Young Attracted to PSK31

During Field Day 2008 we carefully observed what operating modes the young teens did and did not enjoy while they operated. Without a doubt the digital modes, especially PSK31, got their attention.

Teenager and a younger boy sharing PSK31 contacts on an HF station.
Teenager and a younger boy sharing PSK31 contacts on an HF station.

The older of the two, KJ4FAJ, in the picture above said this when he made his first PSK31 contact just after midnight during Field Day…

“Hmmm I like this.”

Nothing like brevity from a teen eh? Anyway this young man went on to pound out contact after contact entirely by PSK31. It seems clear the attraction is, at least partly, due to the similarity to Cell Phone Text Messaging… without the 10 cent charges.

After I carefully explained to the teen he needs a general ticket (he just got his Tech) to make use of digital modes in the HF bands, he said he will pursue it now just for PSK31. Upgrade incentive from a digital mode? Who knew?

The ham radio community is well advised to take note of the above and focus attention to the digital modes during your next opportunity to Elmer young folks.

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