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Waterfall on Winradio 1.51 software

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woebbers

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Hi Gang

I'm new to SDR but not to shortwave in general. I need some tips on using the waterfall window using my G31DDC. The help file with the software isnt helping me much. Any tips would be much appreciated!

Sal
 

Token

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Hiya Sal,

Lets start with the basics, there is no way I will be able to cover all of your potential issues with one post, so I will throw out a few things here, if they spur questions go ahead and ask them in this thread. We can build the information in the thread as we go based on questions and anyone who asks or answers them.

There are two windows that can be displayed as waterfalls, the upper left window is the “DDC” window and the bottom window is the “Wideband Display” window. The upper right window cannot be used as a waterfall, it is the Demodulator window and can show either post filtered RF spectrum or Audio spectrum. Sometimes in audio mode it would be most helpful if this one would do a waterfall also, it would help to shape filters skirts and notch filter tuning.

The waterfall shows data on three axis of data at one time, this is where it is superior to the spectrum display, which only shows two axis of data. The vertical axis, up and down, is time, the newest data at the bottom and the oldest data at the top. The horizontal axis is frequency, in this case displayed bandwidth (displayed does not necessarily mean demodulated or detected), with low frequency to the left and high frequency to the right. The Z axis is intensity of the signal, with the stronger signal being either a brighter color or a different color, depending on what palette you have selected.

Clicking with the mouse anyplace inside any of the three windows, be they in waterfall or spectrum mode, will cause the currently selected receiver channel to tune to that frequency. So, if you see a signal pop up you can click on it and instantly jump to it, you might have to fine tune a bit after that to get it in clearly.

The DDC window shows the instantaneous bandwidth of whatever you have selected for the DDC, selectable steps between 20 kHz and 2 MHz for the G31DDC and between 20 kHz and 45 MHz for the G33DDC Excalibur Pro. You toggle between Spectrum and Waterfall using the button near the upper left hand corner of the DDC window.

The Wideband Display on the bottom shows you an instantaneously sampled picture of either 9 kHz to 30 MHz or 9 kHz to 50 MHz. The width of this display is selected under the “Options” menu in the tool bar, Options/Frequency Range, and select the one you want, for most SWL/Ute listeners 30 MHz is probably fine. This display is toggled from Spectrum to Waterfall using the button near the upper left corner of the Wideband Display window.

Both the DDC and the Wideband waterfall flow up the screen, the newest data is at the bottom of the waterfall. In my opinion this is backwards, waterfalls should flow down, but so far WinRadio has not changed the software, even though I have been a verbal pain in there butt about this and a few other issues.

The speed of the DDC waterfall flow is not adjustable, but the speed of the Wideband waterfall has 10 settings, from 1 to 10, 1 being slowest and 10 being fastest. Typically I find it most useful at a setting of 1, the slowest. This allows 600 seconds of visual memory of past signals to be kept on the waterfall. Think of sliding up the waterfall as looking back in time at the signals, up to 10 minutes in the past. The DDC waterfall has a history of 50 seconds.

You can slide up and down (the vertical axis, or time) either or both of the waterfalls individually by using the slider bar on the right hand side of each. This is very useful to some listeners (such as utility listeners) to see and tune to short duration transmissions that happened in the “past”. Most displays do not have enough room for you to resize the window big enough to show the full 50 seconds on the DDC and 600 seconds on the Wideband.

You can “zoom in” and “zoom out” on either or both the DDC and Wideband waterfalls by using the magnifying glass ( + and - ) in the upper right of each window. Zooming in changes the displayed frequency width, but doe nothing to the vertical time axis. Zooming in and out does NOT remove any data, so you can zoom in to your hearts content and then zoom back out and see other things you might want to look at more closely.

You can slew back and forth across either waterfall when you are zoomed in. This way, for example, you can have the Wideband zoomed in enough to make out individual signals, but still slide it around throughout the frequency range. Most of the time I am zoomed in on the Wideband, but seldom zoomed in on the DDC. Normally for the DDC I just set the width I want with the “DDC BW” menu.

That is the basics of the waterfall displays, what they show, and how it can be of use. In the next post I will hit some high points on how to make the waterfall display what you want to see.

T!
 
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