RadioRaft 3.21

Multimode Radio Data Decoder Software for decoding
12 ARQ modes, 10 FEC modes,  3 packet modes and many others ...

By François Guillet F6FLT                 Español flag-fr.gif (877 octets)    Francais bandera-fr.gif (877 octetos)   Deutsch bandera-de.gif (853 octetos)   

What RadioRaft is

RadioRaft is a multimode radio data decoder software, created by François Guillet, F6FLT. It allows decoding the most of data transmission modes used by many services: maritime, aeronautical, emergency, radioamateurs, press agencies, embassies, armed forces, police, humanitarian expeditions...
For more details on the features, see below the "
Modes and features" section.

RadioRaft was primarily intended to enthusiastic in radio technology but several organizations use it now for professional monitoring as well as novices and beginners because it's so easy to use.

What you need for RadioRaft:

In order to run RadioRaft you need at least a PC 486 or Pentium with a 3"5 floppy disk driver, MsDOS 6.2 or above, VGA screen, a COM port, a radio receiver and a simple interface connecting the speaker or audio output to the COM port. You don't need Windows (see the FAQ).

After installing RadioRaft on your PC, just connect your PC to the receiver through the interface (HamComm/JVFAX compatible),  or through a demodulator, and RadioRaft works.


The RadioRaft software package includes the complete documentation in 2 files: the RadioRaft user's main guide and the RadioRaft modes user's guide. They are provided both in HTML and TEXT format. You may read them right now from your browser. They are also available from the "Help" menu when RadioRaft is running.

Modes and features

The RadioRaft functioning is full automatic. You just need to tune your receiver on a station using a compatible mode (see the list below). RadioRaft tracks the signal, search for the right mode, the right speed, the right shift and displays any possible text in just a few seconds.

In short, it offers all features that make radio data decoding easy, practical and fast.




Display, Printing

Automatic mode detection/identification


Possible window to display the status of the reception (phasing, repetitions, errors...)

Automatic speed detection


Graphic frequency/shiftmeter

Automatic shift detection


Possible display of special non printable characters

Automatic signal tracking (no need to precisely tune the receiver)


Several available video modes

Demodulations :

DIGIT mode for bit by bit analysis, with numerous options

Instantaneous language swap,
French / English

Parameters of the automatic decoding strategy are modifiable by user

Set of particular options for the most of modes

Printer selectable

Speed from 10 up to 6400 bauds,
at any mode

Help on line

Continuous or on request printing, into a file or a printer


Modes of radio data transmissions that RadioRaft decodes are:

Asynchronous or quasi-synchronous modes


FEC modes



ARQ semi-duplex modes

SITOR-B (Amtor-B)


ASCII (7 or 8 bits, parity or not)

SITOR-A (Amtor-A)


ARQ full-duplex modes



RUM-FEC (Rou-Fec)



ARQ-6/90 & ARQ-6/98

CIS 11 (Torg 11)


Packet modes and miscellaneous

SI-ARQ 4, 5, 6, 7

FEC-A (Fec-1000)



DUP-ARQ (Artrac)

SPREAD 11, 21, 51






PACKET-Radio (AX25)




CW Morse







All mode designations are in accordance with the Klingenfuss Radio Data Code Manual, 15th edition. See Klingenfuss Publication to obtain more information on books about radio decoding and on frequency lists.

Here is the list of modes by alphabetical order. Click the mode to get more details by entering the RadioRaft mode user's guide.




ARQ-M2 (+si-fec)









CW Morse


DUP-ARQ (Artrac)

FEC-A (FEC-1000)








SI-ARQ (Arq-s)

SITOR-A (Amtor-A)

SITOR-B (Amtor-B)

SPREAD (11, 21, 51)


UOSAT Oscar-11





Obtain RadioRaft

You may get the RadioRaft decoder software from the Internet network, for installation on your PC. What you need to do is:

  1. Download the software to your PC (archive file
  2. Extract the files from the archive file into a folder on your hard disk.
  3. Run RR.EXE for a quick start, or see the file ReadMe.txt for more details about the installation

Click here to download RadioRaft version 3.21:

RadioRaft 3.21    (file - 258 Kb)

For "Windows only" users:

Windows users not familiar with DOS may download also these 2 files. They are not required to run RadioRaft. They just simplify the launch.
Click here to download the RadioRaft Windows launchers:

RRlauncher    (files RRrealMode.pif  and RR underWindows.pif    2Kb)

Extract the .pif files from the .zip archive and put them onto your desktop or in a folder.
Run RadioRaft by just clicking them.

The first one launches RadioRaft in real mode DOS as you wouldn't have a Windows environment. It is the best way to run RadioRaft. See the section "RR and Windows" for more details.

RadioRaft free version

The software package that you download permits you to install a free version, not limited in time. It has all the features of the full version but a limited number of modes. You can receive CW Morse, SITOR-A (or Amtor-A), ARQ-E, FEC-A, BAUDOT. The "DIGIT" mode for bit by bit analysis is also available.
From the free version you may make yourself a RadioRaft diskette that allows you to install the full version if you register.

