WinMSDSP 2000 is similar in operation to the DOS version (freeware, also still available). If you've been using the DOS version you already know how to operate most of the features of the Windows version. Specific instructions for its use and for the new features will be found in its Help (or Index or Manual) file, which must be downloaded separately from the Program file . The cable, interface, hookup, PTT circuit, etc. requirements are the same as are found in the Manual and in the Operating Tips for the DOS version, as well as the Semi-Technical FAQ, available from the W6/PAØZN or W8WN Web sites (links at bottom of page) - these papers strongly recommended; even tho they are for the DOS version, they should answer a lot questions, as the hookup and use of the two programs is the same. A transmit interface circuit, different from the one in the WinMSDSP Manual, is also available from both of these sites. And if you are not familiar with HSCW, you must read the Procedures paper - get the one for Europe or the one for North America, depending on your location, as they are not the same!
WinMSDSP is much more stable than the DOS version, and is running OK on most modern audio boards, so it should run on most W95 or W98 computers. However, W95 will require the addition or update of a few files (which are available from MS Web sites - URLs are listed in the WinMSDSP Manual/Help files). Stripped-down versions of W98 may also need some additional or updated files. (You may wish to run dxdiag.exe, which will give you an idea of what DirectX files you have).
WinMSDSP will not run under Windows 3.1, or Windows NT (4) as they do not support DirectX.
Most of these are not actual "problems" because WinMSDSP actually has very few. This is primarily an FAQ to help you with the initial set-up and operation. Thus, many of these "problems" are, in reality, simply questions that are already answered in the WinMSDSP Manual, and a number are also common to setting up the DOS version, so are covered in greater depth in the Semi-Tech FAQ and the Tips for the DOS version. Assuming that you have the necessary Windows files loaded (again, see the Manual), the only major problems seem to be specific to the sound board being used.
So, when all else fails, before you're sure you have a big, bad bug, read this and the Instruction Book!
PROBLEMS and QUESTIONS
STARTING SETTINGS. In WinMSDSP, go to File, Options. Remove the check (if present) from "Full Duplex," "Quick View, "Mute RcvVol on exit," and "Reverse audio channels." Try a Sample Rate 22050 at first. (If things don't work properly, you can try changing these one at a time - see the Manual for more. After everything is working properly, you may wish to play with other settings to see if it works even better for your setup. There are many features and settings, many of which interact. After it is working, note your settings then experiment with other settings). Make sure that the proper com port is listed. Choose the proper TX Default Texts for either Europe or America. To use a 2.5 minute (150 second) period, the SampleRate must be set for 22050 or lower.
MIXERS. Under WinMSDSP File, Mixers, start with the Default settings (click that box). This works for most computers and audio boards. If the mixers don't work properly for you, you may have to play first with the computer's Microsoft Mixer settings. Also, try setting the two sliders on the MSDSP main screen at the proper time (i.e., the horizontal Rec Vol while receiving and the vertical Xmit Vol while in transmit) to see if this helps. If all else fails, try configurations other than the Default settings for the MSDSP mixer selection. There are some computers and/or audio boards that do not conform to the normal setup, and at this time the only thing that can be done is to try different combinations while running WinMSDSP in its problem mode (Transmit, Receive, or Playback).
AUDIO BOARDS. WinMSDSP works with most modern audio boards, but does not seem to run properly with one or more of the newer audio boards. At this time, the reason and the list of problem boards is not known for sure. Reports from more people, using different boards, are needed.
The SB PCI Live PCI 128 may not work, even with the newest version. However, this is not definite. It is reported that there is a major problem with the driver program for the 128 board. If you have this board, use the mike input, and get on the HSCS Reflector and request help. (You might also try the driver for the AWE32 board and see if that works).
One of the popular boards, the Creative Labs SoundBlaster AWE64 appears to have mixer problems (see below).
But the AWE32 works very well, as do a number of other boards of various brands.
I2PHD (one of the authors of Spectran) has run a series of tests, which have shown that there is NO true standard for mixers in Windows any more. This means that WinMSDSP (and several other DSP filter and other programs) may run perfectly for you immediately, or they may require quite a bit of experimenting with the mixers. Since this continues to be a "moving target," there is no way we can cover all of the possibilities here. The fellows on the HSCW Reflector will attempt to walk you through the tests if WinMSDSP does not run properly, as this program has the ability to change what mixers are used.
The latest version of WinMSDSP should run under all audio boards that support DirectX, tho it may require some experimenting with the mixers to get them to work correctly.
AUDIO LOSS. It has been reported that a few people are having occasional, erratic problems with loss of either Record or Transmit Audio output. This has happened most often with AWE 64 audio boards, and they may be the only boards that have this problem.
