Jerry N9AVY

From: "mwbesemer@... [070]" <070@...>
To: 070@...
Sent: Wednesday, October 25, 2017 10:41 AM
Subject: Re: [070] WWWWIIIIDDDDDEEEE Signal

" We're all done it ."       Not me and if I did I want a lawyer  !
Seriously, it's always a good idea to keep an eye on ALC meter.  Have noticed that if I'm operating on the low end of 20m and set power level to40 watts everything is fine, but if I go up to the higher band the ALC meter will start indicating ALC action and the power will climb up to about 80 watts .  Think this might either be SWR related or a fault in radio.  In reverse, going from high to low end of band I will have virtually a qrp signal (about 1-5 watts).
Am always ignoring IMD & S/N reports because if we're making contact there should really be no need .  Read somewhere that IMD levels can really only be read when a signal is idling. Most of stations who give out those reports never see my signal at idle.  Tend to ignore  IMD & S/N reports as they don't do anything for me.
Taking a screen shot of a stations signal can be a lot of help, provided that the station know how to interpret that data. IMHO, most will look at picture of their overdriven signal and think "Wow, I have a big signal without that there linyear !". 
Jerry  N9AVY  #454

Overdriving the input (via too much output from the sound card) will cause the signal to widen.  The ALC meter is not (IMHO) a DIRECT indicator of overdrive (or not) but NOT having ALC indication is a pretty good indication that you're ok. 

We all know that stuff will happen sometimes; windows changes soundcard setting all by itself, a knob gets bumped, etc.  We've all done it.  Personally, I try to look at the ALC meter the first time I transmit every day, and when I change bands.  I HOPE that if my signal is bad, someone will tell me.  I'm not going to get offended unless the other guy is being a jerk about it.

I can tell you that I can drive my FT891 to about 60 watts without ALC indication, but I always run 20 watts or less.  With that radio, you can control the HF output power independently, so it's theoretically possible for me to crank that adjustment all the way down (not sure how low it goes.. maybe 10 watts) but overdrive the input and splatter all over the place.

A lot of guys will give you a signal report based on IMD or S/N, but if queried they don't know what those numbers mean.  I pre! fer just to look at the trace on the waterfall and see what it looks like. If you can watch a signal during idle (no data being passed) you should see a nice set of railroad tracks.

If you really want to know about your signal, ask the guy on the other end to describe it to you - or better yet - take a screen cap and email it too you.  Of course, that's best done when your signal is strong on the other guys waterfall. 

Jerry posted a very good hint about how to tell if the signal is really bad or if it's your receiver; I'd almost forgotten about that.




On Wed, Oct 25, 2017 at 11:18 AM, Bryon nnegrom@... [070] wrote:

   I'm a little curious on what makes a PSK signal wide. Just too much power? Or are there other things? I cannot say that I've never offended...I've never had anyone tell me or message me anything of the sorts. But, I want to make sure I'm playing nice as well. I have a K3 and there is a lot of talk about watching the ALC meter. I've done some tests and no matter how much power I try, 5 watts-75 watts that meter doesn't change. I like to be in the 40watt range, even though I know it really doesn't need it. If I see one I want, I'll try and put it up more to see if it makes a difference. I have a signalink and I think the settings call for 50% volume, other than that, I haven't really made any changes to the setup.

Bryon, W7RIV

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