PSK63

A super-fast PSK mode for RTTY Contesting




The following programs already support simple switching between PSK31 and PSK63:

DigiPan version 1.7 now supports both PSK31 and PSK63. A zipped version, dp17.zip, is also available.

WinPSK version 2.13 by AE4JY now supports both PSK31 and PSK63.

Winwarbler by AA6YQ now supports both PSK31 and PSK63.

Multipsk by F6CTE now supports PSK63 and PSK31, along with many other modes.

PSK31 Deluxe by HB9DRV now supports both PSK63 and PSK31 and features a futuristic "Superbrowser" with simultaneous multiple-channel display.

QuikPSK beta version 4.0f by KH6TY, currently in development, supports both PSK31 and PSK63, sends and receives color thumbnail portraits by PSK63, displays 24 PSK63 channels simultaneously, and features semi-automatic mode selection between PSK63 and PSK31. Merely left-click on a PSK63 signal to copy, or right-click on a PSK31 signal to copy. Just download quikpsk.zip and unzip all the files into the same folder. Then drag a shortcut onto the Desktop from quikpsk.exe in the folder and rename the shortcut QuikPSK. Double-click the shortcut to run QuikPSK, select Configure from the menu, enter your callsign, and select a serial port for push-to-talk switching. Selecting Help from the menu will display some basic operating instructions.

Please email comments or bug reports to

RCKRTTY by DL4RCK now supports PSK63, PSK31, and several other modes.

If your favorite PSK31 or logging program does not yet support PSK63, but it uses PSKCORE.DLL, you can still use it on PSK63 by following these steps:

1. Download the PSK63 version of PSKCORE. DLL from http://www.qsl.net/kh6ty/psk63/psk63core.zip .

2. Create a folder named 63 and copy all of your program's files into that folder.

3. Create a folder named 31 and copy all of your program's files into that folder also.

4. Now unzip PSK63core.zip from step 1 into the folder named 63, replacing PSKCORE.DLL with the new PSK63 version of PSKCORE.DLL.

5. Highlight your program's .exe file in the 63 folder, hold down the left mouse button, drag a shortcut to the Windows Desktop, and release the mouse button. Rename this shortcut PSK63.

6. Highlight your program's .exe file in the 31 folder, hold down the left mouse button, drag a shortcut to the Windows Desktop, and release the mouse button. Rename this shortcut PSK31.

7. To run your program on PSK31, double-click on the shortcut named PSK31. If your program displays the PSKCORE.DLL version, it should indicate version  1.15.

8. To run your program on PSK63, double-click on the shortcut named PSK63. If your program displays the PSKCORE.DLL version, it should indicate  version  9.99.

You can switch back and forth between PSK31 and PSK63 just by quitting your program and double-clicking the desired shortcut. Your program will use whatever DLL is in the folder with that program's .exe file.

Used this way, PSKCore.dll for PSK63 compresses the waterfall by a factor of 2, and the reported frequencies may not be correct, but just click on a signal on the waterfall display to copy that station.

Notes:

When using PSK31, you cannot copy PSK63 signals, although they might be visible on the waterfall as "wider" PSK31 signals. Similarly, when using PSK63, you might see more narrow PSK31 signals on the waterfall, but you will not be able to copy them without switching to PSK31.

PSK63 is just like PSK31, except that it is twice as fast and twice as wide. Macros and Brag files will transmit at 100 wpm on PSK63, instead of 50 wpm on PSK31. The turnover and exchange times for contesting will be twice as fast as PSK31, and even faster than RTTY.

Weak signal performance of PSK63 will be similar to PSK31, except that twice the power needs to be run compared to PSk31 for the same signal-to-noise ratio. I.e., instead of running 20 watts on PSK31, just increase the power to 40 watts when using PSK63 for the same weak signal performance, but be sure to operate your transceiver in its linear region. Most operators will find that it is not necessary to use more power for PSK63 operation unless conditions are very poor.

In all other respects, operating PSK63 is exactly like operating PSK31.

Tips:

PSK63 transmits your macros at 100 wpm, so the natural tendency is to try to type faster than normal, or hurriedly fill the typeahead window with as much text as possible. Please note that it is not necessary for you to keep up with the speed of PSK63 when you are typing! Just relax, enjoy the increased responsiveness of PSK63, and type at whatever speed is comfortable for you. The other operator will appreciate the increased speed with which your "brag file" or macros run.

Please "channelize" if possible!

Since PSK63 is twice as wide as PSK31, it would reduce band congestion if everyone would operate on even 100Hz frequencies, such as 14072.8, 14072.9, etc. The suggested area for PSK63 operation on 20 meters is just above the PSK31 activity, or starting at 14072.5 and extending to the beginning of the RTTY activity area at 14080. To do this, just set your transceiver to UPPER sideband, and the dial frequency to 14072.0. Then operate at WINPSK RX Freq of 500, 600, 700, 800, 900, 1000, 1100, 1200, 1300, 1400, 1500, 1600, 1700, 1800, 1900, 2000, 2100, 2200, 2300, 2400, or 2500 Hz, etc.. Of course, you can just point and click on any PSK63 signal you see on the waterfall, regardless of the frequency, but congestion would be reduced if you select an even 100Hz frequency for calling CQ.

Suggested frequencies for PSK63 operation on other bands start 2.5 KHz above PSK31 activity and extend upward for 2.5 KHz. There is some disagreement even as to where PSK31 activity should be, but, based on current PSK31 activity, PSK63 activity should start at 3582.5 on 80m, 7037.5 or 7072.5 on 40m, 10142.5 on 30m, 14072.5 on 20m, 18102.5 on 17m, 21072.5 or 21082.5 on 15m, and 28122.5 on 10 m.

N2HOS has generously written a helpful guided tour of QuikPSk to help you get started. Take the tour, http://www.qsl.net/kh6ty/psk63/quikpsk.html, and download and save it, or print it, for future reference.

Skip, KH6TY, November 1, 2003
hteller@comcast.net