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Reviews Categories | Ham Software - Other than logging | MultiMode OSX Help


Reviews Summary for MultiMode OSX
MultiMode OSX Reviews: 1 Average rating: 3.0/5 MSRP: $89
Description: Receive and Transmit many modes, including CW, RTTY, SSTV, PSK31,
FAX, Packet, ACARS, Hellschreiber, and more.
Product is in production.
More info: http://www.blackcatsystems.com/software/multimode.html
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W5RST Rating: 3/5 Jan 16, 2007 15:11 Send this review to a friend
Many modes but touchy to use...  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
First of all, it must be said that MultiMode does cover an impressive range of digital modes, both old and new (some really new like GMDSS). The ability to decode CTCSS tones from a repeater or other transmitter is a handy mode that is included. Some of the modes, like HF FAX and SSTV, work very well and produce nice copy from strong off-the-air signals. Strong is an important word here because under less than optimal conditions I find that this software often has difficultly locking in and decoding many signals. I find that RTTY, CW, and SITOR to be particularly difficult to decode for this reason. Part of these problems stems from the tuning indicator that I find less than wonderful. By contrast, the freeware package cocoaModem is able to easily tune into RTTY and AMTOR signals and produce good to excellent copy depending upon band conditions. The MultiMode PSK31 and Hellschreiber inplementations both decode pretty well but raise another issue: the interface. MultiMode seems to be mainly aimed toward short-wave listeners rather than hams who want to carry on an actual QSO or work a contest. Both of the free-ware packages DarwinPSK and cocoaModem provide a much better interface with easy access to macros and good layout of the receive and transmit windows. cocoaModem, in particular, rivels the better Windows packages in performance and ease of use. So, if you need to decode ALE, GMDSS, or other unusual modes on your Mac, then MultiMode is the only game in town. However, for a PSK31 or RTTY QSO, I use cocoaModem every time. I will be posting a review of that software in the near future.

As the other reviewer mentioned, registration for MultiMode has an annual renewal fee although the website says that the annual fee is $35. I haven't decided whether I will pay for any upgrades yet; much will depend upon how the software evolves. A good, healthy dose of competition from a competing product would probably kill this fee. Unfortunately for Mac users, MultiMode seems to be the only game in town for a number of modes. Black Cat systems produce a number of other ham-related software packages, including the excellent propagation software DX Toolbox. MultiMode was worth registering to gain the ability to monitor a wide range of modes, but the interface and tuning indicators could be improved. I currently run MultiMode on a G4 iBook with OS X 10.4 (Tiger) using a Griffin USB iMic for sound input-output and a Keyspan USB serial adapter for PTT functions.
 


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