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HOW-TO: Setup FLEX-6X00 with N1MM / CW Skimmer for multiple slice contest operating

DK1EYDK1EY Member
edited June 23 in SmartSDR for Windows
Although I am not a contest operator but an excited CW enthusiast, I just wanted to try how to get most out of my two slices and tried to setup my machine to reach the following goals:
  • Complete integration and exchange of Smart SDR, N1MM (connected to my NanoKeyer) and CW Skimmer
  • Use both slices as VFO A and VFO B in N1MM SO2V-mode
  • Spot my received stations via telnet onto the N1MM band maps for each VFO/slice
  • Handshake between N1MM, CW Skimmer and SmartSDR
First of all, you should secure to have the latest versions of the above mentioned software. If anything else will be needed, I will highlight it in the following text.

The following threads helped essentially to setup my station in terms of software:
  1. Using N1MM Logger With SmartSDR/SmartCAT, FlexControl, and K1EL WinKeyer > General setup of N1MM for contest use.
  2. CW Skimmer on 3 bands... > This one led my to the complete integration.
N1MM standalone works just fine, and that is where 1. brings you. What - for me- was missing, was the enhancement of N1MM with CW Skimmer.

Due to the integration of all those nice little tools, I am now able to receive CW on two different slices/bands and to spot the signals received on both bands simultaneously via CW Skimmers telnet outputs to the N1MM bandmaps for each VFO/slice. It is great to have spots on your bandmap, that your machine has heard. So you dont have to be limited to the sometimes "unworkable" spots from an online-cluster.

You can guess, what comes next: While working one contact on e.g. 40m on VFO/slice A, it is very easy to prepare the next contact on another frequency/band on VFO/slice B. In combination with a WinKeyer (in my case the NanoKeyer) that is driven by N1MM, my Flex-6300 becomes a serious contest-machine. 

Assuming that you got N1MM running as described in 1., load SDR-Bridge. After installation, run the program and assign slice A to IQ1 and A, slice B to IQ2 and B and so on.

The program assigns VFO/slice A Telnet port #7310, VFO/slice B Telnet port #7320 and so on. At this point, only on one bandmap, the spots are shown. 

Now the challenge was to integrate multiple Telnet ports, what - in my opinion- is not possible with N1MM alone. So: If you now run wintelnetX and load Ed - W2RF's ini-file, you just have to click once on connect, and the dream-machine will run!

That's it!

If anyone has questions, or needs help setting up something like this, do not hesitate to contact me.

VY 73
Tom
DK1EY

Many thanks to:
Ed - W2RF for solving my "single-bandmap-issue".
Jim - WD5IYT for the great HOW-TO regarding N1MM.

image







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Comments

  • Steve Gw0geiSteve Gw0gei Member
    edited October 2014
    Well cool! Exactly why the 6300 is looking attractive to me to switch over to for my contesting and dxing needs. Thanks for the info. Steve gw0gei
  • Bill-W9OLBill-W9OL Member
    edited February 2017
    Good Job, That was my next project. Getting N1MM synced up.
    Thanks for the road map.
    you may be hearing from me :)
    I use a WinKeyer USB, but shouldn't matter.


  • DK1EYDK1EY Member
    edited December 2015
    It should be no problem, as the NanoKeyer is based on the K1EL-keyer.
    Do not hesitate to contact me.

  • Stan VA7NFStan VA7NF President Surrey Amateur Radio Communications Member ✭✭
    edited December 2016
    In one week you won't need the WinKeyer for N1MM.  Direct support in V1.3
  • DK1EYDK1EY Member
    edited December 2015
    Hopefully you are right! I am looking forward to the SSDR enhancements with 1.3 and especially CWX.

    But: Keying was not the main issue, I solved like described above.

    73
    Tom
    DK1EY

     
  • Bill-W9OLBill-W9OL Member
    edited October 2016
    Stan?? Are you talking about CWX? Not sure how that will connect to N1MM.
    Or are you saying N1MM is direct to SmartSDR keying?
    I haven't seen that in the N1MM messages.
  • DK1EYDK1EY Member
    edited December 2015
    Bill,

    at the moment, the N1MM keys the NanoKeyer (K1EL-protocol) and the NanoKeyer keys SSDR.

    If N1MM could key SSDR via CWX or another native software integrated option, an additional keyer could become dispensable.

    the longer I think about Stans comment, the more ideas how to setup a lean software with native SmartSDR options evolve.

    I am looking forward to the coming improvements of SSDR.

