Topics

Commander / WSJT-X set-up recommendation?

Andy - K0AF
 

I am fairly new to DXLabs but have been blown away by its 1) features, 2) comprehensive context sensitive help, and 3) level of support. Simply amazing!

I do have a set-up question. I am using DXLabs with an Icom 7300. So far I've used the Launcher, DXKeeper, and Commander modules. These all work great, including Commander which is very handy for controlling various functions on the Icom 7300 via its USB port. Occasionally though I operate ft8 using WSJT-X and JTAlert. Currently WSJT-X is also set up to communicate with my Icom 7300 via the USB port. Since they are both configured to use the USB port I cannot have Commander and WSJT-X both running at the same time; I have to close one of them to use the other.

The Icom 7300 has a separate CI-V connector in addition to the USB port. From what I understand it's possible to use both the CI-V connector and the USB port to allow two programs to communicate with the Icom 7300 at the same time. If that's the case, does it matter which program (Commander / WSJT-X) I assign to which port (CI-V / USB)? The USB connection allows higher baud rate (115200) but that probably doesn't come in to play except for the waterfall display which I don't really pay much attention to on either application.

Thanks for your advice / recommendations.

Andy - K0AF

g4wjs
 

On 07/07/2020 20:42, Andy wrote:
I am fairly new to DXLabs but have been blown away by its 1) features, 2) comprehensive context sensitive help, and 3) level of support. Simply amazing!

I do have a set-up question. I am using DXLabs with an Icom 7300. So far I've used the Launcher, DXKeeper, and Commander modules. These all work great, including Commander which is very handy for controlling various functions on the Icom 7300 via its USB port. Occasionally though I operate ft8 using WSJT-X and JTAlert. Currently WSJT-X is also set up to communicate with my Icom 7300 via the USB port. Since they are both configured to use the USB port I cannot have Commander and WSJT-X both running at the same time; I have to close one of them to use the other.

The Icom 7300 has a separate CI-V connector in addition to the USB port. From what I understand it's possible to use both the CI-V connector and the USB port to allow two programs to communicate with the Icom 7300 at the same time. If that's the case, does it matter which program (Commander / WSJT-X) I assign to which port (CI-V / USB)? The USB connection allows higher baud rate (115200) but that probably doesn't come in to play except for the waterfall display which I don't really pay much attention to on either application.

Thanks for your advice / recommendations.

Andy - K0AF
Hi Andy,

it's much easier than that. In WSJT-X "Settings->Radio->Rig" choose "DX Lab Suite Commander" and "Settings->Radio->PTT Method->CAT". You will need to have Commander running whenever you use WSJT-X but that should be what you are doing anyway.



--
73

Bill

G4WJS.

Andy - K0AF
 

G4WJS - thank you very much Bill! You're right, that's MUCH easier. I would never have thought to define Rig as "DX Lab Suite Commander" in WSJT-X.

Like I said, the support here is amazing! Thanks again!

Andy - K0AF

Andy - K0AF
 

I wanted to follow up on the topic of having Commander and WSJT-X both running at the same time. The configuration Bill G4WJS suggested works but it introduces a 2 second delay at the beginning of each WSJT-X transmission. I suppose the delay is due to the overhead of WSJT-X requesting Commander to send CI-V data to the rig rather than WSJT-X sending the data itself. It still seems to work but since the transmission window for FT8 is only 15 seconds long, the 2 second delay can't be good.

Unless there is a way to reduce the delay I will go back to closing Commander when I want to run WSJT-X. My PC is fairly old but it is a quad core i7 so I don't think upgrading my PC will help significantly.

Thanks for advice or comments.

Andy - K0AF

g4wjs
 

On 10/07/2020 22:45, K0AF - Andy wrote:
I wanted to follow up on the topic of having Commander and WSJT-X both running at the same time. The configuration Bill G4WJS suggested works but it introduces a 2 second delay at the beginning of each WSJT-X transmission. I suppose the delay is due to the overhead of WSJT-X requesting Commander to send CI-V data to the rig rather than WSJT-X sending the data itself. It still seems to work but since the transmission window for FT8 is only 15 seconds long, the 2 second delay can't be good.

