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Re: [dxatlas] Blind Skimmer Option for Unassisted Categories

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  • Jarmo Blomster
    Hello Alex, ... I would like to examine the API you mention, can I find a description somewhere? 73 s oh8kva/jarmo
    Message 1 of 19 , Oct 22, 2008
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      Hello Alex,

      2008/10/21 Alex, VE3NEA <alshovk@...>:

      > CW Skimmer has an open programming interface,

      I would like to examine the API you mention, can I find a description somewhere?

      73's oh8kva/jarmo
    • bill_w4zv
      ... Jose and Alex, after thinking about this, I agree. This should also make implementation of the Blind option easier. ... Yes, but move up/down only to the
      Message 2 of 19 , Oct 22, 2008
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        --- In dxatlas_group@yahoogroups.com, "ct1boh" <ct1boh@...> wrote:

        > There is nothing wrong with havind the dot and dash on the waterfall
        > display.
        >
        > If the operator "reads" the code on the display fine, it was him and
        > not the decoder (i.e. the machine).
        >
        > The waterfall display of skimmer should stay as it is now. It is the
        > text of the CW from the decoders that must be removed in the Blind
        > Skimmer.

        Jose and Alex, after thinking about this, I agree. This should also
        make implementation of the Blind option easier.

        > Also a faster way to tune the lines in the display, represented by the
        > dots and dashes is a must. Using the mouse to click on the lines, it's
        > not the most eficient way in a contest. I have suggested to Alex, that
        > the arrow up/arrow down buttons in the keybord would be the ideal way
        > to move the radio frequency into the next adjacent signal represented
        > by the circles next to the line of each signal with the dashes and dots.

        Yes, but move up/down only to the *yellow* dots. The white ones are
        often artifacts.

        Good suggestions Jose!

        73, Bill
      • Graham
        Hi Alex, thanks for the prompt replies. I successfully obtained XYL authorization (!) and have now registered before the UKP/US$ exchange rate gets any worse
        Message 3 of 19 , Oct 22, 2008
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          Hi Alex, thanks for the prompt replies. I successfully obtained XYL
          authorization (!) and have now registered before the UKP/US$ exchange
          rate gets any worse for us on this side of the Atlantic =:-O

          Thanks also for the clarification on interfacing; I had an incorrect
          mental model of the way things work and it's great to hear that in
          fact the architecture is way better. I will raise a request in the
          HRD BBS forum.

          73 de Graham G3ZOD


          --- In dxatlas_group@yahoogroups.com, "Alex, VE3NEA" <alshovk@...>
          wrote:
          > All 1.xx upgrades are free for the registered users. Currently I
          have no
          > plans re. v.2.0.
          >
          > CW Skimmer has an open programming interface, the authors of other
          Ham
          > software can integrate their products with the Skimmer with little
          effort.
          > Please ask the author of HRD if he is interested in doing so.
          >
          > 73 Alex VE3NEA
          >
          >
          >
          >
          > ----- Original Message -----
          > Regarding future versions, what is the policy for existing
          registered
          > users? I.e. register now or wait for a future version before
          > registering to keep costs down? I had a look around
          > http://www.dxatlas.com/CwSkimmer/ but couldn't see any information
          on
          > this.
          >
          > Normally I wouldn't worry too much but the pricing, while
          undoubtably
          > worth it, is above my threshold for having a real think about this
          and
          > getting XYL authorization :-o
          >
          > Also, am I right in thinking that CW Skimmer isn't ever going to
          > integrate with Ham Radio Deluxe?
          >
          > Thanks,
          > Graham G3ZOD
        • Alex, VE3NEA
          Hi Jarmo, There are two aspects of integration with CW Skimmer: sharing the CAT control of the radio and receiving the decoded callsigns. CW Skimmer uses the
          Message 4 of 19 , Oct 22, 2008
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            Hi Jarmo,

            There are two aspects of integration with CW Skimmer: sharing the CAT
            control of the radio and receiving the decoded callsigns. CW Skimmer uses
            the
            OmniRig engine for CAT control, this allows other programs to have
            simultaneous access to CAT with CW Skimmer. OmniRig is freeware, its
            specifications are provided at http://www.dxatlas.com/omnirig . The rest of
            interfacing is done via the Telnet protocol. CW Skimmer sends its callsign
            data via Telnet, but there is also a number of Telnet commands that allows
            the clients to read and set the operating frequency of the Skimmer, and to
            provide feedback on the status of the callsigns. These commands are
            described in the CW Skimmer Help file, under Telnet.

