Ham Radio

Wednesday, October 11, 2006
Radio Com 5, Computers and Radios
BONITO RADCOM 5.2

This is the software that I have been running for a while from my PC to my Yaesu FT-857. It is connected from a COM Port via a dongle to the back of the rig with a CAT Interface lead. The software includes DSP filter and decoder for RTTY, CW, PSK, Fax and SSTV, full radio control, real time 3D scanner, equaliser, sat-tracking frequency management and a frequency analyzer.


WEATHER FAX FROM CANADA
click on image to enlarge
This is a weather fax received on HF from a Canadian weather station. There are many stations worldwide continuously transmitting weather information. You can receive many stations but obviously it all depends on the propogation.
This image is showing isobars.


SSTV PICTURES ON 20M BAND
click on image to enlarge
Here is an image of some SSTV - another feature of the software. There are many different filters and settings which are quite simple to use and allow good quality images. You can also transmit quite simply and drag your own images into the windows and then edit with your callsign etc.









SAT FAX USING SCOPE
click on image to enlarge
This image shows the settings for receiving satellite faxes, you can see there are various scopes. On the top left is a spectrum analyzer, the top centre shows a tuning scope and the right is the signal scope. The large middle scope shows the Level Controller. There are also fine adjustments such as bandwidth and different filter/equalizer settings all of which are fairly simple and straightforward. I have received some excellent signals and images of the Earth from space through the NOAA satellites with this software.







SATELLITE TRACKING AND SATSCAPE
click on image to enlarge
This image shows satellites being tracked and decoded at the same time. I think that anyone interested in satellite tracking may consider downloading Satscape as this is a really good program and is obtainable free via the Internet. I use both when I am in satellite mode and as you can see the screen looks good and it isn't often a satellite passes me by without being decoded. You can also set up a scan facility and program the satellites you wish to receive in advance and let the software decode the images whilst you're doing something else, maybe walking the dog H.I.





WORKING CW AND RTTY
click on image to enlarge
This image shows another function, this is working RTTY and here two stations are in QSO using their keyboards to do the talking. It decodes both RTTY, PSK and CW all in the same format, just simply click your mouse on the top left scope where the signal is present and the text will appear. again you can transmit on all the modes mentioned with this software but you will need a Rigblaster.







DSP AND RECORDING
click on image to enlarge
You can use RADCOM 5.2 solely as a radio control program and one of it's other benefits is a recording facility but more importantly a digital sound processor or the DSP filter. This is very useful whilst working on SSB especially working weak signals or working QRM/QRN conditions. The program works with your PC soundcard and you simply connect a jack-lead to the ext speaker socket in the back of the rig to the line-in on your PC, you then use your PC speakers to listen.

Another great feature of this software is the simple reprogramming/entering your favourite frequencies. I have entered quite a few such as some local repeaters, some calling frequencies on 2M and 6M and general interesting stations I've been listening to on short-wave. One click and I'm back on that frequency.

It is a bit pricey (about £180) but anyone who likes computers and radios will be quite impressed with this program, it puts Ham Radio Deluxe back in the drawer! I've yet to master it all but I've had it for about 12 months and so far I am well satisfied.

73 for now, that was a serious one, next time will be more fun!
posted by Simon Davison @ 9:54 pm  
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