Get RadioRaft full version

For receiving all the modes noted in "Modes and features", you need to register. See the file "Order.txt" for all details.
When RadioRaft free version is running, you can also get and print the order form from the menu "
Help/Obtain the full version"

You can install the full version only from a diskette. If you have installed the free version, you may create yourself a RadioRaft disk (menu "
File/Create a diskette"). This allows you to save time and money.

If you are in hurry to use RadioRaft and want speedy registration, contact PERVISELL Ltd (see below)

Update from version 2.xx

The update of RadioRaft 2.xx is at half price for the registered users: see the order form. Proceed as for the full version but enter your Version 2.xx user's code where it is required on the order form.

Update from version 3.00 ou 3.20

The update from any version 3 is free, but only by Internet. If you are a registered user for a version 3, what you have to do is:

- download the software package as indicated above.
- copy all the files to your
original RadioRaft floppy disk of version 3.00 or 3.20 (you may directly expand the ZIP file onto the disk). You must replace the previous files by the new ones. Don't use any other floppy disk than this one you used to install your previous version 3.
- install again from the floppy disk. Use the same confidential code as for your previous version. You can install in the same directory as the previous version.

Note: if your diskette have no tag to remove the write protection, mask the write protection hole with a sticker on both sides of the disk, copy the files and remove the sticker before installing the software.

Radio/PC interface, distributors


What hardware to use? A simple interface. Here it is:

Interface RadioRaft

More on the interface and its connection (to the user's guide)

But those who are not familiar with electronics could obtain in trade interfaces that are ready to use. The following distributors in UK,  ITALY, SPAIN, ARGENTINA, USA provide interfaces successfully tested with RadioRaft:

Authorised distributors of software and interface

VISION-GROUP is a worldwide distributor of RadioRaft full version.


PERVISELL Ltd is a worldwide distributor of RadioRaft full version.

Interface distributors

·         Enrique A. WEMBAGHER
Ballester 216, 1702 Ciudadela
Buenos Aires
Tel/fax 54 11 46577268

Enrique A. WEMBAGHER sells 2 models of interfaces in compact form.
One is an universal model: HPL-041, built and improved for all modes and programs. The other one is especially designed for Pocsag mode. They don't need any external power source.
Enrique A.Wembagher doesn't sell the software but only the interface.

400 Dally Lane, Po Box 5210
Grants Pass, Oregon 97527
Tel 541 474-6700
TIGERTRONICS sells the BP-2M modem which is multipurpose. Tigertronics made
a RadioRaft review   with their product. See their pages for more details.
Tigertronics doesn't sell the software but only the interface.

Version History of RadioRaft

If you are registered for a version 3.xx, you may install any version from 3.00 up to 3.99.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) on RadioRaft

RadioRaft currently does not decode any other modes than those listed in the Features section.

A sound card is the best way for entering the signal from the receiver. But the use of a sound card is not yet planned, question of time (nevertheless see the following question). 

- Filter the audio signal. You may use the PBT (pass band tuning) of your receiver, or an external filter as a DSP filter. You will have to adjust manually the filter's characteristics to each audio signal you are receiving. If you run RadioRaft from Windows (see below the section "RadioRaft under Windows"), you can run a DSP software in the same time: pass the signal to the line input of the sound card and connect its output to the "Hamcomm" interface. 
SR5 from John Reeve G8ROD is such a software with many efficient features. Download it from his site:, at the section "SR5". It's a shareware with a time limited trial version.

- Use a demodulator instead of the simple "Hamcomm" interface.
A "Hamcomm" interface converts the analogue FSK signal from the receiver audio output into the same but square signal, compatible with the PC COM port.
A demodulator converts the analogue signal into the data signal which is the stream of information bits.
With the "Hamcomm" interface, RadioRaft has to make itself the demodulation. But the demodulation of the square signal cannot be as good as this of the same analogue signal that could process an external demodulator. Be careful: "Hamcomm" interfaces are sometimes named "demodulators" by their distributors, when they have no function of demodulation.

NAVTEX is not a transmission mode. NAVTEX is a system of messages sent to navigators, using the SITOR-B transmission mode on the frequencies of 490 and 518 kHz. When you select SITOR-B, RadioRaft displays NAVTEX messages as they are. The heading of a NAVTEX message is formatted, and the rest is as plain text.
Note that in Europe, unidentified stations transmit at 100 bauds on 510.5 and 521.5 KHz 24 hours a day. Don't confuse these with NAVTEX transmissions. NAVTEX  occurs at a particular time (about every 4 hours) depending on the station and continues around 10 mn.

Figures, letters groups or Acars codes are displayed as they are. There is no 2nd level decoding .
You need the specifications of the Acars mode to interpret all the fields. But air plane identifier and texts in the Acars frame are in ASCII plain text.

It is possible, but not simple. For FSK modes with speeds up to 300 baud, you need a modem with V.21 mode, and for 1200 baud V.22. The output of the modem must be connected to the CTS input of the serial port (not the RX input). See the RadioRaft documentation for more details about this subject.
You can't use a phone modem for POCSAG.