    VY 73
    Tom
    DK1EY 


  • DK1EYDK1EY Member
    edited December 2015
    I just tried it with N1MM+. It works also perfect. N1MM+ is still not able to manage multiple telnet ports at the same time. But with wintelentX it is no problem, as described above.
  • Bill-W9OLBill-W9OL Member
    edited October 2016
    I used WintelnetX also. Finally learned from Lee Sawkins that any of his nodes are connected to all the other nodes. Any node in the world. A spot on one is a spot on all. Maybe a 1000th of a second delay, but heck, I can't read that fast anyway. :-)
  • Ed - W2RFEd - W2RF Member ✭✭
    edited June 2019
    What is the URL for downloading N1MM+? At the usual site I get "not authorized"

    73 Ed W2RF
  • Alan CAlan C Member ✭✭
    edited June 23
    OK, Am I the only guy who understands about 10% of this thread? I am embarrassed to say, I think I need some profound education on CW.- and how is works with SSDR. (BTW, I'm not a CW guy, but I would like to be)

    RE:
    • Complete integration and exchange of Smart SDR, N1MM (connected to my NanoKeyer) and CW Skimmer
    • Use both slices as VFO A and VFO B in N1MM SO2V-mode
    • Spot my received stations via telnet onto the N1MM band maps for each VFO/slice
    • Handshake between N1MM, CW Skimmer and SmartSDR
    A few questions;
    What is N1MM, NanoKeyer, SO2V Mode, Spotting received stations via telnet, and CW Skimmer. I am not familiar with the aforementioned...

    I guess I will just take one at a time and Google it...

    Alan



  • DK1EYDK1EY Member
    edited December 2015
    Hi Alan,

    let's start from scratch:

    I assume, you are a Flex user already. If not, please do not stop reading here. The most tools, I described in the thread will work with other CAT controlled transceivers.

    To answer your questions:

    N1MM+ is a proven logging tool for contesting. It sums up your contacts, shows you dupes (you want to avoid in a contest), calculates multiplicators (you want to work in a contest to gain more points), shows you a bandmap with a predefined DX cluster, tells your rotator in what direction it should turn your antenna and many more points.

    Key featuresPlease have a look here for more infomation: N1MM+ Features.

    NanoKeyerThe nanoKeyer is suitable as a standalone keyer or for keying the radio via the USB port from a connected computer and your favoured contest logging software (in my cas N1MM+). By means of the K3NG firmware it can be also used as a computerless keyboard keyer by attaching a PS2-Keyboard to it.for a full feature list, please have a look at Radio Artisan: ARDUINO CW KEYER.

    CW Skimmer is a software that can read out your signals (if your radio is able to put them out to your soundcard) and decode CW code. This decoded CW signals appear on a bandmap. With the help of a telnet cluster, you can push those decoded signals forward to the N1MM+ bandmaps. CW Skimmer features:
    • A high sensitivity CW decoding algorithm based on the methods of Bayesian statistics
    • Simultaneous decoding of ALL cw signals in the receiver passband - up to 700 signals can be decoded in parallel on a 3-GHz P4 if a wideband receiver is used
    • A fast waterfall display, with a resolution sufficient for reading Morse Code dots and dashes visually; 
      the callsigns are extracted from the decoded messages, and the traces on the waterfall are labeled with stations' callsigns
    • The extracted callsigns are exported as DX cluster spots via the built-in Telnet cluster server
    • A DSP processor with a noise blanker, AGC, and a sharp, variable-bandwidth CW filter 
    • An I/Q Recorder and player.
    SO2V mode: A "light-version" of Single Operator Two Radio Operation (SO2R). You can work nearly at the same time stations on two slices/bands/VFOs. Running a contest means making a maximum number of contacts in a limited timeframe. Making a QSO on one slice, while searching for the next station on the other slice can seriously increase your QSO/hour-ratio.

    Handshake between the above mentioned tools has to be understood as an bidirectional way of communication between the tools. If I turn my FlexControl, frequency changes will be made in CW Skimmer as well as N1MM+. Clicking on a stations call in N1MM+ will change the frequency in SSDR and CW Skimmer and so on. Got it?

    I hope, my explanations can help you to understand, what powerful contest machine you can make out of your Flex with the help of those tools.

    If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact me.

    VY73
    Tom
    DK1EY

    See the workflow on the attached screenshot. Just for your understanding, from where to where the signals flow.

    image
  • Ed - W2RFEd - W2RF Member ✭✭
    edited December 2016
    That worked. Thanks!
  • Ed - W2RFEd - W2RF Member ✭✭
    edited December 2016
    Tom,

    It appears that the SmartSDR and Skimmer VFOs are not synchronized in your screenshot. In order to get them synchronized you need to run a synchronizer like SDR-Bridge.

    Otherwise this looks great.

    73 Ed W2RF
  • DK1EYDK1EY Member
    edited December 2015
    Hi Ed,

    normally, I run SDR-Bridge (as you can read in the initial posting). I dont know, why the symbol does not appear (although the Skimmer windows were started by SDR-Bridge.

    A question regarding SDR-Bridge. Is it possible to restore settings? Everytime I startup SDR-Bridge, I have to do the few clicks to set it up right.

    Could you post a screenshot regarding the settings in SDR-Bridge to synchronize slices with skimmers?

