Begin by downloading and
installing the Voicemeeter program.
According to the website, it supports
MME, DX, KS, WDM, and ASIO
interfaces (XP, VISTA, WIN7, WIN8,
WIN10, 32/64 bits). It has been
tested here with XP, Vista, and WIN7,
and works well.
Figure 3 shows a screenshot of
the Voicemeeter mixer front panel.
Please note that Voicemeeter is a
normal Windows program that
happens to include a virtual audio
cable. When it is installed, it will
create a new input audio device and
a new output audio device in your
computer’s system device list called
VoiceMeeter VAIO. This is the virtual
To use the virtual cable, it must
be selected as the default device in
both the playback and recording
devices in Sounds and Audio
Devices. This option is usually found
from the Windows Control Panel. It is
important to remember that the
virtual audio cable will be available
only when the Voicemeeter mixer
program is running.
Voicemeeter works by using the
virtual audio cable to pipe the audio
from the input (virtual cable) to the
output (virtual cable) where it can be
used by other applications or
hardware. Figure 4 shows how the
pieces fit together. Since all system
sounds and Internet sounds are
flowing into the virtual
cable, they can be piped
to software decoding
applications and to the
speakers for monitoring.
Figure 3 shows my
setup. Hardware Inputs 1
and 2 are not used. The
virtual input has controls
for mixing, volume, and
two outputs: A and B.
When enabled, these
outputs are piped to the main out (A)
and virtual out (B) of Hardware Out.
Use A1 or A2 to select your
soundcard to monitor the sound.
In the decoding software, all that
is necessary is to select the
VoiceMeeter VAIO virtual cable as
the input. It will be available since it
looks just like a real system device.
Now, you are all set to go without
having to use an external cable.
Connecting to a
We want to check that
Voicemeeter is working properly
before we attempt to decode signals.
Make sure the virtual cable is set as
the default device in Sounds and
Devices in the Control Panel as
noted above. Now, start Voicemeeter
and check that the virtual input is
being piped to A and B. Select the
audio soundcard you are using in A1.
Next, go to one of the websites
mentioned at the start of the article.
Select a station you would like to
hear. You should now hear the sound
on your computer speakers. Look at
the level meters in Voicemeeter. They
should be moving up and down with
Getting to Know
Spend some time getting
acquainted with your web receiver’s
operation. There will generally be
means to adjust the audio
bandwidth, select the receive
frequency, and select the mode such
as CW, SSB, or AM. Also handy is a
spectrum plot showing active
Commands may take a few
seconds to execute, so don’t be in a
hurry to rapidly change things. Try to
plan which frequencies you will look
at and set the appropriate bandwidth
for the mode.
Sometimes the sound will stop
for some reason and can’t be
restarted. This is probably because
WebSocket has stopped working.
WebSocket is a computer
implemented in web browsers and
servers. The easiest way to restart
your audio is to close your receiver
window, wait a few seconds, and try
The Web radio will also work
nicely with your laptop when it is
connected to the Internet using Wi-Fi.
Taking your laptop with you on
vacation is also another way to enjoy
this hobby when away from home.
A geographic coordinate system
used by amateur radio operators and
others around the world is the
Maidenhead Locator System (MLS). It
is also commonly referred to as grid
locators or grid squares.
The MLS compresses latitude
and longitude into a string of
characters to allow position
information to be transmitted with
limited precision. This is very useful
distances and angles of
Almost all Web based
radio stations use grid
Many Web logging
sites such as PSKreporter
and WSPR also use grid
squares. Most data
decoding programs have
the means to
June 2017 43
FIGURE 4. Virtual cable using Voicemeeter.