There is be a work-around fix. This is not a true cure, but it seems to work. If you have the mixer trouble: 1, Delete the winmsdsp.ini file from the WinMSDSP folder. 2, Run WinMSDSP, fill in the data in Options dialog [and do not use full duplex]. 3, Open Mixer Setting dialog. 4, Set all 3 mixers (sliders) to NONE in MSDSP File, Mixers. 5, Close WinMSDSP. 6, Run it, see what happens. Please send a report, as a true cure has yet to be found.
Explanation: This disables the mixer feature in MSDSP. It will not hurt anything because the mixers in MSDSP are seldom used. You can make all the necessary volume settings using the standard Windows mixer, as well as the receiver's volume control, the mike gain, and the controls on your interface box (which is the way most operators set the levels, anyway).
Two other things to try - when the audio loss occurs, bring up the proper mixer and check then uncheck (or uncheck then check, depending upon which mixer is causing the trouble) the left most box, then close the mixer.
Or, if you are having trouble with the AWE64 board, try the drivers for the AWE32 board, available at the CreativeLabs Web site (see the Manual/Help file).
The current version of WinMSDSP will work with the AWE64 board, but requires some special set-up. Get on the HSCW Reflector and request the latest information on the 64 board.
SB16.VXD. The sb16.vxd driver version 4.37.00.0155 does not seem to work well with Directsound, so it must be 4.38 or newer if you're using an SB board. See the Manual/Index/Help File for more.
HOUR BUG - The previous version would not change state on the hour. That is, if it is in Transmit mode at 1159:55, it will continue to transmit at 1200 and must manually be put into Receive, etc. This happens only on the hour.
Corrected in the latest version of WinMSDSP.
Receive audio continues when playing back a ping. Turn off the "3D Audio" setting (or whatever it may be called on your computer - "Spatializer," "3-D Audio," etc.)
Note - not all audio boards have this function available. But if yours has it, it must be disabled for WinMSDSP to work properly, and the default is probably to On. It should be found in the Advanced Properties of your mixer, if it is available to you.
When using a separate receiver, its audio interferes when listening to the playback of a ping. On the main WinMSDSP screen, check the Mute box beside the RecVol (horizontal) slider. If used, this box must be activated each time the program is run, as this is the one setting not saved upon exiting.
Right-Button Bug - The right mouse button sometimes does not work when marking a ping for playback. Move the mouse slightly then click again. Each time you change buffers, the mouse must be moved slightly before you can mark a ping with the right mouse button.
Corrected in the latest version.
Virtual Memory. WinMSDSP will not run on most computers with virtual memory disabled.
Gibberish when transmitting. When MSDSP changes from Receive to Transmit, there will be a delay (in addition to the delay set in the Options menu). This delay may be several seconds. Also, there may be a very short period when it transmits gibberish. This is due to the large amount of processor power required and will vary depending upon how many playback buffers have to be erased, the processor speed, and the settings in the Options menu. To decrease this delay, try a SampleRate of 22050 and reduce the Pixel Density setting to 10000 or 20000. Or, get a faster processor. See also the next note.
Pings are hard to see in the main display. Increase the Pixel Density setting in the Options file. Try various settings between 20000 and 200000. However, see the note concerning Gibberish when Transmitting (above).
Transmit/Receive periods. WinMSDSP can be set to record continuously; that is, it records the Main Buffer over and over, erasing the previous contents as the next information is being recorded. Simply turn the Auto Period to Off. (With the Auto Period Off, it will also transmit continuously).
The period can be changed from 60 seconds (the North American Standard) to 150 seconds (still in use in Europe) or greater (for monitoring). However, see the next note.
Cannot use a 2.5 minute (or longer) period. The amount of time that it will record is related to the SampleRate. With a SampleRate of 44100 it will record for a maximum of 110 seconds. A SampleRate of 22050 allows a period of up to 220 seconds (3.67 minutes); 11050 will allow up to 440 seconds (7.3 minutes), etc.
As noted below, quality is better at the highest rate, but there is a trade-off here.
Somewhat changed in the latest version. Experiment if this is needed.
Transmit audio quality. For best audio quality on transmit, try these things. 1, Turn the transmitter's speech processor OFF, and be sure that you do not overdrive the rig. 2, Set the volume controls in MSDSP and the computer near maximum. 3, Reduce the level into the transmitter using its Mike Gain control or the controls of your interface box. 4, Put a cap (.01 to 10 mfd - see what is best for you) in series with the audio line to the transmitter. 5, Set the SampleRate in MSDSP to as high as possible for your computer (22050 or 44100). 6, use a TX tone of 2000 Hz.
Note - an interface box for transmitting is very useful. See both the WinMSDSP Manual and also the other circuits mentioned above for some ideas.
Also - to use a 2.5 minute (150 second) period, the SampleRate must be set for 22050 or lower (see above).
