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Old 30-12-2010, 17:48   #1
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Testing if Reception Is Strong Enough for Pactor

Hi,
Is there a way to measure the strength of a radio signal to determine if it is strong enough to allow a Pactor modem to work?
My friends are crusing in the western Caribbean and are interested in getting a Pactor so they can do email and get weather.
They are on a trawler and don't have a good antenna system. I think its a short whip. Their HF transceiver is an ICOM 706 MK2G.
They wonder if they buy a Pactor will it work with their current setup or will they have to change the antenna/ground to get a stronger signal.

If they tune to a signal that they'd use for email or weather, would the S-meter reading show whether the reception is good enough for a Pactor to work? Or is there another way to determineif it will work before I carry one down to them?


Thanks,
Norm
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Old 30-12-2010, 18:28   #2
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G'day, mate. Here's my brief answer. If they are able to carry on adequate voice to voice comms in the frequency ranges they will be using the pactor on, their current system should be o.k. If not, they need to do some work. Cheers.
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Old 31-12-2010, 11:25   #3
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An S meter reading is useful only as a relative measure as many meters are not calibrated to indicate anything meaningful. If they hear well at a very low S meter level, it is probably a very stingy meter reading as a result of the mfg's calibration standard.

More directly to your question, Pactor signals by their nature are not that dependent upon signal strength. For example, you may be able to hear Pactor only marginally but the the system can easily discriminate signal from noise so on a clear frequency, any decent receiver should work.
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Old 31-12-2010, 14:39   #4
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Thanks for the responses.
I think it is more than just the receiver involved. The antenna/ground must be adequate.
Also for email, you need to transmit a strong enough signal for the otherside to hear.
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Old 31-12-2010, 16:23   #5
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The receiver, (or transmitter) won't work w/o a good antenna system. The grounding is just part of the antenna. If they are transmitting and receiving voice in the same band, then Pactor will work fine. There is no real way to check or measure one's signal strengh or readability, other than trying it.
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Old 03-01-2011, 03:10   #6
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I have received Pactor 3 encoded data (slowly) when the audible carrier is hardly discernible over the background noise.

Hopefully this answers your question.
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Old 03-01-2011, 08:35   #7
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Thanks to everyone for your responses.
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Old 03-01-2011, 09:52   #8
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also an important factor in transmitting and receiving is propagation.depending on location of vessel,atmospheric condition etc determines signal traveling long or short distances to receive or transmit successfully to the station intended.
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