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Author Topic: Getting back into Ham Radio: Should I upgrade my old PK-232?  (Read 773 times)
KD4EBL
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Posts: 71




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« on: April 02, 2011, 11:13:08 AM »

I have an old PK-232. I did an upgrade in 1996 to Gateway/Pactor from AEA and bought PC-Pak for windows v 2.0. I never really used the thing so it has low mileage. What can I use it for today? Should I consider an upgrade? I do want to get into some digital modes and hook it up. What software do I need? I know these are basic questions, but I just want to get some basic ideas and then try to learn some new modes. I have a all mode 2M rig, a triband HT and a Kenwood 430. Old radios, but all are working! Any thoughts?
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N3JBH
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Posts: 2358




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« Reply #1 on: April 02, 2011, 11:24:14 AM »

I really don't know the what all the Pk 232 can do but i work digital modes fairly often and all i use is a digital interface i got from donners and a computer that i downloaded the proper software for the mode. It works really well and i have maybe 40 dollars invested in it. you can get the interface at :
http://donnerstorenet.ipage.com

All you need is a computer and the station and you be rocking and a rolling.  Jeff
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VA7CPC
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« Reply #2 on: April 02, 2011, 03:45:53 PM »

The PK-232 will be useful for packet mode on VHF.   And if it does PACTOR, you can use PACTOR-1 to connect to the WinLink system on HF and send e-mail.  However, PACTOR-1 is _slow_.

As the previous post says, most current work with 'digital modes' on HF uses soundcard interfaces.   The Donner interface he lists is one way to go.  I have an old BuxComm Rascal, which is similar, and has done good work for many years.

Another alternative is the SignaLink USB, which costs more, but has its own soundcard and avoids some of the problems of using a computer's built-in soundcard:

http://www.tigertronics.com/

If your computer doesn't have a serial port, or if it runs Windows 7, I suggest the SignaLink USB as the better of the two.

For software, any of the following  (in increasing order of complexity) (all free):

. . .    Digipan 2.0

. . .    flgidi

. . .   DM780  (which is a part of "Ham Radio Deluxe")

Digipan works PSK31, and is simple to use and run.   The other two are "multi-mode", require more computer horsepower, and are more complicated to use.

Have fun!

             Charles
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