FreeDV HF Digital Voice Mode: Global QSO Party April 27/28th

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The Amateur Radio Experimenters Group is proud to announce a new event on the Amateur Radio Calendar. The FreeDV HF Digital Voice QSO Party!

The aim is to encourage as many Radio Amateurs as possible to learn about FreeDV and encourage as many FreeDV signals to be on the air as possible to help spread the word about this new mode.

If you can use WSJT-X for FT8 or any other digital modes software then, with the addition of Headphones and a microphone on your PC, you can switch to digital voice transmission in an instant! Its that easy! So why not give it a try? This is a great way to experiment with something new from the comfort of your own armchair. All it takes is a little bit of time to download, install and setup the software – nothing more!

What to know more? The QSO party rules are below, plus details of where to get FreeDV are included later in this bulletin. Read on!


The Rules

When: April 27th 0300z to April 28th 0300z 2019

Where: All HF Bands from 80m – 10m (excluding the WARC bands)

How: Work as many stations as possible using the FreeDV 700D or FreeDV 1600 modes in 24 hours.

Centre Frequencies: 1870kHz, 3630kHz, 7180kHz, 14130kHz, 21180kHz, 28330kHz (chosen in accordance with IARU Bandplans)

Points: Stations participating can earn points per QSO

  • 1 point per contact within a continent
  • 5 points per contact between continents
  • 50 points per contact with VK5ARG

(AREG’s club station is planned to be manned for the 24hrs looking particularly for inter-continental DX on 40/20 and 15m)

Multipliers:

  • 1 per call area in VK/VE/JA/ZL per band +
  • 1 per DXCC entity per band +
  • 1 per inter-continental contact

Final Score:

  • Sum all points x sum all multipliers

You can work a station once per band.

Stations earning 50 points or more will be entitled to an emailed PDF certificate indicating their successful participation in this inaugural event!

Categories:

There is one entry per station callsign only.

Log Submission:

You MUST submit your ADIF formatted log via email within 7 days after the event to:

FreeDV.QSOParty (at) areg.org.au


What is FreeDV?

FreeDV is an open source digital voice transmission mode developed for HF Amateur Radio by David VK5DGR. It is founded on open source principles with the Codec2 specification and code fully available to the Amateur Radio community at no charge.

The latest development, FreeDV 700D mode has performance equivalent or better than SSB on HF – a remarkable achievement in only 700 bps!

Why FreeDV?

FreeDV 700D outperforms SSB at low SNRs – you can get an easy copy of 700D when SSB is unusable.

Amateur Radio is transitioning from analog to digital, much as it transitioned from AM to SSB in the 1950’s and 1960’s. How would you feel if one or two companies owned the patents for SSB, then forced you to use their technology, made it illegal to experiment with or even understand the technology, and insisted you stay locked to it for the next 100 years? That’s exactly what washappening with digital voice. But now, hams are in control of their technology again!

FreeDV is unique as it uses 100% Open Source Software, including the speech codec. No secrets, nothing proprietary! FreeDV represents a path for 21st century Amateur Radio where Hams are free to experiment and innovate, rather than a future locked into a single manufacturers closed technology.

FreeDV can be used on multiple platforms including Windows, Mac and Linux systems.

Where can I get FreeDV?

FreeDV software and more information is available from the FreeDV Website!

FreeDV.org

Supporting Events?

If you live in Adelaide, South Australia, there are two events planned prior to the QSO party to help you get FreeDV operational. AREG will be holding a “Tech Night” on April 5th at the clubrooms in the Fulham Community Centre starting 7.00pm. In addition, David VK5DGR (FreeDV’s creator) will be our guest presenter at the April AREG meeting on Friday the 12th. Doors open at 7.15pm for that event.

AREG is also looking to re-launch the FreeDV WIA News Broadcast. New times and frequencies will be announced soon! This provides a perfect opportunity to experiment with FreeDV reception while the broadcast is running for 30 minutes, plus you can participate in the callbacks afterwards.

