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                    This is intended to help new WSJT/FSK 441 mode op's.  I have been
                   operating High Speed Meteor Scatter now on an almost daily basis for
                   6 years. These are just my personal opinions that are meant to help.

                   *Note - All of my direct experience has been on 144mhz, plus what I
                   have learned from the op's on the other VHF/UHF bands using this



       1. Make sure your PC clock is set to WWV . Best way is to download Dimension 4 software.

       Click here:

       Click here: to see how I have my Dimension 4 software options set

       Click here: if you run Windows XP or 2000/NT for fix for Dimension 4 . Not needed for Windows 95/98/ME 

       2. Set your receive noise level in WSJT to 0db . Use your AF gain or the Windows  LINE IN mixer.
       Also in WSJT Setup/Adjust RX Volume Control. 
       3. Use your RIT if needed (to get Decode) based on what you see in DF field on received pings.

       4. Ask if the other station prefers to have the sked run with or without single tone messages .

       5. "RIGHT Mouse CLICK" on the green line with your mouse if you see a ping there but it did not decode. This will
       force a decode and works wonders for me.

       6 .  Set your receive AGC to OFF or to AGC FAST . If adjustable set it to as fast as you can set it.
       Most of the time AGC OFF works best.



       1. Run a sked on the  CQ Frequencies .

       2. Say on Ping Jockey web site any information being received during your sked while in progress, or
       any other persons sked while it is in progress . OK to say getting pings or Good Stuff or something
       similar but not any actual information that was received. Posting on the internet what a station has
       sent while a sked is in progress can invalidate a contact most people feel.

       3. Move your transmit frequency during a sked. (Use only your RIT if needed)

       4. Expect your amp to run FSK441 mode (which is 100% duty cycle) unless it is designed for 100% duty
       cycle at full rated power out . I would suggest most amps are good for about 50% of normal SSB/CW
       output when running FSK441 mode. Extra external cooling fans are a big help.

       5. Run a sked close to a FSK441 CQ frequency if there is another FSK441 station close by in your area.
       Try to run skeds at least + - 5kc or more off the CQ frequency's. That way you will free up the CQ
       frequency so the other local FSK441 station can call CQ or listen for CQ's without local QRM trouble.



How Do I Set My FSK441 Software For Best Results

                I always set my FSK441 software to W>20 S>2 . I think the default of W>40 does not work as well
       as if you set it to W>20. Also S>1 also works well for digging out the weak pings. As far as the QRN setting,
       I usually run it at QRN 4-5. Main thing is to set the QRN setting so you get good decodes on weak pings but
       not too much garbage on the decodes. TOL setting I just leave at default 400. ST setting I am not sure about
       since I never run ST type skeds.

When Is The Best Time To Run Skeds

                I find the best time of day   for FSK441 is late at night around 0300z (10:00pm local ) or early in the
       morning around 1200z (7:00am local ) . I seldom even try to operate after about noon time here local
       time till after dark due to lack of pings.

What Are The CQ Frequencies

                Call CQ on 144.140, 50.260, and 222.080. (222.080 so far looks like it will be the call frequency)

Should I Call CQ On 1st or 2nd 30 Second Sequence

             It can be either way, but most call CQ on 1st 30 seconds

How are Random CQ's Handled

             When listening on a CQ call frequency also look for things like CQ U5 or CQ D10.
       If you see a U or D with a number after it it means the other station is listening for replies to the CQ
       UP or Down that amount in KC
. U5 means they are listening UP 5kc for a responce and D10 means
       they are listening Down 10kc for a responce as an example. When you see the CQ with a U/D amount
       you then call them on that frequency, and look for them to reply back on the U/D frequency. They do
       not run split frequency when doing this as far as actually working you is concerned
.  Example: you see
       CQ WB5APD U5 on 144.140. That means you  should answer my CQ on 144.145 and look for me to come
       back to you on 144.145.

       * Note - Not all CQ's will use the CQ U/D thing. If you do not see a CQ followed by an Up or Down KC amount
          then you just reply to the CQ on the frequency the CQ is on, and expect a reply on the same CQ frequency.

Where Are FSK441 Skeds Run

            On 144mhz expect to run skeds from 144.105-144.150. On 50mhz most skeds are run plus or minus
     20kc of the CQ frequency of 50.260. On 222mhz there has been so little activity there is no set area for skeds.

How Long Do Normal Skeds Run

              Sked times to  complete can vary from 3 minutes (rare) to over an hour. It depends on time of
       day, and how large each station is, plus how far apart the stations are. Be patient. Typical skeds run
       about 30 min .

Who Should Transmit 1st 30 Seconds "On Skeds"

              Use conventional Western most station ALWAYS sends 1st 30 seconds . If both station are in a due
       North/South Relationship then the Southern most station starts 1st 30 seconds.

How Do I know What To be Sending Back and What A Completed Contact Is

                Use standard meteor scatter exchanges and suggested pre-requisites for what is a valid meteor
       scatter contact.
In WSJT software hit your F5 key to bring up a window on what to send back when.

       Click Here: to see a flow chart on what you send back verses what you have received.

