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Multi Op question

N2WQ
N2WQ Member
Tonight I spent several hours- to no avail- trying to figure out how to implement the following simple scenario on a 6400: I want to have two operators to use the same radio, listen on the exact same frequency, and use two different antennas. Op A listens for EU stations on Ant 1 and Op B listens for US stations on Ant 2. Whoever types first in the N1MM entry window grabs the TX and transmits, the other op waits for his turn. Where I struggle is connecting two clients two the SCU on the same band and keeping the two VFOs in sync. Or at least have VFO B to follow VFO A. Any suggestions how to do this? In fact, I couldn’t figure out in single op mode how to have slice A follow slice B. Tried with a Maestro, a PC, and an iPad. TIA!

Answers

  • John - K3MA
    John - K3MA Member ✭✭
    edited October 2019
    If I am not mistaken one SCU means only one antenna at a time.  You would need to upgrade to a Flex that has two SCU's.  6600 series or 6700.
  • N2WQ
    N2WQ Member
    edited October 2019
    Duh! This of course makes total sense. I would need two SCUs. However, where I struggled was a step earlier before trying to assign different antennas. I couldn’t connect two clients to track the same frequency. In fact, in a single op mode, I created two slices and couldn’t make A follow B. How do I do that? I could press a button on the Maestro to sync the frequencies, but they only sync for that moment and as soon as I change freq A they are no longer in sync.
  • Mike-VA3MW
    Mike-VA3MW Administrator, FlexRadio Employee, Community Manager, Super Elmer, Moderator admin
    edited October 2019
    FRStack allows the VFO's to track.
  • N2WQ
    N2WQ Member
    edited October 2019
    Thanks, Mike. So if this ability requires a third party utility, how do you do out of the box diversity reception with two SCUs? Does FRStack work across two clients connected to different SCUs? I am trying to understand what multi op use cases are realistically possible.

    As a side note, since yesterday was my first experience with the Maestro, I discovered that the Maestro is a much larger than shown on pictures.
  • Mike-VA3MW
    Mike-VA3MW Administrator, FlexRadio Employee, Community Manager, Super Elmer, Moderator admin
    edited October 2019
    The FlexRadio design allows for multiple clients to do many operations to the radio. 

    This allows you to expand what the radio can do beyond what our original engineers may have time to code.   This allows for VFO syncing if you like with a 2 SCU radio.  However, I just tried it on FRStack and it didn't work, so I will reach out to Mark and ask him what I might have missed.

    This allow programs like FRStack and Pegasus to allow you to do many things without depending on what the install base wants. 

    Never forget the radio is actually a server and not limited to just 1 client like everything HF radio out there which is limited to 1 RS232 port.  We can have as many as you need and that allows for station integration (that works) far beyond what we have cludged together in the past.  

    Elaborate on what you are trying to achieve as there might be another way to get there.

    Mike


  • N2WQ
    N2WQ Member
    edited October 2019
    Mike, thanks for being available 24 x 7. What I’d like to achieve is the simplest of all multi-op use cases. Two ops listening on the exact same frequency, but using two different antennas. Op 1 listens East and Op 2 listens West. First one wins the right to TX. That’s it. The second use case is the simplest use case for a single op- two synced receivers using two different antennas in a diversity reception mode. Maybe the two use cases are one and the same, but I assume that multiple ops makes them different.
  • Mike-VA3MW
    Mike-VA3MW Administrator, FlexRadio Employee, Community Manager, Super Elmer, Moderator admin
    edited October 2019
    Hi Rudy

    You might be best with 2 6400's.  That gives them 2 fully functioning radios that hey can actually due in band SO2R with or even on 2 different bands if the bands are on the same feedline.  This type works with a tribander or some other diplexor installed.     

    That would not solve your 2nd scenario though.

    With the 6400's we have hardware already installed to do lockouts so that the other station does not transmit.  AKA, the first one wins.  All you need is an RCA cable between the 2 radio.

    I have used Diversity, when I think of it.  :) .  I even played lots with the RF version we had in the 5000 series, but it was not something you would use in a contest since as the band changes or your frequency changes, you need to then return the tuning eye.  When it worked, it was cool.  But not really meant for prime time.

    Does that help?

    Mike


  • N2WQ
    N2WQ Member
    edited October 2019
    Thanks, Mike. Definitely some food for thoughts. I think I need to step back and reconsider how I may be using Flex for my contesting needs. As far as diversity goes, I am a firm believer. Pairing my TX antenna with a dedicated RX antenna makes a huge difference. Ditto for mixing horizontally and vertically polarized antennas. Look at the HQ9X CQ WW RTTY score- we a hair below our competition and felt that our handicap was 1) lack of RX antennas and 2) no diversity reception to deal with QSB. So buying a 6400 that doesn’t have diversity is likely a show stopper while getting a 6600 just for diversity is overkill. Back to the drawing board.
  • Mike-VA3MW
    Mike-VA3MW Administrator, FlexRadio Employee, Community Manager, Super Elmer, Moderator admin
    edited October 2019
    For RTTY, you may find the results may not depend on diversity, as RTTY might have enough help built in.

    If you watch an RTTY signal on a Scope (simulated scope or real), you will often see the Mark fade but the Space does not.  If the decoder is doing its job correctly, it will assume that in the absence of the other, it is being sent.  This is what has made RTTY so robust for so long.  I copied a few signals that I only had 1 or the other.  This is why I use the scope on MMTTY.

    Have you confirmed that was your handicap or is it an educated assumption?  Is your noise floor higher than theirs?  Can they hear weaker signals?  Is Diversity the answer to your slightly lower score or are their other areas that may take improvement? 

    Chat with Nate and Kam.  They have some great ideas as well.   
  • Chris Tate  - N6WM
    Chris Tate - N6WM Member ✭✭
    edited October 2019
    @n2wq -- A 6600 series radio is ideal for RTTY operation.   amongst other things, you can use it to SO2R and 2bsiq rtty.. boosting your score potential. as well as achieving multiflex use. note HQ9X is a top contest operator.

    at [email protected] cqww rtty I used 2 6600-M/PGXL combinations in this test for 1.7 mpoints.  I use MMTTY and 3 instances of of 2tone with spread, select and flutter algorithms at each operating position.  I had operators working remote into the station as well. 
  • N2WQ
    N2WQ Member
    edited October 2019
    Good, thoughtful comments.

    Without boring everyone to death with our narrow use case, here are a few more details related to what I am trying to achieve.

    We run 4 independent decoding engines in parallel, all running different algorithms. This is how we achieve decoding diversity. It’s trivial as it’s all in software.

    We don’t have a problems hearing stuff per se. We have a rate problem due to fading. VK6LW may be audible on 160 at one point and 5 sec later completely gone only to reappear 30 sec later. This is an issue from 160 to 10 under today’s marginal (at best!) conditions.

    So how do we deal with fading? There are only two ways- stacks and RX diversity. For many reasons building a stack is not an option and even if we stacked we would need a solution for the low bands.

    Last year we used some diversity during CQ WW CW. “Some” because some of the ops forgot the option was there and didn’t take advantage of it This year we got rid of the BOG as we wanted to build a better RX antenna with variable polarization LZ1AQ style: http://www.lz1aq.signacor.com/docs/hp... So, to answer your question, our conclusion that we lost points due to the lack of diversity is not purely statistical analysis, but a combo of general experience with contesting and station building, antenna constraints on the property, and comparable experience from the same location, but with diversity reception.

    That said, we had a blast and look forward to doing it again. Next time with better RX antennas.

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