RTTY Roundup 2016

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  • Updated 3 years ago
  • (Edited)
Over the weekend I dabbled in the RTTY Roundup with my Flex 6700. I really like the RTTY mode. I locked my decoder software at 2210 Hz and tuned the SSDR Panafall with the Flex Control knob. I just ran 50 watts to a vertical antenna, and I quickly figured out how strong a station had to be on the waterfall for them to hear me.

Three things I would like to see added, but the setup works well as is.

1) FSK operation
2) Extend the lines marking the RTTY tone pair into the waterfall display. Often I was tuning to where a station last transmitted and there was no activity on the spectrum display.
3) Add the ability for the operating frequency to stay centered on the screen with the display moving, or
Add the ability to shift the screen so that the operating frequency is near one edge. Here's how I see that working: I started out at the low end of the stations calling CQ. I would tune up to the next station and work them, then tune up to the next station. Once I neared the right side of the display, I would grab the spectrum display and slide it so the operating frequency was near the left side of the screen so I could see the stations above me.

73,
Mark

P.S. over the entire weekend, I never had any loss or other issues with CAT or DAX, and I am running Windows 10.
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Mark Erbaugh

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Posted 3 years ago

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Phil m0vse

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I too "dabbled" in the RTTY Roundup and my 6300 never missed a beat (also Windows 10). I agree that the ability to "lock" the position of the operating frequency would be a good addition. 
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Ernest - W4EG

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I second your operation suggestions ... I missed out this RTTY contest... but should be back on the air soon. :)
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KF4HR

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Good suggestions.  I also jumped in and made some contacts.  No issues at all here either.  Operating my 6700 was very enjoyable.
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Lewis Cheek

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Butch, contesting, say it AIN'T so. :)

Lew
N4CO
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Alex - DH2ID, Elmer

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Mark, re your suggestions:

1) can't be done IMHO as FSK is hardware, but maybe the FPGA-programmers can do
    something there?
2) Very good idea, should be easy to program into SmartSDR.
3) My words ;-) Shoud be made optional and would greatly improve working with digimodes...

73, Alex DH2ID
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Phil m0vse

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Regarding FSK, I would have thought that they could implement EXTFSK 'relatively' easily as an addition to CAT? EXTFSK is supported by MMTTY and DM780 (among others) for FSK RTTY operation.
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W7NGA

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Is there something wrong with the current RTTY implementation? I see little difference between FSK and the excellent implementation that exists. Perhaps the modern-day ham can't be bothered with setting levels and monitoring their signals (as they should be doing). 

W7NGA  dan
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Al K0VM, Elmer

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Unlike analog radios, it is almost impossible to 'mis-adjust' the 6xxx flex to get a bad signal on the air using AFSK.  That said, implimenting FSK in the radio should be doable BUT has its own issues related to the indeterimenate timing of FSK the keying sent from a PC port ( real or virtual ).

AL, K0VM
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Walt

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FSK is clearly spelled out in the Flex hardware book - section 7.4.4.  If that had said FSK will never be implemented - AFSK only, I would have never purchased the radio.

So I vote to implement the FSK pin as per the hardware specs..

I do not see why I cannot have Flex live up to the radios specs and shift the transmit carrier 170 Hertz.   I mean, geeze . . 170 Hertz is all I am asking for,

And please make sure that those who love AFSK are still allowed to send tones through DAX to get a signal on the air.  Their preferences should be protected also.  It does not have to be either / or.

I think the implied comment about what skills a "modern-day-ham" has is quite inappropriate to this forum.  Everyone on here has a right to operate the radio in whatever fashion they wish under part 97.

All I ask for is that Flex honor the published specs for FSK within some software version of the future.  If Flex thinks I am asking for too much, they can so state on here or send me a private email and I will not bring this up again.

And for what it is worth, I would use my RTTY terminal and send ASCII characters to it and have it produce the actual FSK.  I would not use comport RTS/DTR pins due to timing issues. 

Cheers - I think . . .
  
(Edited)
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W7NGA

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In my defense Walt, I was asking as an engineer vis-a-vis the original posting, what is limiting about the current implementation. This is not 1963 and not about my Collins KWM-2 where AFSK can certainly be problematic. If there is no observable difference between FSK and the current RTTY mode, then my question holds. Assume you have a black box and not privy to what occurs within. What is wrong or limiting about the mode as it is? 

I agree, that if you are using an RTTY terminal and level-shifted appropriately, that an FSK implementation would be the simplest of approaches for you. For most, I believe it would not be. Many hams desire to experience AM and simply turn the knob and talk with horrendous results. They are not monitoring their signal and modulation. There was quite the flurry here over $300 headphones, and yet, you can buy an oscilloscope for much less. You mentioned Part 97, and hopefully mention of a clean signal and good engineering practices are held within.

cheers ...

W7NGA  dan
San Juan Island, Wa.
(Edited)
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Joe Duerbusch

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I too was in the RTTY Roundup.  I made 695 contacts using my Flex-6300 and a Elecraft KPA500 Amp.  All worked fine.  No problem with AFSK.
I used Writelog with the MMTTY plug-in.  I don't know if many are aware of it but the Author of Writelog created a Driver to replace the CAT and mostly DAX.  In addition you can run split without going in an changing any audio device settings.  You can also run SO2V.

