The CW Decoder takes six channels around a center ham radio frequency and decodes the signals. Working well on machine sent code (like messages sent from function keys on ham radio contest programs), the window has three settings to adjust. To access the setup, you can open the window itself and right-click on the program and access the setup that way, or you can use the Setup menu to access it as well as shown below:
Clicking on the selection produces the following dialog box:
The three settings to adjust are:
- Minimum and maximum WPM to try and decode. The wider the setting, the greater use of your computer resources. Don’t try this with a 75MHz Pentium. During a contest, I set mine between 30 and 45 WPM because I have a hard time copying 40 WPM!
- The filters. Putting in a value establishes the pitch of the CW signal. Changing ‘550’ to ‘450,’ for example, will change the other values that will be decoded on each of the six channels shown and lower the overall pitch of the decoded signal. Put in a value that will center the listening frequency to your liking and filters installed on your radio. I like listening to a lower pitched CW signal, so my normal value is 425.
- The mono/stereo setting. This looks like it’s for one ham radio or two, but is a bit deceiving based upon the sound card you have in your system. If you have two radios using one sound card, select stereo. If you have one radio, select Mono. If the window doesn’t decode in the Mono setting (mine does not), then select Stereo even though you only have one radio. It will open a second CW decoder window and I close the one that isn’t decoding anything.