Case in point is the upcoming CQ WW DX RTTY contest. This is the big RTTY contest of the season and the first of the half a dozen or so super contests that see tons of activity.
It took me about 20 minutes to figure out how to configure the FlexRadio 1500 SDR software to use a virtual audio cable (VAC) to tie into the Writelog logging program which drives the embedded MMTTY RTTY engine.
It’s about a complicated as it sounds but once you figure out how to get it running it soon becomes apparent that the FlexRadios are top-notch when it comes to running competitive RTTY.
MMTTY has long been the defacto standard for running RTTY. It’s way better than old fashion external (and sometimes expensive) coder/decoder boxes and has none of the cabling issues (too many cables, too many plugs, too many failures) since it has no real cables relying on a VAC (which is another story altogether).
But I’ve been hearing the a new software interface called 2Tone is terrific.
However, installing new software into the system I’ve got running is problematic on two fronts. First my Writelog/MMTTY setup is very good and it’s running. Second, changing anything prior to a contest weekend of this magnitude goes against Peter’s First Principle of Contesting and that is thou shall not change anything prior to a contest weekend.
Prior to the implementation of Peter’s First Principle of Contesting it wasn’t unusual to see me still trying to fix or return back to where I was on Friday afternoon whatever I had changed prior to the contest.
I was going to install 2Tone inside of Writelog and it would like work just fine but there’s the First Principle so I started to think about how could I introduce a second reader into the system without essentially changing the setup.
There’s really nothing for IPad (I’m a MAC guy but I do have an I7 PC for the ham radio station) so I was thinking maybe next time. But then I remember I have a beat up, ancient Toshiba Satellite laptop that’s got Writelog and N1MM already installed.
I went to the website for N1MM and yes it will run 2Tone and so after a short download and configuration I now have the main system running as expected but I’ve patched an audio out feed to the laptop and 2Tone is simultaneously decoding the RTTY on the bands.
This is very very cool and I’m quite pleased with myself 🙂 Now if the propagation gods will just cooperate I’ll be big on the CQ WW DX RTTY this weekend.