Slice Master 6000 v0.10.5 is now available

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As many of you have already noticed, Slice Master 6000 now supports placing cluster spots into the SSDR panafall via the recently enhanced Flex API. While this feature has been available in previous "bug fix" releases it was never officially announced.  Slice Master 6000 v0.10.4 makes this official.

Users of Logger32 will be happy to find that Slice Master can accept colored spots from Logger32's new added spot broadcast feature.  The feature is very similar to N1MM+'s spot broadcast mechanism and uses a similar protocol. Please consult the Logger32 documentation for configuration information.

Users of Slice Master's bandmap overlay will notice a new 'Spot' button added to the overlay menu.





This can be used to manually add spots to Slice Master's local cluster.  These spots, will of course, show up in the panafall.  To add a spot, just press the button and look for the text entry field to appear.  Then enter a callsign followed by a comment.  The spot will use the frequency and mode of the currently selected slice.

A new start up option has been added for those who need more than four spot sources.  If you run Slice Master from a cmd Window or short cut, you can add
  --bandmap-max-source=MAX
to the command. Replace MAX with a number between four and ten.  This option is persistent so the command only needs to be issued once or if you'd like to change the number of available slots for spot sources.

This release also fixes a handful of bugs that have been the source of some start up issues.

Enjoy!
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K1DBO

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Posted 5 months ago

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Wayne VK4ACN

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Hi
Can you post the download link to slicemaster in your posts73Wayne
(Edited)
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Wayne VK4ACN

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Thanks
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K1DBO

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Thanks Larry... In my haste to get the release out, I forgot the most important part of the post!
(Edited)
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K1DBO

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As usual the README for the latest release can be found at https://github.com/K1DBO/slice-master-6000  The Getting Started section has a link to the latest distribution.
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Pat N6PAT

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Can Slice Master send spots to all the open panadapters or just a limited number of them? And can I apply a different filter (state, country, etc)  to each of the different bands?
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K1DBO

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A limited amount of filtering is available directly from Slice Master.  It's all about how you configure the telnet spot source.  My recommendation though is to use a program that is designed for that task and have it send the filtered spots to Slice Master.  Logger32, DXLab's Spot Collector, and VE7CC's CC User program all work well with Slice Master.
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Russ McIntyre K8AH

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Hi Don.I got it working FB but would like one more thing.
Can you send to Logger32?  That is when I select a spot on SSDR is it possible to have the call entered into Logger32 call entry window?
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K1DBO

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Hi Russ... that feature is in the works and will be available in the next release.
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Russ McIntyre K8AH

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Great!  Thanks.
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Michael Coslo

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Thank you Don! I love it!  Do you take donations?
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Roger J. Buffington

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I installed this program (Slicemaster), set it to launch WSJT-X, and in less than a couple of minutes I was getting spots on SDR.  Great program, very unobtrusive and easy.  Great job!
de Roger W6VZV
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k0eoo

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Hello Don,

Does your new release take care of the +0 that shows up after the DX spot times out?



Thanks for Slicemaster!

Dennis, k0eoo
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K1DBO

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Dennis, 

Sorry, no.  That's a bug in SSDR that Flex will have to fix.

--Don
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Rick Hadley - W0FG

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Downloaded v0.10.5 and it's working great.  I finally figured out how to get SliceMaster to control HRDLog and can now let DDUtil just handle the other duties I've assigned to it.  I am still getting the occasional "Access Error" when opening CW Skimmer, but it doesn't seem to affect the operation. Can you make it boost KH1/KH7Z's FT8 signal so I can see in in WSJT-X???....LOL.
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Burch - K4QXX

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Rick, do you get any slight audio drops using version the new .5 version?  After I have slice master running for about 5 minutes, every 10 seconds I get a slight audio drop from SSDR.  Reverting back to version .4c fixes the issue. I also get the Access Error on CW Skimmer but it doesn't seem to affect anything.
BurchK4QXX
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Rick Hadley - W0FG

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Burch, I can sense it sometimes, but it's so slight I never noticed it until I read the other post here and started to look for it.  I don't seem to hear it on bands where spots are not being generated.  I just tried it on 10Mhz WWV and I can't hear any break in their audio.

