CW skimmer - conventional vs Flex

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This past Friday I gave a presentation on SDR technology to Fair Lawn (NJ) Amateur Radio Club. One of the things I discussed was CW skimmer. 

I also have a local friend (who shall remain nameless) who is a very hard core DXer. However he runs an Elecraft K3S. 

Lately he has become very interested in CW Skimmer because of 3C0L. He was never able to get it to work right using his K3S. He has LP-Pan, an Asus Xonar and the P3 along with IF out from the K3S. First off he can't get more than 22kHz. Secondly, he is getting images, ghosting and USB noise. 

Meanwhile with my Flex, and Ed W2RF's most excellent SDR-Bridge, I am able to run CW skimmer very easily and as a result I've been popping off 3C0L on various band slots easy peasy. The coup de grace was 160 meters where I had a very easy time with them. I have none of the issue he has. None. DAX also eliminates the possibility of external noise.

Here are some examples of what I see:

80 meters:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JyMI_5Ze42g&t=36s

40 meters:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GrLPusdEGW0&t=381s

I put the 2nd slice on wide to illustrate the pileup. I can pick off individual calls in that as well but generally I narrow it around and click skimmer.

If you've used skimmer before this is old hat, but if you haven't used it, it's a dream. You see where people are sending "599" and you can position yourself around that area to strike. Very effective. 

Show your friends who might be interested in a SDR what it can do for them with DXing.

Ria
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Ria - N2RJ, Elmer

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Posted 2 years ago

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Bill -VA3WTB

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Ria, I watched a few of the new You tubes that come up with yours. I see what you mean about our SDR's compared to the radios in these video's
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John - K3MA

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Every radio has it advantages and disadvantages.  Including the Flex 6XXX series and the Elecraft K3S.  It all depends if your areas of operating are in the list of advantages or not.  Flex has a leg up on easy integration of add on's such as CWSkimmer.  I am not a regular user but I have played around with it on both radios.
(Edited)
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Ria - N2RJ, Elmer

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The K3S is excellent as an all in one, conventional radio feel. I also think that it handles well for DXpeditions since it is so small. Personally I wouldn't mind having one in the shack. But it's no flex, that's for sure.  I may pick up a KX2 or KX3 just because I like getting outdoors sometimes. 
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Ken - NM9P, Elmer

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I saw the KX2 a couple of years ago when it was released at Dayton.
I had to admit, it was really slick!  But by the time you added the portablebattery, integrated CW paddles, handles, protective cover, mic, and a couple of other options, it soon began to be a very expensive portable rig.  But it sure was cute!
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Chris Tate - N6WM, Elmer

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I have a flex 6700 as well as a K3 and KX2.  K3 for major expeditions, KX2 for portable expeditions, 6600 and soon to be 6000M for all my domestic contest use.  6600 M may be suitable for some mico expeditions like ZF1A contest efforts.
(Edited)
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WA5YOM

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I had CW skimmer working great with my FTDX5000D....but all sorts of issues getting it to work with DAX on my 6700....after countless hours I gave up.....It has been so long since I tried...but as I recall one of the issues was it would not track the 6700....had lots of problems with dax...so last weekend I completely uninstalled sdr with dax...fixed my dax problem...with that in mind...maybe cw skimmer works now...will have to try again..
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Ria - N2RJ, Elmer

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Try the latest version of SDR bridge. That works fine for me.
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ON7NQ - Danny

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wow ! some cool videos...!
Is that a 6700 you own ?
Can't wait to play around with the new 6600..
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Ria - N2RJ, Elmer

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Yes, I have a 6700. 6600 should be very nice as well. 
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Bill Axelrod

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Ria,

     Guess you have convinced me to try it.  It there a tutorial anywhere for setting up skimmer/bridge etc with my 6700?

73...   Bill K3WA
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Al / NN4ZZ

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Hi Bill,
Here is a link to the "quickstart" and troubleshooting guide I wrote for SDR-Bridge and C W Skimmer, it is also available on the SDR-Bridge web page.

http://www.nn4zz.com/Data/NN4ZZ%20CwSkimmer%20Bridge%20setup%207-Jun-2017.pdf

Al / NN4ZZ  
al (at) nn4zz (dot) com
SSDR / DAX / CAT/ 6700 -  V 1.11.12
Win10
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Bill Axelrod

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Thanks Al.  I found that info right after I posted.  Very easy install.  Took longer to install the software than it did to configure it and make it work.   Thanks for the tutorial.

73...   Bill
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Lou Dietrich

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Bill,

When you finish configuring Skimmer, try using it as a front-end for your logger.  I send my Skimmer spots to VE7CC ARuser , which aggregates the spots. I then send the output of VE7CC to Logger 32.   Final result is that my logger now "sees" spots which my 6XXX hears and merges them with the web spots.

Kinda cool...local spots and WW spots in my logger...

