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New 6600 owner - 1st contest observations

I entered the SS CW contest this past weekend. N1MM integrated beautifully. SO2R, spots, (manually)changing antennas all worked great.

I noticed after a couple hundred Q's the xmit CW became very choppy in the headphones,
but I wasn't getting asked for a lot of repeats. I watched a few visual indicators (Flex power
button light and KPA500 power lights and CW looked good, but at times I could
also see the choppy CW on the visual indicators. (I didn't have another rig available to
monitor).

I restarted N1MM and had the same issue. PC had over 12 GB RAM available and CPU usage was under 10%. Restarted SDR, N1MM and still had the issue. I restarted the 6600 and CW was fine afterwards. Any ideas?

Before I rebooted rig, I also tried to install a Winkey USB. Creating Winkey CAT. Changing
winkey port in N1MM to new Com port. Restarted N1MM, but External Winkey would not
key rig. Not wanting to lose too much time, I went back to the 6600 Winkey setup.

Another issue at the end of transmission the receiver would breakup (artifacts?),
distorted. It was a loud crackling sound. I'd end up missing the 1st letter of the call. CW
30 WPM, delay 210ms. I'm not sure I noticed it when I had a slower delay(QSK), but that was rough on the ears and I was running and wasn't using the 2nd slice so I increased the delay and that's when I noticed the issue.

I'm looking forward to automating antenna switching and BPF/stubs. Truthfully I'm
not sure I need external BPF (Dunestar600) that I used with the previous K3 x 2 setup.
The internal BPF seemed excellent. I might need to switch in/out a stub or 2 for
harmonics.

Wondering if I can get a SteppIR DB18 on Slice A to track and a SteppIR
BigIR on Slice B to track. My initial attempt had both SteppIR's tracking Slice A. I also have
the Denkovi relays to play around with once I figure this all out :).

I by no means have the setup dialed in as I've only had it a week or 2. I have a lot to learn!

Loving it so far.

73,
Jim - K6JS

I'm amazed at the amount of wires and cabling I pulled out from a SO2R K3 setup :)

6600 - DB18 @55', BigIR, 80M Inverted L over FCP
Win 7
SDR 3.2.39

Answers

  • Alan
    Alan Member ✭✭✭

    Jim

    I have a SteppIR DB11 and a BigIR. I use two instances of FRStack, one for each SteppIR. FRStack has REST commands that allow you to select the Flex Frequency source to the Flex Controller, or you can configure each frequency source in the FRStack options menu.

    You could use a StreamDeck or in my case, I use Node-Red to send the REST commands. Or....just make the Flex Frequency source from within the FRStack Options Menu.

    Alan. WA9WUD

  • Jim S
    Jim S Member ✭✭
    Thanks Alan,

    I'll look into FRStack, StreamDeck and NodeRed. I not familiar with them, but I'm sure I will be soon. :-)

    A lot to learn.

    73,
    Jim - K6JS
  • Alan
    Alan Member ✭✭✭

    Here is a screenshot of my station control Dashboard, all using Node-Red and TCP commands via the Flex API:

    • SteppIR Vertical
    • SteppIR Yagi
    • Power Genius
    • Antenna Genius (makes antenna management very easy and versatile)
    • Tuner Genius
    • Flex Configuration
    • Station DC Power Distribution and meters

    WSJT QSOs and Flex Cabinet Fans, also on the bottom.

    Alan. WA9WUD


  • Jim S
    Jim S Member ✭✭
    Hi Alan,

    That's very impressive. Is this the Flow (Below) you used for your setup.
    I'm still trying to understand all of this. I'm also following emails
    in the groups.io site for NodeRed.

    https://flows.nodered.org/node/node-red-contrib-flexradio

    73,
    Jim - K6JS
  • Alan
    Alan Member ✭✭✭

    Yes, I use the basic nodes that Stephen developed to send and receive API commands to/from the Flex.

    I use FRStack REST commands for the SteppIR controls.

    The WSJT-X panel uses Stephen's WSJT node.

    DC Power control uses the Node-Red GPIO node.

    We have posted many of the flows on the Node-Red Ham Radio Group.

    My dashboard and knowledge has been evolving over the last three years. My post was to show what is possible. There is a lot of material and knowledge available on the io.group to help you "jump start" your project.

    If there is a specific need you have, such as the SteppIR controller, PG-XL, TG-XL, Antenna Genius, Dave, WO2X or I will be happy to help you set it up.

    Alan. WA9WUD