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CW Skimmer 1.1 released

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  • Alex Shovkoplyas, VE3NEA
    CW Skimmer 1.1 is available at http://www.dxatlas.com/cwskimmer . New in this version: - the accuracy of decoding and word segmentation improved; - improved
    Message 1 of 19 , Mar 29, 2008
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      CW Skimmer 1.1 is available at http://www.dxatlas.com/cwskimmer . New
      in this version:

      - the accuracy of decoding and word segmentation improved;

      - improved compatibility with certain soundcards, especially on Vista
      (note that CW Skimmer is not officially supported on Vista);

      - the Latin character set is enforced on the Received Text panel;

      - fixed button arrangement in the I/Q recorder dialog;

      - Telnet server added;

      - the SDR-IQ and SDR-14 radios are natively supported;

      - Watch list added;

      - Waterfall Settings added;

      - the Always on Top option added.



      This version provides a new 30-day trial period to those whose v.1.0
      trial has expired.


      73 Alex VE3NEA
    • jeraldvolpe
      Alex, I just installed version 1.1 over my version 1.0. I appreciate the changes but I am disappointed that you are still limiting standard transceivers to a 3
      Message 2 of 19 , Mar 29, 2008
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        Alex,

        I just installed version 1.1 over my version 1.0. I appreciate the
        changes but I am disappointed that you are still limiting standard
        transceivers to a 3 kHz maximum skim! I wrote several times regarding
        those of us with transceivers that can open up beyond 3kHz. I am one
        of several thousand Ten-Tec Orion and Orion II owners (a transceiver
        that is heavily used in contests and serous DXing) and we are able to
        open up our receivers to 8 kHz in the CW mode... especially our second
        receiver which doesn't share the roofing filters of the main receiver.

        Perhaps there a way I can fudge the 'software defined radio' settings
        to work? I haven't figured out a magic set of settings so far...
        Seriously Alex, being able to open up that 3KHz window to 4, 5, ....
        or in Orion owners situation... 8 kHz would truly add to the power of
        CW Skimmer.

        I had already mentioned a request to allow selectable use of one or
        the other of the transceivers two VFOs. I don't see any mention of
        that in this release either. Now I modified my OmniRig Orion
        definition file to trick CW Skimmer to read and modify the second VFO,
        but I don't think most users are up to that level of control file
        modification. Couldn't this be added within CW Skimmer for those who's
        transceivers have second receivers?

        Also another future 'enhancement' to consider might be something like
        a 'sticky preset' that we could use to set a CW Skimmer preset
        frequency so that we can quickly return to a known base frequency. For
        example, the DX is listening up 5 to 10 kHz.... right now my second
        receiver/transmitter starts at that point but as soon as I click on a
        signal in the CW Skimmer waterfall the original reference point is
        lost. Many DX jump around not following a specific pattern of slowly
        up or down.... so having a 'sticky preset' we could quickly return to
        that base skim point and proceed up from there.

        Please don't think my comments in any way reduce what is an exemplary
        software tool for amateur radio CW ops.... just love to see it be even
        more for many of us.

        73,
        Jerry, KG6TT
      • Pete Smith
        Jerry, I think that the rub is that the 3-KHz mode uses audio, and the audio passband of your radio rolls off pretty steeply above 3 KHz, even if your IF
        Message 3 of 19 , Mar 29, 2008
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          Jerry, I think that the rub is that the 3-KHz mode uses audio, and the
          audio passband of your radio rolls off pretty steeply above 3 KHz, even if
          your IF bandwidth is out to 8 KHz or more.

          73, Pete N4ZR

          -At 02:43 PM 3/29/2008, you wrote:
          >Alex,
          >
          >I just installed version 1.1 over my version 1.0. I appreciate the
          >changes but I am disappointed that you are still limiting standard
          >transceivers to a 3 kHz maximum skim! I wrote several times regarding
          >those of us with transceivers that can open up beyond 3kHz. I am one
          >of several thousand Ten-Tec Orion and Orion II owners (a transceiver
          >that is heavily used in contests and serous DXing) and we are able to
          >open up our receivers to 8 kHz in the CW mode... especially our second
          >receiver which doesn't share the roofing filters of the main receiver.
          >
          >Perhaps there a way I can fudge the 'software defined radio' settings
          >to work? I haven't figured out a magic set of settings so far...
          >Seriously Alex, being able to open up that 3KHz window to 4, 5, ....
          >or in Orion owners situation... 8 kHz would truly add to the power of
          >CW Skimmer.
          >
          >I had already mentioned a request to allow selectable use of one or
          >the other of the transceivers two VFOs. I don't see any mention of
          >that in this release either. Now I modified my OmniRig Orion
          >definition file to trick CW Skimmer to read and modify the second VFO,
          >but I don't think most users are up to that level of control file
          >modification. Couldn't this be added within CW Skimmer for those who's
          >transceivers have second receivers?
          >
          >Also another future 'enhancement' to consider might be something like
          >a 'sticky preset' that we could use to set a CW Skimmer preset
          >frequency so that we can quickly return to a known base frequency. For
          >example, the DX is listening up 5 to 10 kHz.... right now my second
          >receiver/transmitter starts at that point but as soon as I click on a
          >signal in the CW Skimmer waterfall the original reference point is
          >lost. Many DX jump around not following a specific pattern of slowly
          >up or down.... so having a 'sticky preset' we could quickly return to
          >that base skim point and proceed up from there.
          >
          >Please don't think my comments in any way reduce what is an exemplary
          >software tool for amateur radio CW ops.... just love to see it be even
          >more for many of us.
          >
          >73,
          >Jerry, KG6TT
          >
          >
          >------------------------------------
          >
          >Yahoo! Groups Links
          >
          >
          >
        • Ed Russell
          Pete, I set up my Flex5k to output 8khz of bandwidth to Skimmer via VAC. In Skimmer I can only see 3khz, and I don t see any calls outside that bandwidth
          Message 4 of 19 , Mar 29, 2008
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            Pete,

