SDR-Bridge 1.0.1 available for download

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The SDR-Bridge 1.0.1 build correctly launches Skimmer on a 32-bit (x86) operating system. It also enables editing of the path. The installer can be downloaded now at www.qrv.com. Thanks to all for testing. Enjoy!
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Ed - W2RF

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Posted 4 years ago

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Tim - W4TME, Customer Experience Manager

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Will installing SDR-Bridge v1.0.1 with v1.0.0 install do an upgrade or should we uninstall the previous version first?

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Ed - W2RF

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For now, the install overwrites the previous version. The INI files are preserved.
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Tim - W4TME, Customer Experience Manager

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Excellent!
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W1RE

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Hi Ed,

I now have four skimmers running and synching with SSDR thanks to Bridge 1.0.1.  However I am having problems getting WriteLog to properly synch under all situations.

When I first start Bridge it switches WriteLog to the band of my active Slice as expected (Slice A, IQ 1).  If I then click on a decoded call in Skimmer for that active slice then Bridge properly synchs WriteLog which fills in the frequency and call of the selected station.

Now if I click on a decoded call in another Skimmer window that is not currently the active slice, Bridge recognizes the change and properly indicates the active slice and nicely mutes the other slices in SSDR - HOWEVER WriteLog is NOT getting the band change sync or filling in the station call and such upon switching active slices.

Looking more closely I believe Bridge is synching WriteLog only for the Slice associated with IQ 1.

 - Bob, W1RE


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Ed - W2RF

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Bob,

That behavior is by design. On the Logger tab, the bottom dropdown sets the destination for clicks going to writelog. Currently it is locked so that clicks go to the WriteLog Entry or radio that corresponds to the IQ. To get clicks from IQ 2 to go to WriteLog, in WriteLog set the number of radios to two. You can go up to four.

In the future there may be more complex assignments. But first I want to see where the deficiencies are in this approach.

73 Ed W2RF
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W1RE

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Ed, Yes changing the number of radios in WriteLog works well.  This is really a great integration of all these tools - and to think you don't even need to use CAT.  Thank you very much for putting this together, I am blown away and IMO this rocks!  You mention this is just the starting point and you plan to add more over time.  I can't wait to see what's in store!

73,

 - Bob

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Paul Christensen, W9AC, Elmer

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Ed,

Been using Skimmer with SDR-Bridge since yesterday and I can't get away from it! 

Maybe this was addressed already and I overlooked it -- Skimmer Server won't launch when SDR-Bridge activates.  Each time I try to select that option under the  <Skimmer> <Server> tab in SDR-Bridge, it un-checks when re-staring SDR-Bridge.  So far, I have not seen Skimmer Server auto-launch with SDR-Bridge.

Paul, W9AC

(Edited)
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Ed - W2RF

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Paul,

Auto-launch of Skimmer Server is not implemented. It is not difficult but I ran out of time. I will take care of it soon, but probably not until after Dayton.

Glad you are enjoying the program!

73 Ed W2RF
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Paul Christensen, W9AC, Elmer

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Thanks, Ed!

Paul, W9AC

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k0eoo

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Ed,  Thank you, working very well with my 6500....
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k0eoo

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Ed, would it be possible, down the road,  to add support for DX4WIN logging software? 
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Ed - W2RF

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You can use DX4WIN now with a CAT connection. Use SDR-Bridge for synchronization. However it will not have the advanced features available in WriteLog.

In order to support advanced features, the logger needs to provide an enhanced interface that gives more control than is possible with CAT. So far WriteLog is the only program that supplies this type of interface. And it works very well.

Glad SDR-Bridge is working well for you!

73 Ed W2RF
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k0eoo

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Thanks Ed, I have DX4WIN working with CAT connection.  I'll try together....
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k0eoo

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Ed, I fiddled around enough with the different slices and bands that CW skimmer is totally out of sync with the slice I'm on and the freq the radio is set at....  Also I cannot click in the slice or CW Skimmer and have either follow...  I tried closing all but no joy.  

Ed, in skimmer what hardware type setting should I be on; "softrock"?  In the skimmer freq box it always says the same freq and If I open a new slice for 20m the skimmer freq gives some 40m freq, even though the IQ data says its the correct 20m freq....
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k0eoo

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OK Ed, here you go....







