Universal M-400 Decoder Ver.1.02

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#1
Hello All!
Just picked up a mint condition Universal M-400 decoder for a friend. Paid $60 with the manual and original wall wart. For those not familiar with it, here is a link for more info: http://www.universal-radio.com/catalog/decoders/m400.html
He is going to use it for acars. He asked about the other modes that the unit is capable of decoding. Now, I know about pocsag and golay digital paging modes. My question is this, is this type of decoder any good for HF or shortwave data decoding given todays' modern digital modes? Any of these modes still in use? This is an area I am not really familiar with and would like some direction on this to guide my friend.

Manny
 
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ka3jjz

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#2
It has some limited usefulness. Sitor-B is still used by USCG stations for weather, FAX is still fairly popular (although you won't see many stations use this mode for news photos anymore - it's pretty rare - they've all moved to more reliable comms), Baudot RTTY is still used once in a while by Aero stations (apart from hams, of course). FEC-A and SWED-ARQ are hardly reported anymore.

FAX use is almost primarily used for weather charts; every so often you see reports of Japanese press, but it's pretty rare...

Mike
 
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Would anyone be willing to copy the manual for me? I have the same unit and I’m desperately trying to decide Pocsag with it and a scanner with disc tap.
 

iMONITOR

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ka3jjz

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#7
Just post the link, iMonitor. No need to repeat the whole page here.

If memory serves, the M450 had a few other things it did that were different from the M400.. In fact, the page at Universal shows that this model didn't cover POCSAG, so the manual for the M450 isn't going to help very much

https://www.universal-radio.com/catalog/decoders/0450.html

To get this back on topic, since this is a HF forum; FEC-A and SWED-ARQ are dead modes, unfortunately, but like the M400, it will do NAVTEX and FAX, so if you are into those modes, it will work fine. SITOR-A is no longer used in the maritime service very much anymore (moved to PACTOR with encryption), but oddly the Egyptian Diplo uses it (among a few other modes).

Mike

[edit] I see that the owners manual is available for USD10 on that page iMonitor gave. Break down and spend just a little green (heh)
 
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iMONITOR

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If memory serves, the M450 had a few other things it did that were different from the M400.. In fact, the page at Universal shows that this model didn't cover POCSAG, so the manual for the M450 isn't going to help very much
Post #6 is correct for the M-400.
 
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