Back to Basics

How does that saying go, “You must walk before you run?” That applies in this situation as it relates to ham radio. When I initially got started on HF I found out about Ham Radio Deluxe, a powerful software suite that would allow rig control from your PC, as well as nearly any digital mode known in the hobby. I thought it was a great piece of software, but there was a learning curve to it. I was more comfortable using Digipan, while not the latest and greatest it was simple and worked just fine.

As I expanded my knowledge of digital modes I ventured to other modes, such as CW (the original digital mode), RTTY, Hellschriber, Olivia and others. I was finally able to install and configure HRD and DM780 to work with my Icom IC-718 at the time and later the Yaesu FT-1000MP. I thought it was great I could do everything I needed to with this one program. No longer did I need MMTTY, Digipan and a collection of other programs to work the digital modes I wanted to play with.

Now some 2 years later I have decided to throttle back on HRD & DM780 and return to the basics. Why? I am not really sure, maybe it is ease of use with these programs. For example this past weekend was the CQWW DX RTTY Contest, I was hoping to work 250 contacts, but came up about 80 short, thanks in part to software not working correctly. Maybe I should say it was operator configurations issues that caused me some distress at the start of the contest, but I did rebound and end up making about 170 QSOs.

Win-Test and N1MM both use MMTTY in their programming. So when a RTTY contest comes along, I point Win-Test to MMTTY and it loads up.Unfortunately I had those previously mentioned configuration issues and it caused nothing but problems. So instead I reverted back to HRD and DM780 for my contacts, while logging everything in AC Log. It was definitely not the simple way to go, but in the end it did work.

So while the simple programs were never removed and HRD will remain on my PC I have reconfigured the “simple programs” and have begun using them again. This weekend I look forward to putting a few hours into the CQP (California QSO Party), unlike answer CQ calls this is my opportunity to call CQ and having other hams work me. We will see how it all plays out.