Rick, W0FG
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Lucas - W6AER

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I actually have also noticed this brief audio dropout as well. I thought it might have been something else and just tested it again. With slice master .5 running I do get this also. The minute I turn it off, the issue goes away. Not a big deal with digital modes as it does not seem to effect the waterfall, etc. but in a contest this can be an issue.
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K1DBO

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I just updated the release to v0.10.5a.  It seems to fix the audio break up issue.
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Burch - K4QXX

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Don, you are the man.  Just downloaded new version and all is good.  Thanks so much.
Burch
K4QXX
(Edited)
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K1DBO

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You're welcome.... glad to hear it helped.
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Takeshi Yamada

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It works fine with my Flex6500 and very pleased with this functionality - DXspot on panadapter.
Would you give me a pointer how I can use it with Logger32?   I cannot find any instruction about "new added spot broadcast feature".
Thank you in advance.73 de JI1BNUKen Yamada
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K1DBO

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Hi Ken,

First make sure you are using the lastest Logger32.  Then right click it's DX Spots window and select 'Enable UDP Broadcast of DX Spots'.  In the N1MM+ section of Slice Master's settings tab enable 'Listen for N1MM Logger+ broadcasts' and set the 'Listen port' to 12061.  Logger32 uses the nearly the same network protocol as N1MM+.

If you are using CW Skimmer or WSJT-X you'll probably also want Logger32 to received spots from Slice Master.  In that case, check the Telnet section of Slice Master's settings tab and 'Enable aggregation server'.  Then configure one of Logger32's spot sources to connect to it.

Good luck!

--Don
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Takeshi Yamada

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Thank you Don.I could make it quite easily!de JI1BNUKen Yamada
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Pat N6PAT

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I tried Slice Master for the first time and ran into a number of issues. These were probably caused by my inexperience with the software but some just didn't make sense at all

Somehow it started displaying the same spots on both 20 and 40 meters at the same time. Different slices, different panadapters, different IQ channels but exactly the same spots on both panadapters.

Also, when CW Skimmer is launched each skimmer is set with passwords which Spot Collector doesn't know so I cannot use Spot Collector to filter what I want to see. I'm not sure why a password is set each time. When I uncheck Password Required it still cannot be read by Spot Collector.

In addition, it seems that Slice Master will only display spots on panadapters that are undocked and that is a problem for me as I usually keep most if not all of the panadapters docked.


The spot overlay is ok but if you open another window on top of the panadapter the spots are displayed on top of the new window. I will often open a logging program or QRZ on top of an active panadapter for a few minutes.


As a software developer I can certainly appreciate all the work it took to create this package but it has a few issues that need to be ironed out. Again, these may just be due to my inexperience with the package.

DXLabs works fine for me with one major limitation. Commander will only display spots on either VFO A or VFO B which defeats the purpose of being able to display 8 panadapters at the same time. Hopefully it will be changed to handle up to 8 VFO's at the same time
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K1DBO

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When Slice Master displays spots from Spot Collector it doesnt  take any slice frequencies into account.  The idea I was shooting for was to watch for additions to the Spot Collector window and simply add them to radio as they arrived.  This is, at least, what I see happen.  Like I said though, there's a lot I dont know about DXLabs.  I'd imagine that Dave's implementation for sending spots to the radio would be more tailored to the subtleties of his application.
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Pat N6PAT

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I still cannot get Slice Master to apply the filters from Spot Collector. It's almost like it's completely ignoring Spot Collector and pulling the spots directly from CW Skimmer.

I have this selected as the spot source in Slice Master.

dxlab://localhost/spots


Is this correct for Spot Collector? If so how can I get it to use the Spot Collector filters?





(Edited)
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K1DBO

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Ah... that's because it is pulling spots directly from CW Skimmer!  That's what it's supposed to do.

Now you do make an interesting point... when using a logger with filter capabilities as good as Spot Collector it would make sense to not display from internal sources but to still send them out the local cluster server.  This way, a program like Spot Collector could filter and color them then send just the ones that pass back into the radio.  

The model I chose to implement is a bit simpler.  Slice Master gathers spots from both internal (launched programs) and external (spot sources) sources and displays them in the radio.  The internal spots are made available to any program that wants them and in many cases, they are send back into Slice Master with color and "needed" status applied.

My plan has been to apply a simple scoring system to the spots and then let the user decide, based on the score, which spots to display.  I'm trying to keep the Slice Master user interface as simple as possible.  Adding a complete spot filtering system is outside the scope of what I'm trying do.  However, providing other programs with the information they need to get the job done is exactly what I am working towards.

--Don
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Pat N6PAT

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OK. Then it's not going to work for me. I need to be able to filter spots to display only states and DXCC that I need. Otherwise the screen quickly becomes completely cluttered with many spots. Filtering would be a major plus during contests where there could be an insane number of spots all over the panadapter.