            I set up my Flex5k to output 8khz of bandwidth to Skimmer via VAC. In
            Skimmer I can only see 3khz, and I don't see any calls outside that
            bandwidth appearing in the call list.

            73 Ed W2RF

            On 29 Mar 2008 at 17:40, Pete Smith wrote:

            >
            > Jerry, I think that the rub is that the 3-KHz mode uses audio, and the
            > audio passband of your radio rolls off pretty steeply above 3 KHz,
            > even if
            > your IF bandwidth is out to 8 KHz or more.
            >
            > 73, Pete N4ZR
            >
            > -At 02:43 PM 3/29/2008, you wrote:
            > >Alex,
            > >
            > >I just installed version 1.1 over my version 1.0. I appreciate the
            > >changes but I am disappointed that you are still limiting standard
            > >transceivers to a 3 kHz maximum skim! I wrote several times regarding
            > >those of us with transceivers that can open up beyond 3kHz. I am one
            > >of several thousand Ten-Tec Orion and Orion II owners (a transceiver
            > >that is heavily used in contests and serous DXing) and we are able to
            > >open up our receivers to 8 kHz in the CW mode... especially our
            > second
            > >receiver which doesn't share the roofing filters of the main
            > receiver.
            > >
            > >Perhaps there a way I can fudge the 'software defined radio' settings
            > >to work? I haven't figured out a magic set of settings so far...
            > >Seriously Alex, being able to open up that 3KHz window to 4, 5, ....
            > >or in Orion owners situation... 8 kHz would truly add to the power of
            > >CW Skimmer.
            > >
            > >I had already mentioned a request to allow selectable use of one or
            > >the other of the transceivers two VFOs. I don't see any mention of
            > >that in this release either. Now I modified my OmniRig Orion
            > >definition file to trick CW Skimmer to read and modify the second
            > VFO,
            > >but I don't think most users are up to that level of control file
            > >modification. Couldn't this be added within CW Skimmer for those
            > who's
            > >transceivers have second receivers?
            > >
            > >Also another future 'enhancement' to consider might be something like
            > >a 'sticky preset' that we could use to set a CW Skimmer preset
            > >frequency so that we can quickly return to a known base frequency.
            > For
            > >example, the DX is listening up 5 to 10 kHz.... right now my second
            > >receiver/transmitter starts at that point but as soon as I click on a
            > >signal in the CW Skimmer waterfall the original reference point is
            > >lost. Many DX jump around not following a specific pattern of slowly
            > >up or down.... so having a 'sticky preset' we could quickly return to
            > >that base skim point and proceed up from there.
            > >
            > >Please don't think my comments in any way reduce what is an exemplary
            > >software tool for amateur radio CW ops.... just love to see it be
            > even
            > >more for many of us.
            > >
            > >73,
            > >Jerry, KG6TT
            > >
            > >
            > >------------------------------------
            > >
            > >Yahoo! Groups Links
            > >
            > >
            > >
            >
            >
          • Alex, VE3NEA
            Hi Jerry, Thank you for your suggestions, I have added them to my list of requested features. Meanwhile you may want to try and feed CW Skimmer with the 14-kHz
            Message 5 of 19 , Mar 29, 2008
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              Hi Jerry,

              Thank you for your suggestions, I have added them to my list of requested
              features. Meanwhile you may want to try and feed CW Skimmer with the 14-kHz
              IF signal from your Orion. The Skimmer may be able to process it in the
              SoftRock-IF mode.

              73 Alex VE3NEA



              ----- Original Message -----
              From: "jeraldvolpe" <techmail@...>
              To: <dxatlas_group@yahoogroups.com>
              Sent: Saturday, March 29, 2008 02:43 PM
              Subject: [dxatlas] CW Skimmer 1.1 doesn't allow for transceivers with more
              than 3 KHz bandwidth....


