FSQ Digital P arty This Weekend
This weekend 11 February 2017 to 12 February 2017 starting at Saturday 0600 UTC – Sunday 0600 UTC. This gives every area a chance to get in their day or night.
Frequencies for Region 1 and Region 2 respectively. Regional comms 7044 for R1, 7104 for R2. I hadn’t heard about Asia’s yet 🙁
There is an RTTY contest happening on 40M this weekend. If you find there is too much QRM on 40M, fall back to 30M 10.144 FSQ!
The goal of this event is to get people interested and learning about the unique mode which called FSQ. In brief, FSQ is an MFSK based mode and mesh network for HF communications. It facilitates many types of station to station or station to group interaction like:
- Station to station messaging
- Station to group messaging
- Message forwarding
- Relay messages
- Station to station or station to group image transfer
- Station to station or group keyboard chat (like Skype)
- Much more!
We will start out on 4.5 baud, 40M for the entire time. Set your FSQ beacons (called sounding) to every 10 minutes. Also make sure to enable logging “heard list” so you can save and share your heard list with others after the event.
Reminder: you can contribute to our FSQ party by just leaving your station on and Sounding every 30 minutes for example. That will give other stations a chance to have others stations populating their heard lists, without you having to take valuable time from your day.
Notes from John n0jds
Below is a post from John n0jds from our UltraPortable Digital QRP group on Facebook. It’s a great explanation of what FSQ is all about. I thought to turn it into a blog post to share it with a wider community.
See you on 40M this weekend.
Here are some things that jumped out at me as important from when I got started using FSQ. This is another long post, I will put it here so that it generates discussion but will also save it to the files section as a .pdf.
• use lower case as much as possible, the protocol works fastest and most accurately for lower case letters. do this everywhere possible, call sign, grid location, etc..
• IMPORTANT!! Due to the built in relay features, The stations within a heard list make up a “mesh”. There are several ways to take advantage of this mesh.
o Multi-hop relays are possible.
o The response automatically returns via the same route that it was sent
o Very strong stations with long heard lists can get beat up if overused
• FLDdigi has a nice feature that allows you to put an expiration timer on stations in the heard list. This is handy so that the heard list does not become artificially large.
• Be sure to turn on logging. It is nice to go back and see which stations were in the heard list after a restart. You can repopulate the heard list quickly by typing “callsign?”. If that station is still in range, it will respond with your S/N and appear in the heard list.
• Running both FSQCall and FLDigi simultaneously will allow you to maintain an FSQ Call conversation while simultaneously using adjacent portions of the waterfall for NBEMS traffic.
• Automated Interactions with other stations are triggered by the use of syntax that is appended after the callsign. I’ve included some of the ones I use frequently below.
• The S/N ratio in the heard list next to each station tells you how reliably you are hearing that station. When a station sends a “?” to your station, that is the number they will get in return. If you want to know how strongly another station is hearing you then the command is “callsign?”.
• The remote station call sign is always followed immediately by the syntax character, no spaces.
• Transmit speeds to not have to be syncronous. Each station can send at a speed that is optimized for the receive conditions of the distant operator. FSQ-6 is perfectly compatible with FSQ-2. This setting for your station can be controlled remotely by a distant operator.
The FSQ syntax is simply a set of commands that the application will interpret and act on. The syntax characters are simply punctuation characters ? $ @ & ^ _ * # + | ! ~ %
Each of these characters has a specified function that the FSQ application will take action on automatically. I’ve included a few common examples below using my call as the “remote station”. There are many others.
• remote station would respond with YOUR S/N ratio as detected by the remote station.
• This will direct the remote station to send back their entire heard list along with SNR. From here you can use this information to relay messages to stations that are not on your heard list but appear on theirs.
• Directs the remote station to reduce its transmit speed by one step.
• Directs the remote station to increase its transmit speed by one step.
n0jds|some sort of text message or information
• This will put a pop up message on the screen of the remote station. When remote station reads the message, FSQ will automatically send an ack message back to the originating station.
FL Digi Observations
• Easy to switch between modes
• Rig Control
• Familiar work space for many operators
• Multi-platform support
• Logging and QRZ Lookup
• Expiration timer on stations in heard list
• Unfortunately it is Windows only at this time as far as I know.
• Seems to have higher sensitivity than FLDigi or better decode performance than FLDigi.
• All of the rules, syntax, etc are built into the program for easy reference.
• I like to change the color of the waterfall when operating two radios simultaneously. I use a green waterfall on FM 2M and blue on HF. Very easy to know which rig I’m interfacing with. I have two copies of the application in separate directories so that all of the config files for each rig are retained after restarts.
• Dedicated interface makes it easier to use advanced features such as image or file transfer.