the band and you will be fine.
One of the key differences between FSK and afsk is when running and a good rtty contester can run so2r running more than 100 qso's per hour with the really outstanding ones approaching 150+. When running in afsk it is very easy to have the auto-frequency-control on and then your tx is literally moving around (as seen by the other rtty decoders) as the tones are adjusted within the 3khz tx passband to appear as though you're moving. This is terrible when running. With FSK this is one less thing to worry about as it does not matter where your AFC is - it simply has no effect.
RTTY is easily the most widely used digital mode. It is used in contesting and growing rapidly as well as most major operations often have rtty as the only digital mode. And then there is dxcc.
Anyway I was quite surprised that there is no FSK keying. Frankly I think that is in fact a deal-breaker for the serious rtty ops.
I have only been operating rtty for about 10 years and can only claim a couple first place world titles in BARTG events and held NA records SOAB low power in CQ WPX. I dont operate any other digital modes unless i come across a new DXCC on say PSK. That has probably only happened once.
Bottom line if more mainstream rtty contesters are going to adopt Flex transceivers, their engineering people will need to better understand how the top contesters function.
Thats my 2 cents. Flame-proof jacket donned.
Dean 8P6SH/8P2K in contests
Been there since the early 60's with RTTY; why not demand that JT65/9 be included in the software?
Give me the option of what I want on my radio and not something several user of RTTY are asking.
Flex please, stay on the roadmap and in the future let those that want different software add on for their radio pay for it.
That is exactly what I say.
I am not upset. What I did not like, was the request made about one mode in this case RTTY to be a priority; because the knob radio already have it.
Finally, if I understand v2 updates and enhancements will be a pay version. Then and only then you can start to ask or demand for your particular software request. Again, if I'm correct ... it will be put for a vote to see how much of a demand there is.
Flex stick to the roadmap since the majority of us approved the way you are heading.
So, Flex-Team, PLEASE add a RTTY mode soon! And as always, thank you for all you do....
I came to ham radio later in life than most folks. I've only been doing this for about 7 years. So, when I started, digital modes had already been well established and I've always seen RTTY as "just another digital mode, like PSK-31, MFSK, or whatever."
So, whenever I worked RTTY, I would do so with a really wide set of tx and rx filters (like 5K wide each), and select where on my waterfall to work via my digimode program. I would click on an RTTY signal, and my digimode program would center the AFSK frequency on it... when I spotted somebody, it would spot the center of the frequency.
I never even KNEW there was any other way. It took me a long time to realize (a) different people work digital modes in very different ways, and (2) RTTY is special in a historical context.
So, there seems to be a bit of a split between the people who think "RTTY is just another digital mode, handle whatever you need done in the digi-mode program" and those who think "RTTY is unique, and we should be able to use an older-style "standard" RTTY program and have special support for an RTTY mode in the radio.
It quite literally took me years to understand this argument. And there's obviously no absolutely "right" or "wrong."
But it seems pretty clear to me that if a group of ops want to operate a certain way, expect to operate that way because that's the way that's supported by "standard" or "traditional" mode-specific programs that they know and love, and other radios indeed operate that way... then I can't see any way that SSDR can avoid eventually supporting this way of operating.
It won't be an style of operating I use, but I see how it could be really important to some folks.
Flex radio team please provide a solution as this should be core functionality. Remoting wont be any fun if we are always off qrg ;-)
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