Computer Aided Technologies

Since 1989, the recognized Leader in Computer Control


December 1995

This review is reprinted in it's entirety
with full permission from Popular Communications Magazine.

PRODUCT REVIEW: Pop'Comm December 1995 Issue .


Have you ever wondered what all those strange sounding signals are on the short wave bands? The chances are very good that you are hearing some form of digital radio data communications signals. Typical of these signals include Radio TeleTYpe (RTTY), Morse Code (CW), facsimile (FAX), Simplex Teleprinting Over Radio (SITOR), and many others. Another world of listening enjoyment awaits you when you "tune in" to the digital communications modes used on short wave. The HOKA Code-3 software-based decoder will allow you to copy these intriguing signals.


Manufactured in The Netherlands, the HOKA Code-3 is a software- based system that utilizes your PC for decoding signals received by your short wave receiver. An external FSK converter (115VAC power supply and serial cables included) which interfaces the receiver to your computer's RS-232C serial port, the HOKA Code-3 system software program, and a well-written instruction manual comprise the entire package. Since the Code-3 package is software driven, upgrades are a simple matter of loading the new software when available from the manufacturer. The package for this review was supplied with Version 5.0 of the system software.


After you successfully complete the installation of the HOKA Code-3 system, you are ready to embark on a new course of short wave listening fun! Don't let the simple appearance of this product fool you, the "standard" system packs a sophisticated decoding capability of twenty-six (26) modes. All commands to the Code-3 are through the use of "command keys" on the keyboard of the PC. For example, the "B" command selects the data rate or baud rate. The screen overlay on the computer's monitor supplies all information required to determine the status of the system as well as user selected parameters. Once you have tuned your receiver to a signal, the HOKA Code-3 offers three (3) methods to decode the signal. The first, and the most time intensive method, requires you to manually step through each "module" or code type and data rate until the system begins to decode the signal. This method is easy to accomplish, but most often takes considerable time to implement. The second, and the easiest method, is to allow the Code-3 to do all of the work for you! Through its "auto classification" module, the Code-3 will search all modes until it finds the correct code type and data rate for proper decoding. And the third, the so-called "expert" method, requires you to analyze the code type's parameters and data rate for the proper selection of the correct module. This method takes some serious time to master! After trying all methods, the simplest and "no brainer" choice is to use the Code 3's "auto classification" feature. It works well and does not take long to "lock up" on the correct code and data rate.

As previously mentioned, the "standard" Code-3 package decodes twenty six (26) digital communications modes. A sampling of these include: Morse Code, RTTY, SITOR, Navtex, AX.25 Packet, Facsimile, ASCII, WEFAX, Twinplex, and Pactor. Needless to say, the modes offered by the "standard" Code-3 package are too numerous to mention, but required for the serious digital communications listener. One rather unique module included within the package is the simulated speed measurement module. It graphically displays code type, data rate, and shift of the received signal as well as displaying the signal's sidebands!


Although it takes some time to become familiar with the digital modes of communications on the short wave bands, the HOKA Code-3 decoder system makes this transition relatively simple and painless! Once "up-and-running" the Code-3 package worked as specified and provided many hours of listening enjoyment. Only one complaint regarding the Code-3 system: the enclosed system software carries an archaic copy protection scheme. It allows only a few installations of the Code-3 software on your computer.

The "standard" package covers most digital modes used on the short wave bands. HOKA also offers four (4) extra-cost options to decode other signals such as Piccolo, Coquelet, TORG-10/11, and SYNOP. Versatility and ease-of-use are the Code-3's strengths.

Current price of the "standard" HOKA Code-3 package is $595.00.
All four (4) extra cost options are available for $199.95.
For more information on the Code-3, please contact
Computer Aided Technologies, P. O. Box 18285, Shreveport, LA 71138
or call (318) 687-2555
or via E-mail at

Reviewed by Pop'Comm Staff

  • HOKA's CODE-3 On line Description
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