CB RTTY / PSK for Joggler .

General discussion relating to the O2 Joggler, from the default O2 setup, to alternative operating systems and applications.
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hawsey
Posts: 1877
Joined: Sun May 22, 2011 11:23 pm
Location: Northumberland

CB RTTY / PSK for Joggler .

Post by hawsey » Wed Jun 13, 2018 8:00 am

Anyone on here had any CB experience , I'm fancying getting a CB for the shed and trying out RTTY or similar , would it be possible ? What would I need ? :-)

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Juggler
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Joined: Thu Apr 21, 2011 2:34 am

Re: CB RTTY / PSK for Joggler .

Post by Juggler » Wed Aug 29, 2018 9:04 pm

Hi Hawsey,

Back in the late 70s and 80s I did quite a bit with CBs, including sending/receiving RTTY and SSTV on what was/still is the CB27/81 FM band. Wasn't legal and it created massive disruption amongst the local CB population. Conversations for the next few days regularly included the arrival of aliens and the end of the world...

Me and my "good buddy", who lived about one and a half miles away, were using zx spectrums with a rtty program and the tape input/output wired up to a legal CB27/81 rig's microphone socket. We didn't bother with filters or anything like that, it was just an experiment.

We had another CB each, so we could still talk to each other. We used the opposite end of the band for each. So say RTTY on channel 1 and voice on 40. Well we tried it and it pretty much worked straight away. Was amazing. We rtty chatted for around an hour.

Shortly afterwards, as I was listening around I realised that what we'd done had been very noticed. Fortunately for us the local CB population didn't know what it was or who it was. We where more concerned about getting a visit from them than the DTI !!!

The reason there was so much interference, and I surmised that we affected most of the 40 channels was that we drove the rigs directly from the zx spectrums output.

That was my experience.

I've no idea what 27MHz CB is like now. I've listened a few times over the past 10 years there's not much at all. Just taxi firms or the like. I see a few CB aerials around, but I know some of them will be just left to degrade away.

So a few suggestions for you :

If you want to have a go transmitting data modes, get a pair of PMR 446 walkie talkies that could be used with soundcard input/output. Would be best to keep power usage low as RTTY over PMR 446 MHz is probably not legal, but you will only get the attention of OFCOM if your causing significant interference with someone else and it continues for an extended period. Unless someone is really close to you, you should be ok.
Or if youd like to try receiving RTTY first, you could use a joggler to decode press agency rtty broadcasts on shortwave. For this your going to need a short wave receiver and a suitable aerial. I think you can get small kitchen style radios that might be good enough. But a good long wire aerial and an atenna tuning unit (ATU) will be of significant help. Maybe you could get a quality short wave set on ebay, that has little interest. Sets by the classic manufacturers, ICOM, Yaesu, last for ever. It may be possible to use an SDR dongle, but their reception isnt that good in the Short Wave frequencies (0-30MHz). Plus short wave listening at night for voice, data, even morse, is like looking out into space on a clear night.

https://ve3cnu.blogspot.com/2013/01/rec ... -rtty.html

Have you thought about going for a novice ham licence ? There's not that much to it, so I understand. It would help you to get involved with your local ham radio community. You could legally transmit on a whole load of other frequencies then. I've had some really good times with my old local ham radio club.

http://www.stargazing.net/david/rpi/hrrpi.html

https://rsgb.org/main/faq-2/how-to-beco ... ateur-faq/

HTH

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hawsey
Posts: 1877
Joined: Sun May 22, 2011 11:23 pm
Location: Northumberland

Re: CB RTTY / PSK for Joggler .

Post by hawsey » Thu Aug 30, 2018 8:38 am

Thanks Juggler :-) lots of info you have given and I appreciate it , cheers .
Very interested about your ZX Spectrum messing as the Speccy is another passion of mine , having just recently re acquired a rubber keyed one after 35 years ha .
I am now set up with a CB and 2 walkie talkies on 27 MHz FM there is a fair bit of local activity in my area but no one interested in data stuff .
Yes the two way radios you speak about
Might be an option for me .
Have you seen the Baufeng radios on eBay / Amazon ?

