CW Skimmer with SDR-Console and FTDX 3000 #sdrplay


Dave4361 <AA0DH@...>
 

I have looked through many of the CW Skimmer and SDR-Console posts and have not found one that matches my situation although some have come close.
I am convinced it is operator error, but for the life of me I cannot figure it out.

I have a Yaesu FTDX 3000 and am using the RF output of the radio to feed an SDRPlay SDR1.  The Yaesu also has its USB port connected to my computer for CAT control on USB com 3.
I am using Omni-Rig set to com 3 with appropriate settings or my Yaesu so I can use Log4OM.
SDR-Console V3 is configured to use Omni-Rig as the interface for my external radio (the Yaesu).
All this works great. I have no issues with control or the display of SDR-Console.

When I decided to try CW-Skimmer, I enabled CW-Skimmer in SDR-Console. I set the Serial port to com 3 and the output device to a virtual audio cable input.  The bandwidth is set to 48 KHz.
CW-Skimmer is set to SoftRock-IF and 48 KHz.  CW pitch is set to my preference and the Audio IF, Hz is set to 0.
The CW-Skimmer audio tab is set to MME for the Soundcard Driver, and the Serial I/O is set to the virtual audio cable output..
CW-Skimmer CAT control is set to the same Omni-Rig as is SDR-Console and LOG4OM.

The problem I am seeing is that the audio to CW-Skimmer is always set to the bottom of the band, no matter which band I choose or what I do with the radio frequency.
I can change the frequency using SDR-Console, CW-Skimmer or my Yaesu and all applications move in frequency as expected.  However, the audio spectrum sent to CW-Skimmer is locked on the lower end of the band and will not move with my changes in frequency.  I suspect this is not normal.  I would expect the audio bandwidth to track my frequency, or am I making some operational error here?
Also, when I do click on a decode button on CW-Skimmer (the little yellow circle next to the frequency bar), it is supposed to bring me to that signal, but it actually takes me to the frequency that is next to the decode button as it should, but since the audio is not tracking the frequency, I am unable to get CW-Skimmer to go to the appropriate frequency for decoding the CW text.

The only setting of CW-Skimmer that works correctly is when I use the 3-KHz Radio mode which is very limiting and does not need to services of SDR-Console to make that work.

So, from what I have provided is there some obvious configuration errors have I made?


Garden Troll <jefferylegere@...>
 

The person selling cw skimmer has done nothing meaningful to embrace the modern field of sdr's. A modern SDR can do a 60mhz wide swath and skimmer is still limited to 3khz.

------ Original Message ------
From: "Dave4361" <AA0DH@...>
Sent: 2/24/2018 8:55:31 PM
Subject: [SDR-Radio] CW Skimmer with SDR-Console and FTDX 3000 #sdrplay

I have looked through many of the CW Skimmer and SDR-Console posts and have not found one that matches my situation although some have come close.
I am convinced it is operator error, but for the life of me I cannot figure it out.

I have a Yaesu FTDX 3000 and am using the RF output of the radio to feed an SDRPlay SDR1.  The Yaesu also has its USB port connected to my computer for CAT control on USB com 3.
I am using Omni-Rig set to com 3 with appropriate settings or my Yaesu so I can use Log4OM.
SDR-Console V3 is configured to use Omni-Rig as the interface for my external radio (the Yaesu).
All this works great. I have no issues with control or the display of SDR-Console.

When I decided to try CW-Skimmer, I enabled CW-Skimmer in SDR-Console. I set the Serial port to com 3 and the output device to a virtual audio cable input.  The bandwidth is set to 48 KHz.
CW-Skimmer is set to SoftRock-IF and 48 KHz.  CW pitch is set to my preference and the Audio IF, Hz is set to 0.
The CW-Skimmer audio tab is set to MME for the Soundcard Driver, and the Serial I/O is set to the virtual audio cable output..
CW-Skimmer CAT control is set to the same Omni-Rig as is SDR-Console and LOG4OM.

