Friday, March 18, 2016

Now digital modes have just got easier

For a long time now, I've been using Logger32 as my main station logging software, but I was using Ham Radio Deluxe (HRD) and Digital Master (DM780) for my digital QSOs. This has been a bit of a labour, because HRD won't connect to the rig while Logger32 is running. The solution is to either shut Logger32 down or to go into Setup -> Radio -> Close Port every time I want to try a digital QSO. So what, I hear you say.

My QSO with V21ZG on 15 metres RTTY using MMVARI.
Well the problem is that although I like digi modes and I like to chase DX on digi as well as CW and phone, having to go through this process is a bit of a chore. And then when I'm finished with digi I have to shut down DM780 and HRD and then make sure to open the port in Logger32 again. So a few days ago, I decided to finally check out MMVARI, which is the digital engine that is already included INSIDE the Logger32 software. I had looked at it previously, but didn't know where to start.

As it transpired, I was able to get signals up on the waterfall really easily. It detected my sound card without any issue and within no time, I was decoding PSK and RTTY signals. Great so far. The problem was that I appeared to have no macros, and didn't know how to set them up. My friend Google soon showed me how to program the buttons along the bottom of the MMVARI window. I looked up the Logger32 help documentation for the macro terminology, and soon I was creating new macros, similar to the ones I use with DM780. All good so far.

I ran a test and everything seemed to work. So I decided to try to make a QSO. So I called A71EM on 17 metres on RTTY and he came back to me and soon he was in the log. My first use of MMVARI bagged me a new country on digital modes. How about that?

One major setback to this newfound joy at having a digital program that worked within Logger32 was that when I changed mode, all my macros disappeared. I couldn't find a solution to this online. (If anyone has a solution, please do send me an email to hamradioireland (at) gmail (dot) com, or alternatively leave a message/reply under this post.) I had to copy and paste my macros into a document and them paste them manually into the various buttons in the different modes. I can now, as a result, make QSOs on PSK31, PSK63, PSK125 and RTTY-U. I still have to enter macros for RTTY-L.

Anyway, since getting all this up and running I have found it to be a joy to use. I did a side-by-side comparison with DM780 (v4.0 build 1901) and I have to say that MMVARI definitely has the edge with weaker signals. MMVARI is able to decode at times when DM780 is not. So this is another advantage to making the change.

One of the really sweet things about MMVARI is how quickly it pops up, in a new window, in front of Logger32. No waiting like I had to do with HRD/DM780. It's not quite instantaneous, but it ain't bad.

Another advantage (and this is a major one) is that MMVARI logs straight into Logger32, with the correct mode, QRG, etc. Previously, I had to manually export QSOs from DM780 as ADI and then import the ADI into Logger32. It made making digital QSOs a bit of a pain in the butt.

Now, digi is a real joy. And my country count is up. I've already worked a few new ones on digital. I now have 164 countries worked on digital modes.


  1. Dear Anthony after defining a new macro have you clicked the Apply button?
    I am also in the same situation after using the old DM780 (5.24) I have to export an adif and import it to Logger32. Unfortunately Logger32 doesn't permit other programmes update its database.
    73 de SV1GRN

    1. I clicked apply alright but it only saves the macro into that button for the current mode. Strange one. Have you tried MMVARI? It's working great for me. 73 de EI2KC

  2. But it still is the question what is the best logger to use. I've seen and tried Logger32 and many others but keep it with the old HRD V4. Indeed it means I have the same problem as you converting to ADI and load it into HRD again. I use MMVARI a lot when contesting as it integrates with N1MM+. Though I still like DM780 most I'm shure MMVARI is a better decoder. 73, Bas

  3. In Logger32 every macro is unique and you can save only one at a time with the Apply button.
    I am using MMVARI few times for psk because updates directly the Logger. DM780 contains many other modes, the screen is more relaxing, includes RSID, SuperSweeper etc. I'll keep it if continuous working in new Windows versions.
    73 de SV1GRN


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