Ok....
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k0eoo

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Well Ed, I noticed the telnet server was not enabled and it was being used by the IQ-1 path so I checked the box and now all is working as advertised...     Thank you for your help!!  Dennis, k0eoo
(Edited)
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Ed - W2RF

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Uh, telnet is not enabled. I don't see how this is possible since you reinstalled the INI files, which have it enabled. Please help me figure out how this happened. And if you Enable Telnet, everything should be OK.
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Ed - W2RF

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And now you should go ahead with your CAT test with DX4WIN!!!
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k0eoo

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Thank you Ed!!  DX4WIN seems to be working just fine....
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k0eoo

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This is unbelievable guys, I have 3 slices up with 3 CW Skimmer streams decoding all the same time....I'll have to get a 3rd monitor and another eyeball, hi, hi....
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W5UN_Dave

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Hi Ed, just to let you know, I had several email exchanges with Steve of Writelog. I learned that writelog is meant to be a contest log, and not a general purpose log. As such, it has limitations, such as not permitting logging above 6 meters (I do lots of 2 meter eme), and also the RST field in writelog cannot accept anything except standard RST reports. EME exchanges are done with an "RO" in the usual RST fields.

Strangely, when importing exported N1MM logs into Writelog, they come out inverted, with the oldest QSO being at the wrong end of the log. Adding a new QSO doesn't look to good at the new position right below the oldest QSO, hi.
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Ed - W2RF

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Did you ask Steve or post on the WriteLog reflector about the inverted import? I am sure there is an explanation.

No logger does it all perfectly. As for integration, WriteLog shows the way to the future, beyond CAT.

73 Ed W2RF
(Edited)
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Don - ik2egl - ai4sd

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Hi Ed,
I see that writelog is your preferred log to be fully integrated with sdrbridge
Are you interested in integrating other logging software ?

tnx Don

(Edited)
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Ed - W2RF

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Don,

WriteLog is preferred because it is the only logger currently available that offers features that go beyond CAT control. I will be integrating other loggers as they develop more advanced API interfaces.

In the mean time SDR-Bridge is compatible with CAT. Use CAT to connect with your logger, and SDR-Bridge to synchronize with Skimmer. They work well together.

73 Ed W2RF
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Don - ik2egl - ai4sd

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Ciao Ed
Thanks fer answer and the great work done
I know that cat enable a wide integratio.except for the callsign
I know that theare are software that enable udp integtation and that's permit full data transfer
As for example fldigi pstrotatorstor, log4om
What you mean by advanced api ? Udp integration ?
(Edited)
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Ed - W2RF

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Don,

SDR-Bridge offers a lot of integration beyond callsign that can't be done with CAT. Check out the release notes for details.

73 Ed W2RF
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Ed - W2RF

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Don,

Thanks for pointing out those programs. They are not well known in the States. Besides WriteLog, most of the requests are for N1MM, WinTest, and DX4Win. Log4OM looks very  interesting. I know of fldigi but not of the UDP interface. Couldn't find pstrotatorstor, did you mean PstRotator? Will be looking into these and others after Dayton.

Thanks again,
73 Ed W2RF
(Edited)
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Don - ik2egl - ai4sd

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Ciao Ed,

yes I mean PstRotator (sry for type mismatch).
I left dx4win as it is no more supported and I am using log4om; it is growing fast and it has behind a strong community (see http://www.pisto.it/forum/
Take a look at the manual http://www.pisto.it/wordpress/log4om-en/

Have a nice trip to Dayton 

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Ed - W2RF

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SDR-Bridge 1.0.2 is available for download. It automatically repairs common problems with the Skimmer INI files. Also the radio name or serial number can be specified on the command line. Download at http://www.qrv.com/sdrbridge.html. Enjoy!

73 Ed W2RF
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W4EY

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Ed will this run on a 64Bit system??  After downloading the 32 bit edition, it will not Load/Install correctly. I am running a 64Bit server on my network and all the PC's are 64Bit.
Bill
W4EY

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Ed - W2RF

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It's best to start Skimmer with the launch checkbox on SDR-Bridge. If you do that and don't see signals in the waterfall, exit Skimmer with the X in the upper right. Then uncheck and check the launch box in Bridge. That will start Skimmer over. I have seen CWSkimmer not start properly every time on several systems.