At the April meeting a new version of FreeDV is also going to be released that promises significantly improved audio fidelity over the communications grade 700D and 1600 modes. Why not put it in your diary and come along – visitors are most welcome!

Want to know more?

Who can I Talk To?

Login to the K7VE FreeDV QSO Finder to find other Hams using FreeDV.

Support

Please post your questions to the Digital Voice Google group

Developers please subscribe to the Codec 2 Mailing List.

IRC Chat

For casual chat there is a #freedv IRC channel on freenode.net

We hope to see you on FreeDV!

New FreeDV 700D HF Digital Voice Mode

Many amateurs are experimenting with various digital voice modes, such as Yaesu System Fusion C4FM, D-STAR and DMR etc, mostly on the VHF and UHF bands. Did you know, however that there is also a digital voice mode for HF radio operation that was specifically designed by amateur radio experimenters?

FreeDV, based on a fully open source codec known as Codec2, has been created by David Rowe VK5DGR in collaboration with a team spread across the globe.

FreeDV is enabling amateur radio enthusiasts to experiment with new open source digital based voice transmission techniques on the High Frequency (HF) bands.  While text based HF digital modes are common, FreeDV is the first new VOICE mode for HF since SSB was introduced in the 1950s and 60s.

New version of FreeDV – 700D announced

Over the past 18 months or more, David and his team have been busy working to improve the lower bit rate versions of FreeDV. The original system, released as FreeDV 1600, was based on a 1600bits/sec data stream, but was a few dB off being equal with SSB. Now, David is pleased to announce that the new FreeDV 700D mode is ready for wider trials.This new version uses a 700 bit/s speech voice codec, powerful forward error correction, and a new modem to send digital speech over HF radios.

What is really exciting however is that testing of FreeDV 700D has demonstrated that it is outperforming SSB on poor channels! Here is a demo of SSB, followed by FreeDV 700D, on a poor quality 3,200 km path between Adelaide and the Bay of Islands, in New Zealand.

Where can I get it?

You can run FreeDV using any PC set up for digital modes, using the FreeDV 1.3 GUI program, which you can download from freedv.org.

Where can I find FreeDV activity?

Australian FreeDV activity is typically on 7.177 and 14.236 MHz. You can also coordinate FreeDV QSOs using the FreeDV QSO finder at qso.freedv.org

So why not try the new FreeDV 700D mode, and join us in experimenting with it on the HF bands!

FreeDV WIA Broadcast: New Relay Time

tiki-download_fileThe AREG (VK5ARG) is continuing to conduct an experimental re-transmissions of the National and VK5 WIA News Service in the FreeDV-1600 mode on Sunday mornings. The aim is to encourage amateur radio operators to come and try FreeDV HF Digital voice.

CHANGED BROADCAST TIME

Due to HF radio propagation conditions over the past few months, the team running the relay has decided to try relaying the broadcast an hour later at 1000 CST (0030 UTC) instead of the earlier 0900hrs time. This is so that there is a better chance of skywave propagation being available into VK5 as well as VK3.

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Callbacks are conducted after the broadcast providing an ideal opportunity for you to experiment further with FreeDV! Callbacks are conducted in FreeDV mode initially, and SSB at the close (to allow SWL stations to provide their reports also).

Online logging of FreeDV has been disabled for the time being due to a problem with the website.

For more information about FreeDV please visit the www.freedv.org website or log onto Internet Relay Chat (IRC) on irc.freenode.net. (http://webchat.freenode.net/?channels=freedv) and connect to the #freedv channel.

If you have FreeDV set up with your HF station why not tune in and see how you go? You can use one of the many open source software packages or perhaps using an SM1000 FreeDV modem to receive (and transmit FreeDV. You can visit the AREG HF Digital Voice project page for more information as well!

FreeDV Broadcast 31st Jan 2016

sadfaceDue to technical issues this morning the FreeDV broadcast team were unable to take callbacks using FreeDV.

Announcements were made using analog SSB and a few reports were achieved.

