SliceMaster is one of those tools that can make all these things very plug and play.
This needs to be watched on a big screen for the best use of the information available.
This video’s full transcript has been provided below for your convenience.
Hi, it’s Mike VA3MW. One of the great powers of a Flex radio is to be able to see what’s really going on on the band. Today is no exception. It’s July, 6 meters is open. I’m in Toronto, I have a three-element beam and it’s pointed towards Europe.
If we look here at SmartSDR, you’ll see right here we have a fair bit of band opening stuff at 50313. We’ve got all this stuff at 5323, which is a DX window. We’ve got all this stuff. Even at halfway in between, and I haven’t looked at it yet, we have FT4 stuff. So, that’s pretty cool, too. The real issue, though, is, how do I really get two copies of WSJT going? Or, two copies of JTTX, which is what I use, or two copies of anything going when you’ve got a radio that’s got this power, and this, no pun intended, flexibility.
So, you can see I have on slice A here, the… and you’re going to need a big screen if you want to watch to do this and really get it nice. So, try not to watch this on a phone or a tablet, it’s really not going to work for you. We look here, we have JTTX A, it’s slice A. This is my 5313 stuff that’s coming through. We have… oh, I can draw. So, let’s un-draw that. Go down to the bottom here, we have another case of 5323. Double-click on that, and we’ll zoom in and we’ll see stuff coming in from all over the place. Now, as usual, at least for me, the east coast guys are working more of it than I am, but that happens and that’s cool. We have two slices open. So, let’s spend a bit of time setting this up.
First off, with the Flex radio and the multiple slices, we have two VFO’s open on the same pan adapter, and the… you can do this in any radio, because we’re using the same antenna. We’re using a Flex. You can do this on a 6300 and 6400, 6500, 6600. You’ll notice that we’re on antenna two and antenna two, and antenna two. So, this is great, we’re sharing a common six-meter antenna. In DAX here, let’s see, I’ll have to get out of this view for a moment, so bear with me. In DAX, we have this DAX, audio channel. Let’s pull that over a bit. To channel one, and this DAX audio channel to channel two. Why is that? Let me zoom back in. We have that so that the audio goes from this VFO frequency to this channel, and from this VFO frequency to that channel.
Generally, you do A to one and slice B to two, but it doesn’t really matter. They can be different, but if you just keep it that way, it’s easy to understand. If we look here at DAX itself, you’ll see that we have audio on slice A, channel one, and slice B, channel two. Keep that in mind moving forward. So, how did I get both of these going at the same time? You’ve probably read the directions and it’s a pain in the butt to do, if you could figure it out, but you have to do funky keyboard shortcut. Not keyboard shortcuts, but parameter switches. Well, we did it with using Slice Master, and here, these tabs are… here’s slice A, and let me just pull down a bit. Just going to get it in my editor. I said I’m using JTDX. We’ll zoom in here and you’ll see that we have slice A on this tab, which is A, and that slice A means the same slice here at the top.
It’s pressed in, so that’s how that got started pretty much automatically. If we go to slice B here, it’s the same thing, almost. This is the thing you want to check, that it went to slice B. Again, slice B down here. That’s how we got both channels running. So, great. So, now, I can see… I’m going to shrink this, because we don’t need it anymore. A couple of cool things that… we’ll shrink this down and just clean things up, and I don’t need all that. Did you know you can click here on the A and B and hide the flag information? Just to clean up your display? So, there, there’s my operational screen. Now, we’ll see that we’re seeing the spots show up here in slice B and where they’re coming from or whatever. Why aren’t they in the same place on A, which is in mode to active, while I’m using that one? It’s actually a different setup, so I don’ want to confuse you, but I’m actually sending that data to Grid Tracker, but that’s for a whole other discussion.
The beauty of this is, if I double-click, and say I want to work somebody in on the top slice, I just have to double-click on them and go into transmit. Just to show you how that works, not to totally interfere with anything, if I hit tune here, you’ll see that I have RF power out. There’s my level, you want to keep that down, so that works. If I just go over here and hit tune here, the same thing happens, I get RFO’d on the top end, and we’ll just turn that off really quick. So, it makes it incredibly automatic. Now, here’s the cool thing; We’ve got this FT4 stuff going here, so because I have a 6600, we can bring up a third slice. So, let’s add a third receiver. Again, you’ll really need this on a wide-screen to watch. So, there’s a third receiver.
What is the F… I don’t know the FT4 frequency, but we’ll just slide it up here. Type the thing. It’s probably about, is it 317? Anyway, and then how do I get the third slice going? Well, I’m going to bring up SliceMaster again. I’m going to go to slice C, so now C is highlighted here. Going to scroll down to J… I’m going to use JTDX, and it’s already set to slice C. I’m going to hit start, like that, and it will spin it up on its own, hopefully. Oh, you know why it didn’t work? Because we didn’t assign it a channel. Third channel. Check DAX, turn it on, way over here. We’ll wait for it to start, so again, we’ll take… just to clean up the window, we’ll get rid of this. I’m going to change my mode to FT4, and I’m going to get rid of the wide graph, because I really don’t need it.
Let’s see if we… we’ve got audio here. Let’s see if we decode anybody. Of course, look at that, signals disappeared. There’s nobody on FT4 at this point in time, but that’s how you would do a third slice. A lot of information I provided in a hurry. We are now running three slices. If we wanted to, we could just move this guy. We’ll wait to see what we copy on that FT4 frequency. If the band is good enough, you can work those guys in a bigger hurry as well. So, that’s our fun today on using WSJT-X or JTDX monitoring multiple frequencies at the same time, and seeing what we copy and make sure we’re all set here. We’re in DigiU. DAX is set channel three and we’ve got audio down there. So, that is all good to go. Of course, no channel showed up, or no kesos showed up for that moment.
73, everybody. Just a teaser to get you thinking on what you can do with your radio on a big six-meter opening. Take care.