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.
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
This section is devoted to software that decodes Selcalls, commonly heard from planes using the MWARA system
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
These applications are for use on Android driven devices. Please see the software's page for more detailed requirements
- 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.