              Alex,

              I just installed version 1.1 over my version 1.0. I appreciate the
              changes but I am disappointed that you are still limiting standard
              transceivers to a 3 kHz maximum skim! I wrote several times regarding
              those of us with transceivers that can open up beyond 3kHz. I am one
              of several thousand Ten-Tec Orion and Orion II owners (a transceiver
              that is heavily used in contests and serous DXing) and we are able to
              open up our receivers to 8 kHz in the CW mode... especially our second
              receiver which doesn't share the roofing filters of the main receiver.

              Perhaps there a way I can fudge the 'software defined radio' settings
              to work? I haven't figured out a magic set of settings so far...
              Seriously Alex, being able to open up that 3KHz window to 4, 5, ....
              or in Orion owners situation... 8 kHz would truly add to the power of
              CW Skimmer.

              I had already mentioned a request to allow selectable use of one or
              the other of the transceivers two VFOs. I don't see any mention of
              that in this release either. Now I modified my OmniRig Orion
              definition file to trick CW Skimmer to read and modify the second VFO,
              but I don't think most users are up to that level of control file
              modification. Couldn't this be added within CW Skimmer for those who's
              transceivers have second receivers?

              Also another future 'enhancement' to consider might be something like
              a 'sticky preset' that we could use to set a CW Skimmer preset
              frequency so that we can quickly return to a known base frequency. For
              example, the DX is listening up 5 to 10 kHz.... right now my second
              receiver/transmitter starts at that point but as soon as I click on a
              signal in the CW Skimmer waterfall the original reference point is
              lost. Many DX jump around not following a specific pattern of slowly
              up or down.... so having a 'sticky preset' we could quickly return to
              that base skim point and proceed up from there.

              Please don't think my comments in any way reduce what is an exemplary
              software tool for amateur radio CW ops.... just love to see it be even
              more for many of us.

              73,
              Jerry, KG6TT
            • Pete Smith
              Sure Ed - I envy you that radio, but most of us are stuck with hardware. I presume Alex wrote Skimmer with a 3 KHz limit to avoid confusing users. 73, Pete
              Message 6 of 19 , Mar 30, 2008
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                Sure Ed - I envy you that radio, but most of us are stuck with hardware. I
                presume Alex wrote Skimmer with a 3 KHz limit to avoid confusing users.

                73, Pete

                At 07:54 PM 3/29/2008, Ed Russell wrote:
                >Pete,
                >
                >I set up my Flex5k to output 8khz of bandwidth to Skimmer via VAC. In
                >Skimmer I can only see 3khz, and I don't see any calls outside that
                >bandwidth appearing in the call list.
                >
                >73 Ed W2RF
                >
                >On 29 Mar 2008 at 17:40, Pete Smith wrote:
                >
                > >
                > > Jerry, I think that the rub is that the 3-KHz mode uses audio, and the
                > > audio passband of your radio rolls off pretty steeply above 3 KHz,
                > > even if
                > > your IF bandwidth is out to 8 KHz or more.
                > >
                > > 73, Pete N4ZR
                > >
                > > -At 02:43 PM 3/29/2008, you wrote:
                > > >Alex,
                > > >
                > > >I just installed version 1.1 over my version 1.0. I appreciate the
                > > >changes but I am disappointed that you are still limiting standard
                > > >transceivers to a 3 kHz maximum skim! I wrote several times regarding
                > > >those of us with transceivers that can open up beyond 3kHz. I am one
                > > >of several thousand Ten-Tec Orion and Orion II owners (a transceiver
                > > >that is heavily used in contests and serous DXing) and we are able to
                > > >open up our receivers to 8 kHz in the CW mode... especially our
                > > second
                > > >receiver which doesn't share the roofing filters of the main
                > > receiver.
                > > >
                > > >Perhaps there a way I can fudge the 'software defined radio' settings
                > > >to work? I haven't figured out a magic set of settings so far...
                > > >Seriously Alex, being able to open up that 3KHz window to 4, 5, ....
                > > >or in Orion owners situation... 8 kHz would truly add to the power of
                > > >CW Skimmer.
                > > >
                > > >I had already mentioned a request to allow selectable use of one or
                > > >the other of the transceivers two VFOs. I don't see any mention of
                > > >that in this release either. Now I modified my OmniRig Orion
                > > >definition file to trick CW Skimmer to read and modify the second
                > > VFO,
                > > >but I don't think most users are up to that level of control file
                > > >modification. Couldn't this be added within CW Skimmer for those
                > > who's
                > > >transceivers have second receivers?
                > > >
                > > >Also another future 'enhancement' to consider might be something like
                > > >a 'sticky preset' that we could use to set a CW Skimmer preset
                > > >frequency so that we can quickly return to a known base frequency.
                > > For
                > > >example, the DX is listening up 5 to 10 kHz.... right now my second
                > > >receiver/transmitter starts at that point but as soon as I click on a
                > > >signal in the CW Skimmer waterfall the original reference point is
                > > >lost. Many DX jump around not following a specific pattern of slowly
                > > >up or down.... so having a 'sticky preset' we could quickly return to
                > > >that base skim point and proceed up from there.
                > > >
                > > >Please don't think my comments in any way reduce what is an exemplary
                > > >software tool for amateur radio CW ops.... just love to see it be
                > > even
                > > >more for many of us.
                > > >
                > > >73,
                > > >Jerry, KG6TT
                > > >
                > > >
                > > >------------------------------------
                > > >
                > > >Yahoo! Groups Links
                > > >
                > > >
                > > >
                > >
                > >
                >
                >
                >
                >
                >------------------------------------
                >
                >Yahoo! Groups Links
                >
                >
                >
              • jeraldvolpe
                Actually the audio does NOT role off in the Orion if you are not utilizing roofing filters to limit it.... which is the case when you are using the sub
                Message 7 of 19 , Mar 30, 2008
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                  Actually the audio does NOT role off in the Orion if you are not
                  utilizing roofing filters to limit it.... which is the case when you
                  are using the sub receiver. It you have receive EQ on '0'. I have done
                  low signal sweeps using an audio spectrum display and find equal noise
                  and signal patterns from under 100Hz to 8kHz.