If it still doesn't work. Take screen shots of the Skimmer Settings Radio, Audio, and Telnet tabs. Most setup problems are due to incorrect settings there.

73 Ed W2RF
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W4EY

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CW Skimmer starts automatically when bringing up SDR-Bridge. I get the signals on the SDR-Bridge Waterfall.. I have to now get the settings set for best display.  I have the settings you described in your web page.  Will try to get my settings for best display. Thanks
Bill
W4EY

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EMIL-DL8JJ

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Ed,
i think it will be very wellcome to write asap a quckstart guide with screenshots of all "step by step" Setting of SSDR, CW Skimemr and Bridge.
That will resolve many of start using Bridge Problems.
Thanks in advance.
Emil, de DL8JJ
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Sergey, R5AU

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Emil,
everything written on site of Ed:
- install Skimmer
- install Bridge
- Set up IQ DAX channel in SSDR and 96kHz
- start Bridge and select slice with skimmer
- skimmer will tuned automatiaclly based on INI files 

Works fine as described, F6700, Win 8.1 64bit RUS.
Ed, one remark, pls check the paths for INI, in case installing Skimmer and Bridge on other disk than C (ex.: D) Bdidge do not set INI files and unable to call Skimmer.
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Ed - W2RF

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Sergey,

The INI files are installed in the directory pointed to by a system environment variable. It is supposed to point to the correct location both in the installer and in the program. I tested on Win 8.1 and it  worked properly here. (The INI path can be edited on the Settings panel in case of this sort of thing.) Please try to find more details of why it didn't work on your system.

The quick start is there, but many users might like it to be presented in steps with screen shots. I plan to do that soon.

Also the biggest problem users are having is that they change settings in Skimmer. Things then don't  work and they can't get the correct settings back. SDR-Bridge 1.0.2 resets the most common problems. The next release will have a reset .

Thanks for testing!
73 Ed W2RF
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Al / NN4ZZ

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Don / IK2EGL,
Thanks for pointing out Log4Me.   I wasn't aware of it but went through the manuals and videos yesterday.  It look like a VERY nice general purpose logging program.   Lots of features and very well thought out.   It looks like you can even set it up to start other programs like SSDR and SDR-Bridge.  One click and everything is up and running.  Have you tried that?

For reference the Manual, User community (forum), and download at: http://www.pisto.it/wordpress/log4om-en/

If Ed decides to integrate it with SDR-Bridge I'll probably switch.  Although it is free, I'd be happy to donate if I use it. 

Regards, Al / NN4ZZ  
al (at) nn4zz (dot) com






  
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W5UN_Dave

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Al, I read the log40m manual. Impressive! It is very thorough. Like you, I will install it if and when Ed implements the interface.
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Ed - W2RF

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Looks interesting, but no promises. Has to pass many tests!

73 Ed W2RF
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k0eoo

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Hello Ed, I dido all the comments about 1.0.2... Works much better here on my 6500 and W7 machine.  Only issues noticed so far are:  If you change something in CW Skimmer settings and press OK the displayed frequency at the top of the panel drops in value about 20 or so KHz and have to close that skimmer display and de-select/re-select that IQ path in SDR-Bridge... 

Then, after a little while of tuning around in one of the slices and maybe going back and forth between two slices, an frequency offset develops between the Flex and what is displayed in the skimmer panel and where the green pointer is pointing...  The skew is small, like 50Hz but it never seems to go away.  Also, I noticed if I use the mouse wheel vs. the Flex control, to change the freq in the slice, the skimmer freq does not change....  Great product Ed, thanks, Ciao, Dennis, k0eoo
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Ed - W2RF

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I posted a comment earlier that didn't appear. After changing Skimmer settings, shake the panadapter to restore sync. Current 100hz tuning resolution will be improved to 10hz in an upcoming Skimmer update.

Thanks for testing,
73 Ed W2RF
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Al / NN4ZZ

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RE: mouse wheel vs. the Flex control, to change the freq in the slice.

