[Skimmertalk] Fwd: Newbie to CW Skiimmer

Willem Tilstra willemtilstra at hotmail.com
Sat Sep 24 23:04:33 EDT 2022


That is a very generous offer and one that I would be pleased to take you up on. I don't completely understand how information gets in and out of CW Skimmer and being able to ask pointed questions about specific situations would suit my method of learning very well.

I will download TeamViewer (I just had to swap out my SSD - the old one gave up the ghost) in the next couple of days. Please let me know what dates and times would work for you. I live in Washington State and we're currently on Daylight Savings Time.

Willem    KI7SUT
From: Skimmertalk <skimmertalk-bounces+willemtilstra=hotmail.com at contesting.com> on behalf of Bob Wilson, N6TV <n6tv at arrl.net>
Sent: Friday, September 23, 2022 10:45 AM
To: SkimmerTalk Reflector <skimmertalk at contesting.com>
Subject: [Skimmertalk] Fwd: Newbie to CW Skiimmer

Resending because I forgot to copy the group.

Bob, N6TV
---------- Forwarded message ---------
From: Bob Wilson, N6TV <n6tv at arrl.net<mailto:n6tv at arrl.net>>
Date: Fri, Sep 23, 2022 at 10:44 AM
Subject: Re: [Skimmertalk] Newbie to CW Skiimmer
To: Willem Tilstra <willemtilstra at hotmail.com<mailto:willemtilstra at hotmail.com>>


I think the best way for me to help you with this is interactively via TeamViewer.  Sounds like the CW Skimmer passband is set too narrow, or the center pitch of your FT-891 receiver doesn't match the center pitch setting in CW Skimmer.  There should be no need to use VAC at all with CW Skimmer, since the FT-891 provides a USB Audio CODEC sound card interface that CW Skimmer can use in 3 kHz audio mode.  OmniRig is only used to track the frequency of the rig when in 3 kHz audio mode.

Bob, N6TV

On Thu, Sep 22, 2022 at 10:24 PM Willem Tilstra <willemtilstra at hotmail.com<mailto:willemtilstra at hotmail.com>> wrote:
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 -

Yaesu FT-891
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.

Thank you.

Willem    KI7SUT
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