                  73,
                  Jerry, KG6TT

                  --- In dxatlas_group@yahoogroups.com, Pete Smith <n4zr@...> wrote:
                  >
                  > Jerry, I think that the rub is that the 3-KHz mode uses audio, and the
                  > audio passband of your radio rolls off pretty steeply above 3 KHz,
                  even if
                  > your IF bandwidth is out to 8 KHz or more.
                  >
                  > 73, Pete N4ZR
                  >
                  > -At 02:43 PM 3/29/2008, you wrote:
                  > >Alex,
                  > >
                  > >I just installed version 1.1 over my version 1.0. I appreciate the
                  > >changes but I am disappointed that you are still limiting standard
                  > >transceivers to a 3 kHz maximum skim! I wrote several times regarding
                  > >those of us with transceivers that can open up beyond 3kHz. I am one
                  > >of several thousand Ten-Tec Orion and Orion II owners (a transceiver
                  > >that is heavily used in contests and serous DXing) and we are able to
                  > >open up our receivers to 8 kHz in the CW mode... especially our second
                  > >receiver which doesn't share the roofing filters of the main receiver.
                  > >
                  > >Perhaps there a way I can fudge the 'software defined radio' settings
                  > >to work? I haven't figured out a magic set of settings so far...
                  > >Seriously Alex, being able to open up that 3KHz window to 4, 5, ....
                  > >or in Orion owners situation... 8 kHz would truly add to the power of
                  > >CW Skimmer.
                  > >
                  > >I had already mentioned a request to allow selectable use of one or
                  > >the other of the transceivers two VFOs. I don't see any mention of
                  > >that in this release either. Now I modified my OmniRig Orion
                  > >definition file to trick CW Skimmer to read and modify the second VFO,
                  > >but I don't think most users are up to that level of control file
                  > >modification. Couldn't this be added within CW Skimmer for those who's
                  > >transceivers have second receivers?
                  > >
                  > >Also another future 'enhancement' to consider might be something like
                  > >a 'sticky preset' that we could use to set a CW Skimmer preset
                  > >frequency so that we can quickly return to a known base frequency. For
                  > >example, the DX is listening up 5 to 10 kHz.... right now my second
                  > >receiver/transmitter starts at that point but as soon as I click on a
                  > >signal in the CW Skimmer waterfall the original reference point is
                  > >lost. Many DX jump around not following a specific pattern of slowly
                  > >up or down.... so having a 'sticky preset' we could quickly return to
                  > >that base skim point and proceed up from there.
                  > >
                  > >Please don't think my comments in any way reduce what is an exemplary
                  > >software tool for amateur radio CW ops.... just love to see it be even
                  > >more for many of us.
                  > >
                  > >73,
                  > >Jerry, KG6TT
                  > >
                  > >
                  > >------------------------------------
                  > >
                  > >Yahoo! Groups Links
                  > >
                  > >
                  > >
                  >
                • jeraldvolpe
                  ... requested ... 14-kHz ... I m considering your suggestion to tap into the Orion s IF. Question: Have you considered an RTTY Skimmer? It would be equally
                  Message 8 of 19 , Mar 30, 2008
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                    --- In dxatlas_group@yahoogroups.com, "Alex, VE3NEA" <alshovk@...> wrote:
                    >
                    > Hi Jerry,
                    >
                    > Thank you for your suggestions, I have added them to my list of
                    requested
                    > features. Meanwhile you may want to try and feed CW Skimmer with the
                    14-kHz
                    > IF signal from your Orion. The Skimmer may be able to process it in the
                    > SoftRock-IF mode.
                    >
                    > 73 Alex VE3NEA

                    I'm considering your suggestion to tap into the Orion's IF.