Dennis,
As Ed noted, It takes a change of about 120 - 150 HZ on the slice to cause CwSkimmer to update the frequency currently.  The mouse scroll wheel and FlexControl both work here.   Can you try watching the slice frequency when you are scrolling with the mouse to see if CwSkimmer frequency updates after a larger movement?

It will be a good improvement when CwSkimmer makes the change to synch up at a 10 HZ change.  

Regards, Al / NN4ZZ  
al (at) nn4zz (dot) com



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k0eoo

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Thanks Al for the info on the resolution....  Is the CW skimmer display able to show both the receive freq (green pointer) and XIT freq?  Will it ever have that ability?  Or should I be using it differently?
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Ed - W2RF

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Skimmer has a single demod cursor indicated by the green box.  However by switching slice assignment, it can be used in a variety of ways. For example in a split if slice A is on the DX and slice B is the TX, set the SDR-Bridge slice assignment to B. Slice A and B can even be in different panadapters.

73 Ed W2RF
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W5UN_Dave

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I added a 2nd monitor to the computer, added it as a slave to my Input Director, and now skimmer doesn't get the flex frequency, and shows no waterfall at all. Any idea what is going on?

Dave, W5UN
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W5UN_Dave

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Oops, this problem cleared itself when I flipped bands a few times.
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W5UN_Dave

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Hi Ed, any luck with the N1MM boys at Dayton?
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Ed - W2RF

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Hi Dave,

I went to the N1MM presentation and learned a lot about the state of the new program. They do have UDP broadcasts that SDR-Bridge could use to follow the logger, but they do not have a UDP receiver. That means there is no way to control N1MM except via CAT.

Their team is very involved in getting a beta out so they are not receptive to new feature suggestions at this point. There are also some indications that they are currently not interested in specialized SDR support. We need Flex-6000 users to explain to them what is needed and why.

It is not clear to me why using N1MM is so important. What is it that their program can do that WriteLog doesn't? Especially when N1MM is a conventional CAT based program.

In the meantime it is easy to use N1MM via CAT, and synchronize the radio with Skimmers using SDR-Bridge. They are compatible.

73 Ed W2RF
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Lee, Elmer

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I spent a lot of time a few years ago trying to optimize N1MM with the F5K for SO2R operation.  My conclusion is the program is a kluge, slow and clunky and not well thought out especially for a software defined radio.  It may be OK for a couple of Icoms or something but even then it's klugy.  I contacted the N1MM team to see if we could get some CAT commands defined as you need a TX freq feed to control TX vfo in the F5K.  I found the team to be almost derogatory regarding Flex products.  The team however had no problem rewriting the CAT library for the Elecraft radio.  We were able to get something working but only because Steve K5FR (DDUTIL) is a hell of a programmer.  

This past CQ-WPX I spent a lot of time wringing out the WriteLog program using 2 skimmers, SDR-bridge, VE7CC client and SSDR all married together.  The experience was night and day in favor of WriteLog over N1MM.  The interface, even driving a 6300 (which only has one SCU and a very simple antenna switch) was not SO2R but damn close to it for stations that intend to run single op assisted category.  The operation was flawless, fast and completely predictable.  The only real flaw I found was the way the RIT works especially with the FlexControl in SSDR.  It takes one button press to turn RIT on (good) but 4 button presses to turn it off (bad) and the state of the RIT is not practically displayed in the slice flag.  The other thing that worked the best was to have multi-band antennas, like a tri-bander, not a bunch of single band antennas controlled by coax switches.  That approach might be possible if we had some way to automatically control the switches via BCD.  I've had that going with the F5K but my station is in a bit of a transition so playing with that again may require a more robust BCD solution.

Frankly I think it's totally reasonable to support authors who are committed to supporting Flex radio and SSDR (W5XD/writelog) and to eschew those who consider us barely an also ran and not worth their time to improve our contest experience. (N1MM)  I wrote a couple of blog posts about my experience with writelog/skimmer/sdr-bridge.ve7cc/ssdr/flex6300 over on sdr-w9oy,blogspot.com

73  W9OY
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Ed - W2RF

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The link is http://sdr-w9oy.blogspot.com/2014/05/cq-wpx.html ... other posts are also excellent. Thanks, Lee!

