- We now return back to our main display.
- Now, let’s review selecting a mode. The most popular of the digital modes is BPSK-31 and the most used frequency for this mode is 14.070 in the 20 meter band. At this time, tune your radio to 14.070 and set it to upper sideband, since ALL digital modes are used in upper sideband, with maybe one exception and that’s QPSK which can be used in USB or LSB. You might also want to tune your antenna for lowest SWR on this frequency before we go any farther.
- Next, in the upper left corner of the large receive panel, you will see a small tab with a drop-down arrow. Clicking on this brings up the Modes menu. Highlight PSK and another menu will show up with BPSK-31, BPSK-63 and BPSK-125. Click on the BPSK-31 mode to select it.
- Looking at the main display, you will also notice that the tab just above the ALE also reflects the current mode being used. We have selected the mode so now take a close look at the Waterfall.
- The Waterfall actually has three sections. The top gray section is the Waterfall toolbar. The black area contains audio frequencies calibrated in HZ, and the blue area is the actual Waterfall. The reason for the name is the light colored signal traces flow from the top to the bottom of the display just like a waterfall. The traces are actually signals from different stations.
- The bandwidth of a BPSK-31 signal is 31.25 Hz. Our waterfall is about 3000 Hz wide. Since BPSK has such a narrow bandwidth, the use of audio off-set frequencies can be used to display many BPSK signals on the waterfall at one time. Notice how each signal is displayed under a different audio frequency on the waterfall. In the picture on the left you see what our cursor looks like on the waterfall. The yellow bar is about 31.25 Hz wide. There is an arrow at the top of the cursor and two lines extending downward from the cursor. Placing he cursor on a BPSK-31 signal with the arrow in the center of the signal and the trailing lines on either side of the signal tunes in the base frequency of 14.070 + the audio frequency off-set to allow you to decode that signal in the Receive panel.
- Go ahead and try a few on your own. It takes a little practice to position the cursor properly.
- At this point if you are not showing any traces on your waterfall or are unable to decode the traces, go back and recheck your sound card settings, cables, and if using a commercial audio interface, read the manufacturer’s installation instructions over again to make sure everything is set correctly.
- Once you are receiving and decoding signals its time to try to transmit using DM-780 and BPSK-31.
- The Transmit panel is where you prepare text to be transmitted. This text can either be entered manually thru the keyboard or by using one of the pre-defined macros. For this test we will be entering the text manually.
- In the waterfall, place your cursor somewhere near the center of the waterfall on an area where you don’t see any signals. Wait a short time to make sure the frequency is clear and then proceed.
- Before we continue with the transmit test it is recommended you install a dummy load, if you have one. If you don’t have a dummy load it’s best then to decrease your RF output to it’s lowest possible setting which will give you some deflection of your power meter to indicate you are indeed transmitting.
- Place your cursor inside the lower Transmit panel of the main display. Now, type in the following:
- CQ CQ CQ DE (your callsign 3 times with a space between each) followed by PSE K
- The transmit panel should look something like this:
- Pressing the Send or the F4 key will transmit the string you just typed in the Transmit panel. Your transmitter should now key and transmit the text. As the text transmits it will show in the Receive panel and a strike-through will move through the text in the Transmit panel. Immediately after sending the text, press the Stop or the F5 key to un-key your transmitter.
Text send from the Transmit Panel
- If your transmitter keyed and you have seen deflection on your power meter, you’re in business. If the transmitter keyed and you see no deflection of the power meter, first, go back through the audio set up and make sure you have selected the proper Output (Transmit) device in the Program Options sound card settings. If everything is correct there, try increasing the RF power just a bit and maybe even increasing the audio volume on the sound card you’re using. If you’re using one of the commercial external interface devices, check the installation instructions to make sure you have everything set correctly for the unit you’re using.
