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HF Software Decoders


Without a doubt, decoding digital signals at the software level has grown in recent years, easily supplanting the hardware decoders, since software packages can be updated and are generally free of hardware constraints (there are a few that need a dongle, though). These packages run the gamut from free to the ultra-expensive - and often with the jump in price, you get more complete analysis tools, which may not necessarily be useful for someone starting out.


Note that anything in green can interface with some Software Defined Radios. See the Decoding Software that Interfaces with SDRs for more information.


Contents

Integrated Radio/Decoder Software

There are a few programs that combine radio control and digital decoding. This is a category that isn't well explored by most manufacturers, but is unique for its all in one approach.

Soundcard Digital Decoders

Without a doubt, most of the active development has been in the area of decoding using a simple connection to a sound card in a computer. Many such packages now exist, with more gradually making their way onto the market. Even here, some have extensive aids, waterfall displays and other devices to help decode (and sometimes analyze) an unknown signal


Selcall Decoders

This section is devoted to software that decodes Selcalls, commonly heard from planes using the MWARA system


Utility Programs

These programs utilize data sent from other programs (like PC-HFDL) for plotting, decoding or other purposes


Amateur Radio Digital Software

If you're a ham who happens to use one of the packages listed in this section, you may be surprised to learn that they will also decode HF-FAX and SITOR-B (sometimes also known as AMTOR Mode B, AMTOR FEC and NAVTEX) weather broadcasts. See the Testing Your New Setup article in this document for a listing of these broadcasts.


Mac Applications


Android Applications

These applications are for use on Android driven devices. Please see the software's page for more detailed requirements

  • TIVAR
    • Android fork of FLDigi


Black Cat Systems Applications


Slow Scan TV (SSTV) Applications

While radio amateurs - including the astronauts onboard the International Space Station - are the primary users of this mode, HF Pirates have been known to use this as well


Android Apps


Black Cat systems


Linux Software


Mac Software

IPhone, IPad and IPod Touch Digital Decoding Software

We have some digital decoding packages listed here that can run on an IPhone, IPad or IPod Touch. You can either use the built in speaker, or better, a connection between your receiver and unit. These links come from the Black Cat Systems website


DSP Audio Programs

What if you're using a less expensive program, or perhaps using a PK232 and would like a better tuning aid, or would like to do some NAT viewing with an analyzer? Well, up to a few years ago, you were out of luck. With the development of DSP processing, and the popularity of soundcard programs, such programs are now readily available. Some allow you to create your own filters, view a signal with an audio spectrum analyzer, and more.



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