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Author Topic: Audio for contesting and DX, Questions...  (Read 1568 times)
KC2ZPK
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Posts: 107


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« on: October 29, 2012, 11:50:23 AM »

Ok, I switched to a Heil Proset with the HC-4 element earlier in the spring, and it makes it easier to log and call using the foot switch, but that is not my question. I use a Kenwood TS-940 and a SB-200, have about 500+/-W and I usually set the compression to about 10dB, and set the processor out till it just barely keeps the ALC needle moving. I was almost ignored, so I, against my better judgment cranked up the compression to about 15dB and processor out so that the ALC never returned to zero, better, then I cranked it up so that it would never go below 1/3 scale and would peak around the 20dB compression mark. THEN I was answered at a better rate.  I DO NOT LIKE this, it probably sounded like crap. My question is... How can I monitor the audio real time so I do not sound like I have 'all knobs right' and still punch through? Listening with the monitor function on the radio does not really help. Is there a better setup? I am sure there is, so what is it? Do I have to go to full outboard pro audio processing, or is there something a little smaller and less drastic?

Thanks!
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John
KC2ZPK.com - A work in progress
NK7Z
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Posts: 847


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« Reply #1 on: October 29, 2012, 11:52:51 AM »

Ok, I switched to a Heil Proset with the HC-4 element earlier in the spring, and it makes it easier to log and call using the foot switch, but that is not my question. I use a Kenwood TS-940 and a SB-200, have about 500+/-W and I usually set the compression to about 10dB, and set the processor out till it just barely keeps the ALC needle moving. I was almost ignored, so I, against my better judgment cranked up the compression to about 15dB and processor out so that the ALC never returned to zero, better, then I cranked it up so that it would never go below 1/3 scale and would peak around the 20dB compression mark. THEN I was answered at a better rate.  I DO NOT LIKE this, it probably sounded like crap. My question is... How can I monitor the audio real time so I do not sound like I have 'all knobs right' and still punch through? Listening with the monitor function on the radio does not really help. Is there a better setup? I am sure there is, so what is it? Do I have to go to full outboard pro audio processing, or is there something a little smaller and less drastic?

Thanks!

Hi,
First off THANK YOU for caring!  I have another ham, maybe 4 or 5 miles away listen to my signal...  Have him/her kick in enough attenuation to bring your signal to around S5 on their radio.  If it is splattering, they should hear it.
73's,
Dave
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Thanks,
Dave
For reviews and setups see: http://www.nk7z.net
W5DQ
Member

Posts: 1209


WWW

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« Reply #2 on: October 29, 2012, 04:49:54 PM »

Ok, I switched to a Heil Proset with the HC-4 element earlier in the spring, and it makes it easier to log and call using the foot switch, but that is not my question. I use a Kenwood TS-940 and a SB-200, have about 500+/-W and I usually set the compression to about 10dB, and set the processor out till it just barely keeps the ALC needle moving. I was almost ignored, so I, against my better judgment cranked up the compression to about 15dB and processor out so that the ALC never returned to zero, better, then I cranked it up so that it would never go below 1/3 scale and would peak around the 20dB compression mark. THEN I was answered at a better rate.  I DO NOT LIKE this, it probably sounded like crap. My question is... How can I monitor the audio real time so I do not sound like I have 'all knobs right' and still punch through? Listening with the monitor function on the radio does not really help. Is there a better setup? I am sure there is, so what is it? Do I have to go to full outboard pro audio processing, or is there something a little smaller and less drastic?

Thanks!


I have a TS940S (it's sick right now and on the bench for service) but I use a W2IHY EQ-Plus with a Heil GM-5 mic on it. Since I do all my audio processing externally in the EQ-Plus, I have the TS940S compression turned OFF but I typically drive my TS940S to have voice peaks cause the ALC to jump up to just below the peak ALC meter reading (roughly mid scale of the meter movement). I also monitor my output RF signal on the SM-220 Station Monitor scope and the headphone using the MONITOR function on the TS940S. I have no distortion (either audio or visually on the scope) and the audio reports I get say it is very solid, smooth and nice sounding. Locals that I have tested with tell me it is very natural sounding. I drive this into a Ameritron AL-811 and have roughly 500W out also.

I think from your description, you were just under driving your audio at first and as your drove it more, your signal came up to where people started t hear you. In the past, I followed the TS940S manual and setup my audio drive levels per it using the compression and had no problems. I think if you follow the manual, you should have none either. I went to the EQ-Plus more to get rid of background sounds from blowers and the evaporative cooler blower output just behind my operating position. Usually 10dB compression should be enough.

You can turn up the monitor audio level to get more sound into the headphones to help hear problems. The adjustment for this is on the bottom of the radio in a hole (yes, a really dumb place to put it!!) and you'll need a small screwdriver to adjust it properly.

