Friday, April 15, 2016


I've made about 2 RTTY contacts in my life.  I worked W1AW/3 and W1AW/9 using the 6300 and Winwarbler from the DXLab suite back in 2014.  The setup was kind of primitive in those days and the only way I could figure how to run split was to use XIT.  With the redesign of DAX in the most recent SSDR release it has become child's play to set this up with 2 Slices.

My goal was to see if I could hear EP2A which started a DXpedition today, a day early.  They were on 30M RTTY.  I've gone through several computers since 2014 and never bothered to set up any digital modes, so I figured I'd at least set up RX and see if I could print them.  I scratched my head for a few and opened up WinWarbler and set up the Flex DAX channels which are recognized by WW as virtual sound cards.

I set up the RTTY tab

I then turned on the DAX channels in the DAX control panel.

And made sure I had DAX 1 turned on in VFOA

Set the transmit profile to RTTY default 

And the mode and filters to RTTY, 400hz BW

And the dang thing started decoding

He had a pretty good signal so I decided to see if I could get TX running also.   Flex used to have a separate TX and RX audio channel for each slice but in the redesign they collapsed the TX channel down to 1, and made that channel follow the TX flag in the slice.  This way your TX signal simply followed which slice was transmitting.  Super smart move.  This makes working split child's play, and improves compatibility with terminal programs.  No more XIT and no more guessing where you are transmitting, and I could click tune the pan adapter to my heart's content.  So I set up that DAX channel and hit start in WW and nothing happened.  When in doubt RTFM.  I googled "Flex RTTY DXlab" and found this document  All I needed to know! 

I next set up PTT which was the missing link and the reason nothing happened.  DXLab connects to my Flex in a client/server fashion with it's own IP address instead of via CAT so I didn't have to mess around trying to get CAT ports to fire PTT.  Can you say BLESSING!

And added a couple of macros to WW's alternate macro screen

This allowed me to start send my call 3 times and stop with 1 button press.  The second sent  start W9OY 599 and TU stop.  I turned down the power in the 6500 and did a couple dry runs and things worked perfectly, so I cranked the power back up and commenced to try and figure out where EP2A was listening

I was getting along to their sunrise and signals were variable with slow QSB but occasionally he would peak.  I noticed on their website they have a 4sq on 30M and 40M so maybe he was just changing directions between calls.  Like I said I'm a RTTY pileup novice aka one step above clueless.   Though the pileup was pretty big and dense he was calling CQ quite often so I'm not sure if he was having trouble hearing or what,  I had good luck with the Iran path before so I was confident this would pan out. (That's a pun as in panadapter)

I guessed his RX freq correctly by watching the too and fro between contacts in the panadapter, and in just a few calls he was printing my contact info.

So instead of wondering if I could hear him I wound up working him!  My first RTTY DX contact, running split to Iran.  TOO MUCH FUN

73  W9OY

I'd like to thank Dave AA6YQ, the brainiac behind DXLabSuite.   He did the work to move DXLab beyond CAT interconnection to full DAX and IP compatibility.  Also thanks to Flex who created the API in SSDR to allow this tight integration to occur.  It was this combo that made my setup so quick and painless.