Olivia Digital Mode Radioteletype on HF Olivia@groups.io

Group Description

OLIVIA is an amateur digital radioteletype mode designed by Pawel Jalocha SP9VRC in 2003, and in full use by 2005. It's goal was to be effective even in poor propagation conditions. It can also decode well under other noise, QSB, QRM, flutter caused by polar path propagation and even auroral conditions. Olivia uses 7-bit ASCII alphabet. There were a handful of amateur digital modes that were derived from Olivia, including CONTESTIA, RTTYM and PAX.
This mode is utilized during the tests run by the VoA every weekend. See the VoA RadioGram website for the schedule.
We are on Facebook, in the Olivia Digital Mode on HF group (https://www.facebook.com/groups/olivia.hf/)
Want to see and hear Olivia? Video: Eavesdropping on Olivia (18 NOV 2017)

Basics of the Olivia MFSK Digital Mode

Olivia MFSK is an amateur radioteletype protocol designed to work in difficult (low signal-to-noise ratio plus multipath propagation conditions on shortwave bands. The signal can still be properly copied when it is buried 10 dB below the noise floor (i.e. when the amplitude of the noise is just over 3 times that of the signal). It is commonly used by amateur radio operators to reliably transmit ASCII characters over noisy channels using the high frequency (3-30 MHz, HF) spectrum.
Olivia modes are commonly referred to as Olivia X / Y (or, alternatively, Olivia Y / X ), where X refers to the number of different audio tones transmitted and Y refers to the bandwidth in hertz over which these signals are spread. Examples of common Olivia modes are 16/500, 32/1000 and 8/250.

The protocol was developed at the end of 2003 by Pawel Jalocha. The first on-the-air tests were performed by two radio amateurs, Fred OH/DK4ZC and Les VK2DSG on the Europe-Australia path in the 20-meter amateur band. The tests proved that the protocol works well and can allow regular intercontinental radio contacts with as little as one watt RF power. Since 2005 Olivia has become a standard for digital data transfer under white noise, fading and multipath, flutter (polar path) and auroral conditions.
Current Community
Please join our Olivia-mode email group:
Also, be aware that we have a Facebook group dedicated to instant communication for spotting, scheduling, and so on, at https://www.facebook.com/groups/olivia.hf/ -- please join this group, if you are on Facebook.
Voluntary channelization 
Since Olivia signals can be decoded even when received signals are extremely weak, (signal to noise ratio of -14db), signals strong enough to be decoded are sometimes below the noise floor and therefore impossible to search for manually. As a result amateur radio operators have voluntarily decided upon channelization for this mode. This channelization allows even imperceptibly weak signals to be properly tuned for reception and decoding. By common convention amateur stations initiate contacts utilizing 8/250, 16/500, or 32/1000 configuration of the OLIVIA mode and then switch to other configurations to continue the conversation. The following table lists the common center frequencies used in the amateur radio bands.
Olivia (Center) Frequencies (kHz)
Note: some websites publish frequencies in this band, that are right on top of weak-signalJT65 and JT9 segments. DO NOT QRM weak-signal QSOs!
+ 160m   : 1835 kHz - 1838  kHz (used to be some activity around 1808 kHz)
+ 80m     : 3583.25 kHz and 3577 kHz
+ 40m     : 7035 kHz - 7038 kHz / 7072.5 kHz (7072 kHz - 7075.7 kHz)
+ 30m     : 10141 kHz - 10144 kHz (used to also be activity around 10138 kHz)
+ 20m     : 14.072 MHz - 14.07565 MHz (500, 250, or 125 Hz configurations mostly) and 14.1065 MHz (1000 or 2000 Hz wide configurations mostly) -- Note: First, make sure that your signal does not cross into other sub-bands where weak-signal modes are active. For instance, do not have any part of your signal at 14.076 or higher, as this is the sub-band for JT65A.  Second, this author uses a common 20m CALLING frequency with the USB center frequency of 14.07221 with an offset of 700 Hz, using 8/250 or 16/500, which means that the upper edge of the signal would be 14.07271 MHz.
+ 17m     : 18102.65 kHz
+ 15, 12, 10 and 6m  : Usually 1-2 khz above PSK activity - 21.072 MHz, 24.922 MHz, 28.122 MHz, 50.291 Mhz

It is often best to get on standard calling frequencies with this mode because you can miss a lot of weak signals if you don't.  However, with Olivia activity on the rise AND all the other modes vying for space, a good deal of the time just operate where you can find a clear spot--as close as I can to a standard calling frequency.
Operating OLIVIA
For starters, check out this website: http://www.oliviamode.com/ -- this has older information, but most of it is STILL perfectly pertinent for the current operation.  Just be aware of frequencies, and other software choices.

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  • https://www.facebook.com/groups/olivia.hf/
  • 88 Members
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  • #Olivia 5 threads
  • #OliviaChannels Discussion About Channelizing Olivia Operations 5 threads
  • #OliviaQRM Discussion about spectrum sharing and QRM issues Olivia must deal with 1 threads
  • #OliviaScheds Scheduling On-Air "Meet-ups" with Olivia 1 threads
  • #OliviaTech Software and implementation 1 threads

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