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Old 18-07-2010, 09:18   #1
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Any Pactor III Experts Out There ?

OK, I'm pretty good at these things (Ham since I was 17 y.o.), but I'm confused over this PActor 3 business.

I just got through installing the usual kit ICOM 802 / SCS PTC-IIpro / AT-140.

I'm using Airlink 3 as the client s/w. Been able to both send and receive mails using P2 over Winlink 2K

The SCS modem declares that it has the Pro software but no license for P3, then says it has "20 trial connects".

I just tried to purchase the P3 upgrade from the SCS website and was pretty dissappointed with the experience. I expected to pay my (many) $$$ and get an immediate unlock code by e-mail. Instead the website took my money plus EUR 35 for 'Shipping' - Sent a mail to SCS and waiting for the reply.

Meanwhile .... I'm trying to work out how to kick the thing into P3 mode with my '20 free connects'. There's talk in the SCS manual about having to set the TOnes parameter to a figure >0 (suggests 4) otherwise P3 won't work. Does this have to be done manually or does Airlink3 issue these commands on your behalf ?

Anyone here know wether this is as simple as just putting in the License code (when I get it) ?

Duncan
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Old 18-07-2010, 10:23   #2
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You have to connect to stations and particular frequencies that operate on Pactor 3, otherwise the default is to Pactor 2. The frequencies are noted with a "#" sign by them.
No experience with getting an upgrade on an electronic serial number unit, but have upgraded with my old original 1996 Pactor II and they were very prompt in sending a license number, and were prompt again when I had to change it due to new ham call and new boat call sign (license was based on them).

Michael
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Old 18-07-2010, 15:11   #3
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Presumably you mean Airmail vice Airlink. Can you check the specific version (all the digits) by clicking on Help and then About ?

Do you have ITSHF loaded? Do you know how to pull up the propagation window?

If you have Skype or some flavor of IM (and an Internet connection) I'll be happy to walk you through getting everything up and working.

I can be available tomorrow Monday between 9 and 12 US EDT (UTC - 4).
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Old 19-07-2010, 02:51   #4
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Changing from Pactor II to III is a totally transparent exercise requiring a license code unique to your modem to be entered via Airmail in Dumb Terminal mode - nothing else unless you have messed up default settings for your equipment (Pactor Modem/Radio) in Airmail.

In the meantime you should get your 20 free connects by connecting to a Winlink RMS station on a P3 capable frequency. These are denoted by the hash sign after the frequency in station drop down list as mentioned in post above. Note that with marginal propagation conditions you may still only get P2 connect (denoted by indication & lower speeds)

Suggest contacting SCS again - they are usually very helpful & efficient. For example I had a lightning strike which killed my Pactor Modem. I purchased another without P3 license (which I had already paid for) & SCS were happy to give me a P3 code to match serial #.
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Old 23-07-2010, 10:49   #5
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Thanks guys, I think I'm getting the hang of this now. Just received the P3 license code and got it to take, so I'll try a few more connects now.

I'm using Airmail 3. Some of the station frequencies are listed as (P3), so I'm guessing you have to specicifically pick on of those to stand any chance of a P3 connect and that Airmail does all the rest.

Duncan
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Old 23-07-2010, 12:12   #6
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I'm using Airmail 3. Some of the station frequencies are listed as (P3), so I'm guessing you have to specicifically pick on of those to stand any chance of a P3 connect and that Airmail does all the rest.
Picking the P3 frequency is necessary to connect on Pactor 3. You should check the propagation from that station to you with "View Propagation" (or F8) from the menu and choose a station and frequency that is likely to make a connection for you.

Michael
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