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Author Topic: Sound Cards - THEY DO MAKE A DIFFERENCE  (Read 573 times)
KA5YPO
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Posts: 7




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« on: May 10, 2006, 01:18:32 PM »

Just a quick note. I have just started to set up a digital station (mainly for BPSK31, RTTY and SSTV). I have set up at least 13 different sound cards and EVERYONE was different in quaility. If you want a good digital station spend your money on the sound card, after all most of the good/great software is free. Best solution for me was audio to USB converter. Tried three different ones and they all performed about the same great way(no signal echo and the best decoding).
Good luck and hope to see you on the screen. 73
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N4HRA
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Posts: 282




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« Reply #1 on: May 11, 2006, 05:18:24 AM »

Sound cards are good for RTTY, PSK ect, but if you want to do Packet or other digital modes requiring percise timming then a TNC is required.
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KG4RUL
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« Reply #2 on: May 12, 2006, 04:39:10 AM »

OR, use Pactor II or III for WinLink.  Thank you ARRL for locking us into a one-supplier situation for the hardware.  And, to make the sauce tastier, they are an off-shore company to boot!

Dennis KG4RUL
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AD5OS
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Posts: 23




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« Reply #3 on: May 31, 2006, 01:22:21 AM »

They really do make a huge difference.

When I first started using digital modes i was using the onboard audio built into the motherboard. This was fine and worked well. A year ago I purchased a creative labs soundblaster audigy 2 zs platinum pro at a good price right before they lauched their new X-fi cards. I got this and some 7.1 speakers to really get the full gaming experience when playing my video games, flight simulator, and audio/video projects. I was still using the inboard audio for radio stuff which was cool cause I could listen to music and not worry about sending window beeps on the airwaves. However one day I figured.. well lets see if the extra 24bit 192kHz sampling makes any difference at all for such lowly psk and mfsk performance.  OMG what a differnce... I was seeing signals in the waterfalll where just 2 minutes before I was only seeing static. The noise level was so low I thought that perhaps I had screwed something up, but instead I was witnessing the dramatic difference the A/D chips made on the soundblaster. The onboard was fine for easy RTTY and PSK stuff but for real DX or weak signal work you HAVE TO USE A GOOD SOUNDBOARD. Also I found that I didnt have to align my soundcard offset timing with the soundblaster because it was perfectly sampling with its higher percision clock.  hope this testimonial comes in handy. Good luck and enjoy the digital modes.

73

Brian  
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K0JEG
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Posts: 670




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« Reply #4 on: June 03, 2006, 09:09:44 AM »

N4HRA Wrote: "Sound cards are good for RTTY, PSK ect, but if you want to do Packet or other digital modes requiring percise timming then a TNC is required. "

I've been using a SB Live card on 1200 baud packet all the time using Packet Engine Pro. I tried using the free PEP and the paid one, and the paid for version is much better at decoding packets (it is totally different software). Prior to the SB live, I used an old Ensonic card with limited success. I haven't tried it, but PEP does support 9600 baud.
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WB2LCW
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« Reply #5 on: June 12, 2006, 02:31:46 PM »

I have two(2) soundcards on my PC!
I have a cheap crystal fusion PCI sound card(Very Good).And a Griffin iMic external USB sound card($25)!

The crystal fusion work well but the Griffin iMic
shows much lower backround noise due to the fact that its not proccessing the audio inside the noisy
environment inside the PC case..

I used it on PSK and get exellent IMD reports with
40-50 watts out on my ProIII..

I will buy another USB soundcard soon to replace the crystal fusion and free up some IRQ's and a PCI slot for another I/O card.

73 Mike
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