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Spontaneous Mode Change from Panadapter


During ARRL Intl CW Contest this weekend, if I select a station on the pan-adapter that is clearly in the CW portion of a band and operating CW (for example at 14.040) the operating mode on Windows SDR and on the radio changes from CW to DIGI. Not particular to the station, but the frequencies selected on the pan-adapter.. Need some guidance here as to why this is happening...


  • Bob K8RC
    Bob K8RC Member ✭✭✭

    My installation of SmartSDR for Windows (3.1.12) does not change mode regardless of where in the band I click.

    Are you sure some other software running on your computer is not doing this?

  • David Decoons, wo2x
    David Decoons, wo2x Member, Super Elmer Moderator

    I agree, sounds like some 3rd party software is commanding the radio to switch.

    Dave wo2x

  • Craig Willison

    I do have an update on this.... it appears that when WSJT-X is running in the background that the issue occurs. Does not occur when WSJT-X is not running...

  • Craig Willison

    Well, not the case now. I do not have WSJT-X running and when selecting any stations above 14.040 the mode changes to DIGI. Occurs also on other bands, for example, selecting anything above 7.040 changes mode to DIGI. Only 3rd party software running is FRStack.

  • Craig Willison

    Issue is with FRStack... it is also the source for the spot calls on the pan-adapter.

  • Craig Willison

    I have learned from FRStack the following:

    "When you click a spot (on the pan-adapter) it will use the deduced mode from the spot information source to assign the mode.

    • If the comment contains "ft8", "ft4", "jt4", "jt9", "jt65", "qra64" it is set to DIGU.
    • If the comment contains “ cw", "cw ", " cw ", "cwops" it is set to CW.
    • If this is not found it uses the BandSpot.cfg info to determine mode by FREQ."

    FYI - to view BandSpot.cfg open NotePad with Administration privileges, go to C:--> Program Files (X86) --> FRStack, then type BandSpot.cfg, then open.

    Here is a short recap of what the file looks like for 20M:




    First observation is that the DIGU mode does not operationally align to DIGU modes, i.e., low at 14.074. There are other issues here and across the other bands. FRStack says that they use the WSJT-X definitions. You can change these entries to your own preference / behavior.

    The other issue that I am still wresting with is why did the deduced information from the over 100 (each) spots (in my case the mode issue changing from CW to DIGU above 14.040) first make its way to the FRStack DIGU / CW logic described above, before having to use the 3rd tier FREQ logic as defined in the .cfg file. More on this to come... I am currently working with DX Cluster spot source provider to learn about provided spot information / structure and if it sync's with FRStack structure.

  • John KB4DU
    John KB4DU Member ✭✭✭✭

    Just as an aside, the 14.074 FT8 frequency is a convention (a “watering hole”) in the RTTY/Data band allocation.

  • Craig Willison

    Thanks John, you are right.

    I have been in discussion with a couple DX Cluster providers and a comment from one provider pretty much sums things up...

    "The DX Cluster supplies spots from various sources. Many include spot mode, but many do not. You cannot determine the mode from frequency. Sometimes the mode is in the comments field of the DX spot, but not all the time. My software does not add spot mode."

    Being the case, if the Tier-1 and Tier-2 logic from FRStack does not conclude a mode from the DX Cluster spot, then the operative solution (in my opinion) resorts to looking at the frequency for mode, ie FT8,FT4,CW, etc. So for now, I have modified the .cfg file as best possible (FRStack tier-3) to best deal this. Perhaps the future will bring a solution! C

  • picture
    picture Member ✭✭

    Thanks Craig. I was able to fix this problem with your directions for the .cfg file.

    I would think that by now this problem would have been fixed by the developer.

    I created a ticket with Flex about this several days ago, but have not heard back. I also contacted W3II but no response either.

    One more issue. Why is there no data in "Modes" tab on FRStacks3?



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