Unless there is a way to reduce the delay I will go back to closing Commander when I want to run WSJT-X. My PC is fairly old but it is a quad core i7 so I don't think upgrading my PC will help significantly.

Thanks for advice or comments.

Andy - K0AF
Hi Andy,

what rig do you have?

73
Bill
G4WJS.



--
73

Bill

G4WJS.

ve3ki
 

What is "Split Operation" set to in your WSJT-X settings window? My personal experience has been that with my rig (a K3) and radio control via Commander, the "Rig" setting is slow to swtich to transmit just as you describe, but the "Fake It" setting is faster, so I always use "Fake It". YMMV/

73,
Rich VE3KI


On Fri, Jul 10, 2020 at 05:45 PM, K0AF - Andy wrote:
I wanted to follow up on the topic of having Commander and WSJT-X both running at the same time. The configuration Bill G4WJS suggested works but it introduces a 2 second delay at the beginning of each WSJT-X transmission. I suppose the delay is due to the overhead of WSJT-X requesting Commander to send CI-V data to the rig rather than WSJT-X sending the data itself. It still seems to work but since the transmission window for FT8 is only 15 seconds long, the 2 second delay can't be good.

Unless there is a way to reduce the delay I will go back to closing Commander when I want to run WSJT-X. My PC is fairly old but it is a quad core i7 so I don't think upgrading my PC will help significantly.

Thanks for advice or comments.

Andy - K0AF

Andrew OBrien
 

I’ve used WSJTX with a 7300 and a 7610 with DX Lab Commander as “rig” and never had any such “delay” . I’ve used it this way for a couple of years 

Andy K3UK 


On Jul 10, 2020, at 7:06 PM, ve3ki <ve3iay@...> wrote:

What is "Split Operation" set to in your WSJT-X settings window? My personal experience has been that with my rig (a K3) and radio control via Commander, the "Rig" setting is slow to swtich to transmit just as you describe, but the "Fake It" setting is faster, so I always use "Fake It". YMMV/

73,
Rich VE3KI


On Fri, Jul 10, 2020 at 05:45 PM, K0AF - Andy wrote:
I wanted to follow up on the topic of having Commander and WSJT-X both running at the same time. The configuration Bill G4WJS suggested works but it introduces a 2 second delay at the beginning of each WSJT-X transmission. I suppose the delay is due to the overhead of WSJT-X requesting Commander to send CI-V data to the rig rather than WSJT-X sending the data itself. It still seems to work but since the transmission window for FT8 is only 15 seconds long, the 2 second delay can't be good.

Unless there is a way to reduce the delay I will go back to closing Commander when I want to run WSJT-X. My PC is fairly old but it is a quad core i7 so I don't think upgrading my PC will help significantly.

Thanks for advice or comments.

Andy - K0AF

Andy - K0AF
 

You nailed it Rich, changing File>Settings>Radio>Split Operation from "Rig" to "Fake It" makes a big difference.

I made accurate measurements of transmit delay for the 4 combinations of settings for Rig and Split Operation

WSJT-X controlling rig (WSJT-X Settings>Radio>Rig = ICOM 7300)
     Split Operation = "Fake It": transmit delay = 70 ms
     Split Operation = "Rig": transmit delay = 100 ms

Commander controlling rig (WSJT-X Settings>Radio>Rig = DX Lab Suite Commander)
     Split Operation = "Fake It": transmit delay = 420 ms
     Split Operation = "Rig": transmit delay = 2580 ms (an average of several measurements; delay varies from about 2100 to 2900 ms)

Thanks to Rich VE3KI for solving the puzzle!

Andy K0AF

Dave AA6YQ
 

+ AA6YQ comments below

You nailed it Rich, changing File>Settings>Radio>Split Operation from "Rig" to "Fake It" makes a big difference.

