Ko0u with Misc. Info and Experiences



Date: Sat, 23 Aug 1997 04:27:55 +0100
To: ko0u@os.com,
From:  Steve, Ko0u 
Subject: HSMS Gang Update 

Howdy folks;

Our mailing list is now up to 32 people, the vast majority of whom are
actively using HSMS on the air! We've come a long way from where we started
just before the Perseids, and I hope we will maintain our enthusiasm and

As part of that hope, Rein Smit, W6/PA0ZN, established a web page just for
our specialized form of communication; if you have not checked it out and
signed on to his SKEDS page (including leaving your own web page URL, if you
have one), why not do so soon? The URL is: 

       MS Section 

If you are unable to access this page directly, just wipe out the last part
of the address (ws1_15.html) which will take you to Rein's main web page,
where you will find all sorts of interesting things besides HSMS!

       EME, DSP and HS CW MS  

Many of us have tried to use 9A4GL's several versions of MS_DSP, such as
0.31, 0.34, 0.40 and 0.41. Of these, 0.34 works very nicely for everyone
I've heard from as a receive-playback-only program, and 0.41 is working for
at least, I think, half a dozen folks. Personally, I am only able to use
0.34 on receive with my 486DX33 clone and Aztech Sound Galaxy BX-II Extra
8-bit sound board. However, while on my biz trip to the west coast last
week, I splurged and bought an OEM-version of Creative Technology's SB-16
Sound Blaster plus a new ASUS VX97 motherboard with 16 MB of EDO Ram (but I
ran out of money before I could get a CPU, believe it or not! Anyone have a
real cheap 75 MHz or faster CPU?). So I hope to have the new setup running
MS_DSP 0.41 before long (like, soon after my next paycheck!).

Meanwhile, there are some of us who seemingly have a sound board and
computer setup that SHOULD be capable of full duplex operation such as
apparently required for MS_DSP 0.41, but who have not, as yet, managed to
make 0.41 work completely. I'd like to start assembling information on
platforms that both do and do not run 0.41; a synopsis of the information
will be given to 9A4GL for his perusal and possible edification (and maybe
even a fix or two for some of us!). So to start the ball rolling, in a
separate posting following this one, you will find a form which you can fill
out to tell me and the rest of us about how you do HSMS, regardless of
whether you are using MS_DSP or another program/method (as many of you are
aware, there are at least two other aural playback programs available and
several ways to obtain visual morse code character display).

Meanwhile, stand by for a further update on attempts to establish our own
HSMS reflector! When I get the go-ahead, I'll release full particulars about
the reflector, most likely on Monday, 25 August.

Finally, I think it's time for us to do a little bragging of our own about
what we've accomplished since starting our HSMS activities (besides, both
W3EP and N6CL, VHF column correspondents for QST and CQ respectively, are on
our e-mail list and most probably wish that we would all occasionally
summarize our successes as well as our trials, tribulations and flat-out
failures!). I'm sure most of you, who also subscribe to the Meteor-Scatter
reflector (if you do not and need sub info, ask me), have seen postings from
the Europeans listing their skeds and QSO information. Would you please try
to make up a similar list of your own work and post it to the e-mail list?

Finally, I would like to mention several other near-real-time communications
methods which have attained some popularity, both among many of us and also
among the Europeans. To start with, there are three web pages available by
which you can post single-line comments, sked requests, propagation alerts,
and the like (only for V/UHF, of course!). I've counted at least a dozen of
us among the users of those pages during the last two weeks; the URLs are:

VHF Propagation:

      WWW VHF Round Table 

DX QSO Link:

      WWW DX QSO Round Table

DX Propagation:

      WW DX Propagation Round Table

The two propagation pages listed are intended for exactly that: propagation
alerts and announcements. During the 6 meter E-skip season, all of those
pages are full of 6 meter propagation alerts, messages, and other
communications. Now that the 6 meter E-skip season is almost over, a few of
we HSMS folks have taken to announcing our presence on those pages, usually
first on the VHF Prop page, and then we QSY to the DX QSO Link page to await
replies. The pages are a neat and fairly efficient way to set up impromptu
skeds. To get an idea of how they are actually used, you can log into them
and then, at the bottom of the displayed single lines of messages, you will
find another link which will display the last 100 lines of messages for each
page. Reading the messages should give you a quick idea of how to use the
page and post your own messages.

Another communication method which has attained fairly high popularity in
Europe but not, as yet, here in North America, is something called the
Digital VHF Net. This is somewhat similar to the pages mentioned above
except that you access the system over a regular packet link which is part
of the AMPR network. I am not very familiar with the AMPR network nor with
what packet nodes actually comprise the network, nor how many of them there
are in North America. I had access to one that was only a couple of miles
from me until it inexplicably went off the air last month. If you would like
more information, I have at least one posting from DL8IAX (I believe that
was his call) which explains the system further. This packet radio system
has attained popularity in Europe over using the Internet because many, if
not most, Europeans must pay for their I-net access by the minute as
compared to most of us in North America having unlimited I-net access for
relatively-low flat rates.

What is especially interesting about the Digital VHF Network system is that
when you access it, you can choose a "channel" over which to communicate
which is separate from all other channels. The Europeans use channel 14345,
which is the 20 meter EME net frequency used on the weekends for sked and
info exchanges world-wide. During V/UHF expeditions, you will find dozens of
Europeans logged on and making skeds, comments, exchanging information, and
generally shooting the bull on the channel. You will find some of the text
to be in German, French, Belgian, and other European languages, which often
makes for some very interesting reading. Believe it or not, sometimes you
can even read the comments written in other languages because you already
have a fair idea what the subject matter will be, and most of the languages
have Latin roots just like English!

That's about all I have for now. I'm doing a little bit of shack work this
weekend in addition to trying to keep up with the activities of all the rest
of you through your postings. Projects on my "to-do" list include completion
of a 4CX1500B amplifier for 144 MHz, another amp for 432, possibly still
another for 220, and also the design and prototyping of a simple digital
tape recorder using the ISD1000A Voice Record/Playback IC, available from
Radio Shack in the US for $17.99 (the RS catalog lists several other models
that are not normally stocked but which allow message lengths up to 60
seconds or more). The design of the DTR looks as if it will require at least
two ISD1000A ICs in order to allow you to "mark" a ping "after the fact" and
still retain the ping in recorded memory, so it may not be quite as simple
as I'd first hoped, nor quite as cheap!

And then there's the lawn which badly needs mowing, the hedges which need
trimming, the car which needs brakes, a new muffler, work on the electric
windows, an oil and filter change, etc. etc. Good thing my XYL does not have
a "Honey-Do" jar!

73, Steve Ko0U/1

HS MS Info Page

Comments: Rein, W6/PA0ZN