Monday, 29 September 2014

CQWW RTTY 2014 a N1MM+ logger test

This is what N1MM+ looks like on my screen
The CQWW RTTY contest was on last weekend. Unfortenately time was not on my side and only spend couple of hours behind the radio. I used N1MM+ logger for the first time and after all problems I encountered it looks very promising. I decided to stick with 40m and of course, like all digimode contacts this year, I was QRP 5W or less with the Yaesu FT-817ND connected to the all band alu tape vertical.


First thing I encountered was that N1MM+ would not update? Strange it did go well last week! Reading the latest news on the N1MM+ logger website revealed the software was not beta anymore and there was a new version on line. So I took the risk and downloaded - installed version 0.19 without removing the beta version first. Everything luckely went well. Next problem was the cat control with the FT-817, the connection was lost every couple of minutes. So digging in to that I found you better follow the recommendation setup of 4800bd (menu item 14 CAT RATE). Problem solved then, never had this issue in the classic version though.


I did give the tip in my previous post using "Auto TRX offset" when using AFSK but this didn't work at all. I've been thinking it over all weekend and Sunday evening I found the problem. You really should use AFSK RTTY on LSB. Turn menu item 26 into PSK31-L and don't forget to do the same in MMVARI. In MMTTY it's just a matter of reverse button off. Can't remember if had similair issues with the classic version. Unfortenately contest was almost over now but the spots were finally right on frequency. It improved my rate a little

Two other problems or "bugs". I saw others had it as well. Not every DX cluster could be contacted. PI4CC for instance could not be contacted. PI5EHV though was not a problem. I don't know why? But at least I had one connection. Another bug I bumped into was in MMTTY, most of the time TX was hanging. Very annoying to press "esc" every time after a transmission. So I used MMVARI most of the time as it didn't have that problem at all. Not shure if setup was wrong?

I tested ESM mode both with "enter" and with "left click" on the digital screen. If you got a reliable QRO station and good antennas this will work very well. In QRP S&P mode though it's most of the time worthless. Too many times you have to repeat your call or report and that means not only press enter or your left mouse button but clicking the right buttons.

How did my contest go? Well, actually not too bad. I made 80 QSOs with 40 DXCC. Best DX was with ZX2B from Brazil (8960km). I did work one station from the USA and one from Canada. Did hear Colombia and Japan with strong signals but they didn't hear me unfortenately. Actually for a QRP station with limited time I did not bad I think.


4 comments:

  1. Hoi Bas, hier ook een aantal problemen gehad met de nieuwe versie en ik gebruik hem nu al een aantal weken. Ik dacht dat mijn pc niet snel genoeg was. Met cq geven duurde het soms 1 of 2 seconden voordat de zender overging naar TX. Zeer vervelend is dat, ook een probleem dat mijn control van de pc naar mijn zender uitviel. Net als bij jou dus. Hier alleen op de 20m meegedaan en een 785 qso's gemaakt. Mooiste dx was voor mij FK8DD die me aanriep. Maar aanbod was slecht vond ik op 20m. Mis dan toch de hogere banden. Had iets van een 311.000 punten. Heb 23:55 meegedaan..

    Peter

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    1. Hallo Peter, nou lijkt mij wel een redelijke score. Hoorde dat cdx niet zo best was dit jaar. N1MM+ is misschien geen beta meer maar de kinderziektes zijn er nog niet uit. Vind voor de rest het prog er wel mooi uitzien. Hier en daar een stuk duidelijker. Wat betreft dat uitvallen van de CAT control is bij jou misschien ook een kwestie van baudrate naar beneden zetten. 73, Bas

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  2. Good evening Bas, very nice report on how the contest went and I had a smile on my face as I read. I have run into the very same situations during my contest adventures. One rule I had was to never update software just before or during a contest….BUT…. you were having trouble and the new release was not beta. I agree that ESM is not the way to go unless things are very reliable and your not QRP. I avoided using it in the past as things can get very confusing fast. For the time your were on you did a fine job with contacts! Congrats
    Mike

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    1. Hello Mike, indeed normally I would never update during a contest. However I had problems and N1MM+ asks if I like to update which I did before without any problems. Problems are still there but there is a update every day so I guess it will be solved within no time. 73, Bas

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Thanks for your comment. Bedankt voor je reactie. 73, Bas