I made accurate measurements of transmit delay for the 4 combinations of settings for Rig and Split Operation

WSJT-X controlling rig (WSJT-X Settings>Radio>Rig = ICOM 7300)
Split Operation = "Fake It": transmit delay = 70 ms
Split Operation = "Rig": transmit delay = 100 ms

Commander controlling rig (WSJT-X Settings>Radio>Rig = DX Lab Suite Commander)
Split Operation = "Fake It": transmit delay = 420 ms
Split Operation = "Rig": transmit delay = 2580 ms (an average of several measurements; delay varies from about 2100 to 2900 ms)

Thanks to Rich VE3KI for solving the puzzle!

+ Andy, to what do you have the "Command Interval" set in the Radio panel on the General tab of Commander's Configuration window?

73,

Dave, AA6YQ

Andy - K0AF
 

Dave, the "Command Interval" was set to the default value of 200 ms. Other settings in the Radio panel on the General tab of Commander's Configuration window are:
  • Interrogation = ON
  • No interrogation while transmitting = OFF
  • Verify CI-V command acceptance = ON
  • Sync transceiver frequencies before logging or spotting = OFF
  • Set radio UTC time on startup or selection, and hourly = OFF
  • Display outgoing CI-V commands in Message window = OFF
I see from the Radio panel Help page that with the Icom 7300 I should be able to reduce the "Command Interval". I set it to the minimum value (10ms) and that seems to work fine and did reduce the transmit delay times.

Commander controlling rig, "Command Interval" = 10ms (WSJT-X Settings>Radio>Rig = DX Lab Suite Commander)
Split Operation = "Fake It": transmit delay = 270 ms (was 420 ms)
Split Operation = "Rig": transmit delay = 720 ms (was 2580 ms)

Thanks Dave.

Andy K0AF

g4wjs
 

On 11/07/2020 14:58, K0AF - Andy wrote:
Dave, the "Command Interval" was set to the default value of 200 ms. Other settings in the Radio panel on the General tab of Commander's Configuration window are:
  • Interrogation = ON
  • No interrogation while transmitting = OFF
  • Verify CI-V command acceptance = ON
  • Sync transceiver frequencies before logging or spotting = OFF
  • Set radio UTC time on startup or selection, and hourly = OFF
  • Display outgoing CI-V commands in Message window = OFF
I see from the Radio panel Help page that with the Icom 7300 I should be able to reduce the "Command Interval". I set it to the minimum value (10ms) and that seems to work fine and did reduce the transmit delay times.

Commander controlling rig, "Command Interval" = 10ms (WSJT-X Settings>Radio>Rig = DX Lab Suite Commander)
Split Operation = "Fake It": transmit delay = 270 ms (was 420 ms)
Split Operation = "Rig": transmit delay = 720 ms (was 2580 ms) Thanks Dave. Andy K0AF

Hi Andy,

please try the WSJT-X option "Settings->Radio->Mode->None". You will then have to set USB-DATA mode manually on your rig, but there may be enough reduction in the delay to make it worthwhile.


--
73

Bill

G4WJS.

Andy - K0AF
 

Hello Bill, changing WSJT-X option "Settings->Radio->Mode" from "Data/Pkt" to "None" shaved a little more off the transmit delay. The configuration that had 720 ms delay now measures 580 ms. I'll probably leave it set to "Data/Pkt" though as I might forget to set the mode manually when operating FT8.

Thanks Bill.

Andy K0AF

g4wjs
 

On 11/07/2020 17:58, K0AF - Andy wrote:
Hello Bill, changing WSJT-X option "Settings->Radio->Mode" from "Data/Pkt" to "None" shaved a little more off the transmit delay. The configuration that had 720 ms delay now measures 580 ms. I'll probably leave it set to "Data/Pkt" though as I might forget to set the mode manually when operating FT8.

Thanks Bill.

Andy K0AF
Hi Andy,

note that 580 ms is too slow for FT4 mode.



--
73

Bill

G4WJS.

Dave AA6YQ
 

+ AA6YQ comments below

Dave, the "Command Interval" was set to the default value of 200 ms. Other settings in the Radio panel on the General tab of Commander's Configuration window are:


* Interrogation = ON
* No interrogation while transmitting = OFF
* Verify CI-V command acceptance = ON
* Sync transceiver frequencies before logging or spotting = OFF
* Set radio UTC time on startup or selection, and hourly = OFF

+ I would enable this option; it's nice to have the radio display accurate time.

