Poor man's spectrum analyzer

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ka3jjz

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Waterfalls (sometimes also called sonograms or audio spectrum displays) are very useful tools when analyzing digital signals. Many signals have an unique pattern that's a good thumbprint, and thereby a guide to identify them. This does take some study to recognize and analyze the patterns. We have numerous waterfalls stored in the HF Modes Currently Active section of our DXing Digital Utilities article, as well as in our Digital Amateur Radio article, just for this purpose.

Many SDR software packages generate sonograms as well; here's an article from the UDXF about how to use some software to capture sonograms (in this case from SDR Console) for future analysis. You will need a PDF reader such as Adobe or Foxit for this...

http://www.udxf.nl/PMSA.pdf

If you are using a tabletop receiver, you're not left out - many decoding packages have this ability and you can use separate software to generate a sonogram. See the section of the page in my sig called 'DSP Audio Programs' for a selection of stand alone programs that you can use, some of them are free

Mike
 
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