Receiving / decode questions from a newbie

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Joined: 2012/02/18 - 18:05
Receiving / decode questions from a newbie


After a while successfully operating PSK with my FT817ND I've decided to have a go at WSPR again after failing miserably last time.

I now seem to be getting out OK, I'm using 20M (seems to have the most users at the moment) and I've been heard by 11 stations in the last hour so I'm fairly happy with that. However, on the receive / decode front I'm getting nothing at all today (I did hear a few stations last night so I'm guessing I'm not far off with my settings, just not quite there yet).

My questions are:

1) How do you decide on the right combination of RF gain and microphone (input) level? i.e. do you go for the highest RF gain possible or highest microphone level? I'm guessing the former?

2) I'm using a cheap & cheerful USB dongle sound card because my laptop's on-board sound card just wouldn't play with PSK.I read a thread about the microphone input sampling level and when I check mine it's 1 channel 16 bit 48,000 Hz - I was surprised by the 1 channel (I expected 2) is this normal? The setting is greyed out so no other options are available.

3) Should the microphone input AGC be off? (my assumption is that it should)

4) I've read conflicting answers on the radio's AGC setting - I believe most consider that it doesn't really matter so I'm using "auto" at the moment?

Thanks for reading!

(30 year old call but I took a 26 year break from the hobby so having to re-learn pretty much everything!)

FT817ND @ 2.5W setting and zero ALC
Digimaster USB MiniPRO interface
USB dongle sound card (circa 3 quid!)
M0CVO 40-6M OCF wire dipole
HP TC4400 Tablet PC