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I'm taking a class to get my Ham license. Yesterday the talked about digital modes.
The instructor hooked up a computer and explained how you could communicate with both tty and store and foreward modes.

Since is it so hard to pick out voice especially when it is windy the digital modes seem like an excellent way to communicate.

Is this typically used by cruisers?
If so in what way?
 

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Mermaid Hunter
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Is this typically used by cruisers?
If so in what way?
Pactor for e-mail using Winlink or Sailmail.
WINMOR for e-mail using Winlink.
DSC.
Weather fax (strictly speaking an analog mode).
AIS (pay attention to them talking about APRS).
cell-phone and sat phone texting.
Sirius Weather.
 

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If you've got the power to support it, go for it. Ham digital modes tend to be pretty hard on the duty-cycle. Especially modes like JT-65. Keep the power low, because the transmit cycles are long, and will eat up your amp-hours. But don't get me wrong, I certainly plan to do some of that this season.
 

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Mermaid Hunter
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I haven't tried JT-65 - just some PSK-31 and Pactor.

There are some good Yahoo groups: Airmail, Digitalradio2, the suite of WL2K groups, a bunch for APRS, BPQ32, Tigertronics Signalink, winfldigi, and multipsk.

Of course the ultimate digital mode is CW.

73 es sail fast de dave KO4MI
 

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We use a pactor modem to post position reports off shore, send email to family to let us know we are OK and occasionally download GRIB files. Also I've done some blog updates and stay in touch via email from remote anchorages.

Voice talking we mostly do with net check ins, I've yet to catch up with a friend via voice on SSB or ham.

KB1VLG
 

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Hello Dave,

IMHO, you're on the right track. I'd say digital can be pretty reliable for you if you take it easy on the power out. Typically with PSK or Winmor (Pactor even), you wouldn't need more than 50% RF power out. Many stations typically don't run more than 20w - 50w out, with NO ALC action evident per se.

I run a Winlink Gateway on 7060.000 DIAL USB for Winmor and Pactor II. I scan between that and 7095.500 DIAL USB. My Gateway is a 24/7 operation so if you ever have need for messaging, feel free to attempt a connection.

Winmor has been said to be a "poor man's Pactor", a protocol that can be fairly reliable and able to give you good service in lieu of the cost of having to purchase an SCS modem for the Pactor protocol. As a sailor and a Ham, you'll find the Winlink communications system a value-added-asset to your sailing activities.

In truth too, I'm using you to sort of announce my availability to the sailing community on the Great Lakes. I'm told I'm in a good location to provide such support. Keep it in mind.

Howard W6IDS
Richmond, IN
 

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I also use a Pactor modem with Winlink for email. It is pretty reliable, although probably not as reliable as Sailmail which I have used in the past. Sailmail is not free but also does not require a HAM license and seems to have very reliable gateway stations. The main challenge I find with Winlink is in finding reliable gateways. I use Airmail3 for the software. You can also use RMS Express. When transmitting, you definitely need to watch the power consumption. The quicker you can perform the operation with a strong signal, the less power draw.

Digital voice mode? Have not heard of that. The only digital voice signals I know of are TV and radio and are line of sight. Would like to know more about digital voice on HF radio.
 

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" Since is it so hard to pick out voice especially when it is windy the digital modes seem like an excellent way to communicate."

Usually SSB/Ham radios are well placed below out of the wind for any weather communication...
 
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...

Digital voice mode? Have not heard of that. The only digital voice signals I know of are TV and radio and are line of sight. Would like to know more about digital voice on HF radio.
I was scrolling through some other ham youtube videos and came across this Ham Radio Now episode on digital voice...

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SmyVEwjhG_k
 
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When Sailmail has been working well, for whatever propagation reason, I lower the power on the Icom. As engineers know, it often makes no difference. I think the Icom output power levels are 150, 50, and 20 watts. In most decent conditions the lowest level works, middle almost always, and the highest rarely solves a propagation problem by itself. Saves greatly on battery capacity. In cases where the battery is low using a low power might even avoid some distortion from clipping or whatever....Try it...
 

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Over Hill Sailing Club
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I was scrolling through some other ham youtube videos and came across this Ham Radio Now episode on digital voice...

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SmyVEwjhG_k
Pretty cool stuff. Still in the "beta" stages but should improve voice clarity once it gets perfected. The engineering discussion on that video is way above my head. Thanks for finding it.
 

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I picked up a maritime mobile station in PSK31 in the western Atlantic from the UK the other day -- more of a hobby application than of practical value, but a good proof of concept for me.

Owen
 

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When Sailmail has been working well, for whatever propagation reason, I lower the power on the Icom. As engineers know, it often makes no difference. I think the Icom output power levels are 150, 50, and 20 watts. In most decent conditions the lowest level works, middle almost always, and the highest rarely solves a propagation problem by itself. Saves greatly on battery capacity. In cases where the battery is low using a low power might even avoid some distortion from clipping or whatever....Try it...
What ham/all band rig would you suggest today? My last rig was a Yaesu FT-101, probably a bit dated these days. For our purposes I found that di-pole antennas worked best, is there any improvement in antennas today?
 
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