Your approach is good for ops that want to see everything even if they don't need a lot of the spots.

For the time being I'll have to be satisfied with only one slice for filtered spots as that is all Commander will do at the moment. It has the option to use Spot Collector's active filter and works fine but again is limited to a single VFO at a time. Hopefully it will be changed in the near future.
(Edited)
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K1DBO

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Pat,

Commander might still be the thing for you, but I just made a couple of changes to Slice Master that you might find interesting. 
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Tom N5MOA

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I also us DXLabs, but gave slice master v0.10.5 (already have 10.4c) a go.
Downloaded, installed, get a "system not configured" something or other and the program closes.
Went back to 10.4c
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K1DBO

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Hi Tom,

We're up to v0.10.5b at this point.  I cant think of any reason for .4c to work and .5 not to.  If you could send a screen shot it might help me to spare others the same trouble.  Feel free to drop it in an email if you like.

The other thing that helps me a lot with diagnosing problems like this is a zip of your Slice Master config folder.  It can be found at

  C:\Users\<your name here>\AppData\Local\K1DBO\slice-master

Just right click to create the zip file then attach that to an email.  I'd be happy to take a look.

Thanks.

--Don
(Edited)
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Tom N5MOA

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Here is a screen shot




I'm not finding
C:\Users\<your name here>\AppData\Local\K1DBO\slice-master
10.4c seems to work.
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K1DBO

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Thanks for posting that.  The best I can tell is that error message is associated with Microsoft Office.  What happens to Slice Master when you dismiss the error message?  
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Tom N5MOA

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It won't "x" off, keeps popping back up. Closing slice master, it is still on the screen

Have to close it in task manager.
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K1DBO

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Which program are you closing in task manager?
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Tom N5MOA

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Slice Master.
After I close it on the screen, the pop up is still there, and slice master still shows in task manager.
(Edited)
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K1DBO

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Slice Master 6000 v0.10.5c is now available.

This is minor release with a couple of bug fixes and a minor enhancement to help support loggers and other spot sources that can act as filters. 

In the Bandmap section of the settings tab there is a new option to 'Show internal spots'.  This was the default behavior in prior releases.  So, when disabled, spots from internal sources will not be sent to the radio or the overlay bandmaps.  The spots will, however, still be sent to the telnet aggregation server.  This way, any spot source with filtering capabilities can choose which spots to return to Slice Master and which to filter out.

Note also that the 'Send spots to radio' option has been removed.  It's no longer needed.

--Don
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Pat N6PAT

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Where do I enable the server in SC? I don't see an option for that
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K1DBO

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In Spot Collector, hit the config button, then the 'Spot Database' tab.... halfway down to the right.
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Pat N6PAT

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ok. I'm seeing the spots now.I'll exexperiment some more
Thanks for your help.

73
(Edited)
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Pat N6PAT

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Don,

Version v0.10.5c is working very well now. I really like it.

The only issues I've seen are the occasional access violations when Skimmer is launched and some +0 that are displayed and remain after the linger time.

One suggestion I have for an additional feature is the ability to immediately update the spot display whenever the filter changes. Right now the display only updates when the linger time is triggered. Commander changes the display immediately whenever the filter is changed.

Thanks for all the help and a great product
(Edited)
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K1DBO

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Pat,

You're welcome.

The +0 thing is an SSDR bug that Flex is working on.  

CW Skimmer access violations are often caused by a zombie skimmer hanging around.  Check your task manager when you think CW Skimmer is not running, you might find one there. A full reboot every now and then can help too.

Spot Collector does not provide any notification of filter change or API to access their settings.  If the information was available I'd gladly make use of it.  Remember too, Slice Master is not specific to Spot Collector.  It's specific to Flex but does its best to support as many loggers as possible.

Your suggestion to let the internal spots first leave Slice Master before finding their way back to the radio display was a good one.  

--Don
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N8SDR

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I see your up to Slice Master 6000 v0.10.5D now.
https://github.com/K1DBO/slice-master-6000/releases

Don, Thanks for all the recent updates and fixes.
(Edited)
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K1DBO

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The "small letter" changes are usually just bug fixes that I want to get out but usually are not worth an announcement.  I prefer a "rapid" development methodology.  Things will slow down when I feel Slice Master is "feature complete" and version v1.0.0 is released.  Right now, Slice Master is still very much in development.
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Rick Hadley - W0FG

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Don, can you add a radio chooser to Slice Master? When I have both radios running it often connects to the wrong one, requiring me to shut down the second radio until I get everything back in sync.
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Ronald, KW3S

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So I've missed something basic....just installed Slice Master, but under the launch tab - it is blank!  I have wsjt-x, HRD, and cwskimmer loaded.   I do save all ham radio sw in a separate folder.  Any help would be appreciated, since this seems like great software.
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Jay / NO5J

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Ronald

"I do save all ham radio sw in a separate folder"
That's the problem.
Slicemaster looks for software "only" in the default install locations. if it doesn't find them there, the Launchtab will be blank, possibly other tabs too.

