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Shortwave Data Decoding - Discussions regarding decoding digital signals on the HF bands, including HFDL, ALE, RTTY, CW, and others.

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Old 04-24-2011, 3:30 PM
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Thumbs up MARS ALE vs. PC-ALE

Hi,
I have been using PC-ALE for a number of years with good results until I ran into Vista and then the
program just became glitchy for me. I downloaded MARS ALE and am much happier with the
results. The set up guide is really great, too. Much better program for just decoding. ALE is facinating
to me and I enjoy learning about it---the part in the guide about SYNC and TONES and how to read the TONES screen and intrepret the bars was really great. If you are having inconsistent performance with
PC-ALE, there is an option--and it's freeware to boot.
I would like to optimize mu Config setting so if anyone has any tips--especially on audio levels, I am all
ears.

Thanks,

m.m.
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Old 04-25-2011, 8:26 AM
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The MARS-ALE Technical Forum page says that only MARS members may join their group and download the software. General ham users are directed to PC-ALE.
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Old 04-25-2011, 2:26 PM
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Hi Dave
You can download MARS-ALE from this website
MARS-ALE Technical Forum file support site
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Old 04-25-2011, 9:27 PM
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Apparently the QRG files are not compatible. Would have to re-build all my ute QRG files. Might be worth it though, if it performs better. My concerns about PC-ALE is the audio sensitivity and the limit of 100 freqs in each QRG file, neither of which is a real big deal. I'm just happy to have a freebie program to decode ALE.
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Old 04-27-2011, 9:40 AM
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Quote:
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Hi Dave
You can download MARS-ALE from this website
Thank you! I have it now.
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Old 04-27-2011, 4:54 PM
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how is it working out for you Dave? Are you getting better performance?
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Old 04-27-2011, 7:53 PM
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please excuse me for what must be a really basic question; but can someone please explain to me what ALE is?
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Old 04-28-2011, 6:19 AM
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From our extensive wiki..,.,

ALE - The RadioReference Wiki

best regards..Mike
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Old 04-28-2011, 9:49 AM
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how is it working out for you Dave? Are you getting better performance?
I'll let you know when I get a chance to try it out. Darned thunderstorms....
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Old 05-17-2011, 9:05 PM
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Got around to installing MARS-ALE this evening, and playing with it for a bit. From a listeners POV, its about the same as PC-ALE. Using the default settings, configuring in only the receiver (Icom R-8500), MARS-ALE seems to operate basically the same, might be a *bit* more positive in decoding the signals.

Using the QRG utility files I built for PC-ALE, MARS-ALE worked fine with them. At least for receiving. The difference may be for transmitting.

I'll do some more tweaking and playing around, and see if anything different pops up. If its significant, I'll report back sometime in the future.
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Old 01-26-2017, 2:59 PM
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For amateur use you can download MULTIPSK and on the right hand corner push ALE141a, it receives good and go to auxiliary options it has qrg files, message sending etc., works great.
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Old 01-27-2017, 8:00 AM
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Quite apart from hams, ALE is so extensively used now, one could likely log numerous countries just using that one mode alone. Check out the Utility Planet list of countries and users, found here...

Testing Your New Setup - The RadioReference Wiki

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Old 01-27-2017, 9:15 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ka3jjz View Post
Quite apart from hams, ALE is so extensively used now, one could likely log numerous countries just using that one mode alone. Check out the Utility Planet list of countries and users, found here...

Testing Your New Setup - The RadioReference Wiki

Mike
Thanks for posting that, Mike. I'm an ALE user in two different venues. We use NVIS modes primarily, but I found it interesting that the author made an observation of having frequencies several kHz apart being good for NVIS operation. In my view, that might be useful for QRM, but not necessarily for NVIS, per se. Having one or two frequencies in each band allowed is more useful. Those long lists would make for perpetual sounding (and the electric meter spins pretty fast as the radio gets hot). I could be wrong...
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Old 01-27-2017, 12:05 PM
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Here's some ALE decoding software from Black Cat Systems

Decode ALE Transissions On the Go With The ALE Decoder App for iPad and iPhone

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Old 01-27-2017, 11:19 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ka3jjz View Post
Here's some ALE decoding software from Black Cat Systems

Decode ALE Transissions On the Go With The ALE Decoder App for iPad and iPhone

Mike
Nice! Got to see if my wife will let me borrow her iPhone

Her: "Why?"
Me: "Oh, no reason... I wouldn't worry about it..."