The problem I am seeing is that the audio to CW-Skimmer is always set to the bottom of the band, no matter which band I choose or what I do with the radio frequency.
I can change the frequency using SDR-Console, CW-Skimmer or my Yaesu and all applications move in frequency as expected.  However, the audio spectrum sent to CW-Skimmer is locked on the lower end of the band and will not move with my changes in frequency.  I suspect this is not normal.  I would expect the audio bandwidth to track my frequency, or am I making some operational error here?
Also, when I do click on a decode button on CW-Skimmer (the little yellow circle next to the frequency bar), it is supposed to bring me to that signal, but it actually takes me to the frequency that is next to the decode button as it should, but since the audio is not tracking the frequency, I am unable to get CW-Skimmer to go to the appropriate frequency for decoding the CW text.

The only setting of CW-Skimmer that works correctly is when I use the 3-KHz Radio mode which is very limiting and does not need to services of SDR-Console to make that work.

So, from what I have provided is there some obvious configuration errors have I made?


Alan G4ZFQ
 

The person selling cw skimmer has done nothing meaningful to embrace the modern field of sdr's. A modern SDR can do a 60mhz wide swath and skimmer is still limited to 3khz.
Not true, feed it with an IQ stream and it covers up to 192KHz.

73 Alan G4ZFQ


Dave4361 <AA0DH@...>
 

After spending another lost day trying to make heads or tails out of how to make CW Skimmer work with SDR-Console, I need to give up.  I see no way these two applications are compatible.  I don't know which application is causing my issues, but I don't see how I can resolve this without the developers providing some input on exactly what parameters need to be set on both applications so that the audio fed to CW-Skimmer follows the selected radio frequency and the frequency scaling issue with CW-Skimmer operates correctly.

I still have 25 days left before trial CW-Skimmer will expire and will from time to time try again.

If anyone has managed to get SDR-Console and CW-Skimmer to work correctly, I would really like to know the application settings required.  Maybe someone on this forum can shed some light on how they have made their setup work.

73, Dave AA0DH


Calder Latham
 

Well let me try to help. All advise is free and subject to being incorrect. I wonder if you fell into the same hole I did a while ago. Simon makes the output available and it gets sent to a VAC channel (Output device on the CW Skimmer Options page) and then on to CW skimmer. It turns out that output is not really audio but a virtual audio input to CW skimmer. Don't use this port for anything else. Nothing else!

Maybe that will help...Cal, W1HHO.
All the Best.
From the woods of Maine.
On 2/25/2018 18:42, Dave4361 wrote:

After spending another lost day trying to make heads or tails out of how to make CW Skimmer work with SDR-Console, I need to give up.  I see no way these two applications are compatible.  I don't know which application is causing my issues, but I don't see how I can resolve this without the developers providing some input on exactly what parameters need to be set on both applications so that the audio fed to CW-Skimmer follows the selected radio frequency and the frequency scaling issue with CW-Skimmer operates correctly.

I still have 25 days left before trial CW-Skimmer will expire and will from time to time try again.

If anyone has managed to get SDR-Console and CW-Skimmer to work correctly, I would really like to know the application settings required.  Maybe someone on this forum can shed some light on how they have made their setup work.

73, Dave AA0DH


Dave4361 <AA0DH@...>
 

Thanks Cal.  The virtual port between SDR-Console and CW-Skimmer is only used by CW-Skimmer, so that does not appear to be the problem. 

I noticed that changing the bandwidth between 1 MHZ and 2 MHZ has some impact.  I tried the other values of bandwidth as well, but that made no difference.  The setting of 2.048 Meg appears to be the optimum value.

Changing the span of the displayed frequencies using the slider at the bottom of the console also made some differences, but could not correct the issues I am seeing.  It seemed to be very inconsistent as to what effect it had.

I also noticed that any changes I made to SDR-Console had little if any effect on CW-Skimmer until I shut down SDR-Console and restarted it.

I assume that SDR-Console is accurately changing the VAC output as I change the radio frequency.  However, for some reason CW-Skimmer is not recognizing this.  CW-Skimmer does correctly see the frequency change, but the waterfall on CW-Skimmer does not line up with the frequency of the radio and in many cases the waterfall does not change it appearance regardless.  Another observation is that the CW-Skimmer frequency scale covers approximately 21 KHz (not 48 KHz), but the waterfall appears to cover only 3 KHz.  Clearly this will not work if it spots a contact and I am unable to click the decode indicator to select the associated frequency.