Stations wishing to provide a signal report are encouraged to email the AREG with the usual details, email addresses can be found on the “contact us” page.

Thanks and our apologies again for not being able to participate in the callback in DV.

FreeDV Broadcast Team, VK5ARG

WIA Sunday Broadcast – VK5ARG FreeDV Relay on 7177kHz

wia-logo-image_1_hiresThe AREG (VK5ARG) is conducting an experimental re-transmissions of the National and VK5 WIA News Service in the FreeDV-1600 mode.

The aim is to encourage amateur radio operators to come and try FreeDV HF Digital voice.

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If you have FreeDV set up with your HF station why not tune in and see how you go? You can use one of the many open source software packages or perhaps using an SM1000 FreeDV modem to receive (and transmit FreeDV. You can visit the AREG HF Digital Voice project page for more information as well!

Callbacks are conducted after the broadcast tiki-download_fileproviding an ideal opportunity for you to experiment further with FreeDV!

You can also log your FreeDV WIA Broadcast reception report here:

For more information about FreeDV please visit the www.freedv.org website or log onto Internet Relay Chat (IRC) on irc.freenode.net. (http://webchat.freenode.net/?channels=freedv) and connect to the #freedv channel.


Update: 17th January 2016 Activity

Following on from the broadcast reports were coming in from around the country. Some could decode it successfully, some couldnt. As this is an experiment, we are interested in all results. The following are some of the feedback received:

Michael VK5ZEA in Port Lincoln (~230km away) posted these samples:

Andrew Scott VK3BA in Melbourne (~700km away) posted this sample:

Thanks to Andrew and Michael for posting samples of what they received online!

Breaking News: WIA News FreeDV Experiment Sunday 6th Dec

To continue promotion of the FreeDV mode, the AREG this coming Sunday is planning to attempt a relay of thethe WIA news using the FreeDV 1600 mode on 40m. The operating frequency will be around 7.177 from 9am CDST (2230UTC) with a FreeDV 1600 net Planed around 9:30am (2300UTC). A FreeDV 700B net will follow after the 1600 mode one.

Andy VK5AKH will be transmitting the WIA Broadcast and acting as net control. He will monitor the FreeDV QSO finder, IRC etc for feedback during the broadcast. If the worst case arises and we can’t get the Broadcast working there will still be an on air gathering at 2300UTC of FreeDV stations.

Andy runs a rotary dipole and would expect that 50W of freeDV should reach most of SE Australia fairly well at this time of the day, so tune in and have a go!

FreeDV QSO Party – Activity Log for the 12/13th September 2015

5.00pm – Wrapping Up

Well, that about ends our FreeDV experiments for today. It has been great to see stations across VK and the world come and try this new mode. It was disappointing that the ionosphere ‘flamed out’ when it did but this is not going to be the last time we rally FreeDV users to come together and have a go, so if you missed out making a contact today, stay tuned for the next event.

We would like to thank all stations that took part or listened in and hope to see you all next time!

Regards, The team from the Amateur Radio Experimenters Group!

3:30pm – Now beaming LP Europe on 14236kHz

We are now attempting contact with Europe long path using FreeDV 700B. OE3GBB is reporting 70% copy and S4-5 – unfortunately we cant hear his responses as we have S9 noise here. Still, it is impressive that we are being heard!

Update: we did achieve contact with OE3GBB using a remote receiving station!

2:00pm – back from lunch and working some locals

40m is working into VK2 this afternoon on FreeDV 700B mode with contacts to VK2KDK and partial contacts to VK1KV. We will continue to have VK100ANZAC calling CQ beaming east this afternoon on 40m.

11:45am – all quiet – unfortunately

Well, our attempt here in Australia at getting the VK100ANZAC callsign out on freeDV is not going real well. The ionosphere coupled with local power line noise (which has sprung up today) have combined to make 40m and 20m very quiet (or should I say very noisy) indeed. We are still calling CQ with the keyer on 40m (7175) in 700B mode and are intermittently calling/listening on 20m (14236) in 1600 mode, but we are not working many stations.