Have you tried decoding AMD with it?
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Last edited by 902; 01-27-2017 at 11:20 PM.. Reason: Question.
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Old 02-10-2017, 5:23 PM
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Default NVIS ALE

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Originally Posted by 902 View Post
Thanks for posting that, Mike. I'm an ALE user in two different venues. We use NVIS modes primarily, but I found it interesting that the author made an observation of having frequencies several kHz apart being good for NVIS operation. In my view, that might be useful for QRM, but not necessarily for NVIS, per se. Having one or two frequencies in each band allowed is more useful. Those long lists would make for perpetual sounding (and the electric meter spins pretty fast as the radio gets hot). I could be wrong...
Tell me more about NVIS ALE. Most of what's in NVIS range of this QTH is desert or water. Mostly I read about it from other people. I'd love to hear how it's actually engineered in the field. I'll reword the descriptions on the list accordingly.

The long frequency lists are derived from actual listener reports made to various authoritative sources I follow. I doubt that all frequencies are in use at once, especially in a situation like the Polish military, or probably the US one for that matter. As you say, at some point sounding all of these would be more QRM and equipment wear than it would be worth.

A more likely scenario is that various nets use various sets of frequencies from the list. Also, many of the newer radios have more sophisticated sounding modes that don't just mindlessly move through all the channels in order at some programmed time interval.

I never remove a frequency unless I know it's no longer used. Subnets might not be active for a long time, then come up again without notice. This is especially true of military users.

-hugh
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Old 02-13-2017, 12:47 PM
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Tell me more about NVIS ALE. Most of what's in NVIS range of this QTH is desert or water. Mostly I read about it from other people. I'd love to hear how it's actually engineered in the field. I'll reword the descriptions on the list accordingly.

The long frequency lists are derived from actual listener reports made to various authoritative sources I follow. I doubt that all frequencies are in use at once, especially in a situation like the Polish military, or probably the US one for that matter. As you say, at some point sounding all of these would be more QRM and equipment wear than it would be worth.

A more likely scenario is that various nets use various sets of frequencies from the list. Also, many of the newer radios have more sophisticated sounding modes that don't just mindlessly move through all the channels in order at some programmed time interval.

I never remove a frequency unless I know it's no longer used. Subnets might not be active for a long time, then come up again without notice. This is especially true of military users.

-hugh
Hello Hugh,

There is no difference in the radio used. It's all in the antenna. In my case, I use a T2FD antenna that is mounted somewhat like an inverted V, with the center being about 30 feet off the ground, and the edges being about 6 and 12 feet. This gives me a very high angle of radiation that sends much of my energy upward to the ionosphere. A number of frequencies, each within a different band, are loaded into the radio, and the radio periodically either sends or responds to a signal from another within my net. My radio scans each of them listening for a relevant signal. Once it hears one, it records the channel and the quality. Then, if there's a need to communicate, it would happen on that frequency. We essentially use it for statewide communication. That's usually possible to some extent, although for the past year or two, propagation conditions have been pretty bad and typical conditions "go long" beyond our area to several states away.
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Old 02-26-2017, 2:02 PM
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T2FD is interesting. It's broadband and as you say it can radiate at the high angle needed. There's been a lot of work done by military and law enforcement contractors on sounding modes that cut down channel chatter, but I'm not completely sure exactly how they're implemented. I've read some descriptions online, but they tend to be short on facts.

Thanks.

-hugh
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Old 02-27-2017, 8:01 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NV6H View Post
T2FD is interesting. It's broadband and as you say it can radiate at the high angle needed. There's been a lot of work done by military and law enforcement contractors on sounding modes that cut down channel chatter, but I'm not completely sure exactly how they're implemented. I've read some descriptions online, but they tend to be short on facts.

Thanks.

-hugh
There's no magic to ALE. If they cut down on sounding and LQAs on the front-end, it will need to be accomplished on the back-end by stepping through channels when trying to contact a certain station. Some users are doing some innovative things by programming a collective call for all of their ingest traffic and then just using that for message center type operations. Otherwise, the price for more instantaneous communication is occupied time and bandwidth. That can be okay with faster data modes, but remains absolutely awful when you have to deliver a Groups = 30 (someone wrote the message with 30 words in it) voice message, and most of them need to be spelled out.

As far as the T2FD, some people call it a radiating dummy load. I'm not a fan, but when you have 2 MHz up to 30 MHz in the load, it's either that, or an antenna tuner. At that level, you're making solar-terrestrial conditions do the heavy lifting. Lately that seems to be quite variable.
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