I may try to delete the virtual audio connector and re-establish it to see if it is corrupted.

I appreciate your willingness to help and don't expect you to resolve my issues.

I tried contacting Alex who wrote CW-Skimmer but he only suggested I look at some links from other people that used the Softrock-IF solution, but did not offer any further assistance.

Maybe I need to try HDSDR or Win4Yaesu Suite and see if they work correctly with CW-Skimmer, but I prefer the look, feel and operation of SDR-Console.  I am looking for a PanAdapter not a full blown radio control package.

Thanks for your assistance.

73, Dave - AA0DH


Calder Latham
 

I will reply once again with the same caveat...I may be wrong...Not sure what release of VAC you might be using...I tried the latest VAC ( 4.5.xxx I think and had issues) and went back one release and all started working well again. Might not be your issue. My Last gasp!!!

Cal...W1HHO
All the Best.
From the woods of Maine.
On 2/25/2018 20:42, Dave4361 wrote:

Thanks Cal.  The virtual port between SDR-Console and CW-Skimmer is only used by CW-Skimmer, so that does not appear to be the problem. 

I noticed that changing the bandwidth between 1 MHZ and 2 MHZ has some impact.  I tried the other values of bandwidth as well, but that made no difference.  The setting of 2.048 Meg appears to be the optimum value.

Changing the span of the displayed frequencies using the slider at the bottom of the console also made some differences, but could not correct the issues I am seeing.  It seemed to be very inconsistent as to what effect it had.

I also noticed that any changes I made to SDR-Console had little if any effect on CW-Skimmer until I shut down SDR-Console and restarted it.

I assume that SDR-Console is accurately changing the VAC output as I change the radio frequency.  However, for some reason CW-Skimmer is not recognizing this.  CW-Skimmer does correctly see the frequency change, but the waterfall on CW-Skimmer does not line up with the frequency of the radio and in many cases the waterfall does not change it appearance regardless.  Another observation is that the CW-Skimmer frequency scale covers approximately 21 KHz (not 48 KHz), but the waterfall appears to cover only 3 KHz.  Clearly this will not work if it spots a contact and I am unable to click the decode indicator to select the associated frequency.

I may try to delete the virtual audio connector and re-establish it to see if it is corrupted.

I appreciate your willingness to help and don't expect you to resolve my issues.

I tried contacting Alex who wrote CW-Skimmer but he only suggested I look at some links from other people that used the Softrock-IF solution, but did not offer any further assistance.

Maybe I need to try HDSDR or Win4Yaesu Suite and see if they work correctly with CW-Skimmer, but I prefer the look, feel and operation of SDR-Console.  I am looking for a PanAdapter not a full blown radio control package.

Thanks for your assistance.

73, Dave - AA0DH



Tony_AD0VC
 

If you haven't already, take a look at:


http://www.sdr-radio.com/Software/3rd-Party/CWSkimmer


Tony

AD0VC






From: main@SDR-Radio.groups.io <main@SDR-Radio.groups.io> on behalf of Dave4361 <AA0DH@...>
Sent: Sunday, February 25, 2018 4:42 PM
To: main@SDR-Radio.groups.io
Subject: Re: [SDR-Radio] CW Skimmer with SDR-Console and FTDX 3000 #sdrplay
 
After spending another lost day trying to make heads or tails out of how to make CW Skimmer work with SDR-Console, I need to give up.  I see no way these two applications are compatible.  I don't know which application is causing my issues, but I don't see how I can resolve this without the developers providing some input on exactly what parameters need to be set on both applications so that the audio fed to CW-Skimmer follows the selected radio frequency and the frequency scaling issue with CW-Skimmer operates correctly.

I still have 25 days left before trial CW-Skimmer will expire and will from time to time try again.

If anyone has managed to get SDR-Console and CW-Skimmer to work correctly, I would really like to know the application settings required.  Maybe someone on this forum can shed some light on how they have made their setup work.

73, Dave AA0DH


K3RH
 

I could not get SDRC and CWS working until I muted ALL receivers. Sounds counter intuitive but CWS wants ONLY the IQ from the waterfall, NOT any receiver!!!!! Be sure nothing else is going into your VAC.