It is a Microsoft bug occuring on ACPI compatible PCs when the COM power management is set  (ACPI = Advance Configuration and Power Interface). It is frequently encountered on notebooks under Windows 98.
When restarting in MsDOS, the power for the COM port controller is switched off. All DOS programs are no longer able to access the serial ports.

To prevent the problem, you need to disable ACPI for the COM port by modifying a key in the Windows registry. Be carefull when modifying the registry. Save it before modifying.
To modify the key, click the button "Start" then "Execute".
Write "regedit" in the field then click OK.

Here is the registry key you have to modify:


Set the value from "01 00 00 00" to "00 00 00 00" and restart Windows.

Then RR works each time when restarting from Windows into MsDOS mode.

RadioRaft needs 550 Kb to run. RadioRaft is a real mode DOS program, so it has access only to the conventional memory, i.e. 640 Kb maximum even tought you have 128 Mb installed on your PC!
Unfortunatly when DOS starts, it uses a part of the conventional memory to place drivers for the screen, the keyboard, the mouse, the sound card...
It is made by the files "CONFIG.SYS" and "AUTOEXEC.BAT" which are located on the root of your hard disk. You can edit these files and remove the lines installing drivers possibly not needed.

If you run RadioRaft from the .pif files (see below the section "RadioRaft under Windows"), you can set these parameters without having to modify the AUTOEXEC ET CONFIG files.
Click right the icon "RadioRaft real mode". Select "Properties" then the "Program" tab.
Go to the "advanced setup". "MS-DOS mode" must be checked so this method can't be used for running RadioRaft in a Windows box.
Specify our own configuration in the fields "autoexec.bat" and "config.sys". 

To improve the DOS memory allocation for RadioRaft in a Windows environment, CONFIG.SYS and AUTOEXEC.BAT may look like:




REM ---------------------------------------------------
REM Set the path for the mouse in the following line 
LH c:\mouse\
REM ---------------------------------------------------
REM Select your code page (850 is an example for French)
REM The 2 following lines are not required with English standard.
REM ---------------------------------------------------
REM Select your keyboard (fr is an example for French)
REM The following line may be removed when standard English keyboard is used.
REM ---------------------------------------------------
SET winbootdir=C:\WINDOWS

RadioRaft under Windows

RadioRaft is a pure DOS program working in "real mode" (see above the FAQ for more information, or if you get a memory error when RadioRaft starts).
Theoretically you have to boot your PC in DOS mode before launching RadioRaft.

RadioRaft is only compatible with Windows 98 and previous versions.
RadioRaft is not compatible with Windows 2000 or XP. If you have Windows 2000 or XP, you will have to boot your PC from a MS-Dos startup floppy disk.

From Windows XP, you can go to "My computer". Click on the A drive and the choose Format
disk you are given the option to make a MS-Dos startup disk. Do this and then boot from that disk.

You can also put in the autoexec.bat:
cd \radioraf
so it boots straight into RadioRaft.

Thanks to Barry Stone G6SRE for this interesting information.

Nevertheless you may run RadioRaft without quitting Windows: with a Pentium II or more, the decoding is a bit disturbed but all's well up to 200 bauds. Faster the baud rate, worse the error rate: Windows slows the real time decoding process even if there is no other applications working in the same time. At 1200 bauds or more it's not possible to get a correct decoding under Windows.

In order to launch easily RadioRaft from Windows, two "PIF" files are provided, outside of the RadioRaft package. See the section Download RadioRaft to get them. One permits to launch RadioRaft in real mode DOS as you would reboot your PC, the other one to run RadioRaft in the multi-task Windows environment with the inconvenient mentioned above. 
Put these files onto your desktop or in the RadioRaft folder with shortcuts onto your desktop. You will get the 2 icons ("RR real mode" and "RR under Windows").

If you have not installed RadioRaft in the default folder (C:\RADIORAF), click right on the icons, select "Properties" then the "Program" tab and correct the path to access the RadioRaft directory.

"RR under Windows" runs RadioRaft in full screen mode. You can move to other Windows applications using the key Alt+Tab or coming back to a window using "Alt+enter". You may also modify the icon properties and choose the Window size in the "program" tab.

For the best decoding, RUN RadioRaft from the "RR real mode" icon.

Who developed RadioRaft, Requests

I'm François Guillet, F6FLT, a French amateur radio interested in radio data decoding, and a programmer.

Questions on RadioRaft are welcomed, but only by email.
Please don't ask me about frequencies or decoding in general (question of time!)

Email address:
Postal address:

François Guillet
10 route des Goulets
44880 Sautron

Before contacting me for information, read the documentation. Answers to most of the questions you might ask are there (see the FAQ, order form, RadioRaft interface distributors, full version, list of frequencies, Glossary, What's up in version 3.21, RadioRaft user's main guide, RadioRaft modes user's guide).

Links for decoding

Following is a list of links for those who are interested in radio data transmissions and who want to decode all signals on the air. Sorry, the list is modest so far. It is just a beginning!

Thank you for visiting my site!

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