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WINMOR…A Sound Card ARQ Mode for Winlink HF Digital Messaging Rick Muething, KN6KB/AAA9WK PowerPoint Presentation available at

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Presentation on theme: "WINMOR…A Sound Card ARQ Mode for Winlink HF Digital Messaging Rick Muething, KN6KB/AAA9WK PowerPoint Presentation available at"— Presentation transcript:

1 WINMOR…A Sound Card ARQ Mode for Winlink HF Digital Messaging Rick Muething, KN6KB/AAA9WK PowerPoint Presentation available at

2 Overview Todays Objectives WINMOR… A work in progress… Follow-on to SCAMP Motivation… Why another sound card mode? Unique requirements for a message oriented protocol RF Footprint and Robustness Agility Modulation schemes investigated Implementation details –DSP processing diagram –Tuning, Modulation, Demodulation, Error recovery methods –Screen captures of the WINMOR Virtual TNC –WINMOR Movies! Measurements Using the HF channel simulator Preliminary Comparisons with Pactor 1, 2, and 3 Deployment strategy Remaining work to be done

3 Todays Objectives Provide you an update on a promising sound card mode targeted at message systems. Give some (within our time limits) of the technical details on how we are approaching this. Show some preliminary test results and apples-to-apples comparisons with the defacto standard Pactor. Encourage others to learn about and get competent in DSP as it applies to amateur radio. Get feedback from you on alternate approaches and suggestions for implementation and deployment.

4 Acronym Cheat Sheet! CCIR Consultative Committee on International Radio (now The ITU-R) WGN White Gaussian Noise (a simple HF channel model) MPG CCIR Multipath Good (a standard moderate HF channel model) MPP CCIR Multipath Poor (a standard poor HF channel model) OFDM Orthogonal Frequency Division Multiplexing PSK Phase Shift Keying (carrier phase is modulated) BPSK(2), QPSK(4) FSK Frequency Shift Keying (frequency of the carrier is modulated) 4FSK FSK using one of 4 tones per symbol (2 bits per symbol) QAM Quadrature Amplitude Modulation (phase and amplitude are modulated) 16QAM Phase and Amplitude modulation with 16 states (4 bits per symbol) FEC Forward Error Correcting (use of error correcting codes) MCA Multiple Carrier Assignment (same data to multiple carriers) RDFT Redundant Digital File Transfer (mode by Barry Sanderson, KB9VAK) ARQ Automatic Retry reQuest (mechanism to eliminate errors) FFT Fast Fourier Transform (digital method of a discrete Fourier Transform) IFFT Inverse Fourier Transform ( Frequency to Time transform) NCO Numerically Controlled Oscillator (done in software) I, Q The In phase and Quadrature channels of the Fourier Transform TNC Terminal Node Controller (RF Modem) DSP Digital Signal Processing Hilbert Transform A mathematical transform to generate I and Q

5 WINMOR… A work in progress WINMOR = WIN link M essage O ver R adio An outgrowth of the work presented on SCAMP at DCC 2004: SCAMP put an ARQ wrapper around Barry Sandersons RDFT then integrated SCAMP into a Client and Server for access to the Winlink message system. SCAMP proved it COULD be done and it worked in GOOD channels but… Barrys batch oriented DLLs were slow and required frame pipelining… Increasing complexity and overhead RDFT only changed the RS encoding on its 8PSK multi carrier waveform to achieve a 3:1 range in speed/robustness… not enough RDFT was inefficient in Partial Frame recovery (no Memory ARQ) RDFT was a 2.4 KHz mode…limited to narrow HF sub bands. SCAMPs Simple multi-tone ACK/NAK did not carry Session ID info …increasing chances of fatal cross session contamination. WINMOR is an ARQ mode generated from the ground up to address the limitations of SCAMP/RDFT and leverage on what was learned.

6 Motivation Winlink has grown over the years and expanded applications… Many RVers and Boaters use it for remote and weather Now many more adopting it for Emergency Communications: ARES/RACES EmComm MARS UK Cadet Humanitarian Missions (IHS, Red Cross, Salvation Army etc) Emergency applications dictate special requirements: Station Cost is an issue: Limited budgets and resources… Seldom used (often equipment sits idle unless drills, training, or actual emergency) Consistency across multiple stations…. Training issues. VHF is used but HF is needed to bridge out of affected areas. Many with limited budgets get by with Pactor 1 and accept its throughput and robustness limitations. What is needed and much requested is a lower cost plug and play alternative to Pactor that approaches P2 and P3 performance.

7 Requirements for a Message Oriented Sound card Protocol Absolute Requirements Standard SSB Radio hardware Automatic connections (no manual tuning) Error-free transmission/confirmation Fast lock for reasonable ARQ cycles Auto adapt to wide range of HF channels Support true binary with compression Loose ARQ timing to accommodate OS and sound card latency. All packets tagged with session ID Wish List Modest OS and CPU demands 200Hz, 500Hz, 2000Hz bandwidths Compatible with most sound cards Good bits/sec/Hz ( >.5 target) Efficient Mod/Demod for low latency Selective ARQ and Memory ARQ for throughput & robustness Near Pactor ARQ efficiency (70%) Effective busy channel detection When you analyze the details and make true apples-to-apples comparisons you quickly realize that P2 & P3 set the bar pretty high!

