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TOPIC: RTTY Interface?

RTTY Interface? 07 Jun 2017 00:19 #1

  • K8AC
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I am in the process of investigating how the MB1 might fit into my station. I've read the manual and the addendum, and have a question regarding RTTY operation. It appears that there is no provision for using FSK for RTTY, so I guess I'm required to use AFSK. The RTTY software will be running on my main station PC, so what's the expected way to get the AFSK audio into the MB1? I don't see any other audio input connection other than the two mic jacks. I expected to see an Audio Aux input - maybe I just missed it?
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RTTY Interface? 07 Jun 2017 07:31 #2

  • g0cgl
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  • Erik EI4KF / G0CGL
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There is a mic (input) and a line (output) on the rear panel. I would recommend though that you totally simplify data operation by using the MB1's own computer for hosting the software.

Being software defined, there is no provision for hardware generated FSK. Having used FSK for 30 years prior to acquiring the MB1, I was suspicious about going to AFSK. But the latter is better in so many ways including decoding ability, seeing bad activity and so on.
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RTTY Interface? 07 Jun 2017 12:17 #3

  • K8AC
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Hi Erik - thanks for the reply. I see that we have different viewpoints on the best way to do things - nothing wrong with that. To begin with, the last thing in the world I'd do is expect the MB1's built-in PC to replace my station PC. I have tons of software installed and then there are considerations involving anti-virus, backup and restore procedures, etc. and I elect to keep the transceiver separate from all that to the degree possible. The mic input you mentioned is, I believe, on the PC I/O panel and therefore does not connect audio directly to the mic input of the transceiver, but rather makes it available to PC software. Perhaps a reasonable approach if one is using AFSK. I've been using FSK on a wide variety of rigs, using my own software running on a Commodore 64. I have used AFSK a bit and rejected its use for a number of reasons, chiefly the issue of maintaining signal quality. While it's certainly possible to achieve an AFSK origin signal of equal quality to an FSK generated signal, there are too many possibilities for error in audio level and introducing unwanted audio artifacts (hum, etc.) into the signal.

I'm not sure where you're going with the comment about decoding ability, but I submit that there's no difference in decoding ability between FSK and AFSK signals. And, I also don't understand your comment about "seeing bad activity". I've spent considerable time observing RTTY signals for quality on a high resolution panadapter and I've seen very many poor quality RTTY signals with there origins in AFSK. Many people simply do not have the technical skills or interest to get it right.

This lack of FSK support is a show-stopper for me, so guess I will move on to looking at some alternatives to the MB1. For others who may want to pursue the AFSK discussion, I suggest you google "Flex 6500 FSK" and read the years of discussion surrounding the lack of FSK in the 6500. There you will find many well-reasoned arguments against AFSK.

73, Floyd - K8AC
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RTTY Interface? 07 Jun 2017 15:41 #4

  • g0cgl
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  • Erik EI4KF / G0CGL
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That was a typo: 'bad' should have been 'band' as in band activity.

For some time I compared FSK decoding and Icom 7800 with AFSK and the MB1. The MB1 was superior. That was the basis for the commentary on decoding.
Last Edit: 07 Jun 2017 15:42 by g0cgl.
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RTTY Interface? 08 Jun 2017 00:14 #5

  • NI0Z
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While I have t had time to try this yet, you could try bridging the MB1 Radio Network Adapter to your regular MB1 Network adapter and see if you can just run ExpertSDR on your PC. You may have to create a host file on the machines to direct traffic correctly so your PC looks like the MB1 PC. I have no idea how this might impact the dials.

Alternately maybe network VAC cables might work, but honestly I don't play with those digital modes much, just RTTY and PSK. One way to do this is to use NoMachine to get your networked audio between the MB1 and your Ham PC. Like you I prefer to run most stuff on my Ham PC and I have had a great deal of luck using NoMachine as well as Voicemwter with VBAN. There is another alternative called IP audio, but it looks like it only supports lower quality audio and I have t plays with it yet. I do run my digital modes on my Hamzilla instead of the MB1 and both NoMachine and VBAN have worked really well. There is some coverage on this at SDRzone.com in the MB1 review I did.

I have had the MB1 working remotely off my iPad and a set of Beats headphones as well using NoMachine and getting excellent audio reports. This is really slick because the MB1 screen resolution maps well to a tablet and you get the full version of ExpertSDR to work with. It would be cool to see the Expert Electronics MB1 team make a special screen for remote operations that could be toggled for tablet use on NoMachine. Specifically adding a nice transmit button at the bottom.

73
NI0Z
SDRZone.com


Sorry if this doesn't help!
73
NI0Z
Last Edit: 08 Jun 2017 00:16 by NI0Z.
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RTTY Interface? 14 Jun 2017 13:28 #6

  • Rome
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Problems which are related to AFSK mode in Flex or other radios are only their problems. In our devices signal is digitally formed and signal to noise ratio is more than 70 dB, it doesn't matter AFSK or FSK.
We don't have any customers who would complain about AFSK quality.
You can worsen the signal only by:
- setting different sample rates in both softwares or
- overload VAC input
Роман, Roman
Expert Electronics
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