CWS frequency span is NOT dependent on receiver frequency, ONLY on the slider at the bottom.


Dave4361 <AA0DH@...>
 

Thanks to all for your input.  From your suggestions, whether they worked or not, I now have it working - sort of. I think I understand the behavior now and have one more question.

I have found that the audio feed from SDRC is centered around the left hand setting of the slider at the bottom on the main screen; 11 KHz above and 11 KHz below the left hand setting. While SDRC says it is 48 KHz wide, CW-Skimmer only sees about 22 KHz even if it is set to 48 KHz.

The frequency scale of CW-Skimmer is accurate with the signals being received as long as it is tuned to the exact same frequency as the left hand limit of the SDRC band.  So if SDRC is set to start at 14.020 MHz, CW-Skimmer must also be set to 14.020 MHz.  CW-Skimmer will see signals 11 KHz above 14.020 MHz and 11 KHz below 14.020 MHz.

Now comes the problem.  If I click on a signal in CW-Skimmer that is 14.021 MHz the tune point on CW-Skimmer, my radio and SDRC correctly tune to that frequency.  But, CW-Skimmer also adjusts its frequency scale as well, so that the desired signal now appears at 14.022 MHz .  If I tune to a signal at 14.023, CW-Skimmer will adjust the frequency scale so the signal now appears at 14.026.  The adjustment is always equal to the distance between the base frequency and the signal frequency.  The radio and SDRC are tuned correctly but because the signal appears higher than before the decode arrow is still  below the signal and no decoding can be done.

I can correct this by using the SDRC frequency tool under the home tab and adjust the SDRC frequency to the frequency my radio is tuned to and CW-Skimmer will adjust it scale and tune to that spot and begin decoding the signal.  This is a nuisance to manually adjust the SDRC frequency setting every time I select a different station from CW-Skimmer.

Is there any way for SDRC to automatically adjust the slider frequency so that CW-Skimmer will see that change and correctly adjust its frequency scale?  I see in the SDRC frequency panel that there is a check box for automatic update, but I have no idea what that does and cannot find any information on it.  It has no impact on my issue whether it is checked or not.

Anyone have suggestions?
Thanks to all who are attempting to help.
73, Dave - AA0DH


Ken Finke
 

I have Windows 10, 64 bit with an SDR Play V1, using HRD for CAT control. Using SDRC Beta 2, 64 bit and trying to use CW Skimmer.
First, let me say that when using HDSDR, CW Skimmer works perfectly with this setup.  
When using SDRC, the audio fed to CW Skimmer does not properly align with the frequency being displayed.  The audio sent to CW Skimmer aligns with the low frequency in SDRC receiver 1.  I have not tried multiple receivers to see how it is affects the audio. 
The frequency scale in CW Skimmer is correct.
For instance, with the bottom of the SDRC window frequency set at 7004 KHz, a signal at 7008 KHz displays as 7011.3 in CW Skimmer.
Tuning the radio to 7007 KHz, changes the displayed frequency in CW Skimmer to 7010.3
And tuning the radio to 7006 KHz changes the displayed frequency in CW Skimmer to 7009.3
The actual signal is of course always at 7008 KHz.

The program operation has been the same since V3 was introduced.  I assume it is a bug and will be fixed in due time.
73, Ken KN8F


Simon Brown
 

Ken,

 

A screenshot would help a lot. Please look at http://www.sdr-radio.com/Software/3rd-Party/CWSkimmer and understand the text in Tuning: “The 'baseband' data from the console starts at the low end of the displayed data.”. I don’t know how HRD fits into the logic, it may mess things up, I honestly can’t remember.

 

So, please show me a couple of screenshots so I can see what you’re describing – this would save me a lot of time.