- If all else fails, first contact the manufacturer or distributor for the sound card device your using. If all seems fine there contact HRD support through one of the methods listed on the support page at https://www.HamRadioDeluxe.com
- Clicking on the Send button OR pressing the F4 key starts transmitting data currently in the Transmit panel.
- The Auto button or F2 on your keyboard will start transmitting data currently in the Transmit panel and will automatically stop and return to receive mode when all text is sent.
- The next two options are normally grayed out when in the receive mode. They are the Pause (F3) and Stop (F5) buttons. The Pause button allows you to pause transmitted text at any point while it is sending. This allows you to edit the text following the pause, such as inserting a comment or deleting part of it, then clicking the Pause button again resumes transmission where it left off to the end of the text.
- The Stop button (F5) immediately stops the transmission and returns the rig to the receive mode. The Break-In button is a toggle and turns the Break-In mode ON or OFF. With this mode toggled on, text that is typed into the transmit panel is sent immediately, however, if you pause typing while this mode is turned on, the transmitter switches back to receive. Once you start typing again, the transmitter keys and you continue from where you stopped. This allows you to listen briefly to see if your contact is trying to Break-In on your transmission, just like is done during CW operation when a sender pauses briefly to see if his contact is trying to break in.
As text is being sent, an overstrike line moves thru the text in the Transmit panel. If you Pause the transmission at any point, when you Un-pause it, the transmission continues where you left off. Pressing this icon removes the overstrike line from the sent portion of the text making it appear to be un-sent. When you resume, the transmission begins again from the beginning of the text in the window.
The Eraser icon does just that. Pressing this icon erases all text in the Transmit Panel.
DM-780 can send the contents of text files. Clicking on this icon allows you to navigate to a folder where you have text files stored. Once in the folder you can select a text file which will automatically be opened in the Transmit Panel where you can then transmit the contents of the file.
Clicking on this icon allows you split frequency operation in the current passband. To do this, first select the frequency or audio frequency where you want to transmit. Place your main cursor on that frequency and press the lock icon. An indicator will appear with a TX inside a little box that shows the transmit frequency. This will be the frequency where your contact will receive your transmissions.
Now, move your cursor to the frequency you are receiving on. This will be your contacts Transmit frequency. When you transmit, DM-780 will automatically shift and transmit on the frequency indicated by the TX marker on the Waterfall. In this case, the audio frequency is 1600 for transmit and 1700 for receive, a 100 Hz split.
- To clear the split and go back to normal, just click that lock icon to release it.
This icon brings up a drop-down menu that allows you to turn off or set an interval timer. This comes in handy when calling CQ. You can set a time interval in this option to automatically send a CQ call for you at the specified time interval. Once you set a time interval, you start sending your CQ macro. Once it starts sending you will see the Repeat icon on the toolbar becomes active. Clicking on the Repeat icon now sets DM-780 to transmit the CQ macro, wait the preset time interval, and resend the macro again. This will continue until you click the Repeat icon to toggle the repeat off.
This is the icon to toggle your RSID on or off. For those not familiar with RSID, it stands for Reed-Solomon ID RSID was originally developed by Patrick Lindecker, F6CTE. The Reed-Solomon ID (RSID) is a short 16-tone MFSK transmission which identifies the mode in use. The RSID transmission is about 180Hz wide and lasts for just less than two seconds.
- You should enable RSID when using an 'exotic' mode such as Olivia so that users of programs with RSID support know what mode you are using. For a full list of modes supported by this program look in the Program Options for Modes + IDs.
- There are two ways to enable RSID: 1) In Program Options select Modes + Ids and check the option to show the RSID button in the Transmit toolbar, 2)Add the tag <rsid> to the beginning of a CQ macro. The latter is most recommended since it is rather annoying to have the RSID popup coming up EVERY time a contact transmits during a QSO. By including the tag in the CQ macro, the RSID information only displays when the CQ is received.
When activated, the Video ID places text in the waterfall which can be seen by the sending and receiving stations. The Video ID is based on the Hellschrieber digital mode.