                    Question: Have you considered an RTTY Skimmer? It would be equally
                    useful and probably would utilize a large portion of the code you have
                    already developed. It certainly has to be easier decoding RTTY which
                    has to follow one of but a few shift, speed and possible inversion
                    patterns. Food for thought (as if you are just sitting around looking
                    for things to do. :)

                    73,
                    Jerry, KG6TT
                  • bill_w4zv
                    ... Same here. I m using a beta version of N8LP s LP-PAN which provides I-Q detection for the Elecraft K3 s wideband buffered output. It seems my Skimmer is
                    Message 9 of 19 , Apr 22, 2008
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                      --- In dxatlas_group@yahoogroups.com, "jeraldvolpe" <techmail@...> wrote:

                      > I just installed version 1.1 over my version 1.0. I appreciate the
                      > changes but I am disappointed that you are still limiting standard
                      > transceivers to a 3 kHz maximum skim! I wrote several times regarding
                      > those of us with transceivers that can open up beyond 3kHz. I am one
                      > of several thousand Ten-Tec Orion and Orion II owners (a transceiver
                      > that is heavily used in contests and serous DXing) and we are able to
                      > open up our receivers to 8 kHz in the CW mode... especially our second
                      > receiver which doesn't share the roofing filters of the main receiver.

                      Same here. I'm using a beta version of N8LP's LP-PAN which provides
                      I-Q detection for the Elecraft K3's wideband buffered output. It
                      seems my Skimmer is also limited to 3 kHz. Are you working on an
                      interface to LP-PAN that will be friendlier than using Softrock mode?

                      Maybe I don't have things adjusted correctly yet but so far I'm not
                      seeing Skimmer decode signals in noise very well.

                      73, Bill W4ZV
                    • Pete Smith
                      I think this is two different issues. Jerry is talking about the 3 KHz radio mode, which uses a soundcard to decode the audio from the receiver. Bill is
                      Message 10 of 19 , Apr 22, 2008
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                        I think this is two different issues. Jerry is talking about the 3 KHz
                        radio mode, which uses a soundcard to decode the audio from the receiver.

                        Bill is running into a different thing, I believe. Bill, if you use the
                        SoftRock-IF radio choice, how much bandwidth do you see? What about if you
                        use the basic SoftRock position, using the LO frequency to define the
                        center of the display range.

                        73, Pete N4ZR

                        At 07:04 AM 4/22/2008, bill_w4zv wrote:
                        >--- In dxatlas_group@yahoogroups.com, "jeraldvolpe" <techmail@...> wrote:
                        >
                        > > I just installed version 1.1 over my version 1.0. I appreciate the
                        > > changes but I am disappointed that you are still limiting standard
                        > > transceivers to a 3 kHz maximum skim! I wrote several times regarding
                        > > those of us with transceivers that can open up beyond 3kHz. I am one
                        > > of several thousand Ten-Tec Orion and Orion II owners (a transceiver
                        > > that is heavily used in contests and serous DXing) and we are able to
                        > > open up our receivers to 8 kHz in the CW mode... especially our second
                        > > receiver which doesn't share the roofing filters of the main receiver.
                        >
                        >Same here. I'm using a beta version of N8LP's LP-PAN which provides
                        >I-Q detection for the Elecraft K3's wideband buffered output. It
                        >seems my Skimmer is also limited to 3 kHz. Are you working on an
                        >interface to LP-PAN that will be friendlier than using Softrock mode?
                        >
                        >Maybe I don't have things adjusted correctly yet but so far I'm not
                        >seeing Skimmer decode signals in noise very well.
                        >
                        >73, Bill W4ZV
                        >
                        >
                        >------------------------------------
                        >
                        >Yahoo! Groups Links
                        >
                        >
                        >
                      • bill_w4zv
                        Hi Pete, ... the ... I m only seeing 3 kHz on the display but I think it may be capturing signals further away...the bands are so poor I m having trouble
                        Message 11 of 19 , Apr 23, 2008
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                          Hi Pete,

                          > Bill is running into a different thing, I believe. Bill, if you use
                          the
                          > SoftRock-IF radio choice, how much bandwidth do you see?

                          I'm only seeing 3 kHz on the display but I think it may be capturing
                          signals further away...the bands are so poor I'm having trouble
                          finding enough signals strong enough to test! I'm sampling at 48 kHz
                          since I'm running an underpowered CPU (1.1GHz P3 + 1GB RAM > Delta 44
                          > LP-PAN > K3). As I said before I'm a little disappointed with
                          Skimmer's ability to decode weak signals so far but I may not have
                          everything set up correctly. I can plainly hear some Q5 signals that
                          Skimmer seems to have difficulty decoding.

                          > What about if you
                          > use the basic SoftRock position, using the LO frequency to define the
                          > center of the display range.

                          I haven't tried that yet...it may be beyond my beginner's skills at
                          this stage. The K3's IF out is 8.215 kHz, so should I set something
                          like 8239 (8215+24)? That seems to be what the "Softrock-IF"
                          documentation says but I haven't read everything carefully enough to
                          even ask an intelligent question! I don't think Alex has yet
                          documented the Skimmer's setup for using the K3's wideband IF out.

