Remote Sidetone

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  • Updated 4 weeks ago
Will the new 2.4.9 update with DAX available via Smartlink allow me to hear my CW sidetone from my remote station when keying the radio with the PC AT the remote via N1MM?

I know this has been an on-going question (for about 3 years) but will this new update solve this deficiency, or is this "can still getting kicked down the road"?

de steve ve6wz
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VE6WZ

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Posted 2 months ago

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Eric - KE5DTO, Official Rep

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No.  This feature (Remote CW Sidetone #3993) was not addressed in v2.4.9.
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VE6WZ

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Thanks for the update Eric. I am currently “test driving” a friends 6700 at my remote. Without this capability I am unlikely to purchase a radio. Do you have any idea for a timeline, or seriously is it going to be another 3 years?
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Eric - KE5DTO, Official Rep

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I'm sorry, but unfortunately our policy is not to discuss timelines for unreleased software.
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Kari Gustafsson SM0HRP, Elmer

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Hi, there a few simple solutions to the sidetone issue. One very simple is Matt's (NQ6N) solution with a local Winkeyer that sends CW over IP.
See here: https://groups.io/g/RemoteKeyerInterf....
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sky

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I use my favorite electronic keyer. I set SmartSDR to "break in" with comfortable delay and I am then a happy CW op. I also go into Radio setting (top left of SMARTSDR) and in TX menu set all delays to zero.  My electronic keyer provides the instantaneous CW sidetone. It plugs directly in the 'KEY' connector on the rear of the 6600  (or pin 4 of the accessory connector).
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Bill -VA3WTB

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Sky, For remote side tone?
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sky

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Since I do not employ remote control, I cannot offer any suggestion regarding CW sidetone.
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Bill -VA3WTB

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Was wondering as this was about side tones on remote.
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Bill NE1B

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As a CW operator and Contester, I would not want latency introduced over the new DAX from the remote radio site.  Instead, I would prefer a separate app or integral N1MM+ feature which generates sidetone locally on my computer.  Just needs to detect the macro keying from N1MM+ and convert to audio tones at preferred sidetone frequency.
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VE6WZ

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As CW operator and contester, the issue for myself, and I suspect others as well is the latency and packet loss introduced AT the remote WISP provider. My remote internet is wireless LTe and "on the edge" of BW capability. I max out at 1Mbs UL. Lost packets often causes my remote sent CW to be gibberish. Especially at peak NetFlix streaming time. BTW...if you think your remote CW is making it through with out error....don't be so sure if you have a less than ideal connection. The only way to know is to record your sent CW. Its not uncommon for me to hear on air guys where the CW suddenly goes garbled...dots become dashes weird spacing etc.
I currently contest high rate CW using my remote-rig set-up (K3 twin) by accessing the remote computer via TeamViewer, and using that PC at the radio to run N1MM. Always flawless CW with zero latency (obviously since its directly connected to the radio). For day-to-day DXing, I still use keyboard CW from my logging program at the remote PC for the same reason. I operated my remote while in Australia using my 4G data connection tethered from my phone to a laptop and operated flawless CW with a latency of 250ms. I was sending the CW from the PC sitting beside the radio 15,000km away. I'm doubtful I could send reliable CW being sent via a winkey emulator from the laptop over that distance.
I currently have the borrowed 6700 at my remote and can send CW no problem from the PC there, but sadly....no sidetone. Is it really that hard? Remoterig does it.

73, de steve ve6wz
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Matt NQ6N

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Just a note about this subject:  Generating real time sine wave audio in Windows is a bit harder than it might seem due to the audio latency that is typical for most other use cases.  When you're listening to a song or watching a movie, 35-50ms of audio latency as it starts playing is not noticeable, yet when that 35-50ms of latency occurs between paddle contact and first (dit or dah) audio, it's extremely noticeable, to the point of making the paddle feel broken. 

It's my understanding that the Maestro uses a built-in WinKeyer chip to do the keying, and then mixes the sidetone audio in with the maestro audio output. 

I wrote a program called RemoteKeyerInterface (available via groups.io) that lets you connect a WinKeyer to the paddle and the key/ptt output to the Flex via network. This gives you real time remote side tone. 

The best software-generated remote side tone I've used is in the RCForb remoting software.  

If anyone is familiar with an open source computer generated real time sidetone codebase, I'd love to hear about it. I could then reference it and add the feature to the RemoteKeyerInterface program and let the program do the keying and audio making the WinKeyer unnecessary.  I haven't had much time to work on this over the past few months but look forward to doing so at some point in the future.  Also hoping that I'm surprised by Flex releasing an update to SmartSDR with remote sidetone added :)

73, 
Matt NQ6N

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Mark - WS7M

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Matt's solution is the best way to go.   You generate side tone from whatever you are keying with locally and send the keying data over the network.

This is what the Maestro does and sort of what CWX does when remote.
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VE6WZ

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Hi Matt. Actually its NOT the best solution is some cases. Yes, that is exactly what CWX does and the Maestro and with a GOOD internet connection it works great. However,  I have spent three years sending CW to my remote and done a lot of experimenting. Depending on you ISP, the CW being sent via the internet may be completely gibberish by the time it is sent from the radio.  The fact is, you wont ever know this until you start getting lots of ??? or requests for exchange repeats.  You need to record your CW actually being sent from the radio and listen to it.  At my remote with a WISP provider, during peak Netflix time my CW gets messed up.  Dots become dashes, dashes become dots, random spaces show up, missed characters etc.  Even with a Winkey emulator and good internet management for latency, jitter and buffering, the CW can still get screwy because of the occasional lost packet etc.  Obviously on a LAN connection or decent high-speed home connections its great.  Many remote guys though have set-ups with limited internet BW and quality.
In these cases, sending the CW via the keyboard FROM the remote PC sitting beside the radio is the only solution.

Steve VE6WZ
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VE6WZ

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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.