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W5UN_Dave

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Wow, Lee! I have used N1MM for years with great success with my K3, 5000, and now, my 6700. In fact I use N1MM on my K3 computer, and a second instance on my 6700 computer (side by side operating positions) and they are networked together. A great way to have redundant logs.  I do agree that the 8 comport limitation is frustrating, but easily dealt with by using DDUtil. and, if necessary, vspMgr. WriteLog is a great program, but what irks me about it is that  I cannot use it on 2 meter eme, where reports are not RST, but rather "RO" in place of the 599. I spoke to the author about this and he informed me that Writelog is not meant for general purpose logging, but rather, for contesting (isn't N1MM). I also like to have the ability to go back and edit a single previously logged entry. Easy for N1MM, but how does one do this with Writelog? I guess I need a mentor on writelog.

I have writelog running, and have imported my N1MM log to it. I now run them both side by side, until I can see some advantage to using writelog exclusively.

Dave, W5UN
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Ed - W2RF

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Dave,

It is easy to edit single QSOs in WriteLog. Find the QSO with ctl-G, and left-click the field you want to edit.

It is also easy to add custom fields to WriteLog. It may be possible to add RO and delete RST for a custom log.

73 Ed W2RF
(Edited)
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Lee, Elmer

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For general logging I keep coming back to DX lab.  

Writelog is a contest program although it has some advantages like the band map.  Writelog ve7cc and skimmer all communicate meaning a skimmer spot that is not on the bandmap or in ve7cc can be entered into the logbook.  It does not use CAT but telnet which is more robust and faster in terms of connectivity.  

N1MM had horrible connectivity to Flex when I was working with it.  Flex F5K has some specific issues because it has only one transmitter that needs to seamlessly follow 2 receivers as the focus changes.  This is the issue I needed to be addressed, as well as a means to change focus as you switched between bands.  The best N1MM could do was treat the radio as 2VFO not 2 radio.  The biggest issue I had was the brick wall the N1MM coders had against opening up the CAT library to better serve Flex CAT.  I'm sure your K3 runs like a drewam with the K3 because EVERY JOT AND TITTLE OF THE K3 CAT LIBRARY WAS LOVINGLY CODED TO TIGHTLY INTEGRATE.  I respectfully contacted the coders to see what we could get and basically was told to go pound sand.  I get the distinct impression from that crowd they do not want SDR to succeed in the contest arena, or at least are unwilling to lift a finger to better interface with us.  I finally lost interest in N1MM because it became clear it would never tightly integrate with PSDR.  Writelog/ve7cc client/sdr-bridge/skimmer/ssdr/dax/SCAT/DDUTIL all pretty tightly integrate 

The other thing I didn't like is there was little insight into management of virtual ports and virtual audio.  It was all about real com ports, LPT ports for keyer inputs and sound cards.   I had my F5K set up so I could run 2 streams of RF to 2 amplifiers to 2 coax switches all of which were addressable by BCD, which meant every thing would band follow the 2 receivers and all I had to do was hit the key or stomp the foot switch and the transmitter would address the correct amp/antenna for that band with the correct drive.  N1MM was way too klugey to do this reliably.  Using DDUTIL and the Flex control I had full control of over 16 functions of the radio including keyer memories and macros.  So for example if I had 2 high beams and a low fixed Caribbean tribander I could simply press a button on the Flex control and automatically switch the amp from the high beam to the tribander and back. plus I could tell the system to listen on separate rx antennas because the F5K's antenna switch logic was so strong.  I think Gerald himself might have designed that switch.  To do that I merely modified some ameritron antenna switches to understand BCD using a LPT port and a couple $19 circuit boards and DDUTIL.  No way in hell you gonna do all that with a K3, but with the prudent application of the F5K it was all possible.  All of that was lost on the N1MM crowd.  They were too busy peeing in their boot over roofing filters so pardon me if I'm less than impressed with the N1MM folks  

73  W9OY
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KY6LA - Howard, Elmer

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Lee. The K 3 N1MM crowd will not pay attention to SDR's until someone WINS a real contest like WRTC using one. BTW. I have come first a few times in the San Diego section using my Flex (5000 , 6700) but to that crowd it does not count as a real WIN.
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Lee, Elmer

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N1MM is a legacy product. By the time they realize this it will be too late.
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Bob Wright, N7ZO

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To quote Lee:  "For general logging I keep coming back to DX lab."  I agree.

