Tuning SSB

In another thread, comments about the difficulty of tuning SSB were made. I am sure a few of you have developed your own methods. Let's discuss that here.

Clicking on the waterfall is typically the first step but clarifying (old radios sometimes had a knob marked that) the voice is the final step.


  • Most voice signals tend to be found on frequencies rounded to a minimum of 1KHz (maybe 500Hz on occasions) so I don't find it too difficult to tune to those, even when almost fully zoomed out.

    CW with narrow frequency spacings is a different matter, but when listening to modes like this I tend to have the display fairly well zoomed in anyway, so moving the passband bar with the mouse is easy.

    I guess everyone has their own user case, but I've never really had a problem with tuning to signals on a KiWi, and haven't ever noticed some of the things John has recently mentioned.

    Apart perhaps from preferring the cursor to tune to the 'carrier' frequency rather than the middle of the signal, as I find it easier to switch between modes and sidebands when 'carrier' tuning is used. But this has already been discussed to death on the forum, I understand John's thinking, and I can certainly live with it as it is :-)



  • edited October 2021

    Amateurs don't /can't sit on even increments in many cases.

  • In SSB, these buttons will give as small as 10 Hz steps which I find adequate

  • I press Shift and then Click on the edge of the signal to tune to the nearest 1kHz. For LSB signals you click on the right edge of the signal. 90% of SSB conversations these days are dead on to the nearest kHz.

    Then I resort to the ---+++ buttons if I need to clarify.

    This is an amazing piece of kit. I'm glad we're discussing the user interface and how to get the most out of it.

  • I do the exact same thing as w6jhp and it works quite well for me. Very rarely do I find SSB voice on non-1 KHz steps, and when I do it's either someone with a radio (possibly an old one) that's not well calibrated, or they're exactly 0.5 KHz high or low. In either case, a few clicks of the + or - buttons get me there quickly.

  • For my other SDRs I use SDR# for control and access, and for SSB signals it sure is nice to be able to use the scroll wheel on the mouse to skip up and down in 1 kHz increments. Or 10 kHz when flipping through the AM broadcast band. I'm still so new to the Kiwi control panel that perhaps that mouse wheel feature is already built in but I just hadn't learned about it.

    Speaking of SDR#, it would also be delightful to connect/control a Kiwi from that interface. Makes me wonder if there is some kind of IQ output that could be fed into SDR#

  • >Speaking of SDR#, it would also be delightful to connect/control a Kiwi from that interface

    Yes you can do that using with Catsync and a serial interface null modem emulator such as Com0Com

    Catsync is a low cost browser emulator that works with KiWi, Websdr and OpenWebRX internet based sdrs' and is capable of providing tuning and other operations via CAT commands.

    In your case you need to setup two virtul com ports one for Catsync and the other for SDR # HDSDR or whatever other virtual radio you wish to use it with. If you have a real hardware radio you don't need to use the virtual come port's. Then connect the two ports together.

    Catsync can provide control and synchronisation with any radios (or emulations of radios) that are supported by the Omini-rig library, or alternatively it can be controlled by other programs that are capable of using Elecraft K3 command protocols.

    In addition you can also use a virtual audio cable (or windows audio mixer) to pipe I/Q (or any other audio format) between Catsync controlling the web sdr and a decoding program such as Mutlipsk (for example).

    It's a bit messy to initially setup. but once working is fairly reliable, apart from Widows very occasionally deciding to remap ports and audio devices at seemingly random intervals.

    Using the above I have successfully piped I/Q audio from Catsync to SDR sharp and HDSDR, and also got them to trck each other. The only thing I found that I had to watch was which device was providing the ACG functionality and I'd usually set the KiWi to manual gain and use AGC in SDR# or HDSDR to keep the levels happy. A bit of experimentation should quickly produce the best settings.

    I suspect that Catsync may possibly help solve some of the tuning / synchronisation problems between a transceiver and remote web sdr, that the amateur radio operator who prompted this new thread may had been experiencing.

    I hope this helps.



  • Thanks for the tip on CATsync, that looks like it could be exactly what I am looking for. What I still can't quite grasp is the I/Q pipe between the KiwiSDR and something like SDR#. Is it essentially just an audio feed, i.e. so the waterfall in SDR# would have a narrow bandwidth display such as 10 kHz wide? Or is there an alternative way to pipe a wider RF segment or waterfall display, say 300 kHz wide from the Kiwi?

  • Yes it's just a narrow audio band. If you are lucky and the KiWi is operating in 3 ch mode then you can get up to 20KHz of audio bandwidth, but normally you would be limited to 12KHz max.

    However why would you wish to do this ?

    Simply use the KiWi waterfall and spectrum display to provide the wider view bandscope function, and just use SDR# to focus on the required signal.

    Most of the time the inbuilt extensions work pretty well at decoding signals, and you don't need to use anything external to the KiWi, but I accept there are some things that have to be done this way.

    Perhaps if you outline your proposed use in a bit more detail, I could suggest other ways it could be achieved.



  • take a look at KiwiKonnect also

  • Ah not previously seen that from Chris.

    Looks useful.



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