In the grand scheme of things, the old MIL-STD-188-141A form that we can legally use is very rare other than one group that sends out HF beacons. I had hopedMessage 1 of 21 , Mar 4, 2009View SourceIn the grand scheme of things, the old MIL-STD-188-141A form that we can
legally use is very rare other than one group that sends out HF beacons.
I had hoped at one time that we could use this for public
service/emergency use but being one of the very few hams worldwide who
actually tried to use the system, was actually attacked because I had a
lot of difficulty trying to get it to work. I was actually criticized
for being stupid, not really wanting it to work, etc. I was appalled at
this behavior as many others were and it has insured even less interest
by many of us.
One individual claimed huge numbers of hams using the system but it
proved to be completely false. I pointed out that I monitored their web
site that displays world wide connections and found that over several
days, other than the beacon stations, I was actually one of the most
active, if not the only other station using it for messaging!
Their solution was to completely block me from even accessing the web
site so that those of us who can answer your question, are kept from
doing so. Needless to say, when you do this to your friends, you don't
The truth is that the older ALE technology from the 1970's is not going
to be used by hams. I have since asked many hams about this and the
response was extremely negative and parallels some of my experiences.
Having said that, the more modern "ALE" modes, such as MIL-STD-188-110A
are not legal for U.S. hams on HF so they are going nowheres. Even if
they were legal, testing by hams in other countries indicate that
signals have to be very good for this to work, especially with sound
card techniques which currently do not have the robust signal capability
at the slowest 75 bps speed.
As you point out, if there really was an significant use, it would be
very apparent to those of us who monitor the HF bands everyday. What is
clear, is that most hams don't do digital, but for the few that do, it
is mostly PSK31 and RTTY, with an occasional Olivia, MFSK16, or other
mode that they might be testing. When a new mode is developed, there may
be a flurry of activity for a few days or weeks, but unless it is
superior to what we already have, and few have been, then you may not
hear much about the mode after that.
Right now the best chat and messaging mode that I have used is FAE400
which is a narrower and slower version of MIL-STD-188-141A. This is the
only currently available sound card mode that works fairly well into the
noise, can provide both chat and messaging ARQ error free connections.
But there are few who use it.
Dave Bernstein wrote:
>>>> I wonder what fraction of amateur radio QSOs are initiated and sustained with ALE. Anyone know how many amateur QSOs are typically initiated each month? Anyone know how many amateur QSOs are typicaly initiated with ALE each month?
> Dave, AA6YQ
... I forgot to mention that once when I was young and single, I was a victim of an alien abduction... Fortunately, it was a female alien! That is somethingMessage 1 of 21 , Mar 4, 2009View Source
> I made more than 1500 QSOs last month. --- InI forgot to mention that once when I was young and single, I was a victim
> email@example.com, "expeditionradio" <expeditionradio@...>
of an alien abduction...
Fortunately, it was a female alien!
That is something one never forgets! ;-)
73, Skip KH6TY
I concur with Graham on this. As a long time digital operator since I got back into ham radio in 1980 (first licensed in 1963), I quickly gravitated to HF andMessage 1 of 21 , Mar 4, 2009View SourceI concur with Graham on this. As a long time digital operator since I
got back into ham radio in 1980 (first licensed in 1963), I quickly
gravitated to HF and VHF RTTY (before VHF packet). I was one of the
earliest adopters of Amtor and later Clover II for a short time. Because
of my disastrous experience with the inferior HAL P-38 not possible to
use in a practical manner with their P-mode (what they preferred to call
Pactor), I was forced to abandon HF digital for a number of years until
sound card modes ... changed everything.
But I do miss the connected modes. Even though Amtor was pretty good, it
was not very fast for messaging, and if the mode got close to failure
due to low SNR, it would begin to pass false characters. Pactor and
Clover II did not do this.
Piccolo and other similar systems used by government/commercial users is
effectively what we now have with some of our current IFK sound card
modes and they greatly outperform Amtor and probably Pactor in terms of
weak signal capabilities. This may be especially true with higher levels
of ISI and Doppler that may make Pactor inoperative, maybe even true for
Pactor 2 and Pactor 3, but I have not seen any data on that.
As I have said elsewhere, no current sound card connected mode can
perform at the level of FAE400 from what I have found. Both messaging
and keyboarding is all ARQ. It also includes memory ARQ which can get
some frames through like is done in Pactor modes. But there just does
not seem to be much interest in having this capability.
The WINMOR protocol has the potential for messaging, keyboarding, and
e-mail ... and has significant adaptive ability for varying conditions.
No one has indicated that they would be willing to do this yet, but I am
hopeful that there will be at least one ham who has the interest and
ability to carry this out. In the meantime, I am hopeful that it will
work quite well for the e-mail part.
> ... the pk232 with amtor and pactor came as breath of fresh air, and hf packet in the middle of the sun spots on 10 mtrs was something else , but `we' seem to be loosing foreword momentum as that's was in the mid 1980's !
> Yes data rates have slowed , yes data is lost due to noise and qsb and yes you can make a guess at the `missing bits ` but somehow it was nice to know that spelling mistakes you made where reproduced at the other end and the odd place names actually where printing correctly. But looking at the advances in data processing and digital audio processing, it tantalising to think that you could achieve error free live communications at or below the noise level. It was established well back, that the picalo multi tone diplomatic links out performed the sitor 2 tone arq system, but the arq function was retained and resulted in longer traffic `windows' , The winmor system looks like `missing link' multi tone and arq …. A quantum leap .. ?
