Spot clicking (activation) suggestion


Chris Codella
 

Fellow DXLab fans,

There was a thread of discussion a couple of weeks or so ago about a no-QSY option for spot activation in SpotCollector. We've been discussing it off the group and would like to know if anyone else here would find it useful.

The scenario or use-case that prompted this suggestion goes like this:

You have tuned to a spotted DX station on CW, just to check it out and see if it's workable. Either you have tuned there manually, or you have had DXLab QSY the rig without activating the spot (that is, it hasn't yet been entered into the capture window or been looked up or anything else - only QSYed - because you haven't yet decided whether or not to try to work it).

Thus, you are already listening to this particular spotted DX CW station. This station is very weak and there is some QRM, and so you have taken some time to get the rig tuned in for best copying. You have now decided this station is good enough copy to work. But your rig is now tuned to a slightly different frequency from what is in the spot database. For example, you are tuned to 7007.4 but the spot database's entry says 7007.5. You want to activate the spot (double-click it in SpotCollector to get it into the Capture window automatically and have lookup occur, etc.) *but* you do not want it to disturb your careful tuning just because the spot frequency is a little different. In other words, you want to double click the spot but have no QSY occur - because you are already tuned very close.

The new feature would work something like this:
If desired, spot activation (double-clicking on a spot in SpotCollector) could be set to work as usual *except* that no QSY would take place if the rig is already tuned near the spotted station's frequency. Exactly what "tuned near" means would be set by a parameter in SpotCollector's Config window - for sake of discussion, let's call this parameter "F-near".

The F-near parameter could be expressed in kHz. As an example, if you set F-near to 0.1 kHz, it would mean that when you double-click a spot in SpotCollector, everything would happen as usual, *except* that if your rig is already tuned to within 0.1 kHz of the spotted frequency, no QSY would take place (and no other rig control would happen either, including changing the sub-VFO for split-frequency spots, changing mode, etc.). But if the rig is tuned anywhere else, everything would work as usual, including the QSY.

The F-near parameter would default (it would come pre-set) to zero (0) kHz, or left blank, either of which would indicate that the new feature is disabled, QSY always happens on spot activation as usual, and everything works as before and as expected. Thus, a new version of SpotCollector having this capability would behave exactly as it always has, unless the user specifies a non-zero (non-blank) value for "F-near".

Comments?

73,
Chris, W2PA


g4wjs
 

I can see the point in this request. I would like to add a couple of points.

Firstly I can see a problem: Sometimes a stn gets respotted quite quickly with a small frequency correction which is more accurate than a prior sloppy inaccurate QRG. I often just double-click these spots to retune the radio. This would not work every time with this proposal.

Secondly I can see another related enhancement that I and possibly others would like: These days spots are usually very accurate due to programs like DX Labs and the general accuracy of modern transmitters. That means that when a stn is spotted split, my first action after double clicking the spot is to go to commander and select the transmit VFO so I can start tuning for the right TX QRG. I would love the radio to have the SUB VFO selected when I jump to a split spot. I know this is probably an Icom specific request (and possibly remote users) as radios with two VFO knobs don't need this. If the no QSY option being discussed also selected the TX VFO (since the RX VFO is obviously right anyway) it would be quite a time saver for me.

If this all turns out to be too complicated; then an option to have split spots select the TX VFO would be better than the current position where the RX VFO is always selected after QSY from Spot Collector.

73
Bill.


Chris Codella
 

Bill,

Thanks for the comments.

In your first case, if you want to force a QSY, you can still do so using the menu (right click) in SpotCollector - or disable the no-QSY feature if you like to normally use the double-click activation to retune the radio. The no-QSY feature is useful only if you are already accurately tuned in to the DX station and don't require any tweaking.

The other function you suggested, if I am understanding you correctly, is already a feature of spot activation (when you set it up). In the case of a spotted station being spotted as operating split, DXLab will tune your sub-VFO to the split frequency. Just make sure the "Set XCVR split" box is checked in the General tab of SpotCollector's config window.

73,
Chris, W2PA


g4wjs
 

--- In dxlab@..., "Chris Codella, W2PA" <w2pa@...> wrote:

Bill,
Hi Chris,


Thanks for the comments.