8 RF Footprint and Robustness Agility Net bits/sec/Hz of BW MT63 PSK31 PCALE HF Packet Pactor 1 Pactor 2Pactor 3 Comparison of Some Popular Modes in ARQ Environments Assumptions: 1)70% ARQ efficiency (typical of Pactor) 2)Max RAW data rate (good channel assumed) 3)200 Hz guard band used in bandwidth calculations. (allows automatic connections) (After ARQ overhead) A small RF foot print requires maximizing the net Bits/Sec/Hz BUT…. We ALSO must be able to adapt the modulation for more robustness In poorer signal conditions. This robustness agility is why Pactor 2 and 3 perform so well across a wide range of channel conditions. Target For WINMOR

9 Modulation Schemes Investigated One of the wish list items was to offer 3 bandwidth modes to be able to operate In the various (or future?) bandwidth segments of 200Hz, 500Hz and < 3KHz Current FCC regulations (arguably obsolete) require a maximum HF symbol rate of 300 symbols / sec. This eliminates high symbol rate adaptive schemes. Improved multipath operation is obtained with lower symbol rates (< 100 Hz) The following modes were investigate in the early development phases: Multi carrier OFDM BPSK, carrier spacing = 1 x symbol rate Multi carrier OFDM BPSK, QPSK, 16QAM at carrier spacing = 2 x symbol rate Single and multiple carrier FSK (2 FSK and 4 FSK) at spacing 1 x symbol rate Recently the development effort has been focused on 62.5 baud BPSK, QPSK and 16QAM and baud 4FSK using 1 (200 Hz), 3 (500Hz) and 15 (2000Hz) Carriers spaced at 2 x symbol rate. These appear to offer high throughput and robustness especially when combined with multi-level FEC coding.

10 Implementation Details WINMOR DSP Processing Diagram

11 Implementation Details Frame Leader…Tuning and Frame ID Phase reversing Two Tone Leader 256 ms BPSK Frame ID DBPSK 8,4 Ex Hamm D min = 4 Sequential 1024 Point FFTs Algorithm has good detection sensitivity and S/N Frame ID defines: Control/Data Function Modulation Mode FEC Coding level Number of Carriers Frame length Leader defines: Required NCO freq (interpolated to.1Hz) Initial Symbol Sync (Envelope matching) Framing (Frame Sync) Soft Decode with distance threshold …Data BPSK QPSK 16QAM 4FSK Non reversed phase frame sync

12 Implementation Details OFDM PSK, QAM DSP Modulation The Symbol Data is used to set the Real and Imaginary Frequency magnitudes for each OFDM Carrier. e.g. Data = 0,1 (QPSK) > FReal 24 = 0 FImag 24 = 1 (90Deg) (repeat for each carrier) 128 Point Inverse FFT (one IFFT per symbol) Time sample values for all carriers generated simultaneously! Shape Envelope (raised cosine) to bound Spectrum Convert to WAV file for Sound Card

13 Implementation Details OFDM PSK, QAM DSP Demodulation Use 123 point Hilbert Transform, NCO and balanced LSB Mixing to generate I and Q samples with signal re centered on Hz Perform 128 point FFT for each symbol using I and Q values Use the Real and Imaginary frequency values for each carrier to compute phase and amplitude for each symbol of each carrier. Subtract phase values of prior symbol to get differential PSK symbol For QAM use dynamic threshold adjustment to track Phasor amplitude ratios in fading channels. Decode Phase and Amplitude symbol to corresponding binary data (BPSK = 1bit, QPSK=2 bits, 8PSK= 3 bits, 16QAM=4 bits)

14 Implementation Details FEC, Selective ARQ WINMOR uses several mechanisms for error recovery and redundancy: 1)FEC Data Encoding… Currently used: 4,8 Extended Hamming D min = 4 (used in ACK and Frame ID) 16 Bit CRC for data verification Two-level Reed-Solomon (RS) FEC for data: First level Weak FEC e.g. RS 140,116 (corrects 12 errors) Second level Strong FEC e.g. RS 254,116 ( corrects 69 errors) 2) Selective ARQ. Each carriers data contains a Packet Sequence Number (PSN). The ACK independently acknowledges each PSN so only carriers with failed PSNs get repeated. (the software manages all the PSN accounting and re-sequencing)

15 Implementation Details Memory ARQ, MCA, Dynamic Threshold 3) Memory ARQ. The analog phase and amplitude of each demodulated symbol is saved for summation (phasor averaging) over multiple frames. Summation is cleared and restarted if max count reached. Reed-Solomon FEC error decoding done after summation. 4) Multiple Carrier Assignment (MCA). The same PSN can be assigned to multiple Carriers (allows tradeoff of throughput for robustness). Provides an automatic mechanism for frequency redundancy and protection from interference on some carriers. 5) Dynamic threshold adjustment (used on QAM modes) helps compensate for fading which would render QAM modes poor in fading channels.

