Best contesting software for use with SmartSDR?

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  • Updated 4 years ago
I am going to 'play around' in the CQ WW Phone Contest this weekend. What's the best contesting software to use with SmartSDR? Voice keyer for canned CQs? works with SmartSDR CAT? works with CWX? etc.
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William Hein

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Posted 4 years ago

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Steve W6SDM

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I used a hardware voice keyer, but Ray, K9DUR has a voice keyer program out that was written for the legacy series Flex.  It's shareware.

As a contester, I use N1MM.  It's probably the gold standard in contest logging software.  And it's free!

Steve
W6SDM
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DK1EY

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Hi William,

have a look here:
HOW-TO: Setup FLEX-6X00 with N1MM / CW Skimmer for multiple slice contest operating
HOW-TO: Setup N1MM+ for keying the Flex 6X00 via CWX (no hardware keyer needed)

Works for SSB as well (do not use the CW features).

Last weekend I participated for abt. 19hrs in the WAG contest. It works great!

VY73
Tom
DK1EY
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Stu Phillips - K6TU, Elmer

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William,

I am a very active contester and have used two different logging programs with the 6000 series radios:  Writelog and N1MM+.

Writelog is $30/year, N1MM+ is free.  Both are widely used with N1MM+ being more prevalent doubtless because its... free (ham's being cheap ;-)

Both work well and with the new release of N1MM+, there's not much between them.

Both work in all respects with the 6000 series in all modes - RTTY, CW and SSB.  With the current CW support provided by SmartCAT, you will need an external keyer to provide CW keying via the logger.  I use a K1EL WinKeyer2 and its excellent - even when I could avoid using an external keyer with PowerSDR on my original Flex 5000, I still used the WinKeyer as it avoids the PC issues of generating CW - this often led to shorter "dits" than "dahs".

N1MM+ also support a CAT mode called FLEX5000RX2 that enables the 6500 and 6700 to be run in SO2V mode is you so wish - this does require either a triband yagi or multiple transmit antennas - the feature lets you use slice A as radio 1 and slice B as radio 2.  Very easy to then run the radio on two bands at the same time - less easy for the operator however!

The voice keyer works on both Writelog and N1MM+ - very easy to set up and more straight forward on N1MM+ as all the audio support is included in a single program rather than requiring the separate audio program to be run for Writelog setup.

I have used Writelog for years until a few weeks ago - then I ran W1AW/6 for a while here in California and used N1MM+ as a trial.  Worked so well that I used N1MM+ in the California QSO Party and made 1580 Q's in 20 hours - never missed a beat with N1MM+.

The only think that I like less about N1MM+ is that Writelog has an excellent multi-channel CW decoder.  My CW in a contest is good to about 25 WPM but I struggle above this - so the decoder is a helpful crutch with the multi-channel support in Writelog being excellent.

Hope this is helpful!

Stu K6TU
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William Hein

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Thanks for the info. I downloaded N1MM Logger+ but it will not let me create a database so I'm stuck for the moment. My guess is that N1MM does not like the \User\ directory on drive E:

Bill AA7XT
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Stu Phillips - K6TU, Elmer

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That's possible.  Try reinstalling the software on the boot drive in the root directory - like C:\N1MMPlus and try again.

Stu K6TU