• Effective immediately we will be deleting, without notice, any negative threads or posts that deal with the use of encryption and streaming of scanner audio.

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Non voice modes

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w5cyc

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51
Location
Edmond, OK
OK...this is probably going to aggravate some people, and yes, I've done some archive reading already, but I'm not really finding what I'm looking for.

I have an Eton E-1. Not my first shortwave radio by any means, but probably the best I've had since the FRG-7 I used to have. Traditionally, I've been a voice mode listener -- hams in SSB and SW programming.

I'm curious about some of the other modes out there and what else the E-1 has to offer in that regard, but I don't want to drop a lot of money on a decoder, etc., until I know if it's something I really want to spend time on.

So the question I guess is this: I know there are some shareware decoding programs out there, but I have no idea which ones are good. And can any of them be used with a simple connection from the line out on the radio to the line in on a computer sound card? What are your recommendations for someone who is literally doing this for the first time?
 

ka3jjz

Wiki Admin Emeritus
Joined
Jul 22, 2002
Messages
21,765
Location
Bowie, Md.
Take a look at our Utility monitoring wiki (anything in blue - or in the wiki, underlined- is a link) for most everything I'm about to mention...

http://wiki.radioreference.com/index.php/Utility_Monitoring

In all truth, I haven't heard of many using an E1 for utes, but given its selectivity and relative stability, I see no real reason why it wouldn't work. The software section on the utility monitoring central website has numerous such packages, and most all of the current crop need only a line in connection to your soundcard. Nothing more - of course, for transmitting, you'll need a few things...

Anyway, just to get your feet wet for a minimum of expense, MultiPSK is very good indeed, and PC-ALE is freeware that copies the numerous ALE networks that have been popping up all over the place. Be aware that MultiPSK is really geared toward us hams - for a more comprehensive coverage of non-ham modes, I've heard that SkySweeper is excellent. You can get that for under USD100 for the basic package, and it's upgradable.

You should be aware that there are a lot of modes out there (like Link11) which us hobby folks (yes, that includes us hams in the eyes of the big boys...) will never decode. The wiki lists a few sites that have audio samples of common, and not so common, modes. Learn to listen - eventually, just by ear, you will be able to discern some of the modes just by hearing them.

The UDXF (Utility DXers Forum) on Yahoo is a worldwide utility-only mailing list, and digital logs are quite prevalent. In addition, some of these packages have Yahoo based support groups; these are listed, to some degree, on the UMC website on another page. Most will also tell you that the Klingenfuss guides are very good, although a bit expensive, and somewhat slanted in its coverage (it's pretty much an open secret that there are many American organizations and individuals Jorge doesn't list - he's German, and very much so...) however, that's a fair place to start.

Just remember, not everything is decodable - choose a package that will allow you to view the audio spectrum of a signal. That too is an even more accurate way to tell one signal from another - more accurate than your ear, which can, as we all know, be fooled.

One thing to do right now would be to insure you have a clean audio feed from the E1 to the PC. Keep in mind sometimes distributors deliberately disable inputs on a soundcard, so you may need to do a little hunting to make sure you don't have a muted input. Insure you have no noise, hum or other junk. Tune in a FM station, and try feeding the E1 audio into the PC. You get audio, you're already half way home.

73 Mike
 
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lurking

Member
Joined
Nov 1, 2005
Messages
63
My kids gave me an Eton E1 for xmas.

I use a Donner's "receive only" isolation interface hooked to my computer.

I run a variety of programs and have decoded just about everything meant to be decoded by the average guy looking for fun, outside the ham bands.

I really enjoy the faxes and NAVTEX from around the world. Eton, with a decent external antenna, has my part of the world fairly well covered.

There is truly a whole new world out there beyond voice.
 

w5cyc

Member
Joined
Dec 22, 2007
Messages
51
Location
Edmond, OK
Thanks for the pointers. I just ordered one of them Donner interfaces. When it arrives, I'll find some freeware and give it a go.

Who knows, maybe I'll find a use for that extra PC I have sitting in the closet now!
 

edmondcops

Member
Joined
May 27, 2002
Messages
31
Location
Edmond, OK
OK...so I got my interface today and was playing around with HamScope. Was able to decode a guy calling CQ on 40 meters, but then again, I can decode "CQ" on CW without a program. (catch it, catch it. pay day today)

But as far as the other modes go, I'm pretty much lost. Guess I've got a lot of reading to do and practice learning what modes I'm hearing.

Is HamScope pretty good, or is there a more user-friendly program out there?
 
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