[Skimmertalk] Skimmer and aggregator question(s)

W3OA w3oa at roadrunner.com
Fri May 11 06:56:13 PDT 2012

  "To change the Local User Port type the new number in this box."

On 5/11/2012 9:50 AM, K1TTT wrote:
> Look for what?
> David Robbins K1TTT
> e-mail: mailto:k1ttt at arrl.net
> web: http://wiki.k1ttt.net
> AR-Cluster node: 145.69MHz or telnet://k1ttt.net
> -----Original Message-----
> From: W3OA [mailto:w3oa at roadrunner.com]
> Sent: Friday, May 11, 2012 13:39
> To: K1TTT; skimmertalk at contesting.com; skimmer at dxwatch.com
> Subject: Re: [Skimmertalk] Skimmer and aggregator question(s)
>    Good point.
> Look at the bottom right corner of Aggregator's Connections tab.
> 73 - Dick, W3OA
> On 5/11/2012 9:24 AM, K1TTT wrote:
>> If you use the aggregator feature that lets you connect to it with
>> telnet and you have multiple instances on a machine don't you have to
>> change the port for the telnet connection on some of them?  I don't
>> see how to do that on the latest aggregator.
>> David Robbins K1TTT
>> e-mail: mailto:k1ttt at arrl.net
>> web: http://wiki.k1ttt.net
>> AR-Cluster node: 145.69MHz or telnet://k1ttt.net
>> -----Original Message-----
>> From: Pete Smith N4ZR [mailto:n4zr at contesting.com]
>> Sent: Friday, May 11, 2012 12:56
>> To: skimmertalk at contesting.com
>> Cc: skimmer at dxwatch.com
>> Subject: Re: [Skimmertalk] Skimmer and aggregator question(s)
>> Responses interleaved below, Kaz ...
>> 73, Pete N4ZR
>> The World Contest Station Database, updated daily at
>> www.conteststations.com The Reverse Beacon Network at
>> http://reversebeacon.net, blog at reversebeacon.blogspot.com, spots at
>> telnet.reversebeacon.net, port 7000 and arcluster.reversebeacon.net,
>> port 7000
>> On 5/10/2012 6:22 PM, kaz wrote:
>>> Hi folks.  First, apologies if this double posts to the list.
>>> Finally laid hands on a couple of softrock kits, and I am finally
>>> getting a chance to play with skimmer and SDR.  Way fun.  I expected
>>> the surface mount parts to be difficult when building the first Softrock.
>>> Never tried any surface mount project before.  Wrong.  Turns out
>>> reading the numbers to sort out the capacitors was the hard part.
>>> Bright lights and magnification, and even my 17yo son had trouble(and
>>> he has 20/13 vision).
>>> But enough digression.
>>> Bought skimmer license, have skimmer running on 40m and 80m.  40m
>>> calibrated(I think), 80m still pending.
>>> Question#1
>>> I'm not clear on the relationship between the skimmers and aggregator.
>>> If I run a skimmer session for each softrock, do I run aggregator for
>>> each skimmer?
>>> My initial expectation was to run the skimmer sessions for each
>>> Softrock, use wintelnetx to put the spots together, and use
>>> aggregator to ship the spots to the RBN from the wintelnetx
>>> window/port used to collect the spots.
>>> I found the documents N4ZR has written to be "spot on", but I have
>>> not seen/found any that describe this relationship.  (I probably did
>>> not look hard enough....???..hints appreciated)
>> Yes, this approach is fine, in principle.  The thing that is
>> important, from the RBN's perspective, is to keep the association
>> between a given instance of CW Skimmer and the Softrock for a given
>> band.  That way, if we see a calibration error coming up on the
>> Skimmer Details page of the website<http.reversebeacon.net>   you'll
>> be able to associate it with that instance of Skimmer and make the
> necessary changes.
>> Rather than running WintelnetX, I suggest you do what Tim, KQ8M does.
>> Here's a quote from an e-mail I just got from him.
>> "Every instance of skimmer has its own Aggregator. There is 3 instance
>> of skimmer and Aggregator running on 2 computers. The other 2
>> computers have 2 instances. What I had learned from Dick, W3UA, was to
>> rename each instance differently [he means to rename the exe file]and
>> use separate directories, of course. You have to do that with Skimmer
>> anyhow. I keep Aggregator in each skimmer's directories. Also, each
>> skimmer uses the same callsign. If you use separate callsigns it comes out
> separately on the RBN."
>>> Question #2
>>> Is it necessary/required to open the port to the skimmer/aggregator
>>> to the world_wide_interwebz?  I would really rather not do that at
>>> this
>> point.
>> Aggregator does not use a port, so you should be able just to start it
>> and go.
>>> Other trivia:
>>> With two skimmers running on mostly dead bands, a dual core Pentium D
>>> (Dell Optiplex 745) ticks off about 15-20% CPU when the skimmers are
>>> minimized.  The 80m softrock skimmer is at 48khz on the on-boad
>>> Soundmax.  The 40m softrock skimmer is at 96khz on an ASUS Xonar DG.
>>> The Xonar DG seems to be a fantastic value for a sound card. Also
>>> available as PCI-E, Xonar DGX.  Its main limitation over the more
>>> expensive siblings in the Xonar line seems to be its 96khz max sample
>>> rate, vs 192khz for big brother.
>> 96 KHz comes pretty cheap - the 192 KHz bandwidth is more of a
>> specialty item.
>> When you first crank up your Softrocks it is likely that you will have
>> images on the opposite side of the center frequency from the real signals.
>> You need to run the I/Q Balance calibration to get rid of these.  That
>> routine requires strong signals across the entire range, so I've found
>> the easiest way is to turn my radio down very low (RF output) and
>> provide the signals it needs from one end of the range to the other.
>> The other thing that helps a lot is to use audio isolation
>> transformers on the two channels.  Without them you will probably see
>> a fairly large noise bump at the center frequency, resulting from hum.
>> The iso transformers will "transform" this into a relatively narrow
>> dead spot, caused by the lower frequency roll-off of the iso
>> transformer.  I used some relatively good Triad isos in order no not
>> have roll-off near the ends of the frequency range, but if you already
>> have some my suggestion would be to try them and see.
>> HTH
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