The power of computer world processing has come to amateur radio! The AEA software packages fo* me VIC-2C and Commt> dore 64 computers o^'er a wry versatile approach to several mooes of amateur transmission
Known as MBATEXT for Morse Baudot. ASCII these so It ware package?: transí arm your Commodore computer into a sinte-of-Ihe-art communications terminal. There are lío many features included m MBATEXT that it is difficult to find a starting point
MBATEXT cornil jü a plug^n cartridge, much like the ones used for computer games in order to access tNr program a SYS isystem) command >s used This allows you to call the program, from your own Basic program if. ¡or example >ou .vish 10 use other than the default screen and text colors, you can wrrt,- a briel program io set them to your own Choices and then call MOAT EXT.
Once you hav-.i '.miered the program, everything is menu-driven You are presented Aith several choices from the mam menu As you make selections, you may encounter additional detailed menus at any time. Before concentrating on the operation of VBATEXT for lrsnsmission and reception, J el's look a: Ihe common te*i editing system.
Those ot you familiar with regular word processing would expect a program to pi o vide several different functions First, you should be abte to enter text on ihe screen and edit it to correct mistakes. Second, you should be able to save and load leit files to and from cassette and dtsk Ftnatiy. you should have the ability to print your hie.
M BATEXT doe?, a El oí ih^s and much morel The text storage area has been de-^gned with sever ai different bulfers. The Size ol these bufiurs is usgrseli.'dabit: up to the limit ol available memory.
Ten buffers are available for programmed messages of your choice "hese messages can be saved to tape or disk so that you can reload them wnen you first start the program. incoming text, *heihe^ It be CW RTT> or ASCII un be sa,-ed m a receive buMer. II cs possiple to use the text editor to revise the text so thai you can print or save Jusi exactly the parís you warn. Somaone active In traffic handling can use this fea-ttire !o great advantage, etlmlnallng the need to manually Iran scribe and resend messages.
An audible key click'' is avail abte if de-
S'TOd to give you an indication thai you actually have hit a key on the Keyooaid Many operators find that this improve* the accuracy oi tnetr typing
Regardless of the mode you are operating, a transmit trnttar is available so that you can compose an outgoing message while you are receiving messages. Even when you are on line and sending, you can type ahead ot the lexl being sent. That's a real advantage when you are sending a? sl&vsr CW speeas in ihe CW mode you can select speeds up to 99 words pir mmuie, it is realty only necessary 10 sei the transmitting speed; the receive speed will track the incoming signal automatically. it is really something to watch the speed Indicator track the W1AW code-practice transmissions,
The screen is split inlo three sections: received text irangmll buffer, and a single lino of outgoing lext iVhen MBA TEXT is fed a sjgnai imxri a compatible interface such as the AEA CP-1 if. does an excellent job of receiving. CW transmission is ve<-y clean with perfect machine-generated code. At speeds between 5 and 14 words per minute. Famsworth spacing Is used Individual characters are sent at about ^ 5 words per minute with I he spac
I rig between characters increased 1o slow down [he overall rale.
Several additional options are available. You have the choice ot character or wo*d mode on transmit By selecting ibe word mode, transmission is held up until a space is encountered, and ihen ttie whole word is That's particularly heJptuI Tor two-finger typists who make a lot ot mistakes Your errors can be corrected before they are sent?
You also have the option of selecting the break-In mode The program automatically toggles between send and receive. What you lose is the use of the transmit holding butter.
II is the Morse-cod^ equivalent ot RTTY diddle isending null characters^ If selected. lhL- program will Jutoraaticafly Send BT while you try to think of something to say, I didn't find that option very worthwhile,
Most of the Features tor RTTY and ASCII are similar sJna> Ihey are similar modes of transmission. Standard RTTY speeds of GO, 67 75, 100, and 132 words per minute are in-eluded with ASCII speeds of 110 and 300 ML
An unshift on space (USOS> option is available and can be handy when copying eak signals. One t*articulariy nrce touch is I he RTTY "speed guess" mode, if you aren't sure at what speed the RTTY is being sent, Ihis can be used to get you in the ball park. It Isn't foolproof. Usually the average ol several guesses gets you close.
AELA has included several Keyboard over fays to help you keep track of wnat the function keys do. what you have stored in your message buffers, as wet: as where to find the special characters It sure beats checking the instruction manual every time you forget.
MBATDCT will support printing to ellber a VlC type printer f1525> 1526 MPS 801. etc.) or a Centronics type parallel printer. A umecf-day clock at the lop of ihe screen keeps you on schedule
Operation with M&ATBiT -s a pleasure Old-lime RTTY tape spacers will find it to be the greatest thing since the spark gap.
AEA öfters one-year support on the software that Is even transferable should you decide to sell MBATEXT before the w^rran-ly Is expired, M BATE XT Is state-of-the-art software that would be a welcome add Hi on in any hamshack.
For AMTÜR enthusiasts. AEA offers MBATOR—which includes all the features of MBA TEXT plus AMTOR. along wiin some additional MBA features.
For more information, contact A if* 3 need Electronic Applications. PQ Box G-21GÖ, Lynnwood WA 9303$.
Jim Grubbs K9EI Springlieid IL 62700
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