            73 Alex VE3NEA



            ----- Original Message -----
            > Hello Alex,
            >> CW Skimmer has an open programming interface,
            >
            > I would like to examine the API you mention, can I find a description
            > somewhere?
            >
            > 73's oh8kva/jarmo
            >
          • Jarmo Blomster
            Ok Alex, I ll look it there, thanks.
            Message 5 of 19 , Oct 22, 2008
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              Ok Alex,

              I'll look it there, thanks.
            • Graham
              Oops ... CW Skimmer and HRD work fine together once you know how to do the wiring (I need to make less assumptions and spend more time reading manuals /
              Message 6 of 19 , Oct 22, 2008
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                Oops ... CW Skimmer and HRD work fine together once you know how to do
                the "wiring" (I need to make less assumptions and spend more time
                reading manuals / searching!):

                http://forums.ham-radio.ch/showpost.php?p=63620&postcount=7

                73 de Graham G3ZOD


                --- In dxatlas_group@yahoogroups.com, "Graham" <grahamg3zod@...> wrote:
                > Also, am I right in thinking that CW Skimmer isn't ever going to
                > integrate with Ham Radio Deluxe?
              • rt_tclay
                You know you can already use version 1.2 blind . Just close the callsign spot window, and resize the column where callsign labels appear to its minimum width.
                Message 7 of 19 , Oct 29, 2008
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                  You know you can already use version 1.2 "blind". Just close the
                  callsign spot window, and resize the column where callsign labels
                  appear to its minimum width. Just put the mouse on the left edge of
                  that column and click/drag. Then there is nothing identifying the
                  callsigns.

                  There is still the decoder at the very bottom, but I don't think that
                  is really much use. Writelog has had a cw decoder for years and no
                  one complained about that. I suppose you could put a piece of tape
                  over that line if it really bothers you :)

                  Tor
                  N4OGW

                  --- In dxatlas_group@yahoogroups.com, "bill_w4zv" <w0zv@...> wrote:
                  >
                  > --- In dxatlas_group@yahoogroups.com, "ct1boh" <ct1boh@> wrote:
                  >
                  > > There is nothing wrong with havind the dot and dash on the
                  waterfall
                  > > display.
                  > >
                  > > If the operator "reads" the code on the display fine, it was him
                  and
                  > > not the decoder (i.e. the machine).
                  > >
                  > > The waterfall display of skimmer should stay as it is now. It is
                  the
                  > > text of the CW from the decoders that must be removed in the
                  Blind
                  > > Skimmer.
                  >
                  > Jose and Alex, after thinking about this, I agree. This should also
                  > make implementation of the Blind option easier.
                  >
                  > > Also a faster way to tune the lines in the display, represented
                  by the
                  > > dots and dashes is a must. Using the mouse to click on the lines,
                  it's
                  > > not the most eficient way in a contest. I have suggested to Alex,
                  that
                  > > the arrow up/arrow down buttons in the keybord would be the ideal
                  way
                  > > to move the radio frequency into the next adjacent signal
                  represented
                  > > by the circles next to the line of each signal with the dashes
                  and dots.
                  >
                  > Yes, but move up/down only to the *yellow* dots. The white ones are
                  > often artifacts.
                  >
                  > Good suggestions Jose!
                  >
                  > 73, Bill
                  >
                • rt_tclay
                  ... And further- you can hide the decoder at the bottom under the Windows task bar. Then it is completely blind... Being able to turn off all decoding would
                  Message 8 of 19 , Oct 30, 2008
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                    --- In dxatlas_group@yahoogroups.com, "rt_tclay" <rt_clay@...> wrote:
                    >
                    > You know you can already use version 1.2 "blind". Just close the
                    > callsign spot window, and resize the column where callsign labels
                    > appear to its minimum width. Just put the mouse on the left edge of
                    > that column and click/drag. Then there is nothing identifying the
                    > callsigns.
                    >
                    > There is still the decoder at the very bottom, but I don't think that
                    >

                    And further- you can hide the decoder at the bottom under the Windows
                    task bar. Then it is completely blind...

                    Being able to turn off all decoding would probably speed it up
                    considerably however.

                    Tor
                    N4OGW
                  • bill_w4zv
                    ... Maybe not minimum ...you still need the dots to be able to click on to send your receiver there. I m sure Alex will come up with something a little more
                    Message 9 of 19 , Oct 30, 2008
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                      --- In dxatlas_group@yahoogroups.com, "rt_tclay" <rt_clay@...> wrote:
                      >
                      > You know you can already use version 1.2 "blind". Just close the
                      > callsign spot window, and resize the column where callsign labels
                      > appear to its minimum width.

                      Maybe not "minimum"...you still need the dots to be able to click on
                      to send your receiver there. I'm sure Alex will come up with
                      something a little more elegant which has no possibility of
                      disqualification for the unassisted category.

                      73, Bill
                    • rt_tclay
                      I don t understand...I just click on a signal in the waterfall display. It tunes the receiver there. You don t have to click on a dot. Yes, sometimes I have to
                      Message 10 of 19 , Oct 30, 2008
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                        I don't understand...I just click on a signal in the waterfall
                        display. It tunes the receiver there. You don't have to click on a
                        dot. Yes, sometimes I have to touch up the tuning with the radio knob,
                        but with a little practice you get very close.

                        Also, the dots still do show up, so you can click on those if you
                        want. The minimum resize width is not zero, but seems to be just
                        enough to keep the dots.

                        Try it, just resizing the column eliminates all the text display but
                        the dots are kept.

