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SmartLink and SmartSDR allowing background FT8 Flex operations

Steve K9ZW
Steve K9ZW Member ✭✭✭
edited June 2020 in SmartSDR for Windows
I've done a bit of a write up on how SmartLink has allowed me to pick up anord couple hundred QSOs weekly by background FT8 operations.

https://k9zw.wordpress.com/2019/06/20/background-ft8-remote-via-smartlink-and-smartsdr-for-windows/

Because of my long office hours and the type of work, I had been unable to do very many SSB QSOs outside of lunch while at work. 

Mixing in the ease of SmartLInk, SmartSDR and an instance of WSJTX I can knock out more QSOs while one the phone or doing other tasks.  

Hats off to FRS for making this easy!

73

Steve
K9ZW

BTW you can keep up with my posts at http://k9zw.wordpress.com

Comments

  • Mark_WS7M
    Mark_WS7M Member ✭✭✭
    edited June 2019
    I think FT8 is great.  I am mostly a CW guy but like you I work long hours and doing CW is very attention intensive.  FT8 on the other hand is click and go.

    After FD I am reworking my station setup and I plan to put effort into easy FT operation remote.
  • Andy - KU7T
    Andy - KU7T Member ✭✭
    edited March 2020

    Great idea and writeup! How do you combine your QSOs with your master log? Or do you just import the ADIF later? Then how do you know what is an ATNO?

    73
    Andy

    KU7T
  • Steve K9ZW
    Steve K9ZW Member ✭✭✭
    edited June 2019
    Added thoughts at https://k9zw.wordpress.com/2019/06/23/one-way-of-handling-logs-from-several-different-wsjtx-instances/ Imagining others have some useful suggestions? 73 Steve K9ZW
  • Sergey KN7K
    Sergey KN7K Member ✭✭
    edited June 2019
    Logging is a big problem for me when run several instances of WSJT. My Log allow me to run one WSJT and log to the main log, and currently I have another WSJT run , but have manually transfer qso to the main log. It worth to open separate thread to discuss. Sergey, KN7K
  • Bob G   W1GLV
    Bob G W1GLV Member ✭✭
    edited June 2020
    Steve, ur analysis of getting 10000 FT8 QSO's a year is not out of reach. If you keep track of DUP's and as you progress you'll find that the QSO's are far and few between. I'm retired and I decode about 12K to 15K, of that quantity about 1% are not DUP's. Your rationalization is correct if you count DUP's. Have fun.
  • Steve K9ZW
    Steve K9ZW Member ✭✭✭
    edited June 2019
    @Bob W1GLV - quite agree that uniques are only a percentage of what you will get for FT8 QSOs. 

    I'm not seeing the uniques as scarce as your 1% (that would make you uniques only a 120-150 year for running a lot of FT8?) but that could be because I've only run any significant FT8 in 2019.  With away weeks traveling and other interruptions I'm guess my annualized rate for FT8 is at best 80% of my suggested 10K QSOs/year rate.  So with the 4-5K FT8 QSOs so far there are plenty of uniques.

    What I am NOT finding is a steady number of DX FT8 QSOs operating background mode.  Cannot really expect it as I am not in the chase per say running in the background.

    Running background I'm seeing my largest number of QSOs on 20m, next would be 40m and then a distant third on 15m.  That likely speaks more of my stations than anything else.

    73

    Steve
    K9ZW
  • Andy - KU7T
    Andy - KU7T Member ✭✭
    edited June 2019
    Regarding logging and progress tracking...

    I am thinking that a reasonably good solution would be to use DXLab integrated with WSJT-X. Install both on the 2nd computer and set them up so that they talk to each other (WSJT-X spots directly to DXLab, and can query for progress). Then, just take the mdf file (Access db) to the remote computer once a week or so and bring back the added contacts via ADIF. Still some manual steps, but will give this a try. 

    73
    Andy
    KU7T
  • Bob G   W1GLV
    Bob G W1GLV Member ✭✭
    edited June 2019
    Steve the 12K to 15K decodes are per day.
  • Steve K9ZW
    Steve K9ZW Member ✭✭✭
    edited June 2019
    Gotcha - I think I also presumed decodes were QSOs too.

    I don't have the time to do bulk decodes - what else have you found doing this massive data crunch?

    Thanks and 73

    Steve
    K9ZW
  • John - K3MA
    John - K3MA Member ✭✭
    edited June 2019
    Sergey

    My understanding is that JTAlert can be setup to log properly with multiple WSJT sessions.  JTAlert works well as a intermediate interface to log from WSJT-X to several logging programs.  If it support the logging program you are using  then you might want to investigate this option further if you have not yet done so.

    John K3MA
  • Steve K9ZW
    Steve K9ZW Member ✭✭✭
    edited June 2019
    With Logging FT8 contacts follows the question of QSL Cards for FT8.

    https://k9zw.wordpress.com/2019/06/25/ft8-and-qsl-cards/

    Personally I'm only doing QSLs for FT8 when a SASE arrives, some DXing, or if there is a special request for my card.

    73

    Steve
    K9ZW
  • Andy - KU7T
    Andy - KU7T Member ✭✭
    edited June 2019
    I have tried this today and it works reasonably well (DXLab, copied master MDB to work laptop). However, sometimes the decoding stops for a minute or two. 

    I wonder whether it is caused by latency. I am running MeinBerg clock (so time on the laptop is accurate), but have about 70 ms latency. Since FT8 is very needy in exact time, am I correct to assume that when my latency is too large, the decoding just stops?

    Apart from that, it works really well. And DXLab can color the needed contacts in WSJT-X. 

    73
    Andy
    KU7T
  • Steve K9ZW
    Steve K9ZW Member ✭✭✭
    edited June 2019
    I ran into resource issues with one PC that went away when I switched PCs. There can be some timing issues introduced by all sorts of issues. One hotel network tested okay but flaked out every couple minutes making remote operating impossible. 73 Steve K9ZW

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