                          It does seem to work very nicely with OmniRig in Softrock-IF mode but
                          I'm just not seeing the wideband display.

                          73, Bill
                        • bill_w4zv
                          ... Since the bands are so poor I downloaded the pileup file (FJ/OH2AM) and my system seemed to handle it fairly well. 67 calls identified between 7006.4 and
                          Message 12 of 19 , Apr 23, 2008
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                            --- In dxatlas_group@yahoogroups.com, "bill_w4zv" <w0zv@...> wrote:

                            > I'm only seeing 3 kHz on the display but I think it may be capturing
                            > signals further away...the bands are so poor I'm having trouble
                            > finding enough signals strong enough to test! I'm sampling at 48 kHz
                            > since I'm running an underpowered CPU (1.1GHz P3 + 1GB RAM > Delta 44
                            > > LP-PAN > K3).

                            Since the bands are so poor I downloaded the pileup file (FJ/OH2AM)
                            and my system seemed to handle it fairly well. 67 calls identified
                            between 7006.4 and 7018.9 with about 71% CPU utilization (i.e. not
                            maxing out). But for some reason my Skimmer display still only shows
                            about 3 kHz at a time...maybe I just haven't yet discovered how to
                            enable the wide display.

                            I then tried the CQWW file below and got the following results, with
                            CPU utilization hitting 100% at times in all cases:

                            http://cid-e39b59612b664f63.skydrive.live.com/self.aspx/Public/CQWWCW_2005_1_of_42.wav

                            33 calls, 7009.0>7020.10, everything running on computer.
                            33 calls, same QRG range, Internet connection and browser off.
                            40 calls, 7007.0>7021.9, AVG anti-virus off.
                            58 calls, 7002.0>7024.6, Skimmer display minimized.

                            I could probably do a little better by shutting down more background
                            processes but I'm curious what someone with a 2-3 GHz CPU gets when
                            running the same CQWW file above?

                            A couple of things strike me so far:

                            1. Is it possible to suppress decoders for zero point station QRGs
                            once they are identified? 23 of the 58 in the last run were USA.
                            This would make for a less cluttered display and probably free up some
                            resources. I suppose USA calls would be eliminated from a band map in
                            a contest program anyway but am just curious.

                            2. I'm not sure how well Skimmer will work with very weak signals.
                            It seems to pick up signals with good S/N very well but I'm wondering
                            how it might work for weak DX signals on a band like 160? Has anyone
                            had much experience with weak signals? It could be I'm still not set
                            up correctly but it seems like you need a real S5 signal or better for
                            it to decode calls quickly. I can hear many Q5 signals on the K3 that
                            don't even register solidly on Skimmer's waterfall.

                            I definitely plan to upgrade my computer eventually but am just
                            playing with what I have for now and am curious about others' experiences.

                            73, Bill
                          • Pete Smith
                            ... Your wish is my command, sir ;^) With a 2.2 GHz Celeron, 768 MB DDR RAM (a VERY basic Dell 2400, four years old, With XP home SP2) I got the following
                            Message 13 of 19 , Apr 24, 2008
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                              At 05:19 PM 4/23/2008, bill_w4zv wrote:
                              >I then tried the CQWW file below and got the following results, with
                              >CPU utilization hitting 100% at times in all cases:
                              >
                              >http://cid-e39b59612b664f63.skydrive.live.com/self.aspx/Public/CQWWCW_2005_1_of_42.wav
                              >
                              >33 calls, 7009.0>7020.10, everything running on computer.
                              >33 calls, same QRG range, Internet connection and browser off.
                              >40 calls, 7007.0>7021.9, AVG anti-virus off.
                              >58 calls, 7002.0>7024.6, Skimmer display minimized.
                              >
                              >I could probably do a little better by shutting down more background
                              >processes but I'm curious what someone with a 2-3 GHz CPU gets when
                              >running the same CQWW file above?


                              Your wish is my command, sir ;^)

                              With a 2.2 GHz Celeron, 768 MB DDR RAM (a VERY basic Dell 2400, four years
                              old, With XP home SP2) I got the following results off the same file.

                              Note that when playing back recordings the sound card is not involved;
                              Skimmer is processing the I/Q file directly, so settings like playback
                              sampling rate have no effect:

                              Decoders Other variables Calls Decoded CPU peak
                              utilization

                              Adaptive Not minimized 156 96%
                              250 "" 131 75%
                              300 "" 152 81%
                              350 "" 154 86%
                              400 "" 153 100%
                              Adaptive Telnet server off 154 100%
                              Adaptive Skimmer minimized 154 ?

                              Interesting, no? I would have to other programs minimized or in the
                              background do not affect decoding performance; one of the critical
                              questions I hope to answer in coming months is whether the reverse is true,
                              since we're talking about using Skimmer to feed spots to a contest logging
                              program, which has to be able to respond quickly, send CW, etc. My
                              personal tests with N1MM logger, using a Winkey for CW, have been very
                              encouraging; I suspect that MM simply takes precedence when it needs to,
                              and that the Winkey avoids any issues with making good CW.

