Data Modes

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Digital Modes Club  Hellenis PSK Club




Membership Numbers:

  • British Amateur Radio Teledata Group (BARTG) #8994
  • European Phase Shift Keying  Club (EPC) #13496
  • 30 Metre Digital Club (30MDC) #6340
  • Digital Modes Club (DMC) #6277
  • Hellenic PSK Club of Greece #648

My equipment for digital operation comprises SignaLink USB data interface coupled to a E-machine computer (AMD processor) running 2GB RAM and Windows 7 operating system. I use Ham Radio Deluxe and Digital Master 780 (DM780) software version 5.0 Beta. I use my Icom IC-7700 or Yaesu FT-897D for data operation, and having recently acquired a Yaesu FT-450AT this will soon be pressed into service as my main transceiver for digital modes.

SignaLink Data Interface by Tigertronics
SignaLink Data Interface by Tigertronics

Simon Brown who wrote the HRD software recently sold the whole shooting match to a group of amateurs in the USA. To view info about the latest releases of the software together with prices (it’s not free anymore!) please follow this link:

I also run a Signalink USB on my Yaesu FT-897D and have a couple of CG 2000SB interfaces which may be used from time to time. Although not a patch on the SignaLink, they work! I have some very cheap and cheerful interfaces manufactured by Radio Arena. All I can say is that for less than £30 you would be stupid not to give them a go.

At present I run mainly PSK-31 and PSK-63 and RTTY, although I do dabble ocassionally with other data modes when I fancy something different. My Icom IC-7700 is the main HF rig (of choice) which I suppose is like using a sledge hammer to crack a nut… but with output power limited at a maximum of 50 watts for now I am certainly working a large portion of the world that I didn’t work before.

If you have never tried digital modes, or have a Foundation / Intermediate licence then I can highly recommend it. Digital transmissions are very similar to morse in that low power gets through… although I am a quite recent convert there is something nice about sitting in the shack working the world with no noise.

I look forward to reading some of my readers in my waterfall soon! I’ll be the one with the elusive 2D callsign – a rare catch, but much easier than you think these days!

73 Dave   <sk> <sk>


JT65 – Like Digital? You will love this mode!!

Software used is JT65HF and recently upgraded to JT65 Comfort (a few extra macro commands and a neat reporting / spotting section at the top of the screen). I am absolutely in love with this mode – 10 watts is enough to work the world, and as for an antenna, well, I reckon a piece of wet string would be good enough.

If you like PSK please try this mode. I was up and running in minutes using my Signalink interface and JT65HF software. 48 countries worked in a couple of hours on 20m and 15m. Brilliant mode – great for Foundation licence holders who want to work DX.

Screenshot from a typical JT65 afternoon…

PSK Reporter showing reports of me using JT65... what a mode!!
PSK Reporter showing reports of me using JT65… what a mode!!

A nice report via PSK Reporter…

Heard in New Zealand running 10 watts through a G5RV
Heard in New Zealand running 10 watts through a G5RV

7 thoughts on “Data Modes”

  1. Now active on all data modes on all HF bands!

    Station Equipment:
    TX/RX Icom IC-7700
    Power Max 50 watts
    Antenna G5RV / Delta Loop / Cobweb
    Interface Signalink USB
    Computer Emachines AMD Dual Core running Windows 7 (home user)
    Software Ham Radio Deluxe version 5.0 Beta (Simon Brown’s version!)

    Vy 73 to all listeners – and the stations that I work!! 🙂

  2. Alternative Station:

    * Yaesu FT-897D running 30w into a Signalink USB (portable)
    * Icom IC-9100 running 30w into a Radio Arena interface (HF-VHF-UHF)
    * Kenwood TS-590S running 30w into a Signalink USB
    * Icom IC-706 MkIIG running 20w into a Radio Arena interface (mobile/portable)

    I also have a pair of CG Antenna SB-2000 interfaces which when I get working will be a stand in for the Signalink units.

    73 all 🙂

  3. Hi David

    Nice website!

    Would you mind to try JT65 and JT9 mode as well.
    I am working in this modes about a year ago,
    but didn’t see Isle of Man on the waterfall at all.

    Rig here is a TS-590, with around 10-40 watts in JT modes.
    Aerials are simple inverted vee dipoles.

    See you in the air!

    73, George HA5WA

    1. Hi George

      Thank you for your comments – much appreciated OM 🙂

      I have had a very quick go at JT65 and Charlie GI4FUE has tried to persuade me to try JT9. I have only been operating PSK on and off for a year or so at home with my own call sign, so plenty of time for a play.

      The TS-590 is a beautiful rig! I must use mine more – possibly for data and save the IC-7700 for voice? We will see 🙂

      My antennas are normally wire dipoles, but I do have a few verticals which I put up from time to time.

      Hope to work you soon!

      73 Dave 2D0YLX

  4. Hi Dave

    Thanks for reply.

    I use JT65 and JT9 modes about a year ago, it is very interesting, and exciting
    that I can make contacts with all over the world with such a low power.
    Sometimes I can’t hear anything on the frequency, but the program could decode signals.
    There is much more station in JT65 mode than in JT9 mode yet, but the JT9 mode more effective.

    Although I am an „old” CW enthusiastic, I’ve found a new nice game with JT65 and JT9 modes.
    I am fan of WAZ award, and I could collect almost all zones in these modes, from 40-10 meters band
    (have no antenna for 160-80 m bands in at the moment).

    The TS-590 is a fine rig, you can’t buy for it’s price better one.

    73, George HA5WA

    1. Hi George

      I must admit loving my Icom radios, but the 590 as you say is superb value for money and by what a radio! Filtering is amazing and ssuch a pleasant rig to use.

      I don’t do much CW – I have problems with my ears and hands (they don’t always co-ordinate!) lol but I struggle to decode. Maybe one day it will all click into place.

      I think for any newcomer in the UK, then data mode is the way to go. When limited to 10w output it is very surprising where you can work around the world, and it really opens your eyes to the possibilities of more power and bigger signals. Maybe they best way to encourage our newcomers?

      I will give the JT modes another go – if you want a sked sometime then feel free to email me and let me know where you are and I will attempt a QSO 🙂

      My home email is – I will get back to you within a day 🙂

      73 Dave 2D0YLX

  5. George, a very quick update for you… now fuly QRV on data mode JT65… and loving it! I’ve never been so busy on a Sunday afternoon 🙂

    Hope to meet you on screen soon, best 73 de Dave 2D0YLX

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Amateur Radio Station Blog from the Isle of Man

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