Universal M7000 Communications Decoder HELP

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OZ_Redneck

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Hi all, im new here but maybe someone can help me with info on an item I just purchased from Ebay. I just saw it advertised and thought it looked cool so I bid for it and won, but I dont know anything about them. I have found a bit of info via Google but if anyone knows how to get best results from these decoders i'd appreciate the advice.



From Ebay:


This state of the art American made 1980's unit is an independent stand alone unit which decodes all those old popular HF and VHF radio data transmissions from CW , BAUDOT, SITOR-A and B, ASCII to a variety types of ARQ even PACKET and more.

This was commonly used by Government Enforcement Agencies around the world. A good communications receiver with USB and LSB for the HF band with variable band filters (digital types is ideal) is recommended.

The signal is fed into it from the audio line-out of the receiver and for the display all is needed is a composite video monochrome monitor such as a security monitor ... The unit has had the 1 and only EPROM upgrade done to it... Comes with a couple of home made good quality audio and a video lead and 2 manuals one is for the upgrade...

This unit gave me endless hours of fascinating listening or should I say reading pleasure..

HAPPY BIDDING......





 

ka3jjz

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These units were sold by Universal Radio of Ohio in the USA. At the time, this was considered the ne plus ultra of decoders, and had many of the modes (on HF and higher) that were common at the time.

Unfortunately most of the modes - but not all - on HF that this unit could decode have been superceded, and the company that manufactured these units no longer is interested in supporting them, so no new modes have been offered in a very long time. However, due to its superior filtering, it still can be used to decode various NAVTEX, HF Sitor (what few are left out there...) and FAX transmissions. Standard Baudot RTTY is kinda rare any more; there are a few Aeronautical and weather stations that use it, but not much - beyond hams- that do anymore.

You will need a good shielded composite monitor - not a computer monitor, more like one used in closed circuit TV ops - to see what the M7000 is decoding. A good HF rx - one that goes from 3-30 Mhz - that is sideband capable, and with good filtering is an absolute must.

I'll follow up with PC information in a moment - but you should know that the RS232 connection it uses is NOT standard. It uses a very wierd combination - so wierd that I'm not sure most could find it anymore.

73s Mike

[edit] What little PC support is still out there can be linked to from here;

http://www.chace-ortiz.org/umc/hardware.html

go to the bottom of the page

It kinda sounds like you're new to all this, so I will close with a recommendation - our Wiki section has extensive links for utility listening (I would also strongly recommend starting with the HF section first). I don't know if the Utility DXers Forum on Yahoo has any Pacifica members, but I would bet that it does - and that would also be a place to start. I'd also make a few inquiries for Australia based clubs that do Utility listening - to be honest, I've kinda lost track of what clubs are still around (is the Australia Radio DX club even around anymore?).

73s Mike
 
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OZ_Redneck

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Thanks for your very informative reply Mike. You are correct that im fairly new to this. I was into Scanners, Ham receivers & CB Radio a decade or so ago and im just starting to get back into it. I saw the Universal for sale on ebay and I was compelled to buy it for some reason, partially for it's nostalgic and aesthetic value I guess.

I am eager to have it up and running though and any information I can get on it is most appreciated.

Cheers
 

OZ_Redneck

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I received this unit and it looks great, however im not sure I will get much use out of it. I do love the look of it though.

Some guy who saw me buy it on ebay has contacted me and offered almost double what I paid for it. Im very tempted to sell but there's something very appealing about keeping it, even as a nostalgic conversation piece.


My head says to sell it, my heart says to keep it.

Decisions, decisions.
 

iMONITOR

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That of course is entirely up to you. If you didn't pay too much for it, and you want to keep it in the listening shack as a conversation piece, there is nothing wrong with that.

As for how useful it is today? Many of the modes it's capable of are no longer in use, and the rest can be decoded easily, and inexpensively with a home PC, and software (in most cases, free software).

If someone was offering me almost twice what I paid, I'd sell it, and use the extra money, and shelf space, to buy something more up-to-date, and useful.
 

EricCottrell

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Hello,

This is mainly a decoder for HF (below 30 MHz). Some of the modes are still used by Hams on HF and VHF. 1200 baud packet is popular on 2M Ham Band. The SITOR and FECTOR modes are still used by ships. FAX is still used for weather maps. I did some FAX dxing for awhile.

While there are computer programs for decoding some of them do not work very well. The programs that decode almost everything costs $$$.

I have a M-8000 that uses a VGA monitor. I still like a hardware decoder. It does not tie up a computer for general monitoring. I have also hooked my M-8000 up to the computer via the serial connection.

73 Eric
 

OZ_Redneck

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l agreed to sell it and I used the money as part payment on this radio. It's called a Dansk Dra RX4000 and it's a HF receiver. I think i'll get more use out of it than I would the M7000.

I hope it's as good as it looks. I have made a post on the HF forum asking for any info.


 
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