Equipment needed for HSCW via Meteor Scatter
If you already work ssb meteor scatter or ssb tropo propagation on the VHF bands, then you have the right basic equipment. Virtually any all-mode radio capable of transmitting and recieving ssb should work. Most activity is on 2 meters and 6 meters at this time.
HSCW contacts have been completed with low power (less than 25w) and a small yagi (under very good conditions). I recommend a standard 150-180 watt "brick" amplifier be used in addition to a horizontally polarized yagi of at least 10Dbd gain. NOTE: More ERP is desirable and will increase your rate of success.
If you do not use a computer to generate your transmitted high speed code, you will need a programmable memory keyer capable of high speed code. Speeds of 5000 letters per minute (1000 words per minute) are available with the CMOS Super Keyer (Idiom Press, Box 1025, Geyserville CA 95441). A suitable audio oscillator will need to be constructed to convert the keyer output to a tone for injection into the transmitter. See the N1BUG Web Site for more information.
If you do not use a computer to record and play back the received high speed code, you will need to modify a standard tape recorder so that the drive motor can be run at a slow speed.See the N1BUG Web Site for more information.
If you have a computer to use for High Speed CW, there are several ways to go. The most popular programs require a soundcard and a '386 or better processor, 4 MB of RAM, and a VGA graphics card. MS_DSP is the program of choice among North American HSCW operators. This is a DOS 6.0 or higher program and may run in a DOS window of WIN95 on some computers. CoolEdit is another choice which some hams have found easy to get up and running. CoolEdit requires Windows 95 and rather than an audio play back of the recorded signal, it displays the signal spectrally in a window where the operator decodes dots and dashes visually. These programs perform both transmit and receive functions. A few other programs handle either transmit or receive but not both. To use the computer in conjunction with the radio will require a simple connection to the audio out of the rig and to the mike jack for audio input. See more details on the various programs available, all of which are freeware or shareware, as you surf the links listed under Important HSCW Web links.
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