Monday, January 18, 2016

Big Pileup Management VP8STI

South Sandwhich and South Georgia

The VP8STI activated today, and the pileups are ridiculous.

The DX is on 7.025 and the pileup extends to 7.40 or beyond

So how does one manage the available information and try to make a reasonable stab at placing ones transmitter where the DX might be listening?   Here is how I set things up using the Flex 6500.  The 6500 has 4 possible "receivers".  I set up 3 to cover the band using 2 different methods.  In the top panadapter there are 2 receivers called slices.  Slice A is the slice I am listening to.  The DX is on 7.025 and I have this receiver locked onto 7.025 so if I inadvertently click something the DX stays in my headphones

note the blue lock above my cursor

Slice "B" is one of my transmitters.  You will note the red TX is active in this slice on 7.0299 in the above pic.  If I hit the key I transmit here, BUT I can also transmit using the slice in the second panadapter

By clicking the Flag Pole in this slice the top of the pole turns yellow and the transmitter is now active on 7.0357 and if I hit the key I transmit here (note the red TX has shifted to this Flag).  The reason I use this setup is I am also monitoring CW skimmer

The skimmer panel on the right goes to the top panadapter and I can decode CW from 7.025 to about 7.035.  The skimmer on the left goes to the bottom panadapter and decodes from about 7.033 to 7.043.  When a station sends 599 or 5NN 599 is printed in red next to this frequency.  By watching the callsigns and the 599's, you quickly learn the distribution of calls in the pileup and you can see something of the pattern of the DX op as he moves or doesn't move through the pileup.  This setup allows me to monitor a little more than 20 khz of pile up with a good knowledge of what is happening in the pileup  If the pileup was 30-35 khz I would simply open up another panadapter and crank up another skimmer

And my desktop would look like this.  If I click on any station or any 599 or any spot on any panadapter my transmitter is immediately scooted to that freq ready for action
The progran that cooridinates all of this is W1RF's SDR-Bridge 

A third party program written by Ed W1RF 

So far the DX has eluded me.  He is there but damn weak and way too much QRM on his freq to make the trip so I decided on writing a blog post while I listen and hope for improvement.  You can get most of this functionality on the 6300, but the 6500 really shines for this advanced pileup busting!

73  W9OY