Hoka vs. Wavecom

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blantonl

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Folks,

Any Hoka and Wavecom users and owners out here?

I'm interested in understanding which is "better."

I realize that probably each application excels in different areas... so I'd love to hear some feedback from owners.

If anyone is lucky (and rich) enough to own both... I'd love to hear what you have to say.

Many Many Thanks!

Lindsay
 

KC0QNB

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Lindsay, I googled hoka and wavecom, what do they make?, edit never mind my guess is radio software, am I right?
 

lurking

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I would really, really enjoy trying out Wavecom. It looks like it would be very useful for some fun stuff. Klingenfuss puts out screen shots from this computer based radio / software package and it appears to be very well done and functional.

Hoka is surprising when you see it and use it the first time. I have a friend that has it and we use it every so often. When I say surprising, I didn't know what to expect for something that ran about $6000 when he got it. I expected something larger than a spectrogram and a couple of tool bars about 2 inches wide and 6 inches long as the opening function. It opens larger function boxes for specific modes which take up, maybe 1/3 to 1/2 the screen depending on what is being done. It is a very capable program and there are some really cool features, just expected something that would be at least full screen in size.

Hoka is very dependent on the radio and antenna it is trying to analysis from. Even the isolation interfaces will effect the results. I have a couple of radios with different Donner interfaces or even manufacturer supplied radio specific data cables. My kids bought me an Eton E1 for Xmas which I use with a receive only cable from Donner. It is very functional for digital modes with strong to moderate signals. I use a couple of different Yaesu radios for broadcasting digital modes and use Donner's isolation interfaces for the specific radios. These provide a better signal quality, or at least it does to me, for weaker signal reception. Yaesu data cables from the manufacturer just suck at what they do. Comparable to or worse results than the receive only interface from Donner but just cost much more.

Wavecom looks to be a better integrated package as it uses a computer based radio which has the software somewhat built in. Now, it's just an antenna issue with Wavecom.

I think it would be a Ford/Chevy type of thing for which is "better".
 

ka3jjz

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Lindsay I wouldn't ignore Skysweeper as an alternative. Lots of buzz on this software - a little odd in the demo in that I understand they give you audio files to use with the decoder. I suppose that's to insure that you get a basic understanding without having to fight with crummy propagation.

Last I looked there were 3 versions; standard, plus and professional. The link is simple...

http://www.skysweep.com

and they have their own Yahoo group, which is where I'd ask questions.

73 Mike
 

blantonl

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Yea, I considering a purchase of skysweeper... it looks like it gives the best price for overall features... thanks to everyone for the info!
 

Shortwavewave

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Lindsay, Unless your loaded with money I wouldnt waste the money or time with skysweeper

It has gotten horrible reviews, plus theres nothing it can do that you cant find free(or cheaper) software for.

Hoka "so far has" had nice reviews although there fairly new, and not meny has laid out $4000 for some "software".
 

ka3jjz

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Lindsay, Unless your loaded with money I wouldnt waste the money or time with skysweeper

It has gotten horrible reviews, plus theres nothing it can do that you cant find free(or cheaper) software for.

Hoka "so far has" had nice reviews although there fairly new, and not meny has laid out $4000 for some "software".
Unfortunately there isn't any freeware or similar to copy nearly the number of modes that Skysweeper does (for example, all the STANAG stuff...). For about USD95 it's not nearly as expensive as, say the Hoka Code 300-32 software. It's also one of the few that can handle ALE (remember PC-ALE doesn't work in Vista....)

Here is a link to the EHam reviews - some like it, others don't (so what else is new? There is no perfect software - it simply doesn't exist...)

http://www.eham.net/reviews/detail/2442

Still, joining the Yahoo group and asking questions is a free way to find out about the software before you plunk down any green stuff...73 Mike
 

KC1UA

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I've used Skysweeper with reasonably good success. What I hate about it has nothing to do with its performance. Every time an upgrade comes out it's necessary to re-register the software, which involves an exchange of e-mails with either the software writer or the point of purchase. Unless I'm completely missing something....which is entirely possible. :D

I've found performance to be good. It takes some sound card tweaking to make it work right, but I've decoded every mode that I've found with it with some degree of success. It's not an unreasonable cost for casual decoding. You'd have to run numerous freeware packages to decode all of the modes that it offers, and you'd still come up short where the more exotic ones are concerned.
 

zz0468

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What I'm curious about is, how much of the traffic being heard is encrypted? It's been ages since I've copied anything but routine wx data and amateur traffic. I guess what I really want to know is, is there anything left of interest to justify actually purchasing software? There is some excellent free stuff to copy virtually anything heard in the ham bands, and I've purchased DSCDecoder for DGPS hunting. What else is out there these days??
 

ka3jjz

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Your question is a valid one. The best answer I would suggest is to join groups like the COTHEN group or the UDXF, both of which are on Yahoo groups. Also take a look at the logs in places like MT and PopComm, with the proviso that you realize that such logs are often 90 days or more old (due to publishing lead times).

