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CW sidetone



  • edited August 2019
    ... I like keyboard CW but no way to use any of the 'contest software programs' if only CWX works ... 


    Carsten, DL6LAU
  • N5NHJN5NHJ Member ✭✭
    edited February 9
    Again, we are talking about several scenario here, let me clarify and add some tips for the paddle.

    Scenario 1 - SmartSDR (local or remote, doesn't matter) using keyboard and CWX.
    Everything is ok, SmartSDR (not the radio) generates a (fake) sitetone, no latecy.

    Scenario 2 - A logging software (e.g. N1MM, DX4WIN) is interfaced to SmartSDR to generate the code.
    SmartSDR doesn't support any other option but configuring a 'virtual' winkeyer though SmartCAT. The logging software (assuming it can control a winkeyer) will be configured to interface to the 'virtual' winkeyer exposed by SmartCAT. This way the radio will generate a perfect CW. the problem with this configuration is no sidetone (real from the radio or fake from SmartSDR) is generated in anyway, so you are blind (or deft, if you like). There is not any workaround, Flex must address this (not very hard...) somehow.

    Now, on a total different topic... Is it possible to generate CW using the paddle? What I did is tricky but works. To do this you need a real Winkeyer, connected to the same computer where you run SmartSDR. Download from K1EL the WKremote utility and run 2 instances of it, one will be configured like the local client, connected to the real Winkeyer, the other one configured as a server connect to the 'virtual' Winkeyer exposed by SmartSDR. Your code from the paddle will be converted in ASCII text, passed from the first Winkeyer to the second, and transmitted by the radio. No latency, local sidetone. The suggestion is to run the local winkeyer with a slightly higher speed than the radio winkeyer to compensate for delay generated by the Winkeyer logic. I've asked K1EL to modify WKRemote the way we just need one for this job, maybe he will agree. A side note... SmartCAT can generate more than one 'virtual' Winkeyer, so you can have your logging software and the paddle working at same time.

    73, Max
  • Tim VE6SHTim VE6SH Member ✭✭
    edited August 2019
    Max. See VE6WZ’s work around Tim VE6SH
  • N5NHJN5NHJ Member ✭✭
    edited February 9
    Tim, thank you for the suggestion. I don't want to have a computer at the remote site, though. This is why I purchased a Flex.
  • K9SOK9SO Member ✭✭
    edited August 2019
    Thanks Tim.

    I'm sure this would work but I've been remoting on HF since the late 1980's and over the years I've used almost every method conceivable. I have one hard and fast rule: No PC in the operating loop of the remote station. My remote PCs have crashed countless times causing unrecoverable problems.

    Perhaps I'm still gun shy from the days when Windows was more unstable (remember Windows 7?) but I still don't like to have to rely on a remote PC.

    BTW, VE6WZ is slightly incorrect about how RemoteRig does the keying: they don't use the jitter buffer for anything other than the VoIP connection. They simply send out UDP packets with key down and key up information and then delay them for a period of time roughly equal to the RTT. If any packets are delayed (jitter) the packet delay buffer simply gives them time to get back in the proper timing order. 

    Then they generate a local sidetone and mute any tone audio that might come back from the radio end. 

    This technique works well even for high latency connections like mine (I remote from over 800 miles away). You might get an occasional lost UDP packet but that happens a very small percentage of the time and just hurts one or two dits out of thousands. 

    The Maestro worked fairly well too and it  allowed me to get rid of the RemoteRig boxes in the keying loop. Everything worked fine until they broke something in the  SmartSDR V3.x releases. (known issue).

    I've gone back to RemoteRig keying again since the Maestro - V3.x method of keying no longer works. That gives me local sidetone and good remote paddle keying without jumping through hoops or waiting to set up a remote PC.

    The Maestro still works with SmartSDR V.2.4.9 or earlier, but I really would like to use 3.x for several reasons.

    I don't know what needs fixing in V3.x, but I sure hope they get to the issue eventually. 
  • N5NHJN5NHJ Member ✭✭
    edited August 2019
  • edited August 2019
    Hi MAX.
    I just got this to work last night. It works as well as any situation you use a WinKeyer box.  What I mean is there is the side tone heard in the room and this can be an issue to others(wife) hearing the cw tone and also if you have headphones that block out the room noise it can also block the cw tone coming from the WinKeyer.
  • N5NHJN5NHJ Member ✭✭
    edited August 2019
    Hi Russ,
    The local winkeyer sidetone can be turn on and off, volume can be lowered, and the audio output can be connected to the PC.
    I understand this is not an ideal situation, but if you want to use your paddle I don't see other options, unfortunately. I don't work for Flex, anything else should come from them...