Receive audio quality. For best audio quality on receive, try this: 1, Tune the received signal for a tone frequency of about 1200-1600 Hz. 2, Carefully adjust the receiver's level into the computer, as the Windows version is very easy to overload. A 1 cm-high display when receiving only noise is probably about right, but you will have to experiment. 3, Play back the ping as fast as you can copy it.
You then have two options, depending upon your preferences and your computer. 1, Set the SampleRate in MSDSP to 44100. 2, Use a playback tone of 400-700 Hz. 3, Use an audio filter following the computer, before your earphones, and set to a very narrow bandwidth. But vary its center frequency slightly.
OR, 1, Set the SampleRate in MSDSP lower (22050 or 11025). 2, Play the ping back with the Playback Tone disabled (click on the +, changing it to a -). 3, Change the playback speed.
Most people prefer the first option, but the second method works surprisingly well. As with all the other features, see what works best for you.
Audio is on the wrong channel for my DOS MSDSP cables. Go to the Files, Options menu, set it to Reverse the channels.
OPTIONS and MAIN SCREEN CHANGES. Early versions of WinMSDSP would sometimes change the settings in the .INI file. There have been only a few reports of this in the latest version. But you must keep a backup copy of the .INI file (copy winmsdsp.ini winmsdsp.bak), especially to have a record of your registration number.
There have been several reports of changes of the playback tone setting. This is probably caused by the small size of the MSDSP screen and a mouse click in the wrong place. But check the TX Text boxes, Com port, Mute, and all the settings and transmit texts on the MSDSP main screen before each operating period.
Should be corrected in latest version.
Cannot resize window. The WinMSDSP window cannot be resized due to problems that would occur. (If WinMSDSP is too small, change your screen resolution to 640 x 480).
A few video cards have been known to cause problems. One video card caused clicks in both the Xmit and Rcv tones. This could be stopped only by changing the screen size from 1024 x 768 to 640 x 480.
It is believed that other video cards could cause other strange problems, but no definite reports have been received.
If something seems to be missing , go to File, Colors and select "Default" to see if that fixes the problem. It is possible to select a color combination which causes the background color and the color of one of the foreground parts to be the same.
The Default TX Texts (either European or North American) may not be the most efficient. They are to simply get you on the air. After the program is running, you may wish to contact some of the other HSCW operators and get their opinions on the most efficient texts. (North Americans, also see the HSCW "Procedures" paper for more on this).
Operating portable is possible, using the registered station's call sign. To use a different call, it will have to be edited into each transmit box for each sked.
Audio is on separate channels! Receive and Playback are on the Left, while Transmit is on the Right. Congratulations. It's working! If you have questions, refer to the DOS MSDSP papers, "Semi-Technical FAQ" and MSDSP "Tips" which go into much more detail on this.
Many of the functions are the same as for the DOS version. If you have problems or don't understand how to do something, check the documents for both the Windows and also the DOS versions, then experiment with the program and the settings. If you still have problems, please explain your problem on the HSCW Reflector for additional help.
Automatic decoding. FORGET ABOUT THE DECODE FUNCTION UNTIL AFTER YOUR FIRST FEW CONTACTS! WinMSDSP is capable, under good conditions, of decoding the received signal. However, it must be at a slower speed (~8000 lpm or less), must be on a strong, steady ping, and the Decode settings (File, Decode) must be set for that ping. If everything is just right, it can do a surprisingly good job. Unfortunately, this is not the case for about 80% of the pings on the typical schedule. It requires a good, strong ping, a proper set-up, and a lot of practice; but for reliable copy of weak, short, fluttering signals, the ears and brain will always do much better. But to try it, hit CNTRL-D, and see the Manual for details.
You will probably not be able to run Full Duplex and a Sample Rate of 44100 at the same time. To use a 2.5 minute (150 second) period, the SampleRate must be set for 22050 or lower.
I don't know the best way to get the audio to and from the rig. In most cases, for the audio just use pieces of shielded wire with proper plugs, and a capacitor in series in each. For simple but versatile interface ideas, see the WimMSDSP's Manual and also the Semi-Technical FAQ and DOS MSDSP's Operating Tips papers, in addition to the Interface circuits on the W6/PAØZN and the W8WN Web sites. Note, though, that stereo (3-wire) plugs are required for the computer in order to separate the different signals on the two channels.
Is it safe to send money overseas to Croatia? So far it has been as safe and reliable as in North America. It usually takes 12-18 days. See the WinMSDSP Manual for specific instructions.
If these notes and the other papers listed do not help with your problem, it is suggested that you send your problems to the whole group on the HSCW Reflector. (If you have not already subscribed to the HSCWS Reflector, send a message to Majordomo@qth.net with the following command in the body of your E-mail message, subscribe hsms). Information needed - computer type and memory, Windows version, audio board type, version of DirectX and the other necessary programs (listed in the WinMSDSP Manual), and full description of the problem.
But remember, "When all else fails, read the instructions!"
Compiled by W8WN, with data from the "A-Test Group."