Its been a long time since I’ve whacked more images into the SSTV Gallery and after getting my little standalone SSTV system back up and running after moving house, it decided to die a quiet little death over the last few days.
Not really sure exactly when the computer handling the decoding gave up on life as its almost silent and I can go a week (or more) without checking it. At first glance it looks like its only a power problem (I really, really hope so) and as its running a version of Windows XP it should be just a matter of buying a caddie then transferring all the data from the drive to one of my older tower PC’s.
Its been a little quirky since the move to this new house and in all honesty should have had a bit of TLC a long while ago (only got myself to blame).
Unlike a nice accessible computer tower unit, laptops are a pain to work on and if you’ve ever had to open one up you’ll know what I mean. Even if the vintage laptop is fixable, its still getting replaced and I’ve got a tidy little notebook that will do the job nicely 🙂
Online SDR SSTV Pictures
While figuring out a way to retrieve the images from the knackered computer, I returned to the long running experiment to get decent pictures decoded from HF via online SDR. The main trouble was the way the SDR sometimes ‘glitches’, cuts out the sound and throws the SSTV decode into a mess.
After trying a few different computers the problem was solved by running the SDR’s on a separate quad core computer (also find hiding the waterfall helps) and feeding the audio to another computer running the decoder (MultiPSK). Even though this ties up 2 computers, it results in a lot less screwed up images.
Having the SDR and decoder running on the same computer can be done easily enough, although in my experience the audio is ‘odd’, it slows everything down and you get that break in sound that really does SSTV decoding no good.
The plan is to try different browsers other than Firefox, because with every update Mozilla bring out, the browser just eats more and more system resources that could be used keeping the SDR feed stable!
Its still not 100 percent, but a serious improvement on my first attempts (see below).
Keeping it all Separate
Not wanting to mess up my own received SSTV pictures, I’m going to create a sub-gallery for the SDR SSTV pictures once there’s a decent amount of good images saved.
Will be spending some time putting up a dedicated computer set for online SDR data decoding that’s all ready to go without having to fiddle around with it.
I’m pretty sure a high level of automation is going to be a problem but I’ll keep filling the new gallery with pictures whenever I get the chance 🙂