The Contestia format 250/8 is a good compromise between speed, bandwidth and signal to noise ratio and it is recommended that it should be the default format, like bpsk31, mfsk16 and rtty45.
- Contestia 250/8 is not too wide, less than rtty45 and the same as psk125.
- Contestia 250/8 does not need channels like psk31 and rtty.
- Contestia 250/8 has a speed of ~30wpm, 58% of psk31 and 48% of rtty.
- Contestia 250/8 has a poor conditions snr of -12dB, so it is 11dB better than psk31 and 16dB better than rtty.
- Contestia 250/8 has a good conditions snr of -15dB, so it is 3dB better than psk31 and 7dB better than rtty.
QRG +1.5kHz or more up from bpsk31 starting frequency.
Since BPSK31 is an excellent mode in good and moderate propagation conditions, 3dB in itself is not enough of an improvement to make Contestia 250/8 the automatic choice where there is only white noise present. However, Contestia 250/8 passes the flutter fading, polar path, high-latitude and disturbed path propagation tests. RTTY only passes with high power. Contestia 250/8 and 30W can achieve the same as RTTY with 1kW.
MFSK16 and Contestia 250/8 comparison
MFSK16 2x faster and with a full character set, but has a snr that is 3dB worse and it is ~60Hz wider. Tuning to an MFSK16 signal, when it is near the snr limit, is also difficult. Therefore it seems rational to use Contestia 250/8 except when we wish to send a small picture to a ham-friend.
Olivia and Contestia 250/8 comparison
Contestia is Olivia Lite. Same format Contestia is 2x faster, but Olivia has a full character set and a very slightly better snr. Olivia seems to be over-dimensioned or over-designed and too slow. However, for a slow QSO from Antarctica to the North Pole, Olivia 125/8 is superb.
Note: Some fellows prefer small characters, they can use Fldigi http://www.w1hkj.com/ with feature print in lowercase.