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Another CW Remote Question WT9Q

Is it possible to send contest quality CW and/or rag chew quality CW remotely using just a paddle, a Maestro, and a laptop (Windows 10, Intel CORE i5) running N1MM connected to the internet; and a Flex 6600 back at the shack (v3.2.39.3374)?

If the answer is yes, please tell me how. What are the minimum internet speeds, etc.? If the answer is no, it’s time for me to quit trying.

I am assuming from all of the comments on this forum that the answer to my first question is no it is not possible. So, what do I need?

1. A K1EL Winkeyer hooked up to the Maestro
2. One RemoteRig RRC1258 hooked up to the Maestro and one RemoteRig RRC1258 hooked up to the 6600
3. Leave the Maestro at home because it is useless for the task and connect the laptop to a computer at the shack via TeamViewer, AnyDesk or other type software.
4. A VPN
5. A Cell Phone hooked up to a hot spot
6. One and two. One, two, and four.
7. Let the wife go to Florida by herself and I stay home
8. Other

I have obtained audio files of my sending. Rag chewing using a paddle and keyer attached to the Maestro produces unintelligible CW. Running during a contest using N1MM Function Keys will one time sound like CQ WT9Q, CQ WT9MA the next and who knows because I can’t hear it myself.

Vic WT9Q

Best Answer

  • Mike-VA3MW
    Mike-VA3MW Administrator, FlexRadio Employee, Community Manager, Super Elmer, Moderator admin
    edited February 2022 Answer ✓

    @Victor Shier

    The short answer is yes and lots of customers use Maestros daily for hand sending CW. Sometimes they add an external WinKeyer so they have better control of weight settings since the Maestro does not have a weight adjustment.

    So, why doesn't yours work? 100% related to the network communications and to figure the answer, you really have to look at the amount of data being moved through both routers. The one at the radio end and the one at the operator end.

    You can control your data by adjusting the FPS and RATE on the display part of the Maestro to ensure you are not overwhelming your router(s). More to the left results in a much more economical data flow.

    And, not all routers are created equal. It is easy to make a network work, it takes more work to make it work well. Just like an HF antenna. As well, everyone (and I mean everyone) wants their internet to be real time. If you have any gamers in your house, you will understand what I mean. Yes, you can get great SWR but that doesn't mean the antenna will radiate a signal like you expect it to.

    The other issue is WiFi. Is your Maestro on a LAN or WiFi? WiFi is great, but very fractional in data resulting in latency issues. Not good for CW. Latency is ok when streaming a movie, but not for real time communications. If you network is suffering from bufferbloat or similar, you can't recover dropped packets. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bufferbloat and https://www.waveform.com/tools/bufferbloat.

    I also use RemoteRigs from time to time. They are not perfect either and in fact, I had terrible results during the 160M CW contest last week and I had to move back to SmartLink which sounded perfect.

    If you want to test the Maestro/Radio combination and CW try it when you are not remote and see how it works for you. If it is 'normal' then the issue is your network communications.

    Another tool I have used is WKFlex for remote work, and seems to function well enough. https://community.flexradio.com/discussion/8024988/wkflex-cw-remote-with-smartsdr-and-winkeyer


  • K1UO Larry
    K1UO Larry MaineMember ✭✭✭

    Mine was fixed with the RemoteRig route. No Maestro needed key (and Mic if wanted) to the Control RRC and the Radio RRC hooked to the corresponding inputs on the 6600 itself..

    You will hear of other solutions, that I guess will work, but they did not for me so I sold the Maestro and bought another pair of RemoteRig units. BTW. strap them and option them for Yaesu FT2000 from page 175 of the RRC manual. These keyer settings on the RRC Control unit worked best for me at these settings.

    Weight :30

    LF Delay: 100ms

    Key Delay: 50ms Adjust higher to eliminate irregular keying caused bu INET jitter.

    Good luck

    Larry K1UO

  • Thanks Larry. I'm hoping someone will tell me that it is possible to send quality cw remotely with just the Maestro, a paddle and the computer. I'll keep your recommendation. (Thanks for the Q on 160) Vic
  • KD0RC
    KD0RC Broomfield, COMember, Super Elmer Moderator

    HI Vic, I don't have a Maestro, but I have a homebrew gizmo that sends CW remotely in what I think is the same method as the real Maestro. Since I usually operate remotely from places with terrible cell service, I can barely get it all to work.

    What I did discover is that if I am keying remotely, I need to set the Delay to anything from 30 ms (reasonably low internet latency) to over 100 (pretty poor latency).

    To set this, I turn the RF power down to one watt and put the rig in Full Duplex (FDX). I turn off the sidetone. On the RX of the second panadapter, I listen to my keying to see if it is clean or jumbled. If jumbled I increase the Delay until it clears up. Then for safety, I add a bit more delay.

    Doing this, I have had some excellent QSOs using remote CW over really bad Cell HotSpot internet connections. See my QRZ page for a diagram of how I operate remotely.

    I can't be sure that this will help in your case, but I think it is worth a try.

  • Len - This is excellent information for me. I did not realize how easy it was to set the delay. I will experiment with it today. Vic WT9Q
  • Thank you Mike. Just knowing that it is possible has lifted my spirits. I got permission from the landlord to install a new router/modem (not sure who is paying for it yet). It should be delivered today. I will experiment with your recommended settings. I have also watched most of the videos on your list of popular videos. At home I hookup the computer, Maestro, server, and radio to a modern high speed extender that is WiFi to my modern high speed modem and router. That works great when I am home. I have an idea on how to eliminate that weak link but that will have to wait until I return. Thanks again - Vic WT9Q
  • Mike-VA3MW
    Mike-VA3MW Administrator, FlexRadio Employee, Community Manager, Super Elmer, Moderator admin

    Each one of these challenges is unique. What works for you may not work for someone else, but the good news is that we have a lot of help to narrow down on a solution that works and is reliable.

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