In your first case, if you want to force a QSY, you can still do so
using the menu (right click) in SpotCollector - or disable the no-QSY
feature if you like to normally use the double-click activation to
retune the radio. The no-QSY feature is useful only if you are already
accurately tuned in to the DX station and don't require any tweaking.
That is true, but only on a spot by spot basis. Having to reset the config tolerance option depending on whether I want to keep settings or correct the frequency isn't going to be very convienent.


The other function you suggested, if I am understanding you correctly,
is already a feature of spot activation (when you set it up). In the
case of a spotted station being spotted as operating split, DXLab will
tune your sub-VFO to the split frequency. Just make sure the "Set XCVR
split" box is checked in the General tab of SpotCollector's config window.
No, you have misunderstood. On radios with two VFOs but only one VFO knob (or dual watch), you have to take some action before you can tune the TX frequency on split since Commander leaves the active VFO as the RX VFO. More often than not it is the TX VFO that needs retuning, particulary in a pile up where the DX is working a spread of RX QRGs. The most productive way of getting the contact (unless you have stacked Yagis and many KW) is to find his listen QRG before calling. This is particularly frustrating on Icom radios where changing the active VFO on the radio is not reflected in Commander - an Icom CAT deficiency.


73,
Chris, W2PA
73
Bill.


Chris Codella
 

Bill,
Some imbedded comments below.

On 10/19/2012 2:47 PM, g4wjs wrote:

--- In dxlab@..., "Chris Codella, W2PA" <w2pa@...> wrote:

Bill,
Hi Chris,


Thanks for the comments.

In your first case, if you want to force a QSY, you can still do so
using the menu (right click) in SpotCollector - or disable the no-QSY
feature if you like to normally use the double-click activation to
retune the radio. The no-QSY feature is useful only if you are already
accurately tuned in to the DX station and don't require any tweaking.
That is true, but only on a spot by spot basis. Having to reset the
config tolerance option depending on whether I want to keep settings or correct the frequency isn't going to be very convienent.

Correct, it wouldn't be convenient at all. That's not what I was suggesting. Just noting the case where the feature isn't used.

For the example you gave, however, you can force a QSY to the new spot (as we said), or I suppose you could set the tolerance (F-near) to a low value so that if any significant change occurs it would update when you double-click. Again, I'm not sure it would behave as you want - but maybe I'm still misunderstanding your scenario.



The other function you suggested, if I am understanding you correctly,
is already a feature of spot activation (when you set it up). In the
case of a spotted station being spotted as operating split, DXLab will
tune your sub-VFO to the split frequency. Just make sure the "Set XCVR
split" box is checked in the General tab of SpotCollector's config
window.

No, you have misunderstood. On radios with two VFOs but only one VFO
knob (or dual watch), you have to take some action before you can tune the TX frequency on split since Commander leaves the active VFO as the RX VFO. More often than not it is the TX VFO that needs retuning, particulary in a pile up where the DX is working a spread of RX QRGs. The most productive way of getting the contact (unless you have stacked Yagis and many KW) is to find his listen QRG before calling. This is particularly frustrating on Icom radios where changing the active VFO on the radio is not reflected in Commander - an Icom CAT deficiency.

Oh - okay - yes I misunderstood you earlier (I have a two-knob radio). In can understand the frustration. It sounds like what you need is the ability to just update just the split (TX) frequency as new spots point to where the DX is currently listening - especially useful when you've been following him up/down the band but have lost sync. This happens a lot and I end up retuning manually (but, again, I have a separate knob).



73,
Chris, W2PA
73
Bill.
73,
Chris


Dave AA6YQ
 

AA6YQ comments below
-----Original Message-----
From: dxlab@... [mailto:dxlab@...]On Behalf Of
g4wjs
Sent: Friday, October 19, 2012 1:26 PM
To: dxlab@...
Subject: [dxlab] Re: Spot clicking (activation) suggestion


I can see the point in this request. I would like to add a couple of points.