 

As time allows I’ll revisit the Skimmer support…

 

Simon Brown, G4ELI
www.sdr-radio.com

 

 

From: main@SDR-Radio.groups.io <main@SDR-Radio.groups.io> On Behalf Of Ken Finke
Sent: 05 April 2018 20:43
To: main@SDR-Radio.groups.io
Subject: Re: [SDR-Radio] CW Skimmer with SDR-Console and FTDX 3000

 

I have Windows 10, 64 bit with an SDR Play V1, using HRD for CAT control. Using SDRC Beta 2, 64 bit and trying to use CW Skimmer.
First, let me say that when using HDSDR, CW Skimmer works perfectly with this setup.  
When using SDRC, the audio fed to CW Skimmer does not properly align with the frequency being displayed.  The audio sent to CW Skimmer aligns with the low frequency in SDRC receiver 1.  I have not tried multiple receivers to see how it is affects the audio. 
The frequency scale in CW Skimmer is correct.
For instance, with the bottom of the SDRC window frequency set at 7004 KHz, a signal at 7008 KHz displays as 7011.3 in CW Skimmer.
Tuning the radio to 7007 KHz, changes the displayed frequency in CW Skimmer to 7010.3
And tuning the radio to 7006 KHz changes the displayed frequency in CW Skimmer to 7009.3
The actual signal is of course always at 7008 KHz.

The program operation has been the same since V3 was introduced.  I assume it is a bug and will be fixed in due time.
73, Ken KN8F


Ken Finke
 

Simon, Thanks very much for answering.  I didn't expect it. 
I did several screen clips of SDRC next to CW Skimmer.  I tried to find a spot where it was easy to see the same signals in both programs.  I did not change the frequency of the FTdx3000 in these pics, always at 14015.380.
In the Pic 1, there are two CW sigs and a carrier.  The waterfall frequencies don't match.  One sig is at about 14012 in SDRC and at 14015.8 in CW Skimmer.
In Pic 2, I changed the bottom edge of the SDRC window down, its about 14007.5.  Still tuned to 14.015.380.  Now that signal at 14012 appears at 14019.25 in CW Skimmer.
In Pic 3, I changed the bottom edge of the SDRC window down, its about 14005.5.  Still tuned to 14015.380.  Now that same signal appears at 14021.2 in CW skimmer.
In Pic 4, I changed the radio to 14004.490 trying to find some more signals.  The bottom of the SDRC window is at about 14014.6. The CW signal at the left in SDRC is now displaying at 14004.1 in CW Skimmer.
It seems to me that the I/Q signal sent from SDRC to CW Skimmer should not be bound to the left edge of the SDRC window, but should be centered on the receiver tuning frequency.
Right now the receiver tuning frequency makes no difference to the information displayed in the Skimmer waterfall.

I hope this makes sense.
Thanks for you help.
73, Ken KN8F


Dave Walker <vk2na@...>
 

I know exactly what you are seeing and experience.  I have the same issue.  I can't find a solution.


Max
 

On Sat, Apr 7, 2018 at 01:28 AM, Ken Finke wrote:
Simon, Thanks very much for answering.  I didn't expect it. 
I did several screen clips of SDRC next to CW Skimmer. 
For some reason I can't see any of those screenshots here, but I use the web interface to read this group. I guess they got through to email users only? Seems to be a recurring theme on this group. Low storage at IO I think?

Just to report that I do have an old version of CW Skimmer (I think it's 2.1, so probaly ancient) but once set up (must admit it was a bit of a faff) it plays perfectly with my Hermes Lite 2 SDR. Whether I tune on CW Skimmer window or from inside SDRC the CW signal in bang in middle of both displays and a perfect decode both audio from SDRC and also on Skimmer. Looks like some sort of offset issue to do with using the external radio? Also to report (I'm sure this is mentioned in some other places) the maximum span in Skimmer is lower than the 192kHz you might think. From memory I think I only see about 16kHz. Could be wrong on the exact figure, but I know there seems to be an upper limit and above that the set width has no effect.

Sorry, I'm very short on time, but briefly scanning through the OP's description, I thought I see mention of Com3 being used to two different destinations (sorry if I misinterpreted this). Don't forget you need a dedicated Com pair for each application, one "to" and one "from" SDRC. 

So to summarise, it works very well with a dedicated SDR so the issue must be to do with a conflict or error of some sort in getting the External radio to sync. Is there a frequency offset that needs programming in somewhere?

Sorry not to be more helpful. I know setting up CW Skimmer is not trivial and I don't have time to look in detail just at the moment, and the more-so because I don't see any of the screenshots.

Max