To quote from an email I wrote to a ham friend several months ago:

"After a bunch of research and program trials,  I chose the DXLab suite for my general logging.  The logging program is called DxKeeper.

 · It uses the Microsoft database engine underneath.  It is very robust and fairly portable (not unique to one app).  It also allows standard SQL queries which are great for filtering the logbook.

·  It connects well with LoTW and eQSL as well as handling traditional paper QSL’s (which I do not use).

·   The author, Dave, AA6YQ, is on the ARRL LoTW committee.  He is actively updating the suite and is very active on the DxLab Yahoo group (https://groups.yahoo.com/neo/groups/dxlab/info  ).

·  The other programs in the suite are useful.  Particularly, SpotCollector which aggregates the data from up to four DX clusters and keeps its own database of all the spots.   This database also uses the Microsoft database engine and has the associated great filtering capabilities. SpotCollector, like the other apps in the suite, is well integrated with DXKeeper.

· The programs use LotW and eQSL callsign databases so that all log entries and spots are marked for their online logging participation.  I find this particularly useful since I tend to favor QSO’s with LoTW participants.

·  The suite has other apps for rig control, propagation predictions, callsign lookup, etc.  They are all well integrated with each other.

"

The rig control program, Commander, seems to work well with the A and B slices of the 6700 (through a COM port).

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Dave AA6YQ

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Re "I like DXLab and would like to support it with SDR-BRidge. The problem is, while all of its modules are well integrated with each other, they form a relatively closed system. They don't provide interfaces to enable integration with other apps."

Nothing could be further from the truth. DXLab applications provide APIs to interoperate with each other, and to interoperate with more than 20 other amateur radio applications. See Building Applications that Interoperate with DXLab.

If you'd like to discuss this, Ed, contact me via aa6yq (at) ambersoft.com
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Ed - W2RF

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Hi Dave,

Thanks for correcting me. I had not been successful in finding automation information on the DXLab website. I didn't find your contact information either. Glad to have you on board!

How many community members would like to see DXLab integration with SmartSDR? Comments please!

73 Ed W2RF
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Bill-W9OL

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Ed, you know me. I chase CW DX on all bands and cw contesting in a more relaxed way these days.
Having the bridge interface with DXLabs would be great. I could use the DXLabs contesting module and still make a few qsos to keep my skills up....and maybe actually work a new band mode here and there.
Thanks for your efforts
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Ed - W2RF

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Hi Bill, of course we go way back :) Thanks for your comments. Integration is available today with the combination of DXLab with SmartSDR CAT and SDR-Bridge. I'm looking for how that setup could be improved.
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Bernie

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I am a long-time user of the DXLab suite and I would definitely like to see integration with SDR-Bridge and DXKeeper.

Bernie Huth
W4BGH
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Ed - W2RF

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NEW! SDR-Bridge 1.0.4 beta is available for download at http://www.qrv.com/sdrbridge. This "Centennial Edition" extends activation. The current 1.0.2 version expires August 25th.

The 1.0.4 version of SDR-Bridge has been tested with n1mm+ beta 0.18.3415 connected to SmartSDR via CAT. The combination appears to work except for focus return. (The old n1mm version works and supports focus return.)

Feel free to share experiences and/or problems using SDR-Bridge with SmartSDR CAT and n1mm versions. However please bear in mind that SDR-Bridge is not supported in n1mm or n1mm+ configurations.

Enjoy!

73 Ed W2RF
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Peter Driessen

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I have set up SDR-Bridge 1.0.4 with CW Skimmer 1.8 and WriteLog.  The integration appears to work: clicking a spot in Skimmer puts the call in the WriteLog entry window.  However, the F keys do not appear to key the transmitter.  Have I missed a step?  Is there a checklist of what needs to be done (including WriteLog settings) for the integration to work correctly? Thanks Peter VE7AB
(Edited)

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