MultiFlex Multi/Single Contesting Technique

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Let's say two operators are running a 6300 using Multi-Flex.  One is using SmartSDR and one is using a Maestro.  If they "tag team" with each rotating two-hour shifts, things are pretty straight forward.

But, if one is running on a frequency and the other is searching for multipliers on the same band at the same time, how do we easily change who transmits?  Assume the multiplier operate has the Maestro.  It seems that operator must go into the menus to the multiFlex settings to enable transmit.  Not very quick.  The operator running with SmartSDR can keep the multiFlex window open on the desktop and always see who has the transmitter, but I can find that indicator on my Maestro.

The YouTube video at Orlando showed an indicator under the "MENU" on the Maestro showing who had the PTT, but mine doesn't.

In order for the multiplier operator to know when to grab the TX, I would assume the multiplier operator would set up split with VFOA listening to the run station and VFOB having the transmit symbol and tuning the band.  Does that sound right?

K1ESE
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K1ESE

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Posted 6 months ago

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KI4P

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6300 only has two slices, so you can only see one on each device, some have talked about using hand signal, to my understanding!
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K1ESE

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Unfortunately, since we are both operating remotely from our homes, we can't see each other. 

Looks like a 6600 or 6700 is needed to both hear the run station and listen to the band for multipliers.
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Joe N3HEE

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Yes, you need full duplex to be able to hear while transmitting. 

In MultiFlex the first person who keys the transmitter takes control of the transmit functions until they are done transmitting.  In other words this is automatically handled by the software. 

You don't need V3 for your first scenario where each operator is taking a 2 hour shift.  You can do that in V2.
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Bill -VA3WTB

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Were did the name multiFlex come from?
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Andreas Junge, Elmer

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Both slices have the  red TX flag. Just transmit with CWX or PTT (serial port on remote) or through the Winkey emulation from either station. The focus will switch instantly. You can ping-pong between the two. 

The menu setting defines which user get's the "local PTT". Local PTT is the physical key/foot switch that is hooked up to the radio.

Andreas, N6NU
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Mark - WS7M

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Not a huge multi-op contester but this is one thing I don't quite get myself.

When running a frequency you really can't take a short break while the other client transmits.  This might work well for S&P but I can't get my head around how it will work in a busy contest especially if the two ops are not co-existent.
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Bill -VA3WTB

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Ya me too, this must still be something Flex is going to work on in the future updates. For now it seems some are looking at using something like Skype between ops that are seperated. Both partys have to be in sink, right?
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Joe N3HEE

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I have some experience working contests at multi op stations. It takes great skill and coordination between the Run and Mult operator to be able to interleave QSO's without slowing down the run operator.  If the Run operator is busy the Mult op has to be able to work the multiplier on the first try.  So the mult operator is very selective on which mults can be worked depending on how busy the run operator is. Most of the times we use hand signals.  Sometimes verbal signals (yelling) if the hand signal fails :)

For this to work remotely there would certainly have to be an off air communication channel of some sort.  Perhaps Zoom or Skype? 

This topic was brought up in another forum thread recently. I think someone mentioned that Flex is looking at ways to do this with DAX ?
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Chris Tate - N6WM, Elmer

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This co-ordination can be done with Skype, slack or a myriad of communication tools.  Joe is correct, it takes extreme skill and co-ordination to be effective at this, and doing it in this scenario may add to that a bit. The bigger challenge is hearing what the other operator is sending, and that is likely something that can be resolved by building up a monitor using DAX.
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Jamie WW3S

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in a true multi single setup, I could be on 20m RUN, and my partner on 15m MULT, and no interlock is needed, we could transmit at the same time (as long as we arent on the same band). Will Ver 3/MultiFlex allow simultaneous transmission with a 6600, slice A on one band, and slice b on another. 
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Eric - KE5DTO, Official Rep

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Since there is only a single transmitter on a FLEX-6600, I think the short answer is no -- you can't transmit at the same time.  However, you CAN both transmit.  The first one to key wins, so some coordination will be necessary.  Note that in SmartSDR v3.0.27, you can use the TX Monitor to listen to the transmission of the other client.  This may help with the coordination.
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Rick - N4RZ

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In a multi-single setup being able to transmit two signals at the same time would be a great advantage but also against the rules.
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Jamie WW3S

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No, it is not against the rules.....2 signals, same band, yes they must be interlocked, but separate bands, they can transmit at the same time, as long as it meets the other criteria specified in the rules, like a new multiplier for CQWW contests....
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Neil D Friedman N3DF

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I guess, then, that I don't understand the application of this rule:

2.3.1. Multioperator, Single Transmitter: Stations are allowed only one transmitted signal at any given time; alternating CQs on two or more frequencies using the same band and mode is prohibited.
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Jamie WW3S

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I'm not sure what contest or organizer your rules snip is from, but for CQWW, which is what I referenced, the multi-single rule is as follows: 

C. Multi-Operator Categories (all-band operation only): Any number of operators is allowed. QSO finding assistance is allowed. Only one transmitted signal per band is permitted at any time.

1. Single Transmitter (MULTI-ONE): Only one transmitted signal on one band permitted during any 10-minute period (run station/signal). Exception: One — and only one — other transmitted signal (multiplier station/signal) may be used during any 10-minute period, if — and only if — it is on a different band from the run transmitter and the station worked is a new multiplier. The run and multiplier transmitters are governed by independent 10-minute rules. Ten-minute periods begin with the first QSO on a band. The log must indicate which station/signal (run or multiplier) made each QSO. The multiplier station/signal may not call CQ (solicit contacts). Please be sure to read the Multi-Single FAQ section at <cqww.com/rules_faq.htm>.

and more detail in the faq: 

Multi-Single Category FAQ

This section covers many questions we receive about the Multi-Single (MULTI-ONE) category.

EXPLANATION:

This category permits up to two signals (one RUN and one MULTPLIER) to be transmitted at the same time, but ONLY if each signal is on a different band AND with the following limitations.
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Neil D Friedman N3DF

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Rules "snip" is from the general ARRL contest rules.