Another part of Amatuer Radio that I enjoy is working Digital Modes. With the DSP in Sound Cards, you can now use software to decode and encode digital signals on your computer. There are several software programs out there that can do this. Many are free
To get started, you need to either build or purchase an interface between your radio and the computer. Commercial interfaces include:
- this is what I use. I prefer it as it lets me keep the mic connected
so that I can do SSTV.
If you want to build it yourself:
Reviews of commercial interfaces and kits.
Now that you have an interface between the sound card and the radio, you need software to do the decoding. My personal favorite is MixW:
This program can decode many modes including CW, BPSK31, QPSK31, FSK31, RTTY, Packet (HF/VHF), Pactor (RX only), AMTOR (FEC), MFSK, Hellschreiber, Throb, Fax (RX only), SSTV, MT63. MixW will interface with most radios. I built a level converter for my Icom IC746 which works very well with MixW. MixW also includes many other features that I have not listed here. Check out their homepage:
Please contact me if you have any questions or comments.