16 Implementation Details The Virtual TNC Concept In trying to anticipate how WINMOR might be integrated into applications we came up with a Virtual TNC concept. This essentially allows an application to integrate the WINMOR protocol by simply treating the WINMOR code as just another TNC and writing a driver for that TNC…. A Virtual TNC Like all TNCs there are some (<10) parameters to set up: call sign, timing info, sound card, keying mechanism, etc The WINMOR Software DLL can even be made to appear as a physical TNC by wrapping the DLL with code that accesses it through a virtual serial port or a TCPIP port. Like a physical TNC WINMOR has a front panel with flashing lights. But since operation is automatic with no front panel user interaction required the WINMOR TNC can be visible or hidden.

17 WINMOR Virtual TNC Screen Capture: 15 Carrier QPSK M recovery after Summation (memory ARQ) m no decode, Good ID (added to summation) - no decode, poor ID match (not added to summation) + decoded OK QPSK Constellation (heavy fading) Each pixel = 1 symbol Frame Type Connection State Bytes Received 2KHz waterfall

18 WINMOR Virtual TNC Screen Capture: 3 Carrier 16QAM + 3 Carriers decoded OK 16QAM Circular Constellation (White Gaussian 5dB) Each pixel = 1 symbol Receive Level Tuning Offset Relative decode Quality 1 KHz waterfall

19 Measurement Approach The HF Channel Simulator Station 1 Computer & SignaLink USB Sound Card WINMOR Virtual TNC Audio In Audio Out CCIR Channel Options: S/N –5, 0, 5, 10, 15 dB White Gaussian Noise Multi path: Good, Fair, Poor Flat Fading: Moderate, Severe Flutter Oregon Hardware/Software HF Channel Simulator (used in both directions) RS232 Station 2 Computer & SignaLink USB Sound Card WINMOR Virtual TNC SC Out SC In The way to get true repeatable comparisons! (Channels in red were Used in simulations)

20 Preliminary Comparisons WINMOR 200 Hz vs. Pactor 1 Tests Run 9/2008 by Rick Muething, KN6KB Average of 4 channels (WGN, CCIR Multipath Poor, Multipath Good, Moderate Flat Fading) Throughput averaged over 5 minute period WINMOR has Ex Hamm 4,8 on ACK, RS FEC on Data 10dB5dB0dB -5dB

21 Preliminary Comparisons WINMOR 500 Hz vs. Pactor 1,2 Tests Run 9/2008 by Rick Muething, KN6KB Average of 4 channels (WGN, CCIR Multipath Poor, Multipath Good, Moderate Flat Fading) Throughput averaged over 5 minute period WINMOR has Ex Hamm 4,8 FEC on ACK, RS FEC on Data 10dB5dB0dB -5dB

22 Preliminary Comparisons WINMOR 2000 Hz vs. Pactor 2,3 Tests Run 9/2008 by Rick Muething, KN6KB Average of 4 channels (WGN, CCIR Multipath Poor, Multipath Good, Moderate Flat Fading) 15 Car 16QAM points averaged for WGN and Moderate Flat Fading channels only Throughput averaged over 5 minute period WINMOR has Ex Hamm 4,8 FEC on ACK, RS FEC on Data 10dB5dB0dB -5dB 15 Car 16QAM WGN & FLT

23 WINMOR Deployment Strategy Produce the final Virtual TNC as a DLL (Graphics display is optional) Integrate the DLL into the Paclink MP client and RMS Server programs For full and immediate access to the WL2K system for beta testing. Offer Wrapper functions to interface the WINMOR DLL via a virtual serial port or TCP/IP port. (allows easier access by other existing applications) These slides and preliminary WINMOR spec will be posted on the web site. No decision to date as to licensing or open source. WINMOR may be released through the Amateur Radio Safety Foundation Inc. a 501C(3) public charity corporation which supports amateur radio emergency communications. Estimated start of beta test (Winlink 2000 system) 3 – 6 months.

24 Remaining Work to be Done Investigate inner cyclic FEC codes for PSK data modes (1-2 dB gain?) Optimize gear shifting algorithm (basic algorithm operational) Integrate Busy Channel Detector (SCAMP ?) and ID (CW, Waterfall?) Investigate crest factor minimization (possible 1-2 dB improvement?) Investigate 15 Car 16QAM mode (2 Kbits/sec) for VHF/UHF applications. Finalize WINMOR documentation and release Document DLL interface and release Build drivers for Paclink MP and RMS and beta test in Winlink. Complete help and statistical logging functions

25 Summary WINMOR looks promising and the testing to date confirms: 1)Sound card ARQ is possible with a modern CPU and OS while making acceptable CPU processing demands. ( CPU Loading of < 20% on a 1.5 GHz Celeron/Win XP) 2) Throughput and robustness can be adjusted automatically to cover a wide range of bandwidth needs and channel conditions. (10:1 bandwidth range, 57:1 throughput range) 3) ARQ throughput in excess of.5 bits/sec/Hz is possible in fair to good channels ( bits/sec/Hz measured) 4) Good ARQ efficiency ….70-75% 5) Throughput is currently competitive with P2 and P3 and significantly better than P1 Thank You!

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