How Do I work A CQ or Portable Dx-pedition Station

                When working with Portable Stations and CQ Stations here is a good flow chart by WA5UHF that
       will help the other stations
to avoid QRM, and also to let others know about the activity going on.

What Is The Maximum Distance to Expect

               Maximum distance for the FSK441 mode will be around 1475 miles. Skeds at 1000 miles are the
       easiest to do. Skeds under 500 miles are very hard to do . Above 1000 miles skeds get harder till you
       hit the current 1475 mile wall.

Does Power (ERP) Matter

               Power makes pings . The higher your ERP the better luck you will have. You can get ERP
       calculator software in the VHF/UHF section of my web sie .

What About Receive Pre-amps

             External receive preamps really help even if in shack. I have yet to see a rig that would not
       receive better when running an external preamp along with the rigs internal preamp.

What About Using Single Tone Message Format

             I only consider a single tone type of message as valid IF it decodes + I actually hear the tone + I
       see it appear in top right FSK441 window in correct place. Birdies and off frequency stations +
       clicking on a ping on green line can give you false single tone decodes when using single tone
       messages. Others may disagree on this.
             I personally never use single tone messages or have seen a need for them to complete, but that is
       just me and the way I feel about it. Many USA station love using single tones. I have always found if I
       can get both calls
(which are always muti-tone) then getting a R27 or RRR mutil-tone is never a
Also I never have to worry  about false single tone messages from birdies etc by always
       using muti-tones. That is just me though and others I am sure feel differently.

Does This Need To Be Done During A Meteor Shower Only

             I seldom see little difference in what I can work when there is a meteor shower  verses daily
       non shower conditions
. A Leonids meteor storm is an exception though hi hi. Most meteor showers
       will give you a chance for more pings but it can take as little as 2 pings to complete anyway during
       normal non shower days (BC+ Report in a ping plus R in another) or 3 pings ( BC+ 27+R).

How Close To On Frequency Does My Rig Receive Need To Be

             FSK441 seems to decode an off frequency station plus or minus about 150hz Most rigs from the
       factory are not on frequency that close
. Most can be tweeked by adjusting the local osc, or just offset
       your rig by the correct amount once you determine how much and which way it is off.

What About Close In Skeds and this HOT A-B Stuff

             Skeds under 500 miles can be done, but it normally requires both stations to be able to elevate
       their antennas
. Working a station under 500 miles is about the same as working one over 1200 miles.
       Hard to do but can be done with long skeds even without antenna elevation. This is where the Hot A-B
       stuff comes into play. If you put in the other stations grid and click LOOKUP, the software will show you
both a direct heading to the other station, plus a Hot A or B setting. The theory is for close in stations
       (say 400-600 miles) that if BOTH station will use the HOT A or B offset setting it can lengthen the path
       between the two stations to increase the pings. (see link question #13 below)

How Much Power and Antenna Is Needed

              How much power and how big an antenna are needed. Well on 2m I have worked a station
       running 10 watts into a 10 element yagi, and also a 300 watt station using a halo (omni loop). I would
       consider these as rare not usual contacts on 2m. To me anything above 25 watts to at least a 10
       element yagi on 2m is a viable
FSK441 station, especially if the other receiving end has a large antenna
What ever the antenna system it needs to be horizontally polorized.

What About Different VHF/UHF Bands

              50mhz verses 144mhz and up . You will find it is easier to work meteor scatter on the lower
       50mhz frequency. Most run meteor scatter on 144mhz because you normally can get more openings
       on 50mhz than on 144 mhz. Thus there is not the need to use this mode as much on 50mhz. 222mhz
       also works well for meteor scatter. 432mhz is another story. Pings on 432mhz are very rare . In fact I
       have never completed a 432mhz meteor contact. It can be done though with very long skeds and some
       help from a meteor shower.
 The 1st known 432mhz FSK441 completion was done by K1VOW and N7CZ
       on December 13, 2001. Each station was running 100 watts to a single yagi. Sked took 100 minutes to
. Way to go guys. Give 432mhz a try IT CAN BE DONE!!

Do I Need Antenna Elevation Control

              Elevation control is definately not needed for FSK441 meteor scatter work. The only time being
       able to elevate the antenna would come into play is if the 2 stations are around 500 miles or less
       apart.  Well maybe 600 miles also hi hi. I have worked stations at around 500 miles with no elevation
       control at either end. Takes time though. If you look at the Hot A and Hot B settings in FSK441 you
       will see most of the time they are based on both stations being able to elevate their antennas. Look
       above and to the left of the Hot A/B and you will see the antenna elevation the offset is based on .

       See W8WN information on distance versus optimum elevation angles.

What Do I Put On A QSL Card For RST Report

           I always just put the same report on the QSL as was being used during the QSO. For FSK441
       the same 26/27 type of report being sent back, or for JT44 the grid (or OOO if EME) that was sent back.

       I will try to add more to this as I think of some more things that may be of help.

       Click Here: to see also my web page dedicated to High Speed Meteor Scatter for more information
       on meteor scatter.