Free PACTOR-1/2/3 Monitoring Software for Raspberry Pi available

Discussion in 'Ham Radio Discussions' started by DL6MAA, Oct 12, 2019.

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  1. DL6MAA

    DL6MAA Ham Member QRZ Page

    Just want to inform the amateur radio community that SCS has released version 1.o of the free PMON for Raspberry Pi tool.
    Any interesting monitoring results, other experiences as well as bug reports can be published and discussed in this thread.

    Direct access to the PMON page:

    Link from the SCS website:
    See: "Downloads"

    We hope you will find this tool useful!
    Happy monitoring!

    73 de Peter
    Last edited: Oct 12, 2019
    KA4DPO, KB9MWR, KX4Z and 5 others like this.
  2. WZ7U

    WZ7U Ham Member QRZ Page

    This is very gracious of you. While I may not take advantage of your generous offer right away, I would like to thank you for putting yourself out there like this so as to possibly silence the cacophony surrounding PACTOR. Thank you. Maybe now folks can move forward, sans all the bickering.

    73, Eric
    KX4Z, KE8FWJ and DL6MAA like this.
  3. WQ2H

    WQ2H QRZ Lifetime Member #214 Platinum Subscriber Life Member QRZ Page

    Hi Peter,

    Thank you for this information. It looks like an interesting development and I intend to look into it. I still think the DR-7800 is one of the best com devices on the market.

    Jim, WQ2H / WK2XAH
    KX4Z, KE8FWJ and DL6MAA like this.
  4. KX4Z

    KX4Z Ham Member QRZ Page

    Just to explain: this literally monitors pactor conversations, pactor one, pactor two, pactor three. Using only a sound card, and a raspberry pi 4. ( he says it will work on a 3B plus but I haven’t tried it ).

    I Purchased the Cannakit raspberry pi 4, from Amazon to test this. It came with a memory chip already programmed. A little configuration, and then A few extra commands to load Peters software and I was running

    It is absolutely amazing

    If it detects a WINLINK conversation, it decodes the WINLINK on the fly.

    Due to family obligations I haven’t yet been able to try the version he just released (yet). ( hoping to today ) But even with the earlier version, once, I actually saw the raspberry pi get the message before it showed up on my WINLINK from a true pactor modem.

    Truly amazing advance for amateur radio.
    DL6MAA likes this.
  5. N0IOP

    N0IOP Ham Member QRZ Page

    This is good news. Will source code be published?
    KK5JY likes this.
  6. DL6MAA

    DL6MAA Ham Member QRZ Page

    The current version is not "open source". Give us time to decide how to build the code so
    that it could be published. There are no secrets, just some IP (e.g. how to implement core
    algorithms in a very efficient way, etc.).
    Now we're focusing on a P4 decoder for Raspberry Pi. It's going to be a real challenge!:)

    Have fun with PMON Pi!

    73 de Peter
    KX4Z, KE8FWJ and KX4O like this.
  7. KX4Z

    KX4Z Ham Member QRZ Page

    I keep trying to encourage them to create a product that does Pactor (not just monitoring) on soundcard. Who knows, we may see this.

    97.1 Basis and purpose.
    The rules and regulations in this part are designed to provide an amateur radio service having a fundamental purpose as expressed in the following principles:

    (a) Recognition and enhancement of the value of the amateur service to the public as a voluntary noncommercial communication service, particularly with respect to providing emergency communications.

    (b) Continuation and extension of the amateur's proven ability to contribute to the advancement of the radio art.

    (c) Encouragement and improvement of the amateur service through rules which provide for advancing skills in both the communication and technical phases of the art.

    (d) Expansion of the existing reservoir within the amateur radio service of trained operators, technicians, and electronics experts.

    (e) Continuation and extension of the amateur's unique ability to enhance international goodwill.

    We are getting to watch (b) and (c) and (d) right in front of our eyes.
    Anyone who can plug in a raspberry pi and execute a program, can now read.
    The monitoring art has been expanded. There are MORE advances, proposed, and at least one already has some experimental PROOF of its efficacy.

    My local club is ecstatic with all the improvements, both locally, and world wide. A 78-year old fellow just got his pactor working and now wants to become a RMS. He has been doing FT8 for so long, I think he is bored. The club has grown to 300% of its size a few years ago, produce a ton of new hams, new generals, new Extras. Extraordinarily well regarded by the local authorities.

    Ham radio is a fun hobby!
  8. DL6MAA

    DL6MAA Ham Member QRZ Page

    HIHI, a tight and accurate ARQ frame is still a bit different than "just monitoring"...

    I'm just wondering if anybody has already installed PMON Pi 1.0 and conducted some monitoring tests?
    I looked across 40 m and 20 m a couple of times this afternoon, but found hardly any PACTOR / Winlink signal,
    only some weak PACTOR 2.
    There are a lot of ongoing contests..., well, just weekend... ;)

    BTW, if you want to check the audio input level, just use the "-t 1" option, e.g.

    pmon -a hw:1.0 -t 1 <Enter>

    This will show you the input level in "percent of full possible range" every second...
    The level should not drop below 1 % while receiving the signal. On a "clean" / empty channel, less than 1 % is
    no problem...
    A range of 10...50 % while receiving a packet is optimum but the dynamic range of the synchronizer and
    demodulator is quite high.

    KX4Z likes this.
  9. KX4Z

    KX4Z Ham Member QRZ Page

    Yes, you know far more than me about your own product obviously —-so my wishes may be pie in the sky..... such is life!!!

    Family is starting to arrive, maybe tonight I can pay more attention, I am really excited to hear about the switch to floating point numbers.

    I just don’t know how much people need to thank you for this generous contribution to amateur radio monitoring.
  10. W6EM

    W6EM Ham Member QRZ Page

    Thanks, Peter, for developing and sharing this. "No brag, just facts" from your direction. Refreshing to see something tangible that can be used by the sea of those who want to monitor. I also appreciate your caveat about not sharing any intercepted personal information. Some "service providers" just don't seem to understand. I know I didn't until John, KX4O, explained that just because it's open copy for Part 97, doesn't convey a right to use anything overheard. At least not without acknowledged consent on the part of the email author........

    Now, if just Winmor, VARA and ARDOP had similar monitoring means. Perhaps something that the "service provider" can offer....


    Last edited: Oct 12, 2019
    DL6MAA and KX4Z like this.

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