Which software for PSK31 decodes best?

Discussion in 'Working Different Modes' started by WF7BSR, Jul 3, 2015.

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  1. WF7BSR

    WF7BSR Ham Member QRZ Page

    I've been searching through the internet and most opinions/reviews for the various software seem to focus on how easy it is to use, or how easy it is to configure/hook-up the interface and the radio/computer, etc. -- but I haven't seen much discussion regarding whether some decode better than others?

    I just started using Digipan yesterday, and have only made 4 contacts thus far, so I am just starting to learn about the digital modes. Are there any differences amongst the various software pkgs. available in regards to how well they decode and how well they handle weak signals, etc.?

    Thank you for your time and assistance.
  2. K7MEM

    K7MEM Ham Member QRZ Page

    I have used Digipan, HRD, and Fldigi. For PSK, I haven't found that one software does any better than another. Weak signal handling is really up to your receiver. If you can get to the waterfall without too much noise, any of them will do a fair job of decoding.

    IMHO, the big difference between the software is features. For example, Digipan is good but only has PSK capabilities. Whereas, HRD has rig control, logging, multiple mode capability (DM780), propagation information, etc.. Its a full featured piece of software. The new version (6.x) is licensed, but the old free versions (5.x) are still available. So it really comes down to, what features do you like.

    I have found that the CW decoding capability is better with some software. Again, HRD does a good job, but there are some applications that are specific to CW, like EhoCW and Cwlab. Those seem to have better algorithms and can decode a little better. But I have an old home brew hardware interface that works through a serial port to a program written in C. The interface is the filter between the rig and the computer. That setup does a better job at decoding CW than all of the others.

    I suggest that you just try them and see which one you like best. They are all free to download (HRD V6.x has a trial period) and they will all work with the same interface.
  3. WF7BSR

    WF7BSR Ham Member QRZ Page

    Thank you for the reply and information/insight...I am thinking of downloading and trying HRD, because I think being able to control the radio with the computer (which I'll have running/using for logging etc.) seems like a good idea. My thinking is it will mean less wear and tear on the radio mechanically (no fingers on the knobs, etc), which might be a good thing as the years pass.

    But I am brand new to all this...got the Technician's Lic. in Aug. 2012, but went off-air after a cpl. months and have done nothing Ham-related since 2012 until a few weeks ago...I am basically starting over from scratch as I have forgotten what little I "thought" I knew...so my observations/opinion about using computer-control has no basis in any experience or factual knowledge.
  4. N0SYA

    N0SYA Ham Member QRZ Page

    I've found hrd err dm780 to be very good at digital modes that it covers, and forgiving of sound card levels as well.
  5. KE5MC

    KE5MC Premium Subscriber QRZ Page


    Not to worry on the mechanics of the controls. Depending on construction the wiping action of switching keeps the contacts 'refreshed'. Better chance that the finger part will get bumped, tweaked, or blunt object harmed in some way effecting the internals and requiring replacement. Many tuning knobs now days are optical/magnetic without any significant mechanics other than the shaft and bearing in the front panel.

    I use HRD as it has a nice collection of programs that work together. Some functions on radio can be buried in a menu and take several button pushes to get to. Depending on the function it can be a one button click on the radio control panel of HRD.

    Recently I have tried N1MM+ program for operating in contests. It free and great support by an number of programmers that are serious contesters. Strictly for contest and not general logging. The contacts can be easily import to my HRD log.

    Its nice to be able to sit down, turn the radio on and tune around to see if anything is active. If there is some activity then the computer comes on and control and operation switches to that. I think you will find it comes down to personal choice once you spend some hours operating and trying different configuration.

  6. KA9JLM

    KA9JLM Ham Member QRZ Page

    I think HRD on Windows 10 is going to be very nice.

    Looks good so far.

    Have Fun.
  7. K4JDH

    K4JDH Ham Member QRZ Page

    Try Airlink Express. It is modeled on Digipan with many modes and control features.
  8. K3UJ

    K3UJ Ham Member QRZ Page

    While I like and use Digipan most of the time, take a look a FLDIGI. It has a lot more modes to work in.
  9. KF4HEV

    KF4HEV Ham Member QRZ Page

    Can't say which one is best. I started out with PSK31 just recently and began using Fldigi. I like it and continue to use it exclusively at this point. It does a lot and handles many, many modes. Fldigi does not seem to control my Yaesu FTDX-3000, in which there is a direct USB connection to the transceiver's built in sound card, and so on. It does monitor the rig's frequency, mode and audio settings. Fldidgi has lots of pre-made macros and you can create your own easily using the built-in macro syntax editor.
  10. W5DXP

    W5DXP Ham Member QRZ Page

    Flrig is available for rig control using Fldigi - lots of other support software available that works with Fldigi including FldigiDXLabsGateway, a gateway between Commander and Fldigi because my particular transceiver is not supported by Flrig.


    I switched from Digipan to Fldigi because I wanted to try some of the other modes. I am very satisfied with Fldigi and it is constantly being updated and improved (unlike Digipan). Here's a list of digital modes from the Flidigi user's manual. Each mode has a number of subsets.

    PSK, QPSK, PSK-FEC, PSKR, 8PSK, Contestia, DominoEX, MFSK, FSQ, IFKP, MT-63, Olivia, RTTY, THOR, THROB

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