WlFlexDriver1201L3.exe (2015/12/26) This is a WriteLog rig driver for the FlexRadio 6000 series rigs. With this rig driver WriteLog reads and controls Flex 6000 series rigs without need for the Flex SmartSDR CAT control and virtual COM ports and Kenwood TS-2000 rig emulation, etc. This rig driver is compatible with all WriteLog versions since 11.01. But WriteLog 11.27 and later recognize additional interfaces in this rig driver that simplify WriteLog’s display of the Flex rig discovery results as well as certain error conditions. 

I don't want to hear that N1MM does this or that.  I am only talking about Writelog.  N1MM is a very good program but this is not the place to do a "mine is better than yours".

Joe K0BX
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Mark Erbaugh

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The excellent replies here got me thinking about FSK. I admit I am a purist and with other radios, I prefer to have the radio generate the tones and shift on the basis of an external input, but ...

I suspect most people will run SSDR and their RTTY software on the same computer. It doesn't make a whole lot of sense to have to run a cable from the computer to the FSK input on the Flex. I can see where doing FSK via a virtual serial port may have some timing issues.

I like the idea of sending characters to the radio, rather than tones. I see this as similar to CWX, except for RTTY.  FWIW, the only radio I know of that can send RTTY based on a character input are the K3 and KX3.

The next question is if they do implement a RTTY encoder in the radio, should there also be a RTTY decoder?  Would a decoder running in the SDR processes in the radio be more accurate or sensitive than something running on audio tones (or DAX versions of them)?
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Ray D - G6UJB

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Also had a dabble with the Round-up on my 6500, it was great fun! and an absolute delight to hunt and pounce using the superb flexradio Panadapter, I'm really loving the RTTY capability on the Flex.

Thank FRS :-)

Mark, re for tuning RTTY, I did wonder about extending those tone markers, but I did find during the Round-Up that using the mouse I could double click fairly accurately on the center of the high tone remnants on the waterfall, where ever it may be and be close enough for FLDIGI to decode. I usually have the spectrum width set so that the two tone markers are about 6 or 7mm apart, works for my myopic eye sight on a 21inch monitor.

73, Ray
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W7NGA

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This discussion, for me, brings up an interesting aside. Should you desire pure FSK (even if only philosophically), what would you be using as the Baudot character source? Yes, a Teletype Model 15 or Robot 800 keyboard qualifies .. but what else? An Apple II I suppose running out of the RS-232 port and level-shifted (appropriately transmogrified from ASCII to Baudot). I've done that in the past, running to my HAL ST-6 and properly level-shifted to my Icom or Drake T4XC PTO. No timing worries and great fun .. but I didn't have a Flex 6000 series transceiver sitting on the desk or SSDR running on my PC!

Mark .. I believe you have misunderstood the issue. There would be no encoder (or decoder hopefully) as you mentioned, but the FSK pin on the ACC connector that shifts between two frequencies based on a logic-level at the FSK pin. You would have to provide the Baudot serial data-stream to that pin, carefully level-shifted to 3.3v (whatever is spec'd) logic levels. 
(Edited)
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Ken - NM9P, Elmer

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It wouldn't need to use the external port FSK line.
They could just take the data from a virtual serial port accessed from inside a RTTY program configured for true FSK. The FSK mode in the rig would translate the data to tones using the waveform API.

They might need to define a dedicated port option for FSK in the same way that they do PTT. Or it could just be part of the CAT functions or the Ethernet data stream, configured as a virtual serial port. No external hardware needed...

Ken - NM9P
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Greg

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Things may have changed but in AFSK using DAX you have to bother with going into the DAX control panel to designate which slice to use for TX.  Now lets say you have multiple slices open on different bands.....you want to jump to another slice to work a multiplier.....you have to change your DAX TX setting.....then go work him....change it back...go back to the run band.


With FSK the TX slice would not have to deal with the DAX TX setting.  You would just transmit FSK on whatever slice has the TX flag active.  Dax would only be in play on RX.  Much easier and much less cumbersome.


I think the same applies to working split on the same band.

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Ken - NM9P, Elmer

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Yes... The same as using DSTAR or FreeDV as an API doesn't need a Dax channel to be defined. That would be a nice feature of a waveform API version of RTTY, or many other modes, too.
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WA6FXT Mike

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All, I won the 2015 SB section Single Operator RTTY contest. With my Flex6700. This year, it was wonderful to see the RTTY mode. Mark set to 2125, fldigi Mark set to 2125 and had a BLAST working both Run and S&P modes. GREAT Job, FRS.

My only suggestion is to be able to set that the slice stay fixed and slide the panafall under it (selectable).

BTW - Did anyone else notice that FLDIGI is now 'Open Source'? Sounds like another Waveform API application, to me.

If FRS could make the FSK interface (Or maybe a way to sample RF / IF data inside the Waveform API, we could really have some fun).

Just my $0.02

73's de Mike