mode auto-detect?

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W4VEY

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Hello!

Is there any decoding ware out there that auto-identifies a decent number of popular modes or protocols?

It would be helpful to be able to play recordings into it instead of depending on it running an SDR

I'm more into analog radios with overbuilt variable air caps and needle freq. indicators etc. when it comes to SWLing, but I break down and look at spectrum analysis on a cheap dongle (to me 3 MHz spread waterfall is still secret headquarters stuff!)... you know, to assess propagation or maybe chase something down on my analog radios in the bedroom after noting a strong signal on a waterfall in the livingroom. So even 8 bit ADC capability is still pretty adequate for my purposes since I'm using it as an intermediary tool and audio fidelity is relied upon elsewhere (and when I get 6 MHz bandwidth with an Airspy mini I'll probably just sit there and stare and not know what to listen to tweaking a tuner on a fan dipole).

Anyway, I get curious when I see these digital streams, even more so than dialing past them, but I still don't intend to dedicate a large percentage of my hobby time to it (or I'd learn to identify the different sounds and streaks by ear and eye). Like, what are all these ever-increasing streams and even bands of stuff appearing between 6900 and 6990 frequently in the unlicensed "free radio" watering hole??

So software that auto-id's the mode or protocol would be cool. Otherwise I'll do the old hunt and default-click, but I still need to decide on an up to date software that is pre-recorded friendly since you never know what I'm listening with at the time.

Thanks!
Jeff
 

ka3jjz

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Actually this topic is discussed in our HF digital FAQ here...

Decoders - The RadioReference Wiki

While both fldigi and MultiPSK use RS ID (as discussed above), and we have a number of spectrum traces in our modes section (also in that FAQ), the truth is that it's only a tiny fraction of what's out there. Certainly the ham modes are easy to identify, but there's a ton of modes out there we'll never be able to copy, and more are showing up all the time. As an example, there have been a number of reports of what is assumed to be Russian Intel fooling around with variations of MFSK16 on the UDXF group.

It takes some study and analysis to figure some of these modes out (as the article above discusses), and there's a whole sub-culture within the UDXF group made up of folks that do this sort of analysis. But it's certainly not for everyone.

Mike
 

ka3jjz

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As you might guess, conditions and how good your gear is play a big role here, too.

We have a number of references in the appendix section that go into great detail about this. Antonio's Blog along with the HF Asia website are 2 very good references for many of the unknowns that you may run into. Just remember, it's only a tip of the iceberg

HF Appendix - The RadioReference Wiki

Mike
 
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