                        Tor
                        N4OGW

                        --- In dxatlas_group@yahoogroups.com, "bill_w4zv" <w0zv@...> wrote:
                        >
                        > --- In dxatlas_group@yahoogroups.com, "rt_tclay" <rt_clay@> wrote:
                        > >
                        > > You know you can already use version 1.2 "blind". Just close the
                        > > callsign spot window, and resize the column where callsign labels
                        > > appear to its minimum width.
                        >
                        > Maybe not "minimum"...you still need the dots to be able to click on
                        > to send your receiver there. I'm sure Alex will come up with
                        > something a little more elegant which has no possibility of
                        > disqualification for the unassisted category.
                        >
                        > 73, Bill
                        >
                      • rt_tclay
                        It can also be argued that clicking on dots in the present version of Skimmer (even if callsigns are hidden) should fall in the assisted class. Why?
                        Message 11 of 19 , Oct 30, 2008
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                          It can also be argued that "clicking on dots" in the present version
                          of Skimmer (even if callsigns are hidden) should fall in the
                          "assisted" class. Why? Because the color of the dots indicates
                          something about whether Skimmer has decoded and/or verified a call.

                          So an "unassisted" mode would need to remove any coloring from the dots.

                          I don't see anything wrong with just having the waterfall going, with
                          dots and text hidden.

                          It would be however possible to distinguish between a carrier and a
                          real cw signal based on statistics (signal variability) and not text
                          decoding.

                          Tor
                          N4OGW
                        • rt_tclay
                          It can also be argued that clicking on dots in the present version of Skimmer (even if callsigns are hidden) should fall in the assisted class. Why?
                          Message 12 of 19 , Oct 30, 2008
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                            It can also be argued that "clicking on dots" in the present version
                            of Skimmer (even if callsigns are hidden) should fall in the
                            "assisted" class. Why? Because the color of the dots indicates
                            something about whether Skimmer has decoded and/or verified a call.

                            So an "unassisted" mode would need to remove any coloring from the dots.

                            I don't see anything wrong with just having the waterfall going, with
                            dots and text hidden.

                            It would be however possible to distinguish between a carrier and a
                            real cw signal based on statistics (signal variability) and not text
                            decoding.

                            Tor
                            N4OGW
                          • Dave Baxter
                            Just an observation on this thread. With Skimmer in Blind mode, I don t see much difference then, compared to if you had Spectran (or any other spectrum
                            Message 13 of 19 , Oct 31, 2008
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                              Just an observation on this thread.

                              With Skimmer in "Blind" mode, I don't see much difference then, compared
                              to if you had Spectran (or any other spectrum waterfall display program)
                              showing, other than you can click on a signal to tune the radio.

                              Some would no doubt say that feature was "an assistance" too (click to
                              tune) There again, I'm not a contesting type these days (been there,
                              done that etc).. And I'm sure the purists would say that having any
                              sort of bandspread spectrum/waterfall display showing adjacent stations
                              was an unfair advantage.

                              As an aside, I just wish the contesters would keep the beacon
                              allocations clear +- 100Hz or so of a weekend. Here in the UK, 20m in
                              particular often has overseas CW, RTTY, even SSB stations working right
                              next to (within 10Hz) or on top of the beacons. If you listen with mk1
                              ear-ole, it's plain to see (hear) that they cannot even hear other
                              people calling them, so they probably cant hear the beacons.

                              The quality of some contest signals has to be questioned too, if it's
                              not sat directly on top of 14.100, the splatter or sproggies get you,
                              often from something 10's of kHz away! I'm fairly happy the RX is OK
                              (TS870s with attenuation and AIP on etc) as it's not just some of the
                              "big" signals that are bad, many of the less than S9 signals are
                              appalling too!

                              Still, even under those conditions, Faros (subject change) seems to do a
                              remarkable job detecting the presence of a distance beacon that I can't
                              even hear through the mayhem. OK so Faros seems to work OK, that is
                              when the big signals don't depress the radio's AGC too much. I have the
                              rig screwed down to 100Hz bandwidth, and even then it's a problem at
                              times.

                              Each to their own..

                              73.

                              Dave G0WBX.



                              > __________
                              > 1f. Re: Blind Skimmer Option for Unassisted Categories
                              > Posted by: "rt_tclay" rt_clay@... rt_tclay
                              > Date: Thu Oct 30, 2008 10:10 am ((PDT))
                              >
                              > It can also be argued that "clicking on dots" in the present version
                              > of Skimmer (even if callsigns are hidden) should fall in the
                              > "assisted" class. Why? Because the color of the dots indicates
                              > something about whether Skimmer has decoded and/or verified a call.
                              >
                              > So an "unassisted" mode would need to remove any coloring
                              > from the dots.
                              >
                              > I don't see anything wrong with just having the waterfall going, with
                              > dots and text hidden.
                              >
                              > It would be however possible to distinguish between a carrier and a
                              > real cw signal based on statistics (signal variability) and not text
                              > decoding.
                              >
                              > Tor
                              > N4OGW
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