Firstly I can see a problem: Sometimes a stn gets respotted quite quickly
with a small frequency correction which is more accurate than a prior sloppy
inaccurate QRG. I often just double-click these spots to retune the radio.
This would not work every time with this proposal.

Only if you enabled the new capability by specifying a non-zero Near-F.

Secondly I can see another related enhancement that I and possibly others
would like: These days spots are usually very accurate due to programs like
DX Labs and the general accuracy of modern transmitters. That means that
when a stn is spotted split, my first action after double clicking the spot
is to go to commander and select the transmit VFO so I can start tuning for
the right TX QRG. I would love the radio to have the SUB VFO selected when I
jump to a split spot.

I know this is probably an Icom specific request (and possibly remote users)
as radios with two VFO knobs don't need this. If the no QSY option being
discussed also selected the TX VFO (since the RX VFO is obviously right
anyway) it would be quite a time saver for me.

Commander defect repair #452:
"when controlling an Icom transceiver other than an IC-7800, checking
Commander's Split box should only select the secondary VFO if "Dual Watch"
is present and enabled; otherwise, the primary VFO should be selected"

I can further extended Commander so that
"when controlling an Icom transceiver other than an IC-7800, being directed
to enable split should select the secondary VFO if "Dual Watch" is present
and enabled; otherwise, the primary VFO should be selected"

Would this be acceptable?
73,

Dave, AA6YQ


g4wjs
 

--- In dxlab@..., "Dave AA6YQ" <aa6yq@...> wrote:

AA6YQ comments below
-----Original Message-----
From: dxlab@... [mailto:dxlab@...]On Behalf Of
g4wjs
Sent: Friday, October 19, 2012 1:26 PM
To: dxlab@...
Subject: [dxlab] Re: Spot clicking (activation) suggestion


I can see the point in this request. I would like to add a couple of points.

Firstly I can see a problem: Sometimes a stn gets respotted quite quickly
with a small frequency correction which is more accurate than a prior sloppy
inaccurate QRG. I often just double-click these spots to retune the radio.
This would not work every time with this proposal.

Only if you enabled the new capability by specifying a non-zero Near-F.
I understand that. It's not a big issue really, it would just make the proposed feature slightly less useful than it first appears.



Secondly I can see another related enhancement that I and possibly others
would like: These days spots are usually very accurate due to programs like
DX Labs and the general accuracy of modern transmitters. That means that
when a stn is spotted split, my first action after double clicking the spot
is to go to commander and select the transmit VFO so I can start tuning for
the right TX QRG. I would love the radio to have the SUB VFO selected when I
jump to a split spot.

I know this is probably an Icom specific request (and possibly remote users)
as radios with two VFO knobs don't need this. If the no QSY option being
discussed also selected the TX VFO (since the RX VFO is obviously right
anyway) it would be quite a time saver for me.

Commander defect repair #452:
"when controlling an Icom transceiver other than an IC-7800, checking
Commander's Split box should only select the secondary VFO if "Dual Watch"
is present and enabled; otherwise, the primary VFO should be selected"

I can further extended Commander so that
"when controlling an Icom transceiver other than an IC-7800, being directed
to enable split should select the secondary VFO if "Dual Watch" is present
and enabled; otherwise, the primary VFO should be selected"

Would this be acceptable?
Yes, but that might cause a further complication. You need to ensure that the "MAIN" VFO is reselected when split is unticked in Commander. I believe this is alrady the case -- I'm not at the radio so can't check.

The lack of "other" VFO reporting in the Icom protocol is a PITA, we already have to use Commander to "undo" a split with tracking. Such a change may confuse some users since tuning away from a split spot without doing anything would be tuning the "SUB" VFO whereas at the moment the "MAIN" VFO is engaged.

I'm on the fence really - what do other Icom users think?


73,

Dave, AA6YQ
73
Bill.


