[WriteLog] Dueling-CQ Run Module (was Re: W2SC featured in May/Jun NCJ)

Tom Georgens tomgeorgens15 at gmail.com
Tue May 31 13:54:39 EDT 2016

I also used this again in WPX as 8P5A.  I have a AutoHotKey wrapper around
the program for my other station automation, but I was using the dual run
mode just about out of the box from Wayne.

The switched headphones is something I desperately wanted to work.  However,
the QSO's are never perfectly in synch on both radios and you need to be
constantly aware of what is happening on both frequencies.  I have
reluctantly concluded that headphone switching is not a viable approach.  It
is even worse in WPX where the exchange is long and repeats are common.

After the NCJ article, people have asked me about dual run.  My opinion is
that the most important skill in dual run is being able to copy a radio in
each ear.  It is important to recognize that you are seldom trying to copy
both ears in once.  Generally one radio is transmitting, and the side tone
is down, so that is ear is quiet.  The key skill is being able to copy the
other radio with a single ear.  Sometimes it is necessary to get both ears
on a signal.  his is why Wayne added to capability to exit dual run mode and
have the window foci in the right state.

The other controversy is one versus two keyboards.  Two keyboards may be
more intuitive. And easier to visualize, a single keyboard with automation
is much less fatiguing over the long run. 

There is really good stuff here by Wayne, but it takes practice.  It also
puts more strain on station design around symmetry and interstation

-----Original Message-----
From: WriteLog [mailto:writelog-bounces at contesting.com] On Behalf Of Dick
Green WC1M
Sent: Monday, May 30, 2016 1:37 PM
To: writelog at contesting.com
Cc: w5xd at writelog.com
Subject: [WriteLog] Dueling-CQ Run Module (was Re: W2SC featured in May/Jun

> W5XD wrote: 
>Tom, W2SC, got some top notch results at 8P5A in ARRL CW and SSB. He 
>runs WriteLog SO2R using an add-in that is available to anyone from here:
>Its not for everyone. To quote N9RV interviewing Tom: "It soulds a lot 
>like a really fast race car. You've got it build, and now you need to 
>learn how to drive it."

I like it!

Living dangerously, I downloaded the run module on Sunday afternoon of CQ
WPX CW. I figured it would be an ideal time for dualing-CQs -- rates slow
down a lot after the morning runs on the second day. Only two bands were
open, 20 and 15, and after doing several mult sweeps of the slower band it
seemed like a good ideal to try dualing-CQs.

Luckily, the installation went very smoothly. Only took about 20 minutes to
download, install, read the instructions and setup my keyboard shortcuts.

It took a bit longer to get used to the "fast race car". Yeah, at first it's
like riding a bucking bronco. I wasn't quite prepared for what it would do,
how it made decisions to switch radios, etc. At first I ran it with my
headphones not split, and wasn't sure what it was sending on the
non-keyboard radio. I ran it for a while in split to get straight on that.
As always when running split headphones, It helps to lower the CW monitor
volume to minimize distraction from the CQ radio. Once I got the hang of it,
I went back to non-split headphones. This makes it easier to focus on the
replies on the radio with keyboard focus.

Generally speaking, I found the run module does what it should do about 85%
to 90% of the time. There were some hairy situations where fills were needed
by a station or by me, especially when that was happening on both radios at
the same time. Late in CQ WPX the 4-digit serial number makes for a longer
exchange (I don't use cut numbers), which seemed to throw of the
synchronization when handling caller on both radios. For example, if I sent
"NR?" to a station on the first radio, then had to copy the exchange on the
second radio, I would miss the response from the station on the first radio.
I think the sequence goes like this:

- Send CQ on radio 1
- While sending CQ on radio 2, I hear a caller on radio 1, type in the call
and hit Insert
- While exchange is sent on radio 1, I hear a caller on radio 2, type in the
call and hit Insert
- While exchange is sent on radio 2, radio 1 responds with serial number,
part of which I miss due to a static crash, and I send "NR?"
- While "NR?" is sent on radio 1, radio 2 responds with the exchange. I copy
and hit Log
- By the time TU WC1M starts sending on radio 2, radio 1 has already
responded with the serial number and I've missed it. 
- I have to send "NR?" to radio 1 again and ignore any caller on radio 2
until I get can copy the response from radio 1

Similar things happen when callers ask for fills, and it's really bad when
fills are needed by me or the other stations on both radios at the same
time. Note that this only happens when there's a certain timing relationship
between the sessions on the two radios. Sometimes the above sequence can
happen with no problems, sometimes not. It all depends on the timing, which
can't be predicted.

Sometimes the only solution is to drop out of automated mode and work the
stations manually.

I'm not sure if anything can be done in the automation. Maybe an optional
delay before a certain function key gets sent (like the one with "?" or

All that said, this automated dueling-CQ is a valuable and fun addition to
the Writelog tool kit. There's no question that my rates were significantly
higher when I ran dueling-CQ than they would have been in traditional SO2R
run/S&P mode.

BTW, the setup window doesn't display correctly on my 4K monitor (mostly
blank.) Had to move it to my second monitor to read the window. 

What does the "max time before Call" parameter do?

I might explore the code. If I compile it under Visual Studio 2015 will it
work or do I have to dig up a copy of Visual Studio 2010?

73, Dick WC1M

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