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Last night at a party Burton and I got a craving for brisket. It was around midnight, which guaranteed everything was close. Apparently that wasn’t the case, a place called Sam’s BBQ on east 12th stays open until 2 AM. We went there and it was pretty typical east Austin, but they had some good brisket. They even sold mutton, which is something I don’t see too often.

I’ve been limited in my lurking down in the lower HF bands because of my lack of ability to copy high speed code. I was looking at handheld readers today and ran across some Windows software called MixW. You can buy a special interface board, or just plug your radio’s speaker out to a PC’s mic together. The software will decode Morse, RTTY, FSK31, packet, fax, and SSTV from the audio received via the sound card. Going further, it has CAT support to control a transciever’s modes and frequency selection from the PC.

So, I rigged this stuff up this afternoon and went in hunt for code transmissions. It’s been stormy which made it hard to find stuff with decent quality. MixW features a graphical audio analyser to see where the sweet spots of the transmission are and allow you to pinpoint that exact frequency range to decode. Here is a screenshot of a random CW transmission I picked up on 40 meter between Illinois and Colorado. It’s not perfect copy, but close enough to see what’s going on. I imagine handheld decoders can’t do any better.

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