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Re: [dxatlas] Blind Skimmer Option for Unassisted Categories

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  • 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 1 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 2 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 3 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 4 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 5 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 6 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 7 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 8 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 9 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 10 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 11 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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