- The Video ID is set up in the Modes + IDs area in the Program Options display of DM-780. Above you can see there are several items you can have sent in the Video ID. Callsign, Mode, or both. When activated a display is seen on the Waterfall that looks similar to the one shown above. It can be sent in a Vertical or a Horizontal display. This is an eye-catcher for anyone sitting watching the waterfall.
This next icon toggles a mini-logbook display on the Transmit toolbar. Click once to turn it on and again to turn it off.
Last but not least, clicking on this icon activates the QSO Options panel from the Program Options menu.
Receive Panel Toolbar
- We’ve gone through the options on the Waterfall and the Transmit toolbars, so now we’ll look at the Receive Panel Toolbar.
Clicking on this icon reveals a drop-down menu where you can select the digital mode you would like to operate.
Click on this icon to allow you to save to a file all the text in the current receive panel.
Opens a Viewer to allow you to go back and review all text in the receive panel.
This icon erases all text in the receive panel.
Clicking on this icon allows you to manage, select and activate alarms.
These icons move your cursor up and down the waterfall to the next active signal.
Rewind (replay) the last transmission on the current frequency selected on the Waterfall.
This icon has a drop-down menu that allows you to activate up to three receive panes (channels), along with associated channel markers for each channel on the Waterfall. This allows you to monitor and participate in three QSOs at the same time, if you are one of those “Muli-taskers”…..
Activates the QSO Options panel in the Program Options Menu.
- Looking at the Waterfall toolbar you will see buttons that control various things. On the left end you will see ZOOM. To the right of the word ZOOM you will see a left pointing arrow, the number x1 followed by a right pointing arrow. This number controls the magnification of the waterfall. Clicking on the x1 will increment it to x2 and the arrows on each side will become active. Pressing on the left arrow will now shift the waterfall to the left and pressing the right arrow will shift it to the right. The magnification can be increased up to x4 by clicking on the number.
- To the right of the word Main you will see a number. In the above picture the number is 1862. That is the audio frequency that your main cursor is currently sitting on. On the left of this number you can see the left pointing solid red arrow. Clicking on this arrow moves the main cursor down the waterfall in 10 Hz increments. Clicking on the left pointing chevrons, between the arrow and the number, moves the cursor down the waterfall in increments of 1 Hz. These can be used for fine tuning in on a waterfall signal. The arrow and chevrons on the right side perform the same function except they move the cursor up the waterfall.
- The next control is Signal. The blue arrows to the right move the cursor up or down the waterfall to the next signal detected.
- The Re-cycle symbol to the right of this plays back the last transmission received from a trace on the waterfall.
- AFC toggles the Automatic Frequency Control on or off.
- The Decode button toggles a little receive pane on the waterfall that displays the text being received from the signal your cursor is centered on.
- The Option button brings up the Waterfall Options screen where visual changes can be made to the Waterfall.
When activated from the Options, the Frequency toolbar displays the frequency the radio is tuned to. HRD Rig Control must be running for this option to work.
The rest of the toolbar explains itself. There is a list of bands. Clicking on a band button brings up a drop-down list of frequencies available on the band which are used by the mode you are in. If you change mode, the available frequencies change. Check the frequency to change the radio frequency.
- Clicking on the Faves tool activates the Favorite Frequency panel. This panel contains an editable listing of modes and frequencies normally used by the modes in each band. Items with check marks in the Enabled column are the ones contained in the band buttons we previously described.
- The Modes icon activates a panel where you can add another toolbar to the waterfall. This would be a Modes Toolbar, and could be displayed by individual mode buttons, such as BPSK-31, Olivia, RTTY, CW SSB, etc. It could also be configured to just display groups with drop-down pick menus for each mode. This is a choice for the operator. Use the extra space for the waterfall or take part of the waterfall to display this toolbar.
