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Author Topic: Virtual TNC?  (Read 4801 times)
KB1CRQ
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Posts: 22




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« on: March 06, 2012, 06:31:50 AM »

Is there any software that would allow me to interface my HTX-202 with my laptop (running Windows 7) for some packet work through the sound card? I have done some limited reading on the subject and it seems that it is possible.... just looking for some more in depth conversation about said topic, in layman's terms. Thanks in advance!
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73,
Matt
KB1CRQ
KB6HOH
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Posts: 189




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« Reply #1 on: March 06, 2012, 04:08:13 PM »

Matt,

       There are a few programs that will do Packet thru the Sound Card.
1st program is MixW (http://mixw.net) $50.00 license Fee after Demo expires.
It's not a Free program and it has limited capabilities and is a bit awkward to use.

2nd program is MultiPSK (http://f6cte.free.fr/index_anglais.htm)
The Screen is a Nightmare to look at. Very cluttered.

3rd program is AGWPE (http://www.soundcardpacket.org/)
This is a dedicated Packet Program. I could never get it to work with my Signalink USB.

                              73 de Steve KB6HOH
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W8JX
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Posts: 6057




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« Reply #2 on: March 06, 2012, 05:57:59 PM »


2nd program is MultiPSK (http://f6cte.free.fr/index_anglais.htm)
The Screen is a Nightmare to look at. Very cluttered.


The screen is not a nightmare at all and once you learn it is is a very easy program to use. It just does not follow the classic WinDoze menus on menus layout and you can change modes with a single mouse click. Been using it for almost 3 years and found nothing to replace it including FLDigi which I find a bit lacking.
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All posted wireless using Win 8.1 RT, a Android tablet using 4G/LTE/WiFi or Sprint Note 3.
KB6HOH
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Posts: 189




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« Reply #3 on: March 07, 2012, 12:56:23 AM »

Well I have tried MultiPSk over the years since it came out and again it is so cluttered on the Screen it drives me batty! I am into the Emcomm side of things and MultiPSK is really NOT suited nor does it compare in capabilities to Fldigi. Yes it has a few more modes to it but nothing that really stands out in my mind including ALE. But I do have to confess I never had the time to try out ALE. No one program call do it all but FLdigi fills the shoes for the Emcomm side of the house but that's what makes this Hobby so much Fun. There is something for everyone.

                                       de Steve KB6HOH
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W8JX
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« Reply #4 on: March 07, 2012, 05:26:54 AM »

The "clutter" is placing everything a mouse click away rather than having to dig thru menus. If you want a simple WnDoze interface, less capability and menus to change modes and such then MultiPSK is not your program. But if you want max capability and everything at your mouses finger tip and a very robust decode engine then MultiPSK is the one to use. 
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WN2C
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« Reply #5 on: March 07, 2012, 07:29:13 AM »

Matt, I am not sure how much packet is going on in your area but and have never done packet, but I hear that it is not what it used to be as far as activity.  I see that you have a Tech license.  Have you tried psk 31 or other digital modes on 10 meters? The DX is a lot of fun to work and the band has been open!

73 and good luck
de wn2c Rick
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KA9WFI
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« Reply #6 on: March 07, 2012, 09:09:12 AM »

Matt, I have "Packet Engine Pro" working great with my TS-2000 and Signalink usb interface.

It will use the sound card as a TNC  and/or also use the one built into the TS-2000.

The program isn't free but you can evaluate it for 30 days to decide if it works for you.

GL es 73,
Tom   N9RU
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KB1CRQ
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Posts: 22




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« Reply #7 on: March 07, 2012, 09:42:31 AM »

Well thank you everyone! I actually had been reading about AGWPE, that's what got me going on this topic. I think I had read a little bit about MultiPSK as well. I am a huge fan of functionality over ease of use (I learn software easily!), so it seems that MultiPSK may be the route that I go. Is it free? Also do you connect the speaker/mic ports direct to your sound card, or do you still use a TNC, or some other interface? I guess that was what I was getting at with my main question. Can you connect direct from the radio sound ports to the sound card?

Is it possible that I could connect just the speaker port on my HTX202 to the mic port on my sound card to capture packet signals and decode it? I think there are some digital signals locally that I'm hearing and I would like to try to decode them to see if they are indeed data.... I have never tried packet myself, so this is all new to me.

Matt, I am not sure how much packet is going on in your area but and have never done packet, but I hear that it is not what it used to be as far as activity.  I see that you have a Tech license.  Have you tried psk 31 or other digital modes on 10 meters? The DX is a lot of fun to work and the band has been open!

73 and good luck
de wn2c Rick


I don't know how much there is really is, but it seems that I've heard some data streams going on when I scan around the 2M band. I'm currently staying in St. Johnsbury Vermont, but only temporarily. Never done any packet myself, and I don't have a 10 meter rig sadly. I do know about the solar conditions going on right now though. Yeah I got my ticket in early 1998 at the age of 13, then about 7+ years ago I went dormant because I had become a father and was just way to busy. I just dug my only rig (a HTX202) out about 2 weeks ago and jumped right back in feet first! Couldn't find my old copper pipe j-pole that a local club had made me as a present for getting my ticket, or my home brew 1/4 wave groundplane for the life of me, only my busted Q-Stick (which I intend to fix as it cost me good $$). I ended up making a 1/2 wave vertical dipole which works pretty decent, despite not having been tuned for lack of an SWR meter. I'm getting out legibly to a repeater 40 miles away with only 4 watts from inside my house (antenna is inside too!). I couldn't get it before from in my house with the rubber ducky, only from outside on top of playground equipment. Unfortunately there are only 2 repeaters locally that I can work! I have made some simplex contacts too though (some as far as 17 to 20 miles over hills and valleys!).

