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Chasing States

My quest to earn the ARRL's Triple Play Award. More…

QSOs with Hell

No, I haven't been making radio contacts with the devil. I've been playing with an intruiging mode known as "Feld Hellschreiber," "Feld Hell," or just plain "Hell." More…

NDB Hunting

It might sound terribly boring, but I've actually found it a lot of fun listening for airport beacons and seeing how many I could copy. I've set up a whole web page for the topic. More…


QSOs with Hell

No, I haven't been making radio contacts with the devil. I've been playing with an intruiging mode known as "Feld Hellschreiber," "Feld Hell," or just plain "Hell." It is a digital mode that has its roots in 1930's German technology. It was invented by Rudolph Hell, who patented this early method of facsimile in 1929.

German Hellschreiber Machine Hellschreiber was the first successful direct printing text transmission system, and was very popular at a time when teleprinters were complex and expensive, because the Hell receiving mechanism had only two moving parts. At first the Hellschreiber was used mostly for land-line press services. During WWII, Hellschreiber was widely used for field portable military communications, for which it proved to be very suitable because the equipment was simple and robust.

Screenshot of Feld HellFeld Hell is different from other digital modes I've tried. What you see on your screen is an image of the characters being sent by the other station.They are "painted" across your screen in double rows. You can't click on a call or name and have your logger load it, you'll have to type the info in yourself. Still there are lots of advantages to this mode. First, it is very easy on the rig! The duty cycle is very low. Unlike PSK or RTTY, you aren't sending a constant carrier. It is more like sending 130 WPM CW.

Feld Hell ClubThere are plenty of stations using Feld Hell. I've already worked quite a few states. There are many DX stations using the mode as well.The mode has its own club, the Feld Hell Club which offers membership numbers, awards and lots of interesting reading on their web pages.



I have a feeling I'll be having a lot of Hellacious QSOs in the coming months!