Thanks for the interest! I have been using FreeDV since around 2010 or so when they first started developing it.
There’s really good info @ https://freedv.org/ And there a bit of interesting history @ FDMDV - Frequency Division Multiplex Digital Voice
I started using FDMDV until they said the original MELP voice codec was originally owned by someone (Motorola?) that didn’t want it being used on amateur radio (or maybe it was considered proprietary etc)
More history here: https://melp.org/
In any Case, A Phd ham in Australia wrote a new voice codec (Codec 2) that is completely open source to replace MELP and another group of smart ham-developers rewrote the FDMDV GUI and FreeDV was sort of born of all of it!
The newest version of FreeDV has a built-in “FreeDV Reporter” that shows who is operating RX/TX in real time. The web based site is https://freedv-reporter.k6aq.net/
The above info is also incorporated into the latest version of FreeDV so you can see who’s actually on and when you transmit, you can see in real-time the SNR they see from anyone transmitting etc.
It’s VERY cool.
Last month, I had a QSO with a friend in Oregon about 50 miles east of Portland (I’m about 15miles E of Tacoma, WA)
We operated on 75m down on 3750 kHz. I was running 1W and he was running 5W
It was about 8:30PM and the lightning static was nearly unbearable and it would have been literally impossible to operate using SSB at such low power levels.
We held a solid copy (no noise) QSO for about 45 min!
We’ve also tried it on 160, 40, and even 6m!
On 6 I was using my IC-705 driving a Mercury III LDMOS amp to about 500W with a 5element CushCraft A-50-5 antenna.
He heard me (readable) but he was not running enough power for me to detect anything! Healso said he could barely tell the signal was there! and couldn’t copy me on SSB at the same power level.
Running the FreeDV 700D mode, the signal is about 1.2 kHz wide. so you can really clamp down the receive bandwidth which reduced the noise respectively.
I originally started using it with a SignaLink USB audio device and an ICOM IC-736 but I sold that set up around 7-10 years ago. I didn’t get back into it until I got the IC-705.
FreeDV will work on ANY SSB transceiver with sufficient frequency accuracy and stability.
And now, with WIFI capability, it’s really cool because I can wander around the house with either the Winblows HP Laptop I have. I like it better on the MAcBookPro though.
I haven’t gotten it working on my other MacBook Pro running Tumblweed yet but I did have it working on my main Desktop that runs OpenSuSE Leap 15.5 x64 Linux.
I bought my wife a new Mac Mini so I got the “Hand-Me-Down” early 2015 Macbook Pro to play with!!
Anyway, have a look at the FreeDV website and reporter site. A note of caution though…You might become addicted to FreeDV!!
I hesitate to say it (YET) but I think FreeDV could become like SSB when SSB “replaced” AM