    VY73
    Tom
    DK1EY
  • Alan CAlan C Member ✭✭
    edited June 2019
    Tom,

    Thanks for the reply! I have a long way to go to comprehend/implement this process.

    Alan
  • DK1EYDK1EY Member
    edited December 2015
    It is a pleasure to share knowledge, that I am happy with. If you have questions, just contact me.

    VY73
    Tom
    DK1EY
  • Ed - W2RFEd - W2RF Member ✭✭
    edited December 2016
    Tom,

    It looks like you have everything set up properly, and that you used SDR-Bridge to open the Skimmers. At that point the Skimmers would be synchronized with SmartSDR. Then you closed SDR-Bridge, perhaps by accident. After that the Skimmers lost synchronization with SmartSDR.

    Simply start SDR-Bridge and everything should be AOK!

    SDR-Bridge remembers all settings. I don't know why you are having to do clicks. Please post more info!

    73 Ed W2RF
  • DK1EYDK1EY Member
    edited December 2015
    I can confirm this: 
    It looks like you have everything set up properly, and that you used SDR-Bridge to open the Skimmers. At that point the Skimmers would be synchronized with SmartSDR. Then you closed SDR-Bridge, perhaps by accident. After that the Skimmers lost synchronization with SmartSDR.
    Especially the frequency settings in the skimmer windows do not show the right values, even with SDR-Bridge open (as mentioned before). I start the skimmers via SDR-Bridge. But that frequency issue is no issue for me, because I can move the skimmer-bandmap up and down and see the signals. Only the alignment of the active section does not synchronize properly. Due to the fact that I let all spots appear on the N1MM+ bandmaps the skimmers bandmap is not of interest for me.

    I tried again: The SDR-Bridge settings are not completely remembered after shutting down the program and reopening it. The telnet tab settings and the skimmer>server tabs settings have not been stored.

    After shutting down and reopening just SDR-Bridge, the frequencies shown in the skimmer windows do not change to the slices frequencies.

    VY 73
    Tom
    DK1EY


  • Ed - W2RFEd - W2RF Member ✭✭
    edited December 2016
    If Skimmer is not  synchronized with SmartSDR, the frequencies of the spots sent to N1MM will be incorrect!

    It is correct that the telnet tab is not stored because it is not implemented. I am not sure about the skimmer server tab. I don't think you are using it anyway, are you?

    After reopening SDR-Bridge, allow a little time for the program to get organized. Then you need to move the SmartSDR  panadapters with the hand cursor. Just shake them a bit to restore synchronization.

    If SDR-Bridge is working properly, frequencies are synchronized. If not, please post a screen shot showing the SDR-Bridge panel, The Skimmer windows, And SmartSDR so I can analyze the situation.

    Thanks,

    73 Ed W2RF
  • DK1EYDK1EY Member
    edited December 2015
    Ed,

    please take a look at the attached screenshot. Everything but the IQ output in the DAX control panel looks fine, right?

    Do you have an idea, why it has an offset in the output frequencies?

    VY 73
    Tom
    DK1EY

    image
  • Ed - W2RFEd - W2RF Member ✭✭
    edited December 2016
    The DAX IQ panel display is of the center frequency of the Panadapters. This is correct.

    You can save CPU bu turning off the two audio DAX channels. They aren't needed.

    Glad everything is working properly. Enjoy!

    73 Ed W2RF
  • DK1EYDK1EY Member
    edited December 2015
    Hi Ed!

    How to you connect audio into the skimmer? DAX RX1 does not work for me. My PC is well oversized for the flex, so cpu usage does not count ;).

    But I recognize, that the connection between the Flex and skimmer via SDR-Bridge works just in one direction: Click onto the skimmer, frequency change on SSDR. Moving SSDRs slice does not affeact anything in SDR-Bridge. Any ideas?

    73 Tom DK1EY
  • Ken - NM9PKen - NM9P Member ✭✭
    edited December 2016
    Skimmer uses I/Q audio....Activate that via the DAX pull down on the left side of the Panadapter. Use DAX I/O 1 or 2, but be sure that the channel definitions match...
  • WW1SS - SteveWW1SS - Steve Member
    edited April 10
    O am getting the following error when trying to set up.
    Cannot negotiate input format with 05 DAX IQ RX1: error 1169
  • DK1EYDK1EY Member
    edited December 2015
    Steven,

    where do you get this message? I mean in which of the above mentioned steps?

    VY73
    Thomas
    DK1EY
  • WW1SS - SteveWW1SS - Steve Member
    edited December 2016
    i get the message when I hit the radio button in skimmer to turn it on
  • Sergey R5AUSergey R5AU Sergey Member ✭✭
    edited April 2015
    in preparation for the next weekend
    image
    image
  • DK1EYDK1EY Member
    edited December 2015
    Steven, have you assigned it that way? Slice to be Skimmed hast to have the same settings in CW Skimmer and in SmartSDR
    image

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