N1MM remote sidetone CWX

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  • Updated 8 months ago
I am setting up N1MM on SmartSDR 2.4.9 to run a contest on the remote station for the first time, and am newly encountering an apparently old problem. I have reviewed the relevant posts I can find, but I am still perplexed by the side tone situation.

When I use CWX, it sends fine, with a side tone, and I understand that what I am hearing is 'ahead' of what is actually sent.

When I use the Winkey port in N1MM to send, I am aware of the inherent latency. If I could attach headphones directly to the radio (with a 14 mile cord in my case) I would hear the tone synchronized (less a very small travel time) with the actual keying. If I transport the tone back to my control point with TCP/IP and a codec, there would be a much more significant delay and the tone would be behind the actual keying. So this would not work for paddle sending or fills.

What I would be happy with is the CWX scenario (i.e. I hear a side tone that is slightly ahead of the actual sending) in order to hear a confirmation that i hit the right function key. This is greatly preferred to no side tone at all, which is a high anxiety scenario. I have NOT been able to achieve this 'CWX like' scenario.  

I tried redefining the N1MM function keys ala the DK1EY post from 4 years ago - it sends fine, but no side tone. If I just use the CWX keys for sending , i lose focus (both literally and figuratively) with the software and the contest exchange. 

Is the only alternative to run N1MM on a local PC at the remote transmitter site. Is anyone doing this successfully?

73 John N5CQ
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N5CQ

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Posted 8 months ago

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Duane, AC5AA

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Hi John - if the keying you want sidetone for is when using a paddle, one alternative would be to send your paddle to a sidetone monitor locally while keying the rig - crude but simple.  Of course, that the rig is actually keying would be a matter of "faith" but it would give you the audible feedback needed for correct sending.   
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VE6WZ

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John perhaps you have already seen this, but here is a solution that works for me. It will probably also work if sending from N1MM at home too.

I thought I would share a "solution" for the remote sidetone problem.
First of all, after reading most comments in the community archives about this issue over the last few years it seems that perhaps there is a miss understanding (or lack of consensus) about why there is a desire to get the remote sidetone sent from the remote radio.
For some Flex users it seems they want to be able to send hand-sent or winkeyer CW from a PC over SmartLink and hear the sidetone back from the remote. This is hugely problematic because of latency. This is NOT what is required here at VE6WZ. Clearly this is why the Maestro generates a local CW sidetone with CWX and it works great. This is what Remoterig does also.

***The desire to have the sidetone returned from the remote is ONLY when using KEYBOARD CW from a logging program like N1MM. In this case the delay is a non-issue.***

At VE6WZ using Remoterig K3 twin set-up I have operated numerous CW contests by logging into the remote via TeamViewer (or other remote desktop apps) and used the PC at the remote to run N1MM to do all the logging and send the CW. The CW is always sent without error. Sending CW over the internet has proven to be un-reliable with my WISP provider. It seems to me that this should not be a complex functionality for the Flex team to implement. Just send the sidetone audio stream the same way the RX audio stream is sent. Obviously there needs to be a toggle to turn the sidetone off when using the Maestro to send CW which provides a local sidetone. Implementing this involves no complex solution for dealing with latency.

Here is the solution that works for me (quite well) based on the way I operate:

Most remote desktop applications stream audio from the remote computer. I have tested this with both TeamViewer and Splashtop.

Basically, I plug the headphone out from the Flex into the line-in on the PC. I configure the PC audio to send the line-out audio to the default play back device. This sends the radio audio via TeamViewer. The issue of coarse it that the RX audio is being sent during receive which will conflict with the SmartSdr rx audio. This is easily solved with a small box with a relay which mutes the audio during RX, but is toggled ON using a PTT out line from the Flex.
Now, when I operate....I have SmartSdr running on the PC in one window, TeamViewer in another window and send keyboard CW from the remote PC with the sidetone audio clearly provided. Smart Sdr sidetone level control controls the sidetone level.
Using a Maestro would prove a bit more complicated but would just require an audio-mixer to combine the audio from the PC (the sidetone audio) with the audio from the Maestro.

This is a work-a-round but it sure would be nice to have Flex provide the option to add the sidetone stream to the RX stream.

de steve VE6WZ.
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Kari Gustafsson SM0HRP, Elmer

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Hi, I do a lot of remote contesting. In addition to the well known Remote Rig boxes I discovered with a G3LZP winkeyer that I could key it by N1MM at my home site and route the cw keying output into the Maestro and get perfect CW and sidetone like with CWX. No latency of course and working very well. The strange thing is that when I do the same with K1EL Winkeyer it does not work. The Maestro just sends garbage. Perhaps it is a config issue.
In this way a paddle into the G3LZP winkeyer produces fine and independable cw not effected by N1MM keying.
73s Kari SM0HRP
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N5CQ

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Using the Maestro gives me a paddle with a side tone, but I think it is better overall time/motion ergonomics to train myself to use the keyboard alone and not revert to the paddle for fills and corrections.  The N1MM function key messages seem to send fine  with SmartSDR or Maestro, I just cannot hear them to confirm that.

Next I am going to try two things (1) Steve's suggestion for bringing the headphone audio back to my operating position, using Windows Remote Desktop Connection rather than TeamViewer, and (2) running N1MM on the PC at the transmitter site.  Never boring!

73 John N5CQ

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Andy - KU7T

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An alternative is to configure N1MM+ for SO2R. In SO2R mode you can see the characters you are sending at the lower part of each EntryWindow. Not the same as audio but enough for me...

Andy
KU7T
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N2TTA

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remoterig has superb CW but not convenience for SO2R pileups since local cw heard in both ear all of time, and makes difficult to copy on second radio, when transiting on first. Will be nice if N1MM or DXLog provide CW monitor direct from PC

Yuri
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Kari Gustafsson SM0HRP, Elmer

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Hi comrades, The problem you adress Yuri can be avoided if you key the Maestro directly.
I have connected a G4ZLP winkeyer to Maestro keyer input (which in turn is keyed by PC or cw paddle) and I can do 2BSIQ with SO2R without sidetone in the ear all time.
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N2TTA

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Kari,
How is CW quality from Maestro?
I was try few times keying via Flex and has drunk CW
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Joe N3HEE

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I dont use or need a sidetone when operating CW contests remote with N1MM.  I simply watch the N1MM call entry window.  It will print the contents of the sent macro in the call entry pane.