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Ronald, KW3S

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Thank you - I will uninstall & reload.
Ron, KW3S
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K1DBO

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Ronald,

It's not unnecessary to uninstall and reload, but depending on your comfort level with editing config files, it might be easiest.

Slice Master will look where it's told for any of the applications it knows how to launch.  It just doesnt have a user interface for changing where it looks.  The paths to known executables are specified in the Slice Master config.ini  Feel free to adjust them to match your system, but note that there are items in the config file that should not be changed.

--Don
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Ronald, KW3S

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Don,

I just tried wsjt redirect and SM found it!  Wow did wsjt come up fast.

Thank you for the instructions and what a great program.

Ron
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Pat N6PAT

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I've run into an issue with v0.10.5C

Normally I will start Smart SDR then Slice Master. When Slice Master starts up I usually get 2 messages displayed on my screen from Smart SDR saying "Client Connected From IP" along with the IP address

But after upgrading to this new version every so often after starting Slice Master my screen gets flooded with the Client Connected From IP messages. They keep scrolling up from the bottom right of my screen

This doesn't happen all the time but when it does restarting Slice Master doesn't help. I have to shut down Smart SDR. Also, it doesn't seem to happen if I start Slice Master first then Smart SDR
(Edited)
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K1DBO

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Hi Pat,

Give v0.10.5d a try... same link as the top of this thread.  If it still happens, and you are interested in helping to find the problem, send me an email and we'll get started.

Thanks.

--Don
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k0eoo

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Don, 0.10.5b seems to be working very well here.  this is the first time I have had CW skimmer working and synching without error for the last 5 hours on 3 slices, I'm impressed...

Thanks, Dennis, k0eoo

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Jay / NO5J

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Don
This could be operator error on my part, but today I'm seeing 30+ IP connection attempts whenever v0.10.5d starts, I reverted back to v0.10.14c and Slicemaster now opens correctly.
The stream of 30+ connection notifications from Win 10 was stealing focus while it occurred I was having to wait for it to end, before I could try to close Slicemaster. I looked over the Slicemaster log and saw nothing indicating a problem. I guess I'll stay on v0.10.14c for now. 

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N8SDR

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Start Slice Master before you start SSDR and that wont happen
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K1DBO

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Jay,

It's not operator error.  Something is going wrong early in the start up sequence while Slice Master is connecting to the radio

If you'd like to help track down this bug, send me an email and I'll let you know how to get started.

Thanks.

--Don
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Jay / NO5J

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Will do Don.
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k0eoo

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Don, when I start Slicemaster 0.10.5b and have it open CW Skimmer I get an error message that I can close out and all seems to work except when I put my curser over a CW signal that is decoding, I get the text he is sending but it seems garbled? Also, the CW station's call doesn't always decode?

(Edited)
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K1DBO

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The error message you are seeing is from CW Skimmer.  You have it configured to open a master.dta file that doesnt exist.  In CW Skimmer's settings dialog, select the "Calls" tab and adjust the path to where you keep yours.  I think the one you are currently looking for is the default (and likely out of date) version supplied during the CW Skimmer install.  A re-install of CW Skimmer might restore that one.

The trouble with decoding is likely related to DAX.  Try rebooting the radio and your computer to see if the problem persists.  Sometimes, simply restarting DAX or the radio will do the trick.

Good luck!
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k0eoo

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thanks Don, I'll check those suggestions out tomorrow....
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Jay / NO5J

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Yep after trying n8sdr suggestion I'm now having issues with both WSJT-X and Skimmer. I'l keep plugging away with it

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Ken, K2KXK

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I've been using Slicemaster to display spots from HRD Logbook on my Panafalls since the feature came out in the recent SSDR release and it works really well.  One feature I would like to see would be to populate the HRD ALE window with the selected spot.  That would really complete the integration as I would be able to have PstRotor turn my antenna to the spot as well as prepare the station for logging.  Any chance of seeing this?  Thanks for making this great program available to the Flex community.
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Chuck Sinclair

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Do the spots follow you from band to band cuz mine don't.