73

Gene W5DQ
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Gene W5DQ
Ridgecrest, CA - DM15dp
www.radioroom.org
KC2ZPK
Member

Posts: 107


WWW

Ignore
« Reply #3 on: October 30, 2012, 11:49:53 AM »

Ok, I switched to a Heil Proset with the HC-4 element earlier in the spring, and it makes it easier to log and call using the foot switch, but that is not my question. I use a Kenwood TS-940 and a SB-200, have about 500+/-W and I usually set the compression to about 10dB, and set the processor out till it just barely keeps the ALC needle moving. I was almost ignored, so I, against my better judgment cranked up the compression to about 15dB and processor out so that the ALC never returned to zero, better, then I cranked it up so that it would never go below 1/3 scale and would peak around the 20dB compression mark. THEN I was answered at a better rate.  I DO NOT LIKE this, it probably sounded like crap. My question is... How can I monitor the audio real time so I do not sound like I have 'all knobs right' and still punch through? Listening with the monitor function on the radio does not really help. Is there a better setup? I am sure there is, so what is it? Do I have to go to full outboard pro audio processing, or is there something a little smaller and less drastic?

Thanks!


I have a TS940S (it's sick right now and on the bench for service) but I use a W2IHY EQ-Plus with a Heil GM-5 mic on it. Since I do all my audio processing externally in the EQ-Plus, I have the TS940S compression turned OFF but I typically drive my TS940S to have voice peaks cause the ALC to jump up to just below the peak ALC meter reading (roughly mid scale of the meter movement). I also monitor my output RF signal on the SM-220 Station Monitor scope and the headphone using the MONITOR function on the TS940S. I have no distortion (either audio or visually on the scope) and the audio reports I get say it is very solid, smooth and nice sounding. Locals that I have tested with tell me it is very natural sounding. I drive this into a Ameritron AL-811 and have roughly 500W out also.

I think from your description, you were just under driving your audio at first and as your drove it more, your signal came up to where people started t hear you. In the past, I followed the TS940S manual and setup my audio drive levels per it using the compression and had no problems. I think if you follow the manual, you should have none either. I went to the EQ-Plus more to get rid of background sounds from blowers and the evaporative cooler blower output just behind my operating position. Usually 10dB compression should be enough.

You can turn up the monitor audio level to get more sound into the headphones to help hear problems. The adjustment for this is on the bottom of the radio in a hole (yes, a really dumb place to put it!!) and you'll need a small screwdriver to adjust it properly.

73

Gene W5DQ

Thanks!

I am having trouble using my SM-220 for anything but the pan adapter. I got it used, and it had some hacks installed, which I removed, but audio monitoring is not going well for me with it. How are you hooking up the SM-220 for audio monitoring? I tried to use the two-tone function to check and set the audio levels, but I do not see any real waveform untill I crank the mic input to WAY passed where I think it should be. I am thinking the SM-220 is faulty or the cable I am using for the 2-tone is not the right type.

I was not aware of the monitor out adjustment, or I forgot about it. Would be nice if it was easily knob adjustable.
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John
KC2ZPK.com - A work in progress
W5DQ
Member

Posts: 1209


WWW

Ignore
« Reply #4 on: October 30, 2012, 01:58:59 PM »

Thanks!

I am having trouble using my SM-220 for anything but the pan adapter. I got it used, and it had some hacks installed, which I removed, but audio monitoring is not going well for me with it. How are you hooking up the SM-220 for audio monitoring? I tried to use the two-tone function to check and set the audio levels, but I do not see any real waveform untill I crank the mic input to WAY passed where I think it should be. I am thinking the SM-220 is faulty or the cable I am using for the 2-tone is not the right type.

I was not aware of the monitor out adjustment, or I forgot about it. Would be nice if it was easily knob adjustable.

Use my SM-220 with the RF out of the amp into the INPUT and OUTPUT to the tuner/antenna switching array. I don't monitor just the audio but rather the entire TX RF envelope to watch for clipping and flattening of valleys/peaks of the envelope. I monitor the audio itself with the MONITOR function turned ON so the TX audio is in the headphones. I gave up trying to get the panadapter to give me anything that resembled a useful trace. I only use the SM220 for TX monitoring now.

The two-tone is only useful as an audio source for alignment as far as I see. I simply monitor my actual voice audio and peak the MIC GAIN and outboard W2IHY's EQ-Plus for best TX audio.

Yes, having the tone volume adjustments for SIDETONE and MONITOR levels on a front mounted knob would have been a real luxury. As they are, they as basically useless if you have any need to adjust the levels during operation. Who in their right mind is going to pull the radio from the operating position and flip it up on its side to do a maintenance level adjustment to get the sound levels where they need to be if they need to be changed with the controls on the bottom of the chassis in recessed holes? The engineer who thought that one up should have been fired!!!

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Gene W5DQ
Ridgecrest, CA - DM15dp
www.radioroom.org
AD6KA
Member

Posts: 2238




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« Reply #5 on: October 30, 2012, 10:39:29 PM »

Quote
I use a Kenwood TS-940 and a SB-200, have about 500+/-W and I usually set the compression to about 10dB, and set the processor out till it just barely keeps the ALC needle moving. I was almost ignored, so I, against my better judgment cranked up the compression to about 15dB and processor out so that the ALC never returned to zero, better, then I cranked it up so that it would never go below 1/3 scale and would peak around the 20dB compression mark. THEN I was answered at a better rate.

I used a TS-940 and Heil headset with the HC-4
element for years. I never ever used the processor
and never had any problems being heard.

In fact I used that setup with an AL80A and won
Single Op High Power for my Section (LAX)
in the ARRL 10m Phone Contest two years in a row.
Antenna was and is only a roof mounted HF6V.
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