Posts Tagged ‘DM780’

Ham Radio Deluxe 6.4.0.794 Released

I just received some good news from Mike, WA9PIE.  He writes in an email:

The first release of Ham Radio Deluxe for 2018 (Ham Radio Deluxe version 6.4.0.794) is now available for download. Please download it from the Download pages on our website at:

www.Ham-Radio-Deluxe.com

This release includes a number of important changes including the addition of the Icom IC-7610, resolves a Logbook exit problem, resolves “sort on LOTW date”, API for QSO Forwarding now populates Logbook with My Station data, a number of fixes for the Kenwood TS-480, applications remember screen position, enable CI-V address to be entered directly, and a number of stability enhancements.

The full release notes can be found here:

http://ReleaseNotes.Ham-Radio-Deluxe.com

I would like to acknowledge and thank Mike Blaszczak (K7ZCZ) and our beta team on their hard work in getting this release out.

All those who have purchased Ham Radio Deluxe at any time in the past should download and install this version in order to benefit from all bug fixes. You are entitled to them. Our clients who are covered by an active Software Maintenance and Support period are entitled to Feature Enhancements.

As announced previously, we expect to release as many as 9 releases in 2018. There will be no releases between 1-Nov and 1-Jan. We continue to focus on reducing our development backlog with five developers dedicated to all applications in the suite.

Please watch these newsletters for updates. Pass these updates along to your friends. Newsletters will also be posted on our website’s blog at:

https://www.Ham-Radio-Deluxe.com/blog

Thank you es 73 de Mike, WA9PIE

HRD Software, LLC

K3 Weirdness in AFSK-A Mode (SOLVED!)

During the BARTG test I had some weird moments after I QSY’d from 20m to 40m — DM780 would key the K3’s PTT (via HRD IP Server) but there would be no audio into the Line In port, and thus no RF output. Sometimes rebooting the K3 would work, other times quitting and re-launching DM780 did the trick. I’m not 100% certain of the cause but I’m leaning towards software rather than hardware.
Then I noticed low RF output at certain audio frequencies, and this only in AFSK-A reverse (USB) mode; no trouble in normal (LSB) AFSK-A mode, nor in DATA-A normal and reverse. The output power would be OK when the center frequency was set low on the waterfall (+/- 400 Hz, for example) but would drop off at higher Fc setings. And the cutoff point seemed to vary — sometimes I could get full 100W RF out at around 1500 Hz Fc (I typically use 1530 Hz as Fc for RTTY), other times the output would drop above 900 Hz and be effectively zero at 1300 Hz and above. After some messing around with soundcard and line input levels I seemed to have gotten it somewhat sorted out, but as I did all that in the middle of a contest while in semi-panic mode I didn’t take too many notes.
I did some basic tests today by transmitting RTTY diddles at 100W into the MFJ-267 dummy load/wattmeter while in AFSK-A REV mode; mic gain is adjusted for 3 flickering bars of ALC as per the advice of Elecraft. I got full 100W reading on the meter at 2200 Hz Fc, but it steadily decreased as I inched upwards — at 2300 Hz Fc the output was down around 60W, and by 2400 Hz the wattmeter needle barely moved. But when I switched from REV (USB) to NOR (LSB) I get full output right up to the top edge of the waterfall (2900 Hz Fc) — pretty much what I experienced yesterday during the RTTY test.
I then shut the whole system off for a while and repeated these tests an hour or so later to see if things changed from a “cold” state: starting out my output at 2200 Hz was down around 10 to 15W. The output then slowly rises as PA temperature (as measured by the K3’s built-in PA TEMP meter) reaching full 100W at 43 deg C. But after cooling off (PA: 35 deg C, front panel: 32 deg C) power output remains at full 100W! This is driving me absolutely bat-shit crazy.
I’m not really concerned that I won’t be able to transmit RTTY at high center frequencies as my operating style is to find and click on a signal in the waterfall, center it at 1530 Hz, then switch to a narrow filter setting; I’m more troubled by how the cutoff frequency changes, sometimes below 1530 Hz, and apparently is a function of temperature. It doesn’t appear to be a PA problem — the same power drops occur when bypassing the PA unit and running at 10W, and I’m getting full power in all other modes — so I’m going to guess it’s an issue with the DSP board and its handling of audio at the Line In port. More tests to follow, and when I have a better set of test results I’ll contact the boys in Aptos.
Update 26-Jan-2010: I believe it has been solved — the only things I didn’t check until today were the filter parameters in the CONFIG menu. Sure enough, I had FL3 set to 2.4 kHz even though the filter is actually a 2.1 kHz filter. Unsure how or why this caused the problem, but since setting it to the correct setting I am now able to get full output power at the mark frequencies indicated by the K3’s MARK-SH setting (2125, 1445, 1275 or 915 Hz). Not sure how the FL3 parameter got changed; perhaps inadvertently while running K3-EZ, or perhaps it was set improperly during my assembly and setup back in January ’08. In any case, all’s well that ends well. My apologies to Wayne, Eric, Lyle, Don, Greg, etc. for bothering them with what turned out to be user error. I will now sit in the corner wearing my “Dumb Ass” hat as penance.

