There are several contest ops here, and I believe the consensus is that the abilities the rig provides more than outweigh an imaginary fault.
simply listen to your signal on an external receiver ... you might be surprised.
I thought maybe that maybe with ver 1.4, moving some of the cpu work to the 6000 might change the turn time?
latency - it's enough that you cannot realistically monitor and assess your signal real-time on an external receiver, and I suspect it could be an issue for the consummate contester.
One can press the PTT a split second before the other station finishes his "QRZ" and be right there on top of everyone else. In fact, I often see stations begin transmitting several seconds before the DX ends his transmission, presumably on order to get the drop on the competition. (I often wonder if they know that the other station cannot hear them until the DX station stops transmitting....)
Yes, timing is often more important than raw power, and articulation is often better than compression, but much of that timing is in the footswitch or VOX, or even more..in the operator's mind.
The Flex-6700 turnaround time = 140ms
Per QST reviews
We went from one of the fastest to by far the slowest.
Our read when we designed the signal chain for sideband was that a little latency was less important than good filtering. So we "maxed out" the filtering capabilities for sideband. The filter dynamically changes width in DIGx modes and in CW. If you would like to try out a shorter latency with reduced filtering capabilities, try running in DIGU instead of USB and set your filter width to greater than 2kHz. The latency will go down to what we consider to be a very minimal level.
The ARRL and others are not used to measuring radios that have complete flexibility in how things like this are controlled and so they put the radio in a given position and took a measurement. The measurement is accurate for that one setting, but is not a complete picture of what the radio can do (and in this case doesn't explain the tradeoff that we made). I'm sure I would have done just what they did. As you guys probably know by now, if you provide a compelling case for making a change in the radio there are very few things we cannot change. You can try using DIGU and let us know if you prefer it like this. There is actually a table in the owners manual with this information along with a description of how it works (see 29.6.4 on page 140).
Thanks for the informative reply and I now understand. So to answer our contesting friends concerns we need to explain to them that excellent filtering is more important than longer delay.
I guess a "contest mode" would be a nice marketing tool. :*)
All you need to do is to route your TX and RX audio via a DAX Channel.. and then have your device (speaker and mike) listen to those channels..
I could provide your friend with screen shots as to how to do it as that is how I do it with iPad Remoting via DAX..before Remote was available in 1.4
BTW,,, at times I get hit with the contesting bug and I can be a serious contestor... I have won my ARRL section using SDR's and have placed 2nd in World and #1 NA in a JIDX SSB Contest... so I can speak with some authority about contesting.....
It always helps to have a contesting station.. I have a 6700. SPE 2K-FA and a SteppIR MonstIR @85' located 600'ASL 1KM from the Pacific Ocean.. so by definition I will always do well in an Asia Pacific Contest without trying too hard.
So what is the difference between #2 in the world and #10 in the world when I was not trying too hard......
Basically its the operator's skill...
that 100ms latency is a mental factor.. if no one had pointed it out there is absolutely not doubt that it would not be an issue..as a great operator can win with even a lowly ICOM IC-756 Pro3...
Could you give us some data that compares latency to filter skirts? While I'm not the contester that I used to be in my younger days, with the call WB4PDQ, I think this is worth further discussion. On CW a difference of 100 ms is very noticeable at 40 wpm contest speed.
I have done hundreds of SSB contests both with and without the Flex and there is no difference that would ever make a difference in my score. If he really knew contesting and it was a pile up, it isn't about being first in, but being heard when there are less people calling.
I also contest with a remote base with about 100ms latency (and I have been for almost 10 years) and I have never noticed a difference where it would make an impact on my score.
It is 100% operator skill and nothing to do with the change over time. va3mw
The same filters used in CW are also used in sideband so the same numbers apply.
Latency is a trade-off with filter slope steepness. To throw out a number, perhaps a 2:1 minimum filter slope is needed for serious ssb contesting when the least amount of latency is desired (i.e., sacrificing filter slope steepness for less latency).
This reminds me of the guys who speed the "5nn" up to 65 WPM in a CW response - how much time did they really save and did it make a difference?
Whatever latency may be characteristic of the Flex is much outweighed by the various advantages that a Flex offers to contesters. I wouldn't be surprised if they didn't come out with a SDR-assisted category to level the playing field.
I can see where 100 ms might slow u down in S&P But As I said you are not running high rates in S&P. Even then a BIg Station will easily dominate most everyone else who beat you to the 100MS punch.
So I can only surmise that the Latency issue is. Not an issue for Big contest winning stations but might be an issue for someone in the middle of the oack.
This means on average, the latency might result the other party getting a 1/2 syllable head start, given equal human response times.
It would be interesting to set up a double-blind test with variable Rx latency (radios not required) and see if unprepared subjects can even detect 100 mS, or if others can truly leverage that to their advantage. Until that is investigated I don't see pulling limited resources off higher priority tasks to implement something with unproven benefit, based on an allegation with multiple possible causes besides latency.
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