Dave AA6YQ
 

+++ AA6YQ comments below

-----Original Message-----
From: dxlab@... [mailto:dxlab@...]On Behalf Of
g4wjs
Sent: Friday, October 19, 2012 6:07 PM
To: dxlab@...
Subject: [dxlab] Re: Spot clicking (activation) suggestion

snip<
Commander defect repair #452:
"when controlling an Icom transceiver other than an IC-7800, checking
Commander's Split box should only select the secondary VFO if "Dual Watch"
is present and enabled; otherwise, the primary VFO should be selected"

I can further extended Commander so that
"when controlling an Icom transceiver other than an IC-7800, being
directed
to enable split should select the secondary VFO if "Dual Watch" is present
and enabled; otherwise, the primary VFO should be selected"

Would this be acceptable?
Yes, but that might cause a further complication. You need to ensure that
the "MAIN" VFO is reselected when split is unticked in Commander. I believe
this is alrady the case -- I'm not at the radio so can't check.

+++ Correct.

The lack of "other" VFO reporting in the Icom protocol is a PITA, we already
have to use Commander to "undo" a split with tracking. Such a change may
confuse some users since tuning away from a split spot without doing
anything would be tuning the "SUB" VFO whereas at the moment the "MAIN" VFO
is engaged.

+++ Yes it might, but it could also be argued that since Commander selects
the SUB VFO when you check the Split box with Dual Watch enabled, it should
do the same when you double-click a Spot Database Entry for a station
operating split.

73,

Dave, AA6YQ


g4wjs
 

--- In dxlab@..., "Dave AA6YQ" <aa6yq@...> wrote:

+++ AA6YQ comments below

-----Original Message-----
snip<
Commander defect repair #452:
"when controlling an Icom transceiver other than an IC-7800, checking
Commander's Split box should only select the secondary VFO if "Dual Watch"
is present and enabled; otherwise, the primary VFO should be selected"

I can further extended Commander so that
"when controlling an Icom transceiver other than an IC-7800, being
directed
to enable split should select the secondary VFO if "Dual Watch" is present
and enabled; otherwise, the primary VFO should be selected"

Would this be acceptable?
Yes, but that might cause a further complication. You need to ensure that
the "MAIN" VFO is reselected when split is unticked in Commander. I believe
this is alrady the case -- I'm not at the radio so can't check.

+++ Correct.

The lack of "other" VFO reporting in the Icom protocol is a PITA, we already
have to use Commander to "undo" a split with tracking. Such a change may
confuse some users since tuning away from a split spot without doing
anything would be tuning the "SUB" VFO whereas at the moment the "MAIN" VFO
is engaged.

+++ Yes it might, but it could also be argued that since Commander selects
the SUB VFO when you check the Split box with Dual Watch enabled, it should
do the same when you double-click a Spot Database Entry for a station
operating split.
OK, interestingly I'm seeing slightly different behaviour from that. If I check SPLIT the SUB VFO is selected. If I check "DUAL WATCH" the SUB VFO is selected. Neither of these actions depend on the prior state of the other checkbox.

Unchecking either SPLIT or "DUAL WATCH" selects the MAIN VFO, again neither of these actions depend on the prior state of the other checkbox.

Double clicking a spot with a split QRG enables both SPLIT and "DUAL WATCH" but selects the MAIN VFO. You are right that selcting the SUB VFO here would be more consistent and, IHMO most useful as I need to adjust the TX frequency much more often than the RX frequency in the MAIN VFO.

I'm using an IC-756.


73,

Dave, AA6YQ
73
Bill.


Dave AA6YQ
 

!!! AA6YQ comments below

-----Original Message-----
From: dxlab@... [mailto:dxlab@...]On Behalf Of
g4wjs
Sent: Saturday, October 20, 2012 3:22 PM
To: dxlab@...
Subject: [dxlab] Re: Spot clicking (activation) suggestion


--- In dxlab@..., "Dave AA6YQ" <aa6yq@...> wrote:

+++ AA6YQ comments below

-----Original Message-----
snip<
Commander defect repair #452:
"when controlling an Icom transceiver other than an IC-7800, checking
Commander's Split box should only select the secondary VFO if "Dual
Watch"
is present and enabled; otherwise, the primary VFO should be selected"

I can further extended Commander so that
"when controlling an Icom transceiver other than an IC-7800, being
directed
to enable split should select the secondary VFO if "Dual Watch" is
present
and enabled; otherwise, the primary VFO should be selected"

Would this be acceptable?
Yes, but that might cause a further complication. You need to ensure that
the "MAIN" VFO is reselected when split is unticked in Commander. I
believe
this is alrady the case -- I'm not at the radio so can't check.

