I was reading the Flying Pig QRP Club reflector and saw an email come in from an old friend of mine, Joel KE1LA. He’s a poor misplaced Cajun lad living up in the frozen tundra of Maine right now and he was asking about software to use for some of the digital modes. Another old friend of mine, Jay AJ4AY, from down in Mobile Alabama, told Joel to check out a program called Airlink Express. Well I had never heard of it, so I was a bit curious, and went and checked it out.
Airlink Express is written and distributed by Alex Krist KR1ST. The software installed on my Windows 7 Pro HP laptop with very little effort on my part. I haven’t been on any digital modes in a couple of years so to say I am rusty is an understatement. It took me longer to find my Signalink USB interface than it did to download and install the software. Airlink Express works with PSK 31, QPSK, MFSK, and RTTY. After I got the interface all plumbed up to the K2 I was ready to invade the airwaves with my digital signals. All in all it took me about 20 minutes from the time I downloaded the software, found my interface, connected it all up, and did a quick configuration of the software before I had my first PSK QSO in the log book. I was running 10w to the attic dipole on 20m and worked Washington State and Massachusetts back to back. Not bad considering I am in Indy.
The software also has a built in logger, and can access QSO lookup data online when you type in the call sign. Once you are done with your session, you can export the log entries to an ADIF file and then import them into your regular station logger. I have been using N3FJP’s Amateur Call Log in my shack for over a decade. I was able to import the ADIF from Airlink Express and update my LOTW and eQSL almost instantly.
The DSP engine used in Airlink Express is MMVari by Makoto Mori, JE3HHT. This engine is very flexible and decodes as well, if not better, than any other soundcard mode engine currently available. All in all I really like using Airlink Express.
Check out the Airlink Express website, Alex has some screen shots and further information about the software. Looks to be very well supported and regular updates are added. Alex does not charge anything for this software, but he does accept donations to help support it. Best 73 to you and here’s to GOOD DX! de KB9BVN