Again, thank you all for your suggestions! I definitely am interested in digital!
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Matt
KB1CRQ
W8JX
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Posts: 6057




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« Reply #8 on: March 07, 2012, 09:48:28 AM »

Well thank you everyone! I actually had been reading about AGWPE, that's what got me going on this topic. I think I had read a little bit about MultiPSK as well. I am a huge fan of functionality over ease of use (I learn software easily!), so it seems that MultiPSK may be the route that I go. Is it free? Also do you connect the speaker/mic ports direct to your sound card, or do you still use a TNC, or some other interface? I guess that was what I was getting at with my main question. Can you connect direct from the radio sound ports to the sound card?

Is it possible that I could connect just the speaker port on my HTX202 to the mic port on my sound card to capture packet signals and decode it? I think there are some digital signals locally that I'm hearing and I would like to try to decode them to see if they are indeed data.... I have never tried packet myself, so this is all new to me.

I do recommend a TNC of some sort here for positive PTT control.  I use a RigBlater Plug and Play but there are other solutions. As far as audio and and out you can use what it easiest for you but you will need PTT control too as stated above.
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KB1CRQ
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Posts: 22




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« Reply #9 on: March 07, 2012, 10:18:49 AM »

I do recommend a TNC of some sort here for positive PTT control.  I use a RigBlater Plug and Play but there are other solutions. As far as audio and and out you can use what it easiest for you but you will need PTT control too as stated above.

Could I not just key the PTT myself manually when I tx the data? What about speaker-mics.... how do those key the PTT remotely through the mic port? If I plug a regular audio cable in will it tx constantly? I'm very short on funds as I've been laid off for the winter, and I'm trying to figure out a way around buying anything if I can make it myself. Thanks!
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73,
Matt
KB1CRQ
W8JX
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Posts: 6057




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« Reply #10 on: March 07, 2012, 10:41:33 AM »

I do recommend a TNC of some sort here for positive PTT control.  I use a RigBlater Plug and Play but there are other solutions. As far as audio and and out you can use what it easiest for you but you will need PTT control too as stated above.

Could I not just key the PTT myself manually when I tx the data? What about speaker-mics.... how do those key the PTT remotely through the mic port? If I plug a regular audio cable in will it tx constantly? I'm very short on funds as I've been laid off for the winter, and I'm trying to figure out a way around buying anything if I can make it myself. Thanks!

You can copy Packet without a TNC just by hooking up output audio to a sound card and then using a program (like MultiPSK) to decode it. Transmitting is a whole new can of worms because it is timing critical to hand shake with and talk to node. This is why software needs to have control of PTT. You could get by with manual keying with other modes like PSK,RTTY, Olivia, Dominio and so on but not Packet which is common on frequencies your 202 covers.
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KB1CRQ
Member

Posts: 22




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« Reply #11 on: March 07, 2012, 10:49:13 AM »

You can copy Packet without a TNC just by hooking up output audio to a sound card and then using a program (like MultiPSK) to decode it. Transmitting is a whole new can of worms because it is timing critical to hand shake with and talk to node. This is why software needs to have control of PTT. You could get by with manual keying with other modes like PSK,RTTY, Olivia, Dominio and so on but not Packet which is common on frequencies your 202 covers.

Ahh, got ya. Very well then, at least I can see if indeed these are digital signals I'm hearing. Does MultiPSK cover any of those other modes (PSK, RTTY, etc.)? How is the radio interfaced with the computer for tx? Is it something that I could possibly build or do I have to buy it?
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Matt
KB1CRQ
W8JX
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Posts: 6057




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« Reply #12 on: March 07, 2012, 11:00:52 AM »

You can copy Packet without a TNC just by hooking up output audio to a sound card and then using a program (like MultiPSK) to decode it. Transmitting is a whole new can of worms because it is timing critical to hand shake with and talk to node. This is why software needs to have control of PTT. You could get by with manual keying with other modes like PSK,RTTY, Olivia, Dominio and so on but not Packet which is common on frequencies your 202 covers.

Ahh, got ya. Very well then, at least I can see if indeed these are digital signals I'm hearing. Does MultiPSK cover any of those other modes (PSK, RTTY, etc.)? How is the radio interfaced with the computer for tx? Is it something that I could possibly build or do I have to buy it?

MultiPSK will cover these and more. I have seen no program that covers more modes than MultiPSK and none to really match it either. It also supports "RS ID" which if it is supported and enabled on transmit end it will detect what mode is being used and switch to it. (it has to hear beginning of transmission because RS ID is at the start of it)

For transmit it would be easier to pick up a TNC used or new. Would make it easier and would grow with your needs.
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NA4IT
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« Reply #13 on: March 07, 2012, 11:52:58 AM »

This would be excellent resource for you to look at. It explains interfacing, setup of AGWPE, etc.

http://www.soundcardpacket.org/
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KB1CRQ
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Posts: 22




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« Reply #14 on: March 07, 2012, 04:18:36 PM »

This would be excellent resource for you to look at. It explains interfacing, setup of AGWPE, etc.

http://www.soundcardpacket.org/

Thanks, that's actually where I was reading about AGWPE.


MultiPSK will cover these and more. I have seen no program that covers more modes than MultiPSK and none to really match it either. It also supports "RS ID" which if it is supported and enabled on transmit end it will detect what mode is being used and switch to it. (it has to hear beginning of transmission because RS ID is at the start of it)

For transmit it would be easier to pick up a TNC used or new. Would make it easier and would grow with your needs.

I was trying to avoid having to buy anything if at all possible. I don't have extra money for gear at the moment. Ease is not one of my main concerns as I learn easily and am fairly technically inclined. I would also get much more enjoyment out of building something or doing it the "hard way".
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73,
Matt
KB1CRQ
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