[CQ-Contest] PJ2T CW Skimmer in CQWW 160 CW Contest

Jeff Maass jmaass at k8nd.com
Sat Feb 6 10:59:46 PST 2010

Jim W8WTS and I operated the CQWW 160 CW Contest from the PJ2T contest station, and used
three on-site instances of CW Skimmer to provide assistance in spotting.

Bottom line: CW Skimmer is an essential tool for Multi-Op contestants. 

Our installation used three SDR-IQ receivers, each provided with a different directional
receive antenna and feeding it's own instance of the CW Skimmer (version 1.4) program on
one of two Dell M6400 laptops. At PJ2T we had five lowband receiving antennas available
via a switch (1000-foot Europe Beverage, 580-foot US/JA Beverage, DX Engineering 4-Square,
Flag to North Europe, Flag to North Pacific), and selected the appropriate three based on
the time and direction of dark areas. The operator can select any of these in the normal
course of operation, and the Skimmer can make use of the same antenna at the same time. 

Each SDR-IQ receiver fed it's spots to an instance of K1TTT's WinTelnetX program, which
consolidated them and provided the spots via telnet to the Writelog contest logging
program used by the run operator. 

One laptop ran two instances of CW Skimmer, and the other laptop ran one instances each of
CW Skimmer and WinTelnetX. Because of a DSL failure at the station, the second laptop also
maintained a wireless link with the neighbor's DSL (with their permission) and acted as a
server so we could make use of the K3LR Packet Cluster. In Writelog, on the station
computer, two spotting windows were open, one for the K3LR Packet Cluster and one for the
CW Skimmers. Both fed the Writelog bandmap.

A block diagram of the installation (PDF) is available online at:

Photographs of the setup (SDR-IQs, two laptops, operating position, Jim W8WTS operating)
are online at:

A couple of screen captures of the CW Skimmer on the laptop screens are also available at
the links below. In the screen captures, two instances of CW Skimmer are shown (one
laptop), with the graphical portions overlaid to save screen space. The "Callsigns" boxes
are on the left, the leftmost on the Europe Beverage receive antenna and the rightmost on
the DX Engineering 4-Square, which the operator was pointing in one of four directions
continuously (clearly, mostly at the USA in both captures below).

1/30/10  0508Z:   http://www.k8nd.com/Radio/CW_Skimmer/PJ2T_Skimmer_100130a.jpg
1/31/10  0137Z:   http://www.k8nd.com/Radio/CW_Skimmer/PJ2T_Skimmer_100131b.jpg

73,  Jeff  K8ND

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