BaoFeng UV-5R 136-174/400-480 MHz Dual-Band DTMF CTCSS DCS FM Ham Two Way Radio https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B007HH6RR4/ ... HBb9VT1HXS
There is another brand also .
Amazing value for what they are .Pretty sure they are illegal to transmit without the ham license though so I will look in to that .
It really interests me that almost everything is now done on line and if everything went t*#s up so to speak people with CBs / HAM would be heavily relied upon , this has happened in a few recent natural disasters u can think ok .


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Juggler
Posts: 242
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Re: CB RTTY / PSK for Joggler .

Post by Juggler » Thu Aug 30, 2018 6:48 pm

Hi Hawsey - good to hear from you.

Good to hear too that there is still some CBers active. Is this is in Northumberland ? I wonder if they use CB lingo, like the glory days of 70's and early 80's CB ?

My two passions in radio are data modes and low power portable operation. Back in the mid 80s I'd walk up the Cleveland Hills with a legal uk CB rig, 5/8 wave home made dipole (designed by another good buddy and long time radio ham, who encouraged and helped me to get licenced) , that could be pegged into the hill side and was self supporting, and a pack of 10 D cell NiCd 4AH batteries. I could operate for maybe 8-10 hours. I had contacts with most of the North East England coast north of Cleveland. Had a few contacts into the Cheviot Hills too. Don't recall having much over to the west and the Pennines. But it was super busy. Never short of contacts. And this was line of sight contacts, as far as I was aware. I joined the local CB club so I could use their PO Box for QSL cards. When I went to collect, the QSL managers' children treated me like a star because I'd received so many cards. They obviously enjoyed all the cards too. Great days...

I've done a bit more searching and come up with a few items that may be of interest :

Looks like there are some people doing data on CB :
http://www.transmission1.net/viewtopic.php?t=43866

Useful to know and is probably the reason why the RTTY I did wiped out the band :
https://www.tapr.org/~n5eg/index_files/Page360.htm

Some discussion and solutions to the issue of interfacing a sound card to a rigs microphone and speaker socket :

http://www.iw5edi.com/ham-radio-referen ... 1-and-sstv
http://www.w0btu.com/digital_modes.html
https://m0ukd.com/homebrew/rig-to-soundcard-interface/
http://www.g4ilo.com/usblink.html
http://www.m0pzt.com/datamodes-interfac ... -and-rtty/
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FHshPd52l-w
https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/Psk-31-EASY- ... 0896968460

Exactly what is best will depend on the equipment you use. I don't fully understand the issues, but maybe the links above will shed some light on what the issues are so you could experiment and find the best solution.

For data modes that are not that fast, you can listen to them and they will have a certain sound when being sent well. Just like good morse code has a certain sound.

If you'd like to use your CB's you could try initially using low power and a dummy load instead of an aerial. Your transmission will barely get out of the house, but would enable you to test tx/rx, the interfaces and software.

I suggested a pair of PMR 446 walkies as they are low power and are cheap.

I have a few of the Baufang radios. I'm really impressed by them. If your not a ham I think it would be illegal to use (transmit with) them, but not so to buy or posess them. You could use them in the PMR 446 band, but they are not specifically made for that. Of course you can use them to listen around. Some models of the chinese radios are better than others, particularly with receive selectivity and sensitivity. Don't expect a lot with the supplied aerials. Try using an external band specific aerial.

You should check out the organisation RAYNET :
https://www.raynet-uk.net/

the situation you describe is what they're set up to do. I've been involved in a big RAYNET event which provided communications for a long distance 2 day overnight fell walk/run through the North Yorks Moors. It was a great event and an amazing experience. Never been involved in anything like it before or seen the coordination of so many people.
Not long after I was licenced the Lockerbie disaster occurred. Many of the local hams who were involved with RAYNET went up to help with communications and the search.

Amateur Radio is all about experimenting and tinkering and has quite a social side. So with what you've talked about here, I think there is a great fit. There's always some really amazing stuff being done.

My next goal is to get back up to speed with morse and improve further. I'd like to go and activate(low power portable) a few remote places whilst I still may be able to.

HTH

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