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Author Topic: Software Recommendations for Digital Modes  (Read 4838 times)
N1IRF
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Posts: 37




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« on: August 09, 2013, 08:29:59 AM »

I have a Yaesu FT-897D and Tigertronics Signalink USB.  I have spent the past week attempting to learn how to use some of the various software available to operate hf digital modes.  I have been experimenting with psk31 and I have been using digipan, FLDigi, and hamscope.  I have some difficulties in using each one of these programs and I was wondering if anyone could recommend a software application to start with in learning psk31?  I guess I am looking for a program that is easy to learn and may have some tutorials to help me learn psk31.  Does anyone have any suggestions? 
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AC4RD
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« Reply #1 on: August 09, 2013, 09:06:33 AM »

I used hamscope years ago; these days I'm using FLDIGI for RTTY and PSK.   It seems pretty easy to me, as software goes, but I've found whenever I set up a new PC or radio or interface or digital software application, I always wind up scratching my head and trying to figure out what's wrong.  :-)  And once I get it figured out, everything is easy as pie. 

What sort of difficulties are you having?  Does the setup receive PSK but won't transmit?  Or do you see traces on the waterfall but can't get them to decode properly?   Are you sure the radio is working properly in other modes?   If you can give some specific details about what's not working for you, maybe the folks here on eham can help figure out the problem.   --ken
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KG6AF
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« Reply #2 on: August 09, 2013, 09:10:32 AM »

You're not going to find anything easier than Digipan.

If you're looking for tutorials, go to YouTube and search for "psk31 Digipan".  KG7AE has several videos explaining both PSK31 and Digipan.
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N1IRF
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« Reply #3 on: August 09, 2013, 09:21:15 AM »

What sort of difficulties are you having?  Does the setup receive PSK but won't transmit?  Or do you see traces on the waterfall but can't get them to decode properly?   Are you sure the radio is working properly in other modes?   If you can give some specific details about what's not working for you, maybe the folks here on eham can help figure out the problem.   --ken


Receiving traces don't seem to be the problem; however, last night I noticed that I would lose the trace to what looked like electrical interference or noise.  Transmitting seems to be the issue.  I am not sure if my transmissions are going out.  I see the ptt led light up but the waterfall freezes until I am not transmitting.  Also, after watching a few of the youtube videos, I do not hear my transmigration.  I can't tell whether I am do something wrong or I missed a setting somewhere.     
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AC4RD
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« Reply #4 on: August 09, 2013, 02:38:22 PM »

OK, good start!  If the PTT light on your signalink USB comes on, but the "transmit" light on your 897 doesn't come on, it might be that your software package is trying to use your PC's regular soundcard, not the "USB audio CODEC" of the signalink--I've been caught by that more than a few times. Smiley  In FLDIGI, that's under "configure / sound card."  Depending on the interface cable from your computer to the Signalink, you may also need to be sure that the right COM port is selected for the cable--that's caught me a few times, too.

If the PTT on the Signalink turns red AND transmit light on the 897 is coming on, that's what it should be doing--so we need to make sure when that happens, you're actually sending RF down the pipe to the antenna--try transmitting with the meter set to show power out, or watching an external wattmeter to doublecheck that.

I haven't used my own 897 for digital in a year or two, but I used to run RTTY and PSK with an 897D, signalink USB, and FLDIGI, so we know it OUGHT to work--just a question of figuring out where the holdup is. Wink   --ken
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N1IRF
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« Reply #5 on: August 12, 2013, 07:39:02 AM »

After working on it over the weekend, I seem to have a handle on Digipan and FLDIGI.  The one thing I am noticing is that I am receiving/decoding a lot of garbage (seemingly random characters).  I believe I need to make some more adjustments (to either the FT-897, the Signalink or the software). 

Does anyone have any suggestions or recommendations to fine tune psk31?       
« Last Edit: August 12, 2013, 07:47:54 AM by N1IRF » Logged
AC4RD
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« Reply #6 on: August 12, 2013, 09:16:19 AM »

You're making progress!  Smiley   If your FLDIGI is like mine, there's a slider in the lower right marked "squelch."  Functions like squelch on an FM radio--keeps the output muted unless it is over a certain strength.  If the squelch slider is all the way down, it is passing every bit of noise your radio hears to the processing input.   Try sliding the squelch control up just a bit--not much.  Then when a signal is strong enough to open the squelch (stronger than the slider's vertical position), it will send signals to be processed--and when it's just random noise, most of the time it will NOT go to the processor.  (Bursts of noise can still pop the squelch open at times.)

Sounds like you're getting it dialed in--good work!  GL 73!  -ken

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N1IRF
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« Reply #7 on: August 12, 2013, 10:44:13 AM »

Try sliding the squelch control up just a bit--not much.  Then when a signal is strong enough to open the squelch (stronger than the slider's vertical position), it will send signals to be processed--and when it's just random noise, most of the time it will NOT go to the processor.  (Bursts of noise can still pop the squelch open at times.)

Sounds like you're getting it dialed in--good work!  GL 73!  -ken



I will try it tonight to see if it improves it.  Is it the same for Digipan?
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