                              73, Pete N4ZR
                            • rt_tclay
                              Is the reason you only see 3 KHz because you haven t resized the Skimmer window? Just drag the bottom edge to make it bigger. Tor N4OGW
                              Message 14 of 19 , Apr 25, 2008
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                                Is the reason you only see 3 KHz because you haven't resized the
                                Skimmer window? Just drag the bottom edge to make it bigger.

                                Tor
                                N4OGW
                              • rt_tclay
                                ... with Similar results here on the CQWW file. Running with graphics window shrunk down. XP Pro SP2. 1) old 1 GHz AMD Athlon. 1.25 GB RAM maxed out 100% CPU,
                                Message 15 of 19 , Apr 25, 2008
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                                  --- In dxatlas_group@yahoogroups.com, Pete Smith <n4zr@...> wrote:
                                  >
                                  > At 05:19 PM 4/23/2008, bill_w4zv wrote:
                                  > >I then tried the CQWW file below and got the following results,
                                  with


                                  Similar results here on the CQWW file. Running with graphics window
                                  shrunk down. XP Pro SP2.

                                  1) old 1 GHz AMD Athlon. 1.25 GB RAM

                                  maxed out 100% CPU, decoded only 69 calls

                                  2) 1.8 GHz AMD Sempron ("3100+" model I think), 1 GB RAM

                                  max CPU 70-80%, 155 calls


                                  Given that CPU never hit 100% on the second system, I would say that
                                  throwing more CPU at it won't give more calls decoded. Of course if
                                  it ran for longer, the number of decoders might increase enough to
                                  hit 100%. I think to test performance on faster CPU's you need a
                                  longer sample.

                                  Tor
                                  N4OGW
                                • bill_w4zv
                                  Thanks Pete and Tor! Yes Tor, I simply had not discovered how to increase the window size on the display. How do you feel about Skimmer s ability to decode
                                  Message 16 of 19 , Apr 26, 2008
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                                    Thanks Pete and Tor! Yes Tor, I simply had not discovered how to
                                    increase the window size on the display.

                                    How do you feel about Skimmer's ability to decode weaker signals in
                                    QSB and QRN? I'm somewhat unimpressed so far but it could be I'm not
                                    doing something right. Does the DSP filter width affect all decoders
                                    or just the one displayed with the green bar? Based on what I've seen
                                    so far, Skimmer would be great for identifying strong stations CQ-ing
                                    or in a pileup but it doesn't work very well for weaker signals, which
                                    would likely be the very ones you want to know about. But this could
                                    be due to my not setting Skimmer up correctly or due to my weak
                                    computer. BTW, I noticed 3GHz P4's on eBay go for <$150 so I may pick
                                    up one of these to solve the latter issue.

                                    73, Bill W4ZV


                                    --- In dxatlas_group@yahoogroups.com, Pete Smith <n4zr@...> wrote:
                                    >
                                    > At 05:19 PM 4/23/2008, bill_w4zv wrote:
                                    > >I then tried the CQWW file below and got the following results, with
                                    > >CPU utilization hitting 100% at times in all cases:
                                    > >
                                    >
                                    >http://cid-e39b59612b664f63.skydrive.live.com/self.aspx/Public/CQWWCW_2005_1_of_42.wav
                                    > >
                                    > >33 calls, 7009.0>7020.10, everything running on computer.
                                    > >33 calls, same QRG range, Internet connection and browser off.
                                    > >40 calls, 7007.0>7021.9, AVG anti-virus off.
                                    > >58 calls, 7002.0>7024.6, Skimmer display minimized.
                                    > >
                                    > >I could probably do a little better by shutting down more background
                                    > >processes but I'm curious what someone with a 2-3 GHz CPU gets when
                                    > >running the same CQWW file above?
                                    >
                                    >
                                    > Your wish is my command, sir ;^)
                                    >
                                    > With a 2.2 GHz Celeron, 768 MB DDR RAM (a VERY basic Dell 2400, four
                                    years
                                    > old, With XP home SP2) I got the following results off the same file.
                                    >
                                    > Note that when playing back recordings the sound card is not involved;
                                    > Skimmer is processing the I/Q file directly, so settings like playback
                                    > sampling rate have no effect:
                                    >
                                    > Decoders Other variables Calls Decoded CPU
                                    peak
                                    > utilization
                                    >
                                    > Adaptive Not minimized 156 96%
                                    > 250 "" 131 75%
                                    > 300 "" 152 81%
                                    > 350 "" 154 86%
                                    > 400 "" 153 100%
                                    > Adaptive Telnet server off 154 100%
                                    > Adaptive Skimmer minimized 154 ?
                                    >
                                    > Interesting, no? I would have to other programs minimized or in the
                                    > background do not affect decoding performance; one of the critical
                                    > questions I hope to answer in coming months is whether the reverse
                                    is true,
                                    > since we're talking about using Skimmer to feed spots to a contest
                                    logging
                                    > program, which has to be able to respond quickly, send CW, etc. My
                                    > personal tests with N1MM logger, using a Winkey for CW, have been very
                                    > encouraging; I suspect that MM simply takes precedence when it needs
                                    to,
                                    > and that the Winkey avoids any issues with making good CW.
                                    >
                                    > 73, Pete N4ZR
                                    >
                                  • rt_tclay
                                    ... not ... decoders ... seen I don t know for sure, but I think the program just uses the green bar setting for the audio output filter width. I can copy
                                    Message 17 of 19 , Apr 26, 2008
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                                      --- In dxatlas_group@yahoogroups.com, "bill_w4zv" <w0zv@...> wrote:
                                      >
                                      > Thanks Pete and Tor! Yes Tor, I simply had not discovered how to
                                      > increase the window size on the display.
                                      >
                                      > How do you feel about Skimmer's ability to decode weaker signals in
                                      > QSB and QRN? I'm somewhat unimpressed so far but it could be I'm
                                      not
                                      > doing something right. Does the DSP filter width affect all
                                      decoders
                                      > or just the one displayed with the green bar? Based on what I've
                                      seen