  • K9SOK9SO Member ✭✭
    edited August 2019
    I ran a 33 ohm resistor from the emitter of Q1 in the Winkeyer to a 1/8" jack I mounted on the side. I can plug in powered speakers if I want high volume sidetone or run both the radio and keyer sidetone audio to this $24 mixer:


    Plug in your headphones and you're good to go. 
  • edited August 2019
    Hi Max,
    You are a funny guy  - turn off sidetone.  Sorry.....  it just struct me funny.  That's what started this thread no CW sidetone.  Anyway I digress.  You did say something else that caught my attention...  "the audio output can be connected to the PC".  What do you mean by that?  Can you actually run the WK side tone to the PC??  I looked but don't see how that is done.  Please elaborate.
  • N5NHJN5NHJ Member ✭✭
    edited August 2019
    Russ, I hope you're enjoying I'm funny. You are complaining about the sidetone, the wife, the noise... than turn it of! Hi Hi...
    You can just pull the audio out from the internal speaker as Fred says, and put it in the mic or line input of your computer. If you need more control and you don't like an hardware audio mixer, you can try a very powerful software one:

  • edited August 2019
    I should not humor myself at your expense.  I hope you took it as pure jest and not seriously.
    I have been struggling with remote cw for awhile.  It seems I am not alone.  I had given up until your suggestion came along.  It did not make sense to to have two WK when there is already one available in SmartSDR.  I had used N4PY to do this(Carl had it figured out) when I had my TS-480 remoted before getting my Flex.
    I really appreciate the suggestion of using two instances of WK at the remote site.  It does actually work quite well.
    I have been using CWX for DX work but I like a paddle for conversations or the occasional quick conversation.  I started using a paddle back in about 1971, so it still feels very natural to me as opposed to typing on a keyboard.
    As far as the audio is concerned I probably won't try the PC route for now and wait for Flex to add cw sidetone for the virtual WK.( That way it( the sidetone )is in my headphones and solves the wife issue and the noise cancelling headphone issue.
  • N5NHJN5NHJ Member ✭✭
    edited August 2019
    Russ, no problems at al!!! I'm an easy going person.
    I'm happy the TwinWKremote solution worked out well for you, I do like the paddle as well, keyboard is not for CW.
  • Kari Gustafsson SM0HRPKari Gustafsson SM0HRP Member ✭✭
    edited August 2019
    Remote CW sidetone is possible!
    Hi all, since 10 years I run a remote contest station with no PC (to increase up time). I have been using the remote rig boxes BUT Matt NQ6N, described a local Winkeyer solution with Flex API:s that with a high propability will provide both local CW sidetone ( from a physical winkeyer or paddle) and local PC keying N1MM. See here: https://groups.io/g/RemoteKeyerInterface.
    It works for pure local CW keying of a remote Flexradio and now "we" only need to test the local PC keying. I have not had the time to do it but I do not see any problems getting it to work.
    So there is an acceptable potential solution just around the corner till Flex works it out.
    73 Kari SM0HRP
  • K9SOK9SO Member ✭✭
    edited August 2019
    Thanks for that information Kari. I've joined the group so that I may watch for the progress. I'm sure it will not be hard to find beta testers.

  • Mark DavisMark Davis Member ✭✭

    The "Remote Keyer Interface" solution has undergone a good deal of development since this thread started. It offers -free- remote CW operation, with a keyer (or straight key) interfaced to the PC through a very simple interface to a PC Serial Port (built-in or a USB-to-Serial adaptor).

    Details at https://groups.io/g/RemoteKeyerInterface.

    Side-Tone at your remote operating site can come from your PC or from the keyer. No Maestro required.

    Mark - AD7EF

  • K9SOK9SO Member ✭✭

    It's too bad that we have to do work-arounds like this when the 3.x software is supposed to work... and Flex knows it doesn't work.

    It's been over a year now without any solution. I've paid for 3.x and can't use it.

    ...just an ignored CW operator,



  • N5NHJN5NHJ Member ✭✭

    Agreed, and just generating a 'fake', 'local' pitch on the computer running SmartSDR following the CW transmission would be a simple starting point to alleviate the issue. Maybe we are missing some parts here that make this dramatically complicated to be added...

  • K9SOK9SO Member ✭✭

    Since I use a Maestro, the local sidetone is not my issue. The issue is that beyond 2.4.9 software, there are keying errors on higher latency remote CW connections (>50mS RTT). They keying method we're talking about in this thread probably fixes the keying errors too ... but I shouldn't have to do that because of a FlexRadio software bug in versions above 3.x

    My local Maestro sidetone sounds like it's sending properly but the actual transmissions being keyed at the transmitter end are distorted with missing dits or dahs turning into dits, etc.

    Makes it kind of hard to copy me.

    So I've been stuck on 2.4.9 even though Flex charges good money for 3.x versions that have had known issues for well over a year.

    Yes, it would be nice to have local sidetone when keying via a PC, but that's a feature addition, not a bug fix. I'm complaining about a KNOWN software bug that they haven't been too eager to fix.

  • K1ESEK1ESE Member ✭✭

    It has been very frustrating. I did go to 2.4.10 and that works just as well without the possible SD card problem. The help desk said go to 2.4.10 but said anything higher in version 2 or version 3 will have the problem you describe.

    This bug has not been addressed for a year or more with no help on the horizon. I bought Version 3 but can't use it for CW.

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