Not been doing much in the way of data decoding recently because the overnight temperatures are fantastic at the moment and camping (my other passion) is sort of putting radio into the background.

That said I have to come home sometimes to get cleaned up and maybe a bit of proper food and it doesn’t take much to fire up the computer for an hour or two. The glorious picture below is from one of these quick sessions and considering its from 14 MHz at what’s usually the worst time of the day for interference (for me) its almost perfect 🙂

sstv picture monkey

Almost Perfect SSTV Decode (14.230 MHz)

All the other pictures from that day have been added to the SSTV Gallery and there are more than a few loaded into the gallery now stretching back over the last year. Its a bit time consuming getting them onsite as MultiPSK doesn’t really save them in a format that plays well with the gallery plugin we use, so each one has to be converted and resized before upload.

A bit of extra work but worth it to see them displayed properly and now I have a good routine when edited the pictures its getting quicker all the time.

Didn’t get as many as I would have liked out of a 2 hour session as everything was broken up by someone having a lengthy QSO smack bang on the 20 meters SSTV slot and was absolutely oblivious to the mostly polite requests to find another frequency.

EasyPal

Got handed a link to the free EasyPal software along with a good amount of help from one of this sites Twitter followers (thanks, you know who you are).

EasyPal Overview

Using DRM technology to send/receive images EasyPal is a completely different animal to traditional SSTV modes. A high degree of error correction gives stunning pictures that only become a possibility using SSTV with a (no fade) strong signal.

Operated via your computers sound card, any existing system you’ve setup to decode SSTV will work with EasyPal.

Easypal Interface

The Easypal Interface

Installation

If your connected to the internet and running any type of firewall it may not like the way EasyPal attempts to contact servers once its started. Getting around this problem is easy enough by going to the EasyPal settings and turning off this function. When I first started up the program my firewall had the best work out its had for a long time but a quick setting alteration made it happy again.

If your connected to the Internet and don’t have even a basic firewall installed (are you crazy?) then you shouldn’t find that EasyPal causes any issues but seriously get a firewall.

Receiving Pretty Pictures

After years of seeing SSTV programs screwed up on the last slant adjust when decoding and turning a nice picture into a garbled mess the picture offered by EasyPal makes a change. Unlike SSTV where you see the picture built as its decoding, Easypal won’t show you an image until is complete with nothing shown if the image isn’t received properly.

With so much going on getting the sound input level right is just as important as normal SSTV and you’ll probably be spending a little bit of time twiddling til its functioning.

Too Perfect?

I’m all for new tech and this is a great piece of software but the quality error free images are just a little hard to get used to. Perhaps its the charm slight imperfections give to old school SSTV pictures?.

Regardless of me not being able to let go of the past you have to applaud the people who have made this and given us another piece of free software to play with 🙂

You can download EasyPal from HERE, there is a mountain of information on this page and you’ll find the download link if you carefully scroll down.

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