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Working QSO with Digital Mode PSK31.

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Digital Mode PSK31 102

Here we go...

Once you have all of your equipment, software, and whatever hooked up and you are ready to start making QSOs, use this page to review exchanges and proper operations. Happy DX, and good luck with PSK31 - 73.

Sample PSK31 QSO

You can turn down the volume on the following video, but this is a great example of a PSK31 QSO.

General Syntax

Before you get started, you need to learn a few things. The first of which is the general syntax for the QSO. The following is a list of some of the general information that will be exchanged during the contact.

Most of the syntax (or codes) that are used, is borrowed from the general CW or Morse code abbreviations, so this is really nothing new. Most of these codes have been around since the beginning of Amateur Radio.

  • K = Over
  • KN = Over (and only the station addressed should respond)
  • SK = Silent Key (used at the end of a QSO – means you’ve finished transmitting to the other station)
  • BTU = Back to You
  • TNX = Thanks
  • PSE = Please
  • OM = Old Man (used to refer to any male operator)
  • FB = Fine Business (good)
  • GM = Good Morning
  • GD = Good Day
  • GE = Good Evening
  • 73 = Best regards
  • de = From (or "this is")

Now, you might see different CQ calls out there, and it is somewhat important to pay attention as to who the operator is calling, especially during a contest.

  • CQ CQ de - This means the operator is calling anyone who will answer the call.
  • CQ DX CQ DX de - This means the operator is calling someone who is not in their country. If you are in the USA, make sure the operator who is calling is not in the USA as well.
  • Just make sure you check the CQ call, before you answer. Some might be looking for specific locations, states, countries, or other. If you make a mistake... so what, we are all human.

Having a QSO

Before you start calling CQ. You are going to want to work the waterfall a little bit and answer some CQ calls. This will make sure that you have your macros, sound settings, and everything is tuned in well so that you can read the operators and they can read you.

When you are ready to begin, the following is the "suggested" procedure or flow of a standard QSO: (Note, let's assume callsign K8TGR is calling CQ and KE8ENU responds for the following example)

The Calling Station Sends (Calling CQ)

CQ CQ de K8TGR K8TGR
CQ CQ de K8TGR K8TGR
PSE k

The Responding Station Sends (Answering CQ)

K8TGR de KE8ENU KE8ENU pse kn

The Calling Station Responds with a report (Send Report)

KE8ENU de K8TGR
Thanks for QSO
Name here is Tony
RST: 599 599
QTH: Newton Falls, OH Newton Falls, OH
Loc: EN91me EN91me
Hw Copy?
KE8ENU de K8TGR pse kn

The Responding Station Responds with a report (Send Report)

K8TGR de KE8ENU
Hello Tony,
Name here is Shawn Shawn
RST: 599 599
QTH: Youngstown, OH Youngstown, OH
Loc: EN91pc EN91pc
Btu Tony
K8TGR de KE8ENU kn

The Calling Station (Sends Closing)

KE8ENU de K8TGR
FB Shawn, tnx for the QSO, 73s and good DX
KE8ENU de K8TGR sk

The Responding Station (Sends Closing)

K8TGR de KE8ENU
Tnx for the QSO also, 73s to you and your family
K8TGR de KE8ENU sk

Things to notice and consider

  1. First, notice that some of the information is double when sent. You may even see it tripled on occasion. This is because of the QRP or band conditions you may experiencing when you are working a contact at a far location. Similar when bands get bad on phone, you sometimes what to repeat the important information.
  2. The next thing you want to do is now your Grid location. Make sure you look this up and have it for your report. Most of the contacts we made, they had the Grid location or asked for it in the report.
  3. Have fun and practice. You don't have to use this script exactly, just be aware that most follow the same procedure.

Learn More Information...

Once you have made some QSOs, maybe even called CQ, let go on and take it up another notch and learn just a little bit more.

Go ahead and move onto Digital Mode PSK31 103 for a little bit more information to help you fine tune your skills.

Do you have questions or more information to share?

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