                                      I don't know for sure, but I think the program just uses the green
                                      bar setting for the audio output filter width.

                                      I can copy better than Skimmer on weak signals. If you watch it
                                      trying to copy a weak signal, it usually gets a few letters correct
                                      each time, but has a hard time putting together the full correct
                                      callsign. That's where the brain obviously has an advantage, when you
                                      are copying you can say definitely if you copied a particular letter
                                      and mark that mentally as "good copy".

                                      If on your computer Skimmer is reaching 100% cpu, then yes, it is
                                      having to reduce the number of decoders. I don't know the algorithm
                                      used to do that, but yes, it might do that based signal strength. Try
                                      reducing the bandwidth. My old 1GHz Athlon can't keep up with 96 KHz,
                                      but is ok at 48 KHz if the band isn't too busy.

                                      Tor
                                      N4OGW
                                    • Pete Smith
                                      ... Hi Bill - I think you may need to do some experimenting to maximize Skimmer s weak-signal performance. I may have mentioned this already, but a great deal
                                      Message 18 of 19 , Apr 26, 2008
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                                        At 09:20 AM 4/26/2008, bill_w4zv wrote:
                                        >How do you feel about Skimmer's ability to decode weaker signals in
                                        >QSB and QRN? I'm somewhat unimpressed so far but it could be I'm not
                                        >doing something right. Does the DSP filter width affect all decoders
                                        >or just the one displayed with the green bar? Based on what I've seen
                                        >so far, Skimmer would be great for identifying strong stations CQ-ing
                                        >or in a pileup but it doesn't work very well for weaker signals, which
                                        >would likely be the very ones you want to know about. But this could
                                        >be due to my not setting Skimmer up correctly or due to my weak
                                        >computer.

                                        Hi Bill - I think you may need to do some experimenting to maximize
                                        Skimmer's weak-signal performance. I may have mentioned this already, but
                                        a great deal depends on the dynamic range of the line input of your
                                        soundcard. Whichever card you use, you need to make sure that the input
                                        gain is set just short of clipping, in order to get the closest possible
                                        approximation of the sensitivity of the receiver alone. and of course, you
                                        are comparing it with one of the best receivers ever made - no fair hi.

                                        73, Pete N4ZR
                                      • Pete Smith
                                        ... One of the most effective tricks is to uncheck the Adaptive decoder box, and set a specified maximum number of decoders. Hitting 100% isn t so
                                        Message 19 of 19 , Apr 26, 2008
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                                          At 02:01 PM 4/26/2008, rt_tclay wrote:
                                          >If on your computer Skimmer is reaching 100% cpu, then yes, it is
                                          >having to reduce the number of decoders. I don't know the algorithm
                                          >used to do that, but yes, it might do that based signal strength. Try
                                          >reducing the bandwidth. My old 1GHz Athlon can't keep up with 96 KHz,
                                          >but is ok at 48 KHz if the band isn't too busy.


                                          One of the most effective tricks is to uncheck the "Adaptive" decoder box,
                                          and set a specified maximum number of decoders. Hitting 100% isn't so
                                          important, in my view, as eliminating most of the junk you get from
                                          Skimmer's trying to decode on RTTY signals. If you set a maximum number of
                                          decoders, Alex says that Skimmer accommodates that by narrowing the band of
                                          frequencies that it attempts to decode, centered around the center
                                          frequency of the waterfall display. Experimentally, I discovered that 150
                                          decoders seemed pretty much to eliminate anything above about 14060 on a
                                          normally busy weekend band, when I set the waterfall on 14030. Today,
                                          running 300 decoders, I'm getting a lot of "AA4EE" type "callsigns" in the
                                          14070 and above range. During a major contest, you might have to set it to
                                          a higher number to get the same approximate frequency coverage.

                                          73, Pete N4ZR
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