Contestia

Contestia is a digital mode directly derived from Olivia MFSK but not quite as robust. It is more of a compromise between speed and performance. It was developed by Nick Fedoseev, UT2UZ who is also one of the key developers of the MixW Mult-digital mode software application used by many hams. Contestia sounds almost identical to Olivia MFSK, can be configured in as many ways, but has essentially twice the speed.

Contestia has 40 formats just like Olivia MFSK. The formats vary in bandwidth (125,250,500,1000, and 2000hz) and number of tones used (2,4,8,16,32,64,128, or 256). The most commonly used formats right now seem to be 250/8, 500/16, and 1000/32.

So just how well does Contestia perform under very weak signal conditions. Surprisingly well as it handles QRM, QRN, and QSB very easily. It decodes below the noise level but experience has shown that Olivia MFSK still outperforms Contestia depending on which variation of the modes are used. However, Contestia is twice as fast as Olivia MFSK on a given variation of each respective mode. It is an excellent weak signal, conversational, QRP, and long distance digital mode. When using it for keyboard to keyboard conversation under fair to good conditions, it can be more preferable to many hams than Olivia MFSK because of the faster speed.

Contestia get it's increased speed by using a smaller symbol block size (32) than Olivia MFSK (64) and by a using 6-bit decimal character set rather than 7-bit ASCII set that Olivia MFSK does. Because it has a reduced character set and does not print out in both upper and lower case. Some traffic nets might not want to use this mode because it does not support upper and lower case characters and extended characters found in many documents and messages. For normal digital chats that does not pose any problem, but also because of these limitations, Contestia has not seen much use and is more of a novelty mode.
 

Contestia test sample
 

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