+++ Correct.

The lack of "other" VFO reporting in the Icom protocol is a PITA, we
already
have to use Commander to "undo" a split with tracking. Such a change may
confuse some users since tuning away from a split spot without doing
anything would be tuning the "SUB" VFO whereas at the moment the "MAIN"
VFO
is engaged.

+++ Yes it might, but it could also be argued that since Commander selects
the SUB VFO when you check the Split box with Dual Watch enabled, it
should
do the same when you double-click a Spot Database Entry for a station
operating split.
OK, interestingly I'm seeing slightly different behaviour from that. If I
check SPLIT the SUB VFO is selected. If I check "DUAL WATCH" the SUB VFO is
selected. Neither of these actions depend on the prior state of the other
checkbox.

Unchecking either SPLIT or "DUAL WATCH" selects the MAIN VFO, again neither
of these actions depend on the prior state of the other checkbox.

Please do the following:
1. using Commander's Main window,

1.a set the mode to CW

1.b set the Main VFO to 14005

1.c set the Sub VFO to 14006

1.d uncheck the Split and Dual boxes


2. on the Configuration window's General tab, check the "Log debugging info"
box

3. check the Split box, and wait 2 seconds

4. uncheck the Split box, and wait 2 seconds

5. check the Dual box, and wait 2 seconds

6. uncheck the Dual box, and wait 2 seconds

7. check the Dual box, and wait 2 seconds

8. check the Split box, and wait 2 seconds

9. uncheck the Split box, and wait 2 seconds

10. uncheck the Dual box, and wait 2 seconds

11. on the Configuration window's General tab, uncheck the "Log debugging
info" box

12. attach the errorlog.txt file from your Commander folder to an email
message, and send it to me via

aa6yq (at) ambersoft.com

73,

Dave, AA6YQ


kk1w2000 <kk1w@...>
 

As an Icom user this would be a nice enhancement.

"when controlling an Icom transceiver other than an IC-7800, checking
Commander's Split box should only select the secondary VFO if "Dual Watch"
is present and enabled; otherwise, the primary VFO should be selected"
Jim/KK1W

--- In dxlab@..., "Dave AA6YQ" <aa6yq@...> wrote:

AA6YQ comments below
-----Original Message-----
From: dxlab@... [mailto:dxlab@...]On Behalf Of
g4wjs
Sent: Friday, October 19, 2012 1:26 PM
To: dxlab@...
Subject: [dxlab] Re: Spot clicking (activation) suggestion


I can see the point in this request. I would like to add a couple of points.

Firstly I can see a problem: Sometimes a stn gets respotted quite quickly
with a small frequency correction which is more accurate than a prior sloppy
inaccurate QRG. I often just double-click these spots to retune the radio.
This would not work every time with this proposal.

Only if you enabled the new capability by specifying a non-zero Near-F.

Secondly I can see another related enhancement that I and possibly others
would like: These days spots are usually very accurate due to programs like
DX Labs and the general accuracy of modern transmitters. That means that
when a stn is spotted split, my first action after double clicking the spot
is to go to commander and select the transmit VFO so I can start tuning for
the right TX QRG. I would love the radio to have the SUB VFO selected when I
jump to a split spot.

I know this is probably an Icom specific request (and possibly remote users)
as radios with two VFO knobs don't need this. If the no QSY option being
discussed also selected the TX VFO (since the RX VFO is obviously right
anyway) it would be quite a time saver for me.

Commander defect repair #452:
"when controlling an Icom transceiver other than an IC-7800, checking
Commander's Split box should only select the secondary VFO if "Dual Watch"
is present and enabled; otherwise, the primary VFO should be selected"

I can further extended Commander so that
"when controlling an Icom transceiver other than an IC-7800, being directed
to enable split should select the secondary VFO if "Dual Watch" is present
and enabled; otherwise, the primary VFO should be selected"

Would this be acceptable?
73,

Dave, AA6YQ