[CQ-Contest] Blind Mode for N1MM Bandmap

Jeffrey Embry jeffrey.embry at gmail.com
Fri Oct 22 05:12:54 PDT 2010


Well put....and ditto on chasing new technology.  It is getting to
where the chase just distracts from the FUN.


Jeff Embry, K3OQ
ARCI #11643, FPQRP #-696,
QRP-L # 67, NAQCC #25, ARS #1733

Success is the ability to go from one failure to another with no loss
of enthusiasm.  - Sir Winston Churchill

On Fri, Oct 22, 2010 at 7:56 AM, Randy Thompson K5ZD <k5zd at charter.net> wrote:
> It is disappointing that we keep having these conversations about how to
> subvert the rules.
>>>>If you want to use tools to help you find people to work, enter the
> assisted category.
>>>>If you want to use your own skills (ears) to tune the band and find
> stations, then enter non-assisted.
> Pan adapters, waterfalls, or asterisks, they are all uses of technology to
> see what is going on around the band.  Part of the fun of contesting is
> making the decisions around when to stay and when to go.  At least that's
> part that has made the game continuously entertaining and fascinating to me.
> Maybe I am just too old for this gosh darn new fangled technology.
> Randy, K5ZD
>> -----Original Message-----
>> From: cq-contest-bounces at contesting.com
>> [mailto:cq-contest-bounces at contesting.com] On Behalf Of David Gilbert
>> Sent: Thursday, October 21, 2010 7:14 PM
>> To: cq-contest at contesting.com
>> Subject: Re: [CQ-Contest] Blind Mode for N1MM Bandmap
>> Good point.
>> So, in your opinion, would it be legal for unassisted
>> operation to use my own private local CW Skimmer (in
>> conjunction with a Softrock, SDR-IQ, QS1R, etc) operating in
>> normal mode to telnet spots to the N1MM bandmap if:
>> 1.  the CW Skimmer window was minimized so that I couldn't see it
>> and
>> 2.  N1MM was configured to replace the decoded callsigns with
>> an asterisk
>> To clarify my objective here, I'm merely trying to come up
>> with a way to step through recognizable signals from a
>> panadapter using the keyboard with N1MM always remaining the
>> active window.  I own an Elecraft K3 with two receivers, and
>> the idea would be to operate SO2V running with VFO A while
>> hunting mults or unworked stations using VFO B without having
>> to take my hand off the keyboard (such as having to reach
>> over to tune the VFO B knob on the K3).  Making stepped
>> frequency changes on VFO B from N1MM is already possible, of
>> course, but doing so in small enough increments to home in on
>> a station is slow ... it takes a lot of tapping on the arrow
>> keys.  Being able to step through known signals would be much
>> more efficient.
>> There is another way to accomplish a similar thing, at least
>> for CW, but it's pretty clumsy.  I hacked the configuration
>> file used by OmniRig, the application that CW Skimmer uses to
>> actually communicate with the rig, to have it control VFO B
>> instead of VFO A on the K3.  I set CW Skimmer to Blind Mode,
>> and then created two AutoHotKey scripts (assigned to keyboard
>> keys not used by N1MM) to:
>> a.  query Windows to find the unique six digit hex window
>> identifier code for whichever N1MM window I may be in at the
>> time b.  jump from that N1MM window to the CW Skimmer window
>> c.  simulate an UpArrow or DownArrow keypress (CW Skimmer has
>> the capability to step through identified signals in it's own
>> bandmap) d.  jump back to whichever N1MM window was found by step a).
>> It works, and it's actually pretty fast.  I can step through
>> whatever signals CW Skimmer is showing on its waterfall, and
>> if I'm willing to open up the bandwidth on VFO B I can even
>> use CW SKimmer this way in its
>> 3KHz Audio mode ... no SDR hardware required at all.   CW Skimmer
>> acquires new signals almost immediately so it increments the
>> frequency and populates the new portion of its bandmap by the
>> time I hit the AutoHotKey keys again.
>> Disadvantages of the AutoHotkey approach:
>> 1.  Only works for CW
>> 2.  Requires a different script for each model of rig and
>> would be clumsy for most people to set up 3.  Stops at every
>> blip on the screen whether it is a station or not.
>> CW Skimmer is pretty sensitive and will display QRN bursts,
>> off frequency key clicks, etc.  In Blind Mode, CW Skimmer
>> makes no attempt to sort any of that out.
>> 4.  CW Skimmer zero beats almost too well.  I usually prefer
>> to listen to VFO A (my run frequency) in both ears, and
>> listen to VFO B in my right ear.  I found, however, that CW
>> Skimmer increments to the next station so accurately that I
>> was hearing the exact same CW tone from both VFOs and it was
>> hard to mentally keep them separate.  I had to switch to VFO
>> A in left ear and VFO B in right ear to keep from going crazy.
>> All in all, I think it would be nice and so much simpler ...
>> IF determined to be legal for unassisted operation ... to
>> have N1MM be capable of displaying blind spots.
>> 73,
>> Dave   AB7E
>> On 10/21/2010 8:53 AM, RT Clay wrote:
>> > Does not seem legal to me with current rules if you take
>> the frequencies from a remote source (telnet). Blips on a
>> bandscope are fundamentally different from frequencies taken
>> from telnet: For example, with what you suggest, you could
>> take DX spots from a skimmer in Europe during a 160m contest.
>> That way you would know where the EU DX stations  are on the
>> band even before the band opened to you in North America. In
>> such a contest that would be a huge advantage even if it
>> didn't include callsign information.
>> >
>> > On the other, just marking signals on the bandmap from your
>> local receiver (with no cw decoding) is fine, I currently do that.
>> >
>> > Tor
>> > N4OGW
>> >
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