Saturday, June 11, 2011

XPware was made freeware!

XPware is freeware now! It runs under WinXP (have not tested any other win-flavor).

It can talk to the following controllers (test myself):
  • Kantronics KAM(+)
  • AEA PK900
  • SCS PCT+
The handling of the software depends on the respective controller.

I did those tests on the grabber pc, which in parallel was running one instance of winamp, two instances of spectrum and argoupload. Since modern PCs are not equipped with serial ports anymore, USB2Serial cables were used. All in all I believe being fine to going on with NBDP acitivities.

NBDP what's that? You may ask... This is the modern name for the mode family FEC, SelFEC and TOR. The acronym stand for Narrow Band Direct Printing.

PS: if you are on facebook, feel free to join the recently created group "Teleprinting Over Radio"

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Teleprinting Over Radio Revival?

Guys, I was wondering if it would be possible to revive a mode that seems to be lost, TOR (AmTOR or if you want - or NBDP as it is called today). To it's time, AmTOR was kinda expensive/hard to get qrv on easily. Transceivers needed a certain RX-TX switch over timing, modems were not cheap, software hard to get hold of. I remember, to the time I had some AmTOR software running on my trusted Apple II.... but that is a long time ago.
In that time, multi-mode controllers came on the market, worth more than a short-wave transceiver... so, I could not afford any of those. Even worse, the transceiver I could afford was a second hand Drake TR4, which would never have had a single chance to meet the timing demands of AmTOR. Hence, I was stuck to my trusty combination of the TR4 and a Siemens T100 doing Radio TeleTYping (aka RTTY).
Oh... and those ARQ signals where present everywhere!
Today, TOR (AmTOR for good measures) is relatively dead. Although, hardware is cheaply available today, and there is also some software downloadable, emulating the hardware solutions. Today's transceivers don't need to be modified anymore, to achieve the timing required for ARQ. AmTOR is a robust mode, good for some straight keyboard communication.... I wonder if we could revive this mode for amateur radio.
Mind you, this mode TOR (Teleprinting Over Radio) is still in use in GMDSS. Actually, it still is the preferred mode in today's maritime communication. Actually, for my GMDSS GOC, I lately had to learn how to connect to a Telex land-line.
Folks, would it not be cool to give this AmTOR a second life? In particular since second hand hardware is available as cheaply as presently....

PS: if you are on facebook, feel free to join the recently created group "Teleprinting Over Radio