Saturday, May 17, 2014

Dialing It In For Contests

Today I spent a little timer setting up Writelog

WriteLog is an amazing contest program written by Wayne W5XD.  It is strongly linked to the SDR-Bridge program by W2RF via telnet.

It also links up to 4 copies of CW skimmer to the Flex 6x00 radios.  My radio has 2 RX slices so I link to 2 skimmers via SDR-Bridge.  

Tonight is the EU contest so I'm trying to get a feel for how the system is going to run for a contest

WriteLog can open up to 4 band maps.  I have 2 open

The band maps are tied to a slice.  The map on the right goes with slice B, and the one on the left with slice A.  Skimmer right also goes with B abd Skimmer left A.  If you look closely at bottom right in this pic You can see 2 call signs loaded one from slice A and one from slice B.  The band map acquires data from CC user for each band.  When I switch bands in one slice the band map comes up already populated 

Pretty cool for contesting or just general use/

I can hear both of these stations in my headphones and of I like I can put slice A in the left ear and slice B in the right ear. 

But for listening to two at once I prefer the slice with the weakest station to be in both ears and the strongest station in my left.  If both are equal it just sounds like QRM.  This aural tuning of audio input to how your brain processes is very important.  Done correctly you can listen to the data streams without the added brain processing of separating the signals/  I am using 100hz filters and APF and both signals are peaked at my preferred 450 hz offset.

Either or both can be muted.

My cluster program is VE7CC client called CC user.  This is another fantastic program.  It allows color coded very depth filtering as well as propagation data etc.  It links to Writelog via localhost telnet link.  

I click the band map or skimmer and the freq and call sign are loaded into into WriteLog for that slice and the slice and skimmer are also sent to the correct freq

(right click > open in new tab > use crtl mouse wheel to increase pic size) 

This is also a screen shot of my contesting desktop.  Here 2 stations are loaded into WriteLog   LY2F was calling CQ and loaded from the skimmer screen.  UX2IJ came from the band map

I don't yet have band following set up on my amp and antenna switch.  Once it's in place all I would have to do is click the "TX" spot on the flag to send the transmitter to the right band hit memory keyer and enter them into the log, then click the opposite TX hit the memory keyer and enter them in the log.  This could also be done from a run freq in one slice and SnP in the other say in a 160 contest where your antennas are the same or if your antennas are on the same coax like a tribander.  It's not true SO2R but it's about as close as a half duplex radio can get.  

There are more little details to be worked through but this was a fun exercise for me to set up.  This radio is a total gas

73  W9OY