Waiting for Baudot

I just submitted my meager log from last weekend’s WAE RTTY test — just 45 QSOs and a whopping claimed score of 1,530. I only operated for a few morning hours (between 1125-1345 on Saturday and 1245-1700 on Sunday) in order to give DM780 a try at good ol’ fashioned 170/45 Baudot, a mode I haven’t worked since days of yore with the trusty old KAM and a terminal program. High time to give the new technologies a try, said I.

Some random thoughts and observations about RTTY operation with the K3 and DM780 follow…
The DM780 + HRD Logbook combination did fairly well, considering HB9DRV himself says “HRD/DM780 is not contest software.” As such, there is no easy provision for sending or receiving QTC info for extra multipliers, and it wasn’t clear at first how to get DM780 to increment serial numbers in the exchange field (put them in [brackets], I finally discovered). Using a fresh database file for the log (as I do for every contest) lets me use the logbook’s Awards Tracking and Worked Status functions to keep an eye on what stations and countries I’ve worked on each band, but I have to be careful to individually set the other databases (previous contest logs, plus my master logbook) to not figure into the worked status lookups (this is one in the Logbook Databases control panel).
Another limitation from a contesting perspective is HRD Logbook’s inability to output Cabrillo files for log submission after the test, a feature that was available in HRD v4. So I have to use another app (SP7DQR’S nice ADIF2CABR freeware app) to convert an ADIF export file into Cabrillo format, and that only after doing a search-and-replace on the ADIF file to change the tag to that the conversion app is looking for. No biggie, I mud-wrestle data for a living, so this is just another day at the office…
That said… I’m familiar and comfortable with DM780 and HRD Logbook so it all worked just fine for me.
I worked the first day with the K3 in DATA A mode before remembering that AFSK A mode allows DUAL PB filtering to peak the mark and space tones. The DM780 waterfall screenshots below illustrate the difference far better than words:
K3 set to DATA A mode. BW = 400 Hz, Fc = 1530 Hz

K3 set to AFSK A mode. BW = 400 Hz, Fc = 1530 Hz, DUAL PB enabled
Note that the overall bandwidth in AFSK A mode is quite a bit narrower, even though in both cases the K3 was set to 400 Hz, and the distinct notch between mark and space tones is indicative of how effective this filtering mode works. Back in the pre-DSP days with the TS-930S and JST-135/245 transceivers and NRD-525/535 receivers, I used to use a Datong FL-3 audio filter which had a RTTY mode that accomplished the same thing, albeit at the AF stage.
DATA A and AFSK A each have their advantages. In DATA A (or AFSK A with DUAL PB turned off), I can open the bandwidth up and see a good portion of the band (I generally set DM780 to display 3 kHz on the waterfall and set the K3 bandwidth to match) and all the signals on the air, then select the desired signals with a point-and-click like I do in PSK31 mode. If QRM is a problem, I can crank down the bandwidth and shift the passband center frequency to pass only the station I’m working; once the QSO is complete, a quick tap-twist of the K3’s shift control recalls my wide settings and I’m back on the hunt. I rarely touch the VFO dial, all tuning is done with the mouse.
In AFSK A mode with DUAL PB enabled, however, the K3’s center frequency is fixed at 1530 Hz so all tuning must be done with the VFO. Also, the bandwidth is limited to 500 Hz max (which as shown in the image above is a bit less in practice, more like 250 Hz or so) making VFO tuning very touchy and slow (the 1 Hz fine steps must be used) and renders the waterfall useless for spotting other signals. But the filtering advantage is huge, especially in a contest scenario.
For me, it’s a no brainer — in the latter stages of the WAE contest I found myself using DUAL PB almost exclusively, occasionally switching it off and opening up the bandwidth if the band was quiet or if I’ve already worked the majority of the stations I tune across, since clicking on a waterfall makes it far easier to hunt and pounce.
DM780 facilitates the switch from narrow DUAL PB to wideband waterfall tuning easily: I first activate the center frequency marker (Tools>Program Options>Waterfall menu, or F8) and set it to match the K3 DUAL PB center frequency (1530 Hz). After finding a signal on the waterfall and clicking on it, I can then click the C button just above the waterfall to center it at 1530 Hz (HRD offsets the K3 VFO frequency to do this), and then activate the DUAL PB (press/hold the #6 key on the K3 keypad). The bandwidth is narrowed to 500 Hz, and the mark and space tones are perfectly positioned for decoding. To switch back to wideband, press/hold DUAL PB, and tap XFIL a couple of times to select the 2.7 kHz filter or use one of the filter presets to select my standard wide data setting of 3 kHz. This can perhaps be simplified to a one-button process using the new macro feature Elecraft just added to the latest firmware version; I need to check into that…
Note to K3 users: when working RTTY in AFSK A mode, either the radio or DM780 needs to be set to reverse, as AFSK A demodulates the lower sideband while DM780 looks for the upper. DATA A, however, works in the upper sideband.

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