Topics

VHF Contest Operations

Terry Glagowski / W1TR / AFA1DI
 

I’m guessing that N1MM was originally designed for the BIG HF contests, such as ARRL DX and CQWW DX, possibly ARRL SS etc

VHF contesting is somewhat different because there often several radios and/or transverters to cover as many as a dozen bands.

So I have a list of comments from the most recent ARRL VHF JAN contest.

FT8 is a game changer, because you might want to have radios dedicated to FT8 on at least 6 and 2 meters, even 432, while CW/SSB can work on all the others (SOnR)

Keep in mind, I have great respect for this software and the developer team, but feedback is necessary to keep improving it.

Thanks for all the good work to date… the FT8 interface is working really well these days since the first debut!

 

1)      With the advent of FT8, it would be useful to have an easy way to switch between FT8 and SSB/CW operation with S01R radios
Currently, you have to dump the FT8 WSJT-X

2)      Support of more than 2 radios would really be useful.
DXLAB supports 4 radios.
Why does there have to be a limit on the number of radios if there are available Serial Ports or USB to Serial devices available for CAT and PTT/CW control?

3)      The WSJT Decode List Window – is TOO NARROW to display the complete FT8 Message (GRID) and cannot be made wider with the SIZE mechanism? WHY?
There is no N1MM ICON in this window, upper left, minor cosmetic issue.

4)      The N1MM-WSJT Connection Window cannot be minimized or dismissed, taking up valuable desktop real-estate, I move it to the lower left corner, mostly off screen. WHY?
It warns you to shut down WSJT-X before N1MM?  Can’t N1MM be programmed to do that and eliminate this nuisance?

5)      The Grid Map Multipliers window does not have any scrolling, this would be useful.
It also follows the user to each separate Task View Desktop where the other N1MM windows stay on the particular Desktop where they were started? WHY?

6)      Although this is not a VHF issue, the concept of operating in multiple contests at the same time is something that needs more support, i.e. the QSO parties !

 

73, Terry / W1TR  :  )

Al - N1API
 

It is also hard to figure who is a dupe in FT8 and who is not.  I did dupe a couple of locals Sunday who I did not realize I worked Saturday.

VE9AA - Mike
 

I admit...I know very very little about programming, so I don't know if this is a big "ask" or not, but I would love to see the ability to have 4 (or more) entry windows for NON interfaced radios....just for VHF/UHF work. ....contesting and non-contesting.

I do HF SO2R, so I am very used to switching gears very quickly. (ie: one keystroke)  If I could have a way to enter Q's for 2m, 70cm and whatnot for Q's on extra radios that would NEVER be interfaced, I'd love to have a way to do that.  I've been known to make 70cm Q's on an HT if someone asked for 70cm in a contest.  Or some antiquated mobile rig when I was out hilltopping.

Also, 4m.  I do 4m crossband to 6m. *(granted, I don't make vy many QSO's, but sometimes a couple in a summer).  If I had an extra entry window that would never been hooked to a radio, that would make things so much easier....I run a 4m RX converter to an antique 2m receiver.

Thanks very much !...again, I don't know if it's a big ask or not..........Always enjoy this software.

Mike VE9AA

Mike K2MK
 

I think the dupe problem with FT8 has to do with N1MM being on a different band than WSJT-X. Unless you have the capability to simultaneously have WSJT-X and N1MM serially track your rig you have probably shut down the serial link with N1MM. I do this by changing the port to an unused port in the N1MM configuration. Now, if you are operating FT8 on 6 meters but N1MM is still sitting on 2 meters you have defeated dupe checking. You can simply correct the problem by manually changing the band on N1MM. A quick look at the bandmap window identifies what band N1MM set to.

Also don't forget to activate the WSJT-X decode list window. No dupe checking occurs without this window being open.

73,
Mike K2MK

John Kludt
 

Mike,

How do you have the two programs setup?  On most of our multi-op stations we have used the method recommended by N1MM to set up WSJT-X.  The "radio" in WSJT-X is DXLabs Commander.  The only dupes we saw were legitimate dups - they where in our log but we were apparently not in theirs so we just worked them again.  There is no penalty in VHF contesting for working dupes far as I know so it really doesn't matter

John
John

On Tue, Jan 21, 2020 at 5:50 AM Mike K2MK <k2mk.mike@...> wrote:

I think the dupe problem with FT8 has to do with N1MM being on a different band than WSJT-X. Unless you have the capability to simultaneously have WSJT-X and N1MM serially track your rig you have probably shut down the serial link with N1MM. I do this by changing the port to an unused port in the N1MM configuration. Now, if you are operating FT8 on 6 meters but N1MM is still sitting on 2 meters you have defeated dupe checking. You can simply correct the problem by manually changing the band on N1MM. A quick look at the bandmap window identifies what band N1MM set to.

Also don't forget to activate the WSJT-X decode list window. No dupe checking occurs without this window being open.

73,
Mike K2MK

Mike K2MK
 

Hi John,

First, I follow the N1MM guidelines to have WSJT-X download worked stations directly into N1MM.

Then, normally the N1MM port config is set to Com 2 to communicate with my K3. When I'm also using WSJT-X it's necessary to change the N1MM port config to an unused port such as Com 3 to avoid a serial port clash. Now when I launch WSJT-X it immediately links to my K3 on Com 2. I then call up the WSJT-X decode window in N1MM. WSJT-X will now dupe check with any worked stations in my N1MM log even though N1MM is no longer serially linked to my K3. Any station I work is automatically downloaded from WSJT-X to N1MM with the correct frequency and mode information. It works perfectly every time.

To insure accurate dupe checking I must make sure that N1MM is on the same band as WSJT-X. I can see what band N1MM is on by looking at the bandmap. If it's not on the correct band I can change the band on N1MM by merely typing in any frequency in the band in the N1MM entry window.

73,
Mike K2MK

ve3ki
 

If you have to change the COM port for radio control in N1MM+ to avoid a conflict with WSJT-X, you are not following the N1MM+ procedure correctly. The instance of WSJT-X that is run from N1MM+  should not be using any COM port, it should be doing its radio control via N1MM+. See <https://n1mmwp.hamdocs.com/manual-windows/wsjt-x-decode-list-window/#setup-checklist>.

73,
Rich VE3KI


On Wed, Jan 22, 2020 at 07:40 AM, Mike K2MK wrote:
Hi John,

First, I follow the N1MM guidelines to have WSJT-X download worked stations directly into N1MM.

Then, normally the N1MM port config is set to Com 2 to communicate with my K3. When I'm also using WSJT-X it's necessary to change the N1MM port config to an unused port such as Com 3 to avoid a serial port clash. Now when I launch WSJT-X it immediately links to my K3 on Com 2. I then call up the WSJT-X decode window in N1MM. WSJT-X will now dupe check with any worked stations in my N1MM log even though N1MM is no longer serially linked to my K3. Any station I work is automatically downloaded from WSJT-X to N1MM with the correct frequency and mode information. It works perfectly every time.

To insure accurate dupe checking I must make sure that N1MM is on the same band as WSJT-X. I can see what band N1MM is on by looking at the bandmap. If it's not on the correct band I can change the band on N1MM by merely typing in any frequency in the band in the N1MM entry window.

73,
Mike K2MK