... Perhaps the best answer to your question may be in the form of questions for you: Why is CQ Contest needed? Why is You are 5-9 needed? Why is aMessage 1 of 21 , Mar 4, 2009View Source
> Andy K3UK wrote:Perhaps the best answer to your question may
> Bonnie, I have no doubts about automatic
> link establishment. It seems like a most
> logical method of establishing communications.
> I added the rather provocative end to my
> earlier post because I am not sure WHY ALE,
> in its present amateur radio configuration,
> is needed .
be in the form of questions for you:
Why is "CQ Contest" needed?
Why is "You are 5-9" needed?
Why is a repeater needed?
Why is a weekly net needed?
The purpose is similar.
None of those 1500 QSOs were made with ALE, Skip. Most of them were made within a 2-week interval. 73, Dave, AA6YQMessage 1 of 21 , Mar 4, 2009View SourceNone of those 1500 QSOs were made with ALE, Skip. Most of them were made within a 2-week interval.
--- In firstname.lastname@example.org, "kh6ty" <kh6ty@...> wrote:
> > I made more than 1500 QSOs last month. --- In email@example.com, "expeditionradio" <expeditionradio@> wrote:
> 50 QSO's per day, for each of 30 days?
> Is there a daily ALE contest going on we do not know about?
> Wow! That is just unbelievable!
> At a mere 10 minutes per "QSO", that is 500 minutes, or 8 hours of continuous operating, every day of the month. Sounds like you could qualify for DXCC in a week, or WAS in just a couple of days.
> How about posting your log for everyone to marvel at...
> 73, Skip KH6TY
Message 1 of 21 , Mar 4, 2009View Source--- In firstname.lastname@example.org, "expeditionradio" <expeditionradio@...> wrote:
> > Andy K3UK wrote:
> > Bonnie, I have no doubts about automatic
> > link establishment. It seems like a most
> > logical method of establishing communications.
> > I added the rather provocative end to my
> > earlier post because I am not sure WHY ALE,
> > in its present amateur radio configuration,
> > is needed .
> Perhaps the best answer to your question may
> be in the form of questions for you:
> Why is "CQ Contest" needed?
> Why is "You are 5-9" needed?
> Why is a repeater needed?
> Why is a weekly net needed?
> The purpose is similar.
> Bonnie KQ6XA
Rats! I just hit the wrong key and sent an unintended message. Wish I could delete it. And before that I had written a lengthy comment which Yahoo seems toMessage 1 of 21 , Mar 4, 2009View SourceRats! I just hit the wrong key and sent an unintended
message. Wish I could delete it. And before that I had
written a lengthy comment which Yahoo seems to have lost.
So I'll try again.
Seems like there are several aspects to ALE
One is the notion of going through a list of frequencies in hopes
of finding one that works for the station(s) you are trying to
Another is the set of MIL STD modems, codecs, and protocols that
implement the system as we know it.
Now the frequency jumping part is something we could call "HF
Radio for Dummies" and I don't mean Dummies as a pejorative but
rather in the sense that has sold all those yellow books. It
means you can get right to the point of communicating without
first having to learn a lot of arcane stuff about propagation
modes and times and seasons. And even the experts are sometimes
fooled by propagation, so ALE may succeed at times when the experts
tell you it could not.
As for the MIL STD part, it's good that these things are being
standardized, and we know the military spares no expense in search
of the best communication technology. Still, I wonder if these
modems and codecs and protocols are necessarily the best for the
amateur service, considering the legal restrictions we operate
under, the kinds of equipment we have to use, and the operating
conditions we encounter. (Rhetorical question: Separate the
frequency scanning from the modem/codec. What if we had
a system that could scan through a list of frequencies but used
PSK instead of the MIL STD modem/codec?)
Another aspect is the use of ALE as a communication medium in
its own right versus the use of ALE to find a usable channel
for further communication in some other mode. Speaking only
for myself, I'm a keyboard mode operator so I don't get excited
about using ALE to initiate a contact that will be continued
in SSB voice. And I can't see myself using ALE to establish
a contact and then saying, "let's QSY to such-and-such a
frequency and continue in PSK63."
Finally, it seems ALE is best suited to establishing communication
with a particular station, or with a group of stations having
a common interest. This probably affects the number of hams
who are interested in trying it. I used to keep a weekly sked
with a friend; ALE might have been helpful to us in finding
the best frequency to use on any given evening. Back in the late
1950s I was in a RTTY roundtable of friends practically every
night. ALE would probably not have been helpful then. Some hams
chase DX, some contest, some are interested in emergency
services, some do it all. ALE serves some of these operating
styles and not others.
... A good reply Bonnie, fair comment. Perhaps I should have questioned the role in Emcomms for hams, but it certainly has as much right to exists and has asMessage 1 of 21 , Mar 4, 2009View Source--- In email@example.com, "jhaynesatalumni" <jhhaynes@...> wrote:
>A good reply Bonnie, fair comment. Perhaps I should have questioned the role in Emcomms for hams, but it certainly has as much right to exists and has as much a valid "need" as the items you list.
> > Perhaps the best answer to your question may
> > be in the form of questions for you:
> > Why is "CQ Contest" needed?
> > Why is "You are 5-9" needed?
> > Why is a repeater needed?
> > Why is a weekly net needed?
> > The purpose is similar.
> > Bonnie KQ6XA