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First contacts with the Warbler

August 14, 2010

Olivia QSO with VE3FMC using a Warbler

Olivia QSO with VE3FMC using a Warbler

Despite Summer not being the best time of year for 80m QSOs I have made a couple of contacts over the last two nights with the recently completed Warbler.

The first was a PSK31 contact with AE1Q who was about 285 miles away in Belgrade Lakes, Maine.  The next was an Olivia 8/500 contact with VE3FMC in St Thomas, Ontario, about 325 miles away. Both QSOs proved to be tougher copy for the other stations as the Warbler puts out only about 2 Watts.  However, they were successful QSOs and as can be seen by the picture above the Warbler receives well.

AE1Q gave me an IMD report which was -24 dB which is reasonable given the simplicity of the rig, but I would like it to be below -30dB.

I was fortunate and pleased that the second contact was using Olivia.  This is a nice mode for QRP. For those wanting to try Olivia I recommend you read the information on the Olivia website by Gary, WB8ROL, including his QST article. Gary writes great articles (including one in the recent amateur radio edition of Linux Journal) and I have enjoyed a few Olivia QSOs with him.

Finally, if you do want to try Olivia or any multifrequency keying mode with the Warbler, you must remember that you are operating on LSB with the Warbler.  Most digimode operators will be using USB so the frequencies will be reversed.  The digimode software, Fldigi, offers a simple solution to this, you must select the “Rv” or ‘reverse’ button (see the lower right of the Fldigi window above, which is selected and green). You do not need to worry about this button if you just use PSK31 as it is symmetrical about a centre frequency.

2 Comments leave one →
  1. August 15, 2010 3:17 am

    I shouldn’t take too much notice of an off-air IMD report if your signal wasn’t loud with the other station. Your signal may not have been enough above the noise to give a better reading. I always find off-air reports to be worse than what I get from my KK7UQ IMD Meter.

    • va3stl permalink*
      August 15, 2010 8:32 am

      Hi Julian,

      That is a good point and thanks for raising it.

      In a similar way IMD measurements of a very strong signal can sometimes be more a measure of the overloading of a receiver or soundcard. When asked to give an IMD of a signal that is coming in strong I will often back off the RF gain just to reduce the risk of this distortion.

      By the way, always enjoy reading your blog especially as you live in the Lake District (my parents came from the Millom area). Been over ten years since I was last in the Workington/Whitehaven area.


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