[Skimmertalk] Newbie to CW Skiimmer
willemtilstra at hotmail.com
Fri Sep 23 01:24:27 EDT 2022
First off, I apologize in advance for the length of this email but the information might help you shape your answers.
Second, I'm not even sure if this is the right place to ask basic technical questions about how I hook up CW Skimmer (CWS) up to various sources. I contacted Alex the other day and asked him to suggest a group where I might ask my CWS questions and he suggested this one. I've gone through roughly a third of the Skimmertalk Archives and noticed that there was a lot of advanced information and suggestions regarding CWS but not a lot of basic connectivity info. There were also discussions around the use of CWS during contests but since I'm not contesting at this point, they weren't what I was looking for.
So, if this is the right place (and if it isn't, I'll take my questions and go now 🙂 and thanks for your indulgence). First, here's a basic list my hardware and software -
Windows 10 PC with a 500Gb SSD and 16Gb memory, 6 cores. It's pretty capable.
Signalink USB (for digital, Winlink, WSPR etc.)
SDRPLAY RSP1A and SDRUNO (for panadapter)
CW Skimmer (version 2.1)
Virtual Audio Cable (VAC) (version 4.6.7)
I can work all of this stuff individually (with the exception of CWS, of course!). With the SignaLink USB I've worked FT8/other digital modes and used Winlink for ARES Packet work. I've hooked up the RSP1A to my antenna and used SDRUNO to see and hear CW and SSB on various bands.
But that all changed when I started to learn CW. I'm getting better but I thought that CWS might be an aid in my CW QSOs. I purchased CWS but I'm obviously missing some information because it isn't working as well as I have heard people say that it can.
So, here are my goals, all in the interest of using CWS to hear more CW and practice headcopy and hear how QSOs are conducted -
1. Hook up CWS to RSP1A/SDRUNO - I've kind of figured this one out, I think. My antenna isn't the greatest (I'm using my house raingutter) so I don't hear a lot of CW but occasionally I can find it. I can see the signal in the waterfall but CWS doesn't decode it - it's a mystery to me why it doesn't. Not sure what configurations to change or how to change/improve my hookups.
1. Hook up CWS to a WEBSDDR, a station listed in WebSDR.org, for instance. This gets me the most CW in one place. I've kind of made this work as well, setting VAC as my default LineIn and Lineout and then configuring CWS with 3KZ radio and VAC as input. I can see the signal but again, CWS doesn't decode.
1. Hook up CWS to my FT-891 directly. This is where i would actually use CWS to aid my CW QSOs. I've attempted to do it by using output from SignaLinkUSB (USB audio Codec) as input to CWS but again, I can see the signal on the waterfall but CWS doesn't decode.
Is there a User Manual or Help File available for CWS? I've looked for one in the software but when I click it in CWS, nothing comes up.
Is there other software/hardware that I should be using to make CWS work better (I've heard OmniRig mentioned)?
Is there a list of documentation illustrating the various ways CWS could be hooked up?
I've written a lot - and again I apologize - but anything that you can comment on or point me at that discusses basic setups and configuration options would be helpful.
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