My first RTTY experience

I have a lot of first experiences lately. After my first contest, getting my first tube linear I tried another new thing.

I had my first RTTY (Radio Tele TYpe) experience, also known as Telex! I also decided to jump into the deep end and enter the German Worked All Europe DX Contest (WAEDC) and do some RTTY there right away. Mind you, it was mostly a possibility for me to try out the equipment and software to do RTTY. I didn’t really try to win but doing a contest pushed me a bit more to do everything the right way.

I used my Yaesu FT-950 transmitter, with “only” 100 Watt, the SignaLink USB interface and Digital Master 780 as RTTY / Digital Software. All worked ok, although for some reason I could’t use the RTTY mode on my transmitter, it just didn’t work. Instead I had to use SSB, which worked also ok. I just don’t know why the mode that should work best in this case didn’t work. Another thing I’m not so happy with is the software. Digital Master 780 works very well for regular communications but I don’t think it works good for contests. I guess it could be just a case of RTFM (which I didn’t do of course 😉 ) but I think I would prefer a Mac OSX program for this. I think RUMped will work also RTTY but I just didn’t have time before the contest to try it out.

All in all, it was nice to do my first RTTY (Telex) QSO and contest. It really is very easy to learn and because the bandwidth is very small you can get very far with (relatively) low power! The bandwidth is only 250 Hz which is less than 10% of the bandwidth of SSB. Without any problems I talked (or should I say RTTY-ed) with the USA, some 8000km away!

Up to my next first HAM Radio experience. I wonder what that will be!

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