2 operators, 2 computers, 1 radio?

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We currently expanded our contest Run station with a 2nd transceiver, sharing the antenna, amp, but using 2 computers controlled by N1MM+.  We built a hardware lockout box that allows the first TX that wins to switch to the amp, and ground the TX that lost. The receive ant outputs are used with a splitter so both share the same receive audio.  We basically can both listen at the same time, transmit can only one off course. When the rates of the Run station drop, the 2nd in-band operator starts doing S&P on the same band (never 2 signals on air at the same time). Or, when it is really slow, both operators can do S&P. The need to wait till the other is done with a QSO...

I would like to know if this is somehow possible with a single  6700?  Basically, can I control VFOA with TX from computer 1 and VFOB with TX from computer 2?  I do not see 2 PTT inputs... Any ideas?
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Andy - KU7T

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Posted 1 year ago

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Bill W2PKY

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Have heard the term "Multiple Clients" on a single radio as a future enhancement. Take that to mean multiple computers controlling a single radio, just what you want to do. Lets see when that arrives.
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Michael Coslo

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I'm trying to understand how this would work.  The radio would need to listen at the same time it is transmitting. As well, if one is working a pileup, the other never gets to transmit. And I certainly wouldn't be too happy if my partner cuts me out in the middle of a pileup. Even if it could be done, it seems like an exercise in frustration, more of a hindrance than help.
(Edited)
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Andy - KU7T

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Only one radio can transmit at a time, and during transmission the other cannot listen.  As I said, this makes only sense in low rate contest situations. But if the rate drops below 60, and the CQ repeat is set to 3 s, the Run can call, and the 2nd can find S&P spots in between the calls and once it has found one, can just call. At that point the Run station is locked out for the 15 s or so that it takes to work the station on the 2nd radio.  Requires a little bit of coordination, yes, but it increases the rates at some times by 20. Also some ops work better together than others.  Having both ops doring S&P also works well, then they can both listen longer. With 2 traditional radios this works well, I would like to pull this off with the Flex and a single radio (controlled by 2 computers).
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Ria - N2RJ, Elmer

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It will make sense in multi-single contest operations where you want a separate mult station and use an interlock so that there is only one transmitted signal at a time. I should note that M/S ops do this all the time. As do SO2R but you have a single op with 2 radios. 
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Ria - N2RJ, Elmer

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I would like to know if this is somehow possible with a single  6700?  Basically, can I control VFOA with TX from computer 1 and VFOB with TX from computer 2?  I do not see 2 PTT inputs... Any ideas?
I haven't tested it but are you able to run SSDR CAT with two clients? That's one way I can see it happening with current software. However I don't think it's quite "there" yet and this feature to be 100% usable in a contest environment would have to be developed. 

Ria
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Michael Coslo

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If someone answers your CQ while the other station has you locked out, it will probably be a missed QSO. Technically, there is no problem doing this. A software or hardware solution is feasible. I cannot for the life of me believe that this would ever be a competitive sort of operation.

If it is a low QSO rate, it would be better competition wise to  have just a single operator with band switching agility, or the venerable 2 operators 1 radio, but not the quasi-simultaneous business.
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Andy - KU7T

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You are assuming that every operator is SO2R/V capable. That is simply not the case. I agree with you that if every operator is top class SO2R capable, it would be faster to do this with SO2R. However, in the real world, there are a lot of ops that only deal with one VFO at a time, and they sit there while the contest program calls CQ. If there are longer gaps in the stream of QSOs, it makes total sense to have a second guy give a hand sign, work a mult on the same band, and after 20s the main guys keeps calling CQ again... We are doing this with traditional radios today and I estimate we increase our points by 10%. WE are in the Pacific Northwest, so there are a few hours with low rates and we never run much faster than 100...
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Michael Coslo

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I have a few real world connections that make me question it as a good idea FWIW, but as a technology, it could be implemented.  I would be extremely interested in watching an actual multi-op station use this method. 

I would caution however, it would open the doors for some discussion of the fundamental nature of slice receivers/ransmitting arrangements. Some would  insist that the class be two operators, two radios. You can bet that if it shows any real competitive advantage that that argument will be brought forward pretty vigorously.
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Ria - N2RJ, Elmer

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For me SO2R is like DJing. You have to be quick and pay attention to an opportunity to switch tracks (radios) and be prepared to switch back quickly if need be.