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Author Topic: CW on the Flex-6000  (Read 8711 times)
W6UV
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Posts: 538




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« Reply #15 on: March 29, 2014, 07:30:45 PM »

It would be helpful if we banned the archaic term "zero-beat."  Has anyone here done that with a rig in the past 40 years?

Yep, I agree. What I really mean is tuning the receiver so that the sidetone matches the tone of the other station.

Way back when I actually did zero-beat the other station by setting the rig to "TUNE" and tuning until the other station was truly zero beat. Haven't done that in decades, though, but the term stuck.
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K0OD
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Posts: 2558




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« Reply #16 on: March 29, 2014, 08:59:13 PM »

I read several of the many internet "zero beat" threads last night. New hams (and some old ones) are thrown because they're looking for an audible null in the hetrodyne.

With modern radios, if you have your CW offset at say 600 Hz, you tune until your target's note is about 600 Hz. I usually tune CW with a bandwidth of 250 Hz. With a bit practice anyone should be within 100 Hz of the mark. I don't see how a Flex is different than other radios in that regard. Heck, if you're tone deaf you can tune with the 100 Hz filter (one of TEN CW filters Flex has available).

The big challenge is with simple QRP kits. Not only are they broad but their tuning mechanisms are primitive. I DX contest sometimes with an OHR-100A and have the "zero-beating" perfected using an optional 10X silky smooth tuning pot and an outboard 100 Hz Timewave audio filter.

Monitoring my QRP signal with my Flex's panadaptor, I'm usually within 100 Hz of stations I call which is adequate for scoring well in QRP categories.     
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KI6LZ
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« Reply #17 on: March 29, 2014, 09:08:42 PM »

On the musical scale concert A = 440 Hz, the next full note is 494 Hz, that 54 Hz difference. And that is huge to the ear, but within a 250 Hz bandpass it's within it.
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VK5DO
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« Reply #18 on: March 31, 2014, 01:48:38 AM »

I zero beat every CW contact.
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KI6LZ
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« Reply #19 on: March 31, 2014, 10:06:20 AM »

More a preference than necessity.
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W6UV
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Posts: 538




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« Reply #20 on: March 31, 2014, 10:30:21 AM »

No one has answered my original question: does Flex-6000/SmartSDR have a way to turn on the spotting tone in CW mode, or an automated autotune like the "0 Beat" feature in PowerSDR?
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K0OD
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« Reply #21 on: March 31, 2014, 10:48:40 AM »

Quote
I zero beat every CW contact.

There's that archaic term again. I can come within 1/3 Hz of centering on a CW signal if I work at it with a scope for a few minutes.  With more equipment and effort I could "zero beat" within 0.05 Hz. I'd have to take Dopper and other effects into account. By then my target would surely have drifted or QRT'd! Note too that a high speed CW signal can be 150 Hz wide.

If we all did that, we'd never get around to making any Qs! Any decent CW op should be able to move on frequency BY EAR within one second and be plenty good enough. Competent contesters do it all the time.

« Last Edit: March 31, 2014, 10:53:28 AM by K0OD » Logged
KI6LZ
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« Reply #22 on: March 31, 2014, 10:59:46 AM »

Yeah not many own them, wait maybe.
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AB7R
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Posts: 131




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« Reply #23 on: April 01, 2014, 03:06:39 PM »

No one has answered my original question: does Flex-6000/SmartSDR have a way to turn on the spotting tone in CW mode, or an automated autotune like the "0 Beat" feature in PowerSDR?

Not yet but I understand it will eventually.  When contesting or dxing I rarely match the other stations pitch.  I usually tune up or down just a bit.  When there are lots of stations calling with many who do match his pitch it is much easier for the OP to pick out something that sounds a bit different.  It certainly does for me.

One of the CW QSK issues for me with the 6700 is the level of the noise between elements.  If you are on a higher band with the Preamp on (you will need it on for weak sigs) that preamp is a killer to QSK.  With the preamp off or threshold turnd down some during QSK it is much better.  I have asked to be able to have the preamp set to some lower level during TX with a user definable delay to avoid this.  Don't know if it will happen or not.

73
Greg
AB7R
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W6UV
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Posts: 538




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« Reply #24 on: April 01, 2014, 03:39:23 PM »

One of the CW QSK issues for me with the 6700 is the level of the noise between elements. 

Has the lag on CW that was an issue on the Flex-5000 been eliminated? That was my major issue with the 5000 that I owned.
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N9RO
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« Reply #25 on: April 01, 2014, 05:32:15 PM »

I have a 6500 and the CW I believe is improved over the 5000 I had.  However, I have no hard metric to prove this.  I am not that much of a CW operator but I do operate QSK usually running 28wpm during contest only.

Since I did not see SmartSDR offering a keying line interface for other apps to toggle via a VSP I had to dig out an old hardware interface and plug it into the Key jack on the Radio and dig out a USB/Serial converter that would work with Windows 8.1 so Logic9 could interrogate it, hodgepodge I had not had to do in years.  However, this may have been by design?  Overall very pleased with the Radio and SmartSDR, PSDR radios have now become the past for me and are now being regulated to mainly WSAP operating and some experimenting.

That is my opinion today.
73,
Tim N9RO
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Real techies don't use knobs.
AB7R
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Posts: 131




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« Reply #26 on: April 02, 2014, 09:43:36 AM »

The CW is MUCH better than on the 5K.  I do not notice any latency by ear.  The 6000 does not have the noisy relays used in the 5K.

While the keying features are still being worked on with the 6000 I have used a WinkeyUSB remotely from my laptop in the house on my LAN.  The Winkey is at the radio and connected to a Silex ethernet>USB server.  So it can be controlled by any computer on my LAN.

The problem with that is there is no sidetone with this setup.  I use the Winkey software for keying remotely so I can "see" what is being sent and the responses indicate the sent CW is fine....as in I can have a QSO.  But weird not having the sidetone.  You could use another Winkey and their remote software and that way you would have the ability to use a key or computer keying at any station on the LAN and have sidetone as well.  It is usable this way until they come out with the remote functions and built in CWX feature.

73
Greg
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W6UV
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Posts: 538




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« Reply #27 on: April 02, 2014, 10:25:36 AM »

The CW is MUCH better than on the 5K.  I do not notice any latency by ear.  The 6000 does not have the noisy relays used in the 5K.

That's good news. With the new architecture, I was expecting that CW would be much better since the PC isn't involved anymore. When I tried to operate CW on the 5K with the internal keyer, the lag was enough to cause me to get out of sync and send nonsense over the air. An external keyer helped, but the overall experience was disappointing.

Flex's web site says they're going to be in Visalia this weekend for the DX Convention, so I'll get a chance to take a look at the 6x00 first hand.
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K9IUQ
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Posts: 1957




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« Reply #28 on: April 02, 2014, 02:32:30 PM »

Flex's web site says they're going to be in Visalia this weekend for the DX Convention, so I'll get a chance to take a look at the 6x00 first hand.

Jerry:
Say hello from me to Steve Hicks, Bulldog Tim and all my friends from Flexradio.  Wink

 Cheesy Cheesy Cheesy Cheesy

Stan K9IUQ
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W6UV
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Posts: 538




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« Reply #29 on: April 03, 2014, 11:38:51 AM »

Stan,

I'll give them your warmest regards.
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