You have gotten some good responses so far, let me see if I can add a few more items.
Hey everyone. I'm new to the SDR game. Just bought an Alinco DX-R8 from universal radio.
A few questions. What are some good software programs that are compatible with this rig?
The KG-SDR program that was linked earlier will control the radio and display the waterfall, as well as do memory functions. It is the only software I know of that will do all of those functions with that specific radio.
However, there are multiple other pieces of software that will do some of those tasks also.
HD-SDR, SpectraVue, Sigmira, Rocky, SDR-Radio, and a host of others will display the waterfall/spectrum and demodulate the audio. All of these pieces of software will control other radios in actions like frequency tuning and memory control, but as far as I know they will not control the Alinco in these aspects. Sigmira and SDR-Radio will decode some digital signals.
You might want to try some of these other softwares, they will have some display / demodulation features that KG-SDR will not have. In using them it will be kind of a two-part process, tune the radio via front panel knob and use the software to display and demodulate.
Keep in mind that in the SDR mode that radio does NOT allow you to hear audio out of the radio, you select either SDR mode or a traditional USB/LSB/FM/AM/CW operation. And some software does better at different types of demodulation and different filter functions.
Experiment, you will find a combination you like.
Do most of these decode CW as well?
What about other modes?
Most of the SDR softwares on the market do not decode any signals at all, they typically only display the spectrum and demodulate the basic modulation (AM, FM, USB, LSB, CW, etc), producing the audio for you to hear. Typically to decode digital and analog signals (things other than voice and CW) additional software is needed.
FLDIGI, Rivet, Hamscope, CWDecoderXP, MMSSTV, PC-ALE, DIGTRX, and MultiPSK (a far from complete list, there are dozens) can be used to decode various signals. No one software does it all, and you will have to use different ones for different modes. There are also high dollar professional software suites that are much more capable, but can cost thousands of dollars for a single software license. Even these do not do everything, but they can come darned close.
For the record, no program really decodes CW (Morse) really well, particularly when the CW is hand sent instead of machine sent. My favorite is CWDecoderXP, but several perform about the same and some are just simply bad.
Going to be using it for utility listening, aero and military comms mostly.
Also, a point in the right direction for broadcast schedules is appreciated
Utility listening is a different World. If you have not done it before there is a bit of a learning curve. I would suggest that you visit the IRC chat channel #wunclub (on the StarChat server) and ask questions there. This channel is specifically focused on utility listening, all aspects of it, military, aero, marine, etc. I suggest using an IRC client (such as Xchat if in Windows), but you can also access it via Java (JavaChat
). Keep in mind that if you go in there you may see a lot of names listed as being online, however many of us leave it running 24 hours a day to log all the information presented. If you pop in and say hi but no one answers they are not ignoring you, they may be paying attention to the radio and not the chat or they may all just be away. Give someone a few minutes to reply, I would suggest at least 10 minutes. If no answer try back at another time.
Real time IRC is a boon to Ute listening, you can often get call outs to freqs in use right now, or confirmation / ID if you are hearing something you do not know the source of.
Have fun with the new radio, and do not get discouraged, like I said before some aspects of this kind of thing (both SDR and Ute) have a little bit of a learnign curve, but everyone starts form nothing and builds from there.