* Display outgoing CI-V commands in Message window = OFF

I see from the Radio panel Help page that with the Icom 7300 I should be able to reduce the "Command Interval". I set it to the minimum value (10ms) and that seems to work fine and did reduce the transmit delay times.

Commander controlling rig, "Command Interval" = 10ms (WSJT-X Settings>Radio>Rig = DX Lab Suite Commander) Split Operation = "Fake It": transmit delay = 270 ms (was 420 ms) Split Operation = "Rig": transmit delay = 720 ms (was 2580 ms)

+ I assume that you have the Primary CAT Port baud rate set to 115200 so you can use Commander's Spectrum-Waterfall window with your IC-7300.

73,

Dave, AA6YQ

Dave AA6YQ
 

+ AA6YQ comments below

please try the WSJT-X option "Settings->Radio->Mode->None". You will then have to set USB-DATA mode manually on your rig, but there may be enough reduction in the delay to make it worthwhile.

+ Why is WSJT-X directing Commander to send a "set mode" directive to the transceiver immediately before each transmission? It should only be necessary to set the transceiver's mode once at the beginning of a session in a particular K1JT mode.

73,

Dave, AA6YQ

g4wjs
 

On 11/07/2020 18:31, Dave AA6YQ wrote:
+ AA6YQ comments below

please try the WSJT-X option "Settings->Radio->Mode->None". You will then have to set USB-DATA mode manually on your rig, but there may be enough reduction in the delay to make it worthwhile.

+ Why is WSJT-X directing Commander to send a "set mode" directive to the transceiver immediately before each transmission? It should only be necessary to set the transceiver's mode once at the beginning of a session in a particular K1JT mode.

73,

Dave, AA6YQ
Hi Dave,

because the user may have inadvertently changed the mode.

I could reply with why is Commander not ignoring a mode set command if it thinks it knows the mode is already set that way on the rig.

Note that using direct rig control setting the mode is not an issue, even with the slowest CAT rates on some old rigs. 500 ms should be more than ample time to set frequency, mode, split, and switch to send.

BTW, WSJT-X does not separately set the mode, it sends a CmdSetFreqMode command to Commander. The user can reduce that to a CmdSetFreq by selecting "Settings->Radio->Mode->None". Apart from the K3 series I am not aware of having WSJT-X set the mode before Tx being an issue with Commander. Andy's tests seem to confirm that.

Using what WSJT-X calls Rig Split Operating it is a little different as the split Tx frequency must be set just before going to Tx (mainly because it may not be known until that point in time). WSJT-X then sends a CmdQSXSplit command to Commander. Again setting the mode is optional, if WSJT-X user chooses "Settings->Radio->Mode->None" then that command has the SuppressModeChange argument set to 'Y'. It would seem that using CmdQSXSplit is the problematic operation with respect to timing here, with or without the SuppressModeChange=Y option.



--
73

Bill

G4WJS.

Joe Subich, W4TV
 

On 2020-07-11 2:13 PM, g4wjs wrote:

Using what WSJT-X calls Rig Split Operating it is a little different
as the split Tx frequency must be set just before going to Tx (mainly
because it may not be known until that point in time).
Nonsense! WSJTX always knows the (expected) transmit frequency. The
only time it can't be set well before the start of the transmit period
is when the user changes the transmit frequency (up arrow or right click
-> Set RX & TX offset).


73,

... Joe, W4TV


On 2020-07-11 2:13 PM, g4wjs wrote:
On 11/07/2020 18:31, Dave AA6YQ wrote:
+ AA6YQ comments below

please try the WSJT-X option "Settings->Radio->Mode->None". You will then have to set USB-DATA mode manually on your rig, but there may be enough reduction in the delay to make it worthwhile.

+ Why is WSJT-X directing Commander to send a "set mode" directive to the transceiver immediately before each transmission? It should only be necessary to set the transceiver's mode once at the beginning of a session in a particular K1JT mode.