73

Lou N2TU
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Bill Axelrod

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Lou,

     That's a great idea  Right now, I have CC User installed on my computer.  It receives its input from whichever site I pick and broadcasts the spots to my local machine.  N1MM and DXLab gets the spots from there.

     How would I set up the Skimmer to send the spots to CC User or VE7CC?  I'm not very familiar with all that.

Thanks and 73...   Bill
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Lou Dietrich

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Bill,

Here is my set-up....we all do something a bit differentl but this works fine for my Logger32 or N1MM+...

After you get SDRBridge working....go into CWSkimmer (CWS)

1. In CWS, View>  Settings > Network> Click Enable Telnet Server> set port to 7310.
2.  In VE7CC ARuser...Configuration> Outgoing Connections> 
     - Next to #1, Check the first box, then enter your call, then VE7CC-1, then VE7CC.net, then port 23. (You may have already done this if you are using ARUser.)

     - Next to #2, Check the first box, then enter your call dash 1...(in my case N2TU-1), then enter Skimmer, then Skimmer 1, then 127.0.0.1, then 7310

After you complete the above, ARUser is, in effect, an 'aggregator' of VE7CC web spots and your local Skimmer spots. It will combine the spots. 

3. Now in ARuser...Configuration> Ports/ Logging Program >Logging Program Connection> Click Enable Telnet> Click Use Port 7300.

After this step, the combined spots will be sent to your logging program or N1MM+. on port 7300. 

In N1MM+ or your logger, simply set your receive port to 127.0.0.1 port 7300. All the spots, your skimmer and web will be combined and displayed.

Once you have this successfully working, you can add more skimmers  (for different bands?) in SDRBridge and repeating steps 1 and 2.  As you add skimmers, simply change the port numbers. For instance, second skimmer set to 7320 in CWS and ARuser.

The above sounds cumbersome...but in reality is a very easy set-up. If you...or anyone else has further questions...or other possibilities, let me know...

Regards/ 73

Lou N2TU
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Bill Axelrod

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Thanks Lou.  One more thing to play with.

73...   Bill
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IW7DMH, Enzo

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>If you've used skimmer before this is old hat, but if you haven't used it, it's a dream. You see where >people are sending "599" and you can position yourself around that area to strike. Very effective. 
>
>Show your friends who might be interested in a SDR what it can do for them with DXing

Hello Ria,

your considerations about CWSkimmer and the new Flex6x00 capabilities are all right. Nothing is better than software connections in place of the old "cable style".
While my answer is a bit off-topic with your post, I would like to point out that there is another way you can check the exact frequency where the DX station is calling. just to say that with the new SDR techonology you can get the same results following different ways.
I usually maximize the panadapter windows and zoom-in just to have the dx station at the left most side and the pileup in the remaining window.
Then I follow the alternated lines between call and answers and in few second I can set my slice B at the right place.
I find this method smarter and more accurate than cwskimmer and overcames the issue of the missing audio when you transmit in split mode. Actually you can find useless at all the Slice B audio. The better if you have a 21:10 monitor like in the following picture where I am following VP8SGI.
In addition using CWSkimmer you have to wait until the station sends its 599 while in this way you can set the frequency during the station answer.

73' Enzo
iw7dmh




P.S.: it is also advisable to give more inertia to the panadapter. Good settings are AVG: 70-80 and FPS: 25.

(Edited)
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M0GZR

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Hi

I have tried to configure my 6700 ver 2.0.19 using the SDR Bridge but no luck. As long as I change the panadapter zoom it's  gets of sync and not pointing to the right frequency The CW Skimmer never works as on the presentation below which is the ideal configuration in my opinion

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HZ_0TVIBB64

I appreciate any hints how to set it that way, perhaps need to spend more time to work it out

73'
Marcin M0GZR
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Al / NN4ZZ

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Hi Marcin,
Yes, when set up and working correctly it should function like the video.

Here is a link to the "quickstart" and troubleshooting guide I wrote for SDR-Bridge and C W Skimmer, it is also available on the SDR-Bridge web page.

http://www.nn4zz.com/Data/NN4ZZ%20CwSkimmer%20Bridge%20setup%207-Jun-2017.pdf

You might want to look and see if you have any of the setup values incorrect.  There are several settings noted in the guide that can cause the symptoms you described.  

Hope this is of some help.  If you are still having trouble it could help to make some snapshots of your setting in both SDR-Bridge and CW Skimmer and post them here. 

 Al / NN4ZZ  
al (at) nn4zz (dot) com
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M0GZR

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Thank You Al

I didn't setup the telnet port correctly

Works perfect

Thanks

Best 73'
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ON7NQ - Danny

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Recording of how you sound in Belgium...I was S&P when I heard you CQing on 20m..59+ signal btw

73 - ON7NQ

https://soundcloud.com/m4fsrxc/n2rj-on7nq-cqww-20m-29oct2017
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Ria - N2RJ, Elmer

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Very nice!

Thanks, 73,88
Ria