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  • Writer's pictureSean Neylon

VK2SN and Digital Modes

Updated: Apr 22, 2020

Welcome to the VK2SN Blog and my effort to understand how Amateur Radio has gone from Voice/SSB/Morse Code to a serious amount of Digital modes such as WSJT - JT65A, JT65B, FT8, PSK, SSTV, RTTY etc etc.

I have started using DM780, a digital program within the HRD Software suite. (Ham Radio Delux). Ham Radio Delux is an amazing Software Suite and is well worth the effort and cost, I highly recomend to use Ham Radio Delux (HRD) as your Digital base platform and Radio controller.

You need to firstly download Ham Radio Delux (HRD) from hamradiodeluxe. Download and install on your PC and connect to your Radio via a dedicated PC Interface. This can be tricky, so make sure you research the correct PC Interface that suits your radio. There are plenty of instructional videos and reference guides on Google that will make this part of the set-up quite easy, so spend the time and research the most recomended PC/Radio interface for your Radio. I use the Yaesu SCU-17 Interface as my radio is the Yaesu FT897 - it works well, though make sure you have this radio in DIG mode (Digital Mode).

Within HRD there is a program called DM-780 - Digital Master 780 which includes many Digital programs such as SSTV, PSK, RTTY and many more. (DM-780 SSTV Program Image above)

You also must dowload and use WSJT-x and connect it to the HRD platform for FT8 use. There is a great FT8 manual well worth reading at this LINK - FT8 Set-up and User manual.

I have also downloaded and connected the tracking software called GridTracker to track and LOG my WSJT - FT8 Grid Squares. I also have JT-Alert downloaded and installed which is a nice Alert program for WSJT-x that automatically logs your FT8 contacts into the HRD Logbook ready to be uploaded to all the Web related QSL sites like eQSL, LOTW, QRZ and many others.

A special important note, when using Digital modes. Your Computer Time must be exact to the second. I found a great program called NetTime Time Sync Tool, please download and install this "PC time sync program" and your PC time will always be exact to the second.

There are plenty of good set-up and instructional videos on you-tube, so its quite easy to set up each program and learn how to use it through the many instructional videos. All you need is a Ham Radio Licence, a Radio, an Antenna, a Computer and an interface that connects your computer to your Radio. (There are many Computer Interface units/devices and it sometimes depends upon the brand of your radio for a smooth connection - just Google it. As above, I use the Yaesu SCU-17 Interface for my Radio interface.)

So thats it, I operate the Digital modes of SSTV on 40M and 20M and also WSJT-x FT8 on 40M and 20M, so if you see VK2SN pop up on one of those modes please feel free to make contact.

Happy Haming,

Sean Neylon - VK2SN

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