Flex-6000 series is a great contest radio. However, when running contests from a remote location present SDR software cannot produce local CW sidetone unless you use the built in CWX keyer and NOT use a logger program to automate it all. Same with Flex Maestro who does produce local sidetone but you cannot integrate with a local PC contest program (easily). Flex will eventually come up with a solution soon but till then we need a solution. The solution is the Remote Rig concept. Easy and not expensive (you may find these at the local swap market).
You may use Remote Rig boxes to produce local CW sidetone very easily. Here screen shots from the confuguration pages of the RRC boxes. I use COM Port 3 (COM Port 1 may also be used with a USB cable). Just find the corresponding Windows COM port (in the device manager) and use that for CW keying in the logger program. That´s all to it. 🙂
So how can one improve in contesting. SO2R is one trick. It is all about tehniques. How do you train then? Why not in a simulator. I have tested all that around that suits Flexradio. Here is how it looks like in SO2R mode with band maps showing station activities. Very handy and effective I must say. In my opinion the best Flex simulator on market today. A more detailed evaluation soon to come.
Here the simulator is configured for radio 1 and at 3550 kHz and radio 2 at 3580 kHz. The “peaks” of the band maps are actual stations calling you. With the thumb wheel you can change frequency and chase new S&P stations. I even find the simulator when doing S&P on radio 2 that “SM0HRP” was calling me. As I understand it uses the Super Partial database for simulating callings stations and I am in there after a few contests.
Please be aware that you can use CSS with WL demo version with some minor limitations. Mainly to the number of contests to choose from.
Being a little fanatic about SO2R it is interesting to see what logger program will work well with Flex-6700. The fact that Wayne W5XD came out with a new Contest Simulator recently with lots of nice features it draught my attention. So how do you set up 6700 for Writelog (WL)?
I am using an external Wineyer at OCM12 and 9600 baudot. Here is a screen shot of the configuration.
OBS! Two use two slices on different you must actually set up four slices. A pair for each band. New drivers can be found on WL page.