There's a lot of systems we will never decode, true, but there's still a fair amount that can be. Of course, cruddy propagation doesn't help....73 Mike
 

ka3jjz

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MulitPSK is fine software, but doesn't cover nearly the number of modes software like SkySweeper does.

It's mostly geared for ham use, in any case. 73 Mike
 

kb1ipd

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Pardon me if I have this wrong, but I was under the impression that Hoka was software and the signal is input either through the soundcard or some other thrid party sampling adampter. I know Wavecom is not just software, it's a hardware card.
 

ka3jjz

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Hoka's older decoders were DOS based and required a specific dongle to make them work. They were good in their day, and still are - if you find an old 386 or 486 running DOS with a good chunk of memory.

However many of the modes that the old Hokas worked on are hardly ever reported anymore. In addition I'd question if you could even get support for them.

The Code 300 is soundcard driven, if memory serves, but don't look at the price if you have a heart condition or are prone to strokes. You have been warned, hi

73 Mike
 

SkipSanders

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Even less easy on your heart would be Wavecom's software. They're real proud of their software ONLY W-Code software (uses your soundcard), which sells for (approximately) $8,400 USD. (6700 Euros or thereabouts)

Wavecom is the Platinum Toilet Seat seller aiming at government users paying with your taxes.
 

gcgrotz

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I've had Skysweeper for a while now. Mostly I use DM780 or multi-psk. Rarely, if something comes up the others can't decode, I'll fire up skysweeper. As for upgrades--- I never knew there were any. I'll have to look at the website. Most software easily has the check for upgrades tab.

As for Wavecom, someone mentioned it as a receiver. I don't think it is, it is a hardware based decoder that runs inside your PC. You still need a receiver. Everything I've read says it is the cream. Unfortunately, it costs more than my whole shack! Also, since it decodes POCSAG, it may be a legal gray area.

As for spread spectrum and CDMA (which IS spread spectrum), unless you have access to the spreading code you can forget about it. In CDMA the spreading code is based on a huge number generated by the mobile ESN.
 

Steve944

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Wavecom vs Hoka

Hi Lindsay,

I own both and I can say that they are expensive and not really aimed at hobby(est) users. For $4500 and $7200 you can get a lot more out of "radio" than these two software packages allow. There are free or cheaper programs about and with what is on HF nowadays they will offer you probably 80% of what is sent in the clear you can actually decode AND identify.

Don't be fooled by the blurb that says over 120 modes decoded! Yes they both have an equal share of exotic and rare systems included but you would be hard pressed nowadays to hear a ROU-FEC or SI-ARQ on HF.

Even some of the later modes that are supported are either rare or regional; so you would not in the US ever log EFR on 139Khz! Nor from what is transmitted be interested by its contents.

For analysis tools neither can be beaten (unless you have $ to give Medav!) you will find they are the cream of the crop. The latest versions of the Code300-32 and W-CODE are well rounded applications and do work well even well into the noise when you cannot hear the signal they are still locked and decoding.

Something you don't always see with free or cheaper programs.

Another reason they ramp the costs up are interfacing and data output. Both allow BITstream transmission over a LAN and remote control via an XML interface - something I am sure no one here has ever probably used nor needed when DXing UTEs!

As for what you get for your money they both come with a dongle (USB) and both come on one CD. That's it! You install the software plug in the dongle and launch the program and configure the audio input from your sound card. And at last Wavecom have acknowledged that a PC sound card *can* be used to decode signals and you don't need a bloody HOT running PCI card in the PC that can and does go wrong when they get too hot. Hoka knew this in what 1990? And to add insult to injury Klinkyfuss always bleated on that "a computer sound card could never replace dedicated hardware interfaces..." - look now how he has changed his tune! A *suspected* dig at Hoka who being Wavecoms competitor were using sound card interfaces ... In fact in a side by side test with a Hoka Code30 and a Wavecom W40PC a few years ago it was easy to provide better decode on the Code30 than the Wavecom - this was something a few people noted back then when armed with both pieces of hardware.

To sum up if I were you I would buy a Perseus SDR and try Skysweeper and/or PC-ALE/HFDL and see how you get on. Second-hand Hokas and Wavecoms pop up from time to time on eBay and some are even sensibly priced. I got a Code30A for $100 and there was a Wavecom 4100DSP that went for 1/4rd of its new price a while ago. With original trackball and software!

73

Steve
 

rkeele

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Hoka 300-32

I have used Hoka from almost day one, started out with Hoka code 3 which was dos based, then went to Hoka 300-32 which i have used for a few years and have upgraded to the latest version 3.08. The Hoka 300-32 software is very powerful and give you excellent tools to break down and analyse signals. I am getting out of the radio hobby after 50 years, if anyone is interested in the Hoka 300-32 software let me know. I will not give it away but i will not ask 6500 dollars for it either. you can email me at rkeele11@yahoo.com if interested.
 
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