Saturday, May 27, 2017

CQ WPX 2017 CW Goofing Around

I decided to mess  around in the CQ WPX CW this weekend.  The propagation from FL looked promising.  My interest was to make band fills for my DXCC totals and in general  play with the latest Alpha version and try to wring out any bugs in the software.  

I have a new computer with a fresh install of Win10 pro and didn't have N1MM+ installed.  15 minutes before the contest I downloaded N1MM+, did the update, and followed the directions from Flex or at least enough of them to get things rolling.  I used the SO2R guide from Craig K9CT and Eric KE5DTO to set up the ports.  I didn't need this much information for my minimalist install  but this is the correct dope on how to set up the ports.  I've done this before so it only took a couple minutes.  

I use Telnet to populate my N1MM+  I'm running low power and mostly interested in populating DXCC band fills,  so I'm not using internet based spots, only over the air spots from CWSkimmer

Skimmer outputs it's telnet spots on port 7310 of (localhost)  

So I set up Spot collector to gather the spots in the spot collector config screen

and turn off my other spot sources.  Once logged in this causes Spot Collector to populate and lets N1MM+ populate the band map

F1EX-# indicates a localhost spot.  If I had other spot sources active this column would be a mix of sources.  

The Flex ecosystem as a Winkey emulator built in and allows N1MM+ to operate as if it had a Winkey attached.  The emulator coordinates speed between N1MM, the paddle input on the front of the radio and the built in CWX keyboard and memory program.  I pretty much only use N1MM memories for contests but occasionally I'll say hi to a friend so it's nice to have all this functionality.  The Winkey emulator works great smooth as butter.  

Here is a shot of my 15M 2 monitor desktop

And here my 20M desktop, a single click changes bands and repopulates my spots automatically

 I made a quick video of how it all works 

A ton of work has gone into making this setup into a world class contesting platform, but which is also directly accessible to the average Joe ham.  You don't have to be a world class contester  to play.  I'm running a single radio and a vertical with low power and having a blast.  Most of my contacts are single call.  This setup as I've described will work with a 6300, 6400, 6400M (connected to a computer to run the ancillary programs), 6500, 6600, 6600M (connected to a computer as above), and a 6700.  It will also allow you to work remote and when V2 is released allow you access to your radio from virtually anywhere.

 Now back to noodling around 

73  W9OY