I think it's time to stop this thread and start a new thread.
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On 5/2/2019 11:52 AM, Aaron Jones wrote:
I've really enjoyed monitoring and participating in the ORCA net, it's a real experience in effective NET control, station engagement, and exercising of a LOT of software and RF capabilities. Recently I've been running a local VHF net for folks not ready for HF bigtime. In reference to modes, as the subject of this thread is about FT4, I was hoping to expand on it a bit in general around successful and RELIABLE modes in your many years of experience. Anecdotally in my experience on our VHF net - MFSK(32,64,128) always work - we've experimented with multi-PSK modes, MT63 modes, and FSQ, but always come back to MFSK (32,64, and 128). Without going into painful detail and understanding some modes are just too slow for a reliable VHF connection (Olivia, Thor, slower PSK modes etc) is it just my imagination or is MFSK really one of the more stable and reliable modes across different band conditions?
Granted there is "no one size fits all" in reference to a digital mode selection, but, when I reviewed digital mode comparison on the W1HKJ site: http://www.w1hkj.com/FldigiHelp-3.21/Modes/Compare.htm MFSK kind of sites in the sweetspot for bandwidth, speed, efficiency, and copy %. Couple that with the ability to send Images, and several bandwidth options, FEC, and again my perceived reliability I kind of just keep going back to MFSK as my "old reliable" during my experimentation.
Do you have any anecdotal / experience to provide on mode selections and preferences?
Does the overall group have input on their preferred modes?
Again - i'm sure the comment really is "it depends"...
On 5/1/2019 9:01 AM, Doug K7KY wrote:
Andy... We've been using MFSK-32 for net business @ ORCA DIGITAL NET for over 6yrs on 80m. It works very well for us. Ck-ins average from 15 - 21; our top was 27. We take earlies 15min b4 net. While mode selection is crutial to net flow, so is content. ORCA is a directed net; we ck-in regular members with their CALL only. New stations check in with CALL, NAME, QTH. Monitoring stations use, CALL IN&OUT. Instruction for ck-in are in the Preamble and @ the website. Stations also ck-in by VidID on the WF. I can work multiple ck-ins simultaneously by logging the VidIDs while working a station on 1500. ORCA is a digital-traffic training and practice net; we don't need traffic listing @ ck-in.
Some new digital Ops like to populate their macros with their Bio, FLDIGI version#, License grade, etc, all irrelevant to NCS @ ck-in. Establishing a brief ck-in process is as important as choosing the best mode. Monitor our net, if you can. I've not seen an easier digital ck-in process. ORCA is a complex and busy net; we don't have time to waste. Nets usually run 1-1.5hr and we're busy throughout the net. Members have busy lives and don't want to sit idle while extraneous test is printing.
Dave developed VidID for us years ago and we use it every net. VidID is also useful when we send Ops off freq to pass traffic. They easily notify me they want to recheck with VidID. I can complete what I'm doing and bring them in. Overall it saves time and work for NCS and makes the net more efficient. These individual savings are small, but add up over the net to a significant increase in net efficiency. It's not unusual for me to make 80 discreet transmissions in an hour as we practice handling NBEMS traffic. Our website and net Preamble sets out net protocols clearly. Members know net routines and we usually get a lot done every net, even in solar minimum. Last night, we ran a Mode Shoot-Out between DominoEX & MFSK. I run with TxID & RxID active. Members only run RxID unless they're changing modes for their practice traffic. We don't waste time pre-announcing mode changes. We're training to pass traffic in emergency conditions and we want to be very familiar with all the tools in the NBEMS suite.
Dave also made all 4 macro rows visible-at-once for us. I use two sets of macros every net. A button on each instantly call the other set. I don't need all 96 buttons every net, but all 96 are occupied and I often rewrite them mid-net. Hats off to Dave for outstanding software and his kind and patient technicial support.