We will press on in the hope conditions improve as the day progresses.

11:00am – worked VK3DBP on 40m

One station that has been actively working us is VK3DBP who has made several contacts including one around 11am ACST on 40m. Congrats for your enthusiasm for this new digital HF voice mode!

So, what’s this700B mode you are talking about?

On August 25th, David VK5DGR released a new version of the FreeDV software labelled version 1.0.0. This new low 700bps bitrate mode has better signal to noise characteristics than the original 1600bps mode but lower quality audio.

You can get the latest version and give 700B mode a try from these links:

10:10am – worked VK2DGH on 700B

Great signal now heard from VK2DGH on 700B mode. Also getting good SNR reports from VK1MTS (Rx Only) of 10dB SNR to VK100ANZAC – thanks for listening and joining in!

09:47am – contacts into VK4

VK4CAG has just had a great contact with VK100ANZAC on FreeDV 1600 – SNR 15dB – excellent signal into Mannum (SA) today and VK1MTS reported decoding VK4CAG on IRC.

Sunday 13th: 09:35am ACST – QSY 40m 7175kHz

80m NVIS into Adelaide was fading so we have moved to 40m in anticipation of the end of the WIA broadcasts around the nation. Look for VK100ANZAC calling CQ on that channel.

Sunday 13th: 09:00am ACST

Now also worked VK5APR on 80m. Also getting good reports from Michael VK5ZEA in Port Lincoln and Jeff VK5IU in Murray Bridge

Working VK5KDK on FreeDV 700B on 80m 3634.5kHz

VK5ZM FreeDV VK100ANZAC

Sunday 13th: 8:30am ACST – Experiments on 80m

This morning we are trying our luck with 80m. Currently VK100ANZAC is calling on 3.634.5 to give the local VK5 stations an opportunity. We have worked VK5IU on 700B mode and are continuing to call CQ.

Michael VK5ZEA has been hearing us in Port Lincoln.

We will be on 40m, a little later in the morning right after the Sunday morning WIA broadcast.

20m activity has been attempted USA longpath but no joy and nothing heard. The ionosphere is still not cooperating.

The operation continues…..

Sunday 13th: Look out for VK100ANZAC FreeDV on 80m as well

Following the relatively poor HF conditions we have set up one of the FreeDV VK100ANZAC stations to now also operate on 3635kHz. We will intermittently operate that frequency today (particularly early in the morning). If you want to attempt a contact with us on 80m chat with us on the FreeDV qso finder or on the FreeDV IRC Channel online!

Status Update: Saturday 12th September 9pm-12am ACST

The day has arrived and we are on the air with VK100ANZAC for the AREG FreeDV QSO Party. Unfortunately the ionosphere is not being very cooperative tonight with our first planned activation and so far no contacts have been made on 20m. Very little is being heard on the band at all, but we are there listening and calling none the less.

We also are listening to 40m around 7177kHz. Contacts were attempted with VK6 on 40m, and while faint signals were being heard, no decodes were achieved.

Discussion on the FreeDV QSO Finder shows that there is a lot of interest around however with a number of US stations attempting contacts between themselves. If nothing else, this increased activity meets the goal of getting people to come and try FreeDV!

1150pm – just tried a contact with K5WH on 700B mode – might have detected a few syllables but that’s about all. The ionosphere is not playing nice tonight…

Earlier in the day Saturday 12th

6 contacts were achieved earlier in the day on 40m with local Australian stations. Most of those were achieved using the newly released 700B mode. 5 stations succeeded in contacting VK100ANZAC using it. This lower bitrate mode has proved much more resilient in the poor HF conditions being seen this weekend. So, if you have an older version of FreeDV installed, then consider upgrading to the latest version and give the new 700B mode a try. (see www.freedv.org for details)

(Note: unfortunately 700B mode isn’t supported as yet by the SM1000 hardware adaptors so to use it you will need the latest PC software).

Updates

Keep watching this web-post for updates on progress!