Above is the Waterfall Configuration panel. There are 4 tabs on this panel and each configure a different aspect of the waterfall. Below is a list of the options that are configured from this tab.
Waterfall Options Center Frequency Marker
- Define up to three center frequencies, normally set to the center of a narrow filter. When enabled a [C] button is displayed in the waterfall toolbar.
Here the Center Frequency Marker is activated and set to the center of the filter. If you are decoding a trace to the left or right of this marker, clicking on the [C] marker tunes the radio to bring the bring the signal to center on this marker, therefore placing the signal you are decoding in the center of the narrow filter.
- You must also define a Radio macro button to enable the narrow filter - or select the filter from the radio pane in DM780 or from your radio's front panel.
- It is normally convenient to display special radio macro buttons in the waterfall toolbar. Typically radio macros are used to enable narrow or wide filters.
Erase when changing frequency - erase the waterfall when the radio frequency changes.
Only update if visible - only updates the waterfall if visible - saves CPU cycles on computers with less powerful graphics cards.
Show radio frequency toolbar - shows the current radio frequency in the waterfall toolbar.
Show sound card in window title - shows the name of the current sound card selection in the waterfall title bar.
Tuning guides - channels - vertical bars displayed in the waterfall that help you position the M, A and B channels over the received signal.
Tuning guides - mouse - vertical bars displayed at the current mouse position in the waterfall, helps you correctly select a signal.
Tuning indicator - the traditional display which helps you tune a signal correctly.
Waterfall Color Options
- On this option panel the operator can adjust the color settings of the Waterfall to his own preference. This is strictly a trial and error type adjustment. If you don’t like one color setting, try another until you find something that you like and is easy on your eyes.
Waterfall color settings do not affect decoding!
- The waterfall display takes the audio from the sound card and converts it to power (signal strength). If you enable the Spectrum option you see the relative signal amplitude. Use the color schemes to highlight the signal peaks so that you can find the signal traces.
- The best and most commonly used schemes are: Default and Scope 1
Frequency, Mode, Speed Tab
- This top section allows you to select the Mode for the Waterfall. You can display the standard Waterfall, display a Spectrum representation, or both. You can also adjust the Passband width to your taste. You can also adjust the speed that the Waterfall moves. The higher the speed the higher the CPU usage, so those with a slow CPU might want to select a slow speed to avoid a possible jerky display or pauses during printing of received or transmitted text.
- The center portion of the above panel adjusts the Waterfall Display Mode only, and does not affect decoding. This section adjusts for clipping of the signal. Use clipping to shift the data so that baseline noise is at the bottom of the screen, thus giving a larger viewing dynamic range.
- The lower portion of the panel adjusts the appearance of the frequency bar of the Waterfall. You can select the background and text color, and font for the numeric display. You can also adjust it to show either the audio frequencies or show the RF frequency + Audio. To do the later, requires a radio connection.
Weak Signal Configuration
- This panel helps adjust and compensate for weak signals on the Waterfall.
Enhance / Amplify
- When enabled all signals are uniformly increased in strength so that the strongest signal is at the maximum strength, similar to your radio's AGC option.
- When enabled automatic gain is applied to all signals by using an advanced digital amplifier algorithm.
- This amplifier has both gain and bandwidth, the signal is amplified by the selected gain such that the signal strength of the strongest signal inside the bandwidth does not get clipped or cause visual overload.
- The gain applied to the signal, range is 0 to 100%. The effect of gain depends to a large extent on the current Color scheme (selected in the Color tab).
- The bandwidth of the amplification applied to each signal, range is 100 to 1,000Hz. Now that we have DM-780 configured, can both transmit and receive digital modes, and have gone through some of the various toolbar options, its time to start looking into the more advanced features of the program. This includes the use of macros to create shortcuts to use during your QSOs, logging QSOs, using SSTV and customizing your display.
- Since you should be basically up and running at this point, HRD Software LLC would like to welcome you to the fascinating world of Digital Communications.