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Reviews Categories | Packet TNCs | Hal P-38 Help


Reviews Summary for Hal P-38
Reviews: 2 Average rating: 5.0/5 MSRP: $(missing—add MSRP)
Description: Internal ISA card for RTTY, AMTOR, PMODE
Product is in production.
More info: http://www.halcomm.com
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WN9NPJ Rating: 5/5 Apr 25, 2004 20:56 Send this review to a friend
Fantastic but different  Time owned: 3 to 6 months
I bought my P38 from an EBay auction, but they are still available, at a reduced price, from HAL. A friend of mine did buy a new one from HAL. If you have a computer around with an ISA slot, this card might just fit into it. It does take up some real estate inside of a computer. That is because, like any other TNC, the P38 does all of the work and the computer just sees the results. The latest software can be downloaded, free of charge, from HAL's website. It is a DOS only program. However, I do run the program in a DOS window on a Windows 98SE machine. This is more than adequate, as just a 286 running DOS 3.1 or higher is all that is necessary. So, any old PC laying around ought to do the job. Also, 3rd party programs, like XPWare, work quite well with the P38.
When it comes to performance, this card rocks !!! Not only that, it uses memory mapping to get the data back and forth on the computer. This means that it does not tie up any IRQ's or Comm ports. I use mine on an older SGC SG-2000 which needs a 0 dbm line level input. The output range of the P38 is selected by an on-board jumper. Most TNC's do not seem capable of putting out a high enough level as 0 dbm. The trimpot, that provides the variable output on the back of the card may be hard to get at . But, it should need to be set only once. Many TNC's do not perform well on RTTY, as they may be optimized for Packet. Not so with the P38. RTTY is where I do most of my operation with the P38. I have also used my P38 for quite a few AMTOR Qso's, where it is also a good performer. Both for RTTY and AMTOR, the shift is set for 170 hz. Some TNC's have their shift set at 200 hz.
The most interesting aspect of the P38 is that it can do Clover II. This is a mode developed by HAL and is also on their DXP38. For those of us who embrace the TOR modes, Clover II is the cat's meow. Unfortunately, Clover has never caught on in the ham community, and that is a shame. The advent of the sound card modes has pushed the TNC's to the rear of the line. But, Clover II is an adaptive mode. It constantly measures signal conditions and changes the mode accordingly. Also, Clover can do direct transfer of binary files from one computer to another. That means.... any file can be transferred in its original form.
Clover activity is hard to find. But, if you want to take an old computer and change it into a stand-alone terminal for non-soundcard digital modes, the P38 makes that possible , and without all of the extra cables that would be attached to an external TNc.
 
WK0F Rating: 5/5 May 18, 2002 09:20 Send this review to a friend
Great for RTTY  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
I picked one of these up on E-Bay, but would purchase it for full price again! I used a KAM for rtty before, and worked fine. I heard alot about HAL products, I decided to give it a try. Wow! Talk about t a difference. It picks up signals that aren't even wiggling the S-meter. This is a full sized ISA card so it may not work in some newer computers. The software that comes with it is ok, (DOS), but the tuning indicators are kinda clunky. It works great with Writelog, and I use it in a DOS window when using DX4WIN. I just found the RTTY-1 display on E-Bay, and it is the perfect accessory. You can really fine tune in rtty signals. Find these on E-Bay or buy them outright. You won't be disappointed.
 


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