      73,

                Dave, AA6YQ
Hi Dave,
because the user may have inadvertently changed the mode.
I could reply with why is Commander not ignoring a mode set command if it thinks it knows the mode is already set that way on the rig.
Note that using direct rig control setting the mode is not an issue, even with the slowest CAT rates on some old rigs. 500 ms should be more than ample time to set frequency, mode, split, and switch to send.
BTW, WSJT-X does not separately set the mode, it sends a CmdSetFreqMode command to Commander. The user can reduce that to a CmdSetFreq by selecting "Settings->Radio->Mode->None". Apart from the K3 series I am not aware of having WSJT-X set the mode before Tx being an issue with Commander. Andy's tests seem to confirm that.
Using what WSJT-X calls Rig Split Operating it is a little different as the split Tx frequency must be set just before going to Tx (mainly because it may not be known until that point in time). WSJT-X then sends a CmdQSXSplit command to Commander. Again setting the mode is optional, if WSJT-X user chooses "Settings->Radio->Mode->None" then that command has the SuppressModeChange argument set to 'Y'. It would seem that using CmdQSXSplit is the problematic operation with respect to timing here, with or without the SuppressModeChange=Y option.

Dave AA6YQ
 

+ AA6YQ comments below

because the user may have inadvertently changed the mode.

I could reply with why is Commander not ignoring a mode set command if it thinks it knows the mode is already set that way on the rig.

Note that using direct rig control setting the mode is not an issue, even with the slowest CAT rates on some old rigs. 500 ms should be more than ample time to set frequency, mode, split, and switch to send.

BTW, WSJT-X does not separately set the mode, it sends a CmdSetFreqMode command to Commander. The user can reduce that to a CmdSetFreq by selecting "Settings->Radio->Mode->None". Apart from the K3 series I am not aware of having WSJT-X set the mode before Tx being an issue with Commander. Andy's tests seem to confirm that.

Using what WSJT-X calls Rig Split Operating it is a little different as the split Tx frequency must be set just before going to Tx (mainly because it may not be known until that point in time). WSJT-X then sends a CmdQSXSplit command to Commander. Again setting the mode is optional, if WSJT-X user chooses "Settings->Radio->Mode->None" then that command has the SuppressModeChange argument set to 'Y'. It would seem that using CmdQSXSplit is the problematic operation with respect to timing here, with or without the SuppressModeChange=Y option.

+ Whether the WSJT-X "Split Operation" setting is set to "Rig" or "Fake It", WSJT-X v2.2.2 does not send a CmdSetFreqMode or CmdSetMode when directing Commander to switch from RX to TX, so changing the WSJT-X Mode panel to "None" should have no beneficial impact on the time to switch from RX to TX.

+ I discovered this while testing the next version of Commander, which I extended to not send a "change mode" CAT command in response to a CmdSetFreqMode or CmdSetMode directive if the radio's reported mode is already in the specified state and neither the band nor the selected primary transceiver is changing. This Commander extension won't have a beneficial impact on the time to switch from RX to TX either.

73,

Dave, AA6YQ

g4wjs
 

On 11/07/2020 20:51, Dave AA6YQ wrote:
+ Whether the WSJT-X "Split Operation" setting is set to "Rig" or "Fake It", WSJT-X v2.2.2 does not send a CmdSetFreqMode or CmdSetMode when directing Commander to switch from RX to TX, so changing the WSJT-X Mode panel to "None" should have no beneficial impact on the time to switch from RX to TX.
Hi Dave,

it will if the Tx frequency needs to change. If an op double-clicks a decode without "Hold Tx Frequency" checked and the Rx offset of the message being clicked is in a different 500 Hz segment from the last Tx offset then WSJT-X will direct Commander to adjust the Tx VFO frequency as I described. This must happen just before going to Tx as WSJT-X cannot possibly guess which decode the op is going to click (fact not nonsense, hi hi).



--
73

Bill

G4WJS.

Andy - K0AF
 

Hello Bill,

You indicated "note that 580 ms is too slow for FT4 mode."

With WSJT-X "Split Operation" set to "Fake It" the transmit delay is 270 ms. Is that short enough? What is the maximum acceptable transmit delay for FT8 and FT4?

Thanks!

Andy K0AF