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K3: Contesters using N1MM voice keyer versus K3DVK

DOUGLAS ZWIEBEL
Hi...

I am a fossil using CT on DOS.  I am now upgrading and am wondering
about using the N1MM "DVK" option versus or in conjunction with the
K3DVK (which I do not yet own).

I suggest that you reply off-reflector; that is, directly to me, but
clearly, "your choice."

1.  If you utilize the "DVK" in N1MM instead of the K3DVK, please
discuss that with me

2.  If you utilize N1MM to key the K3DVK please discuss that with me.

3.  Something else?

I'd like to know "why" in each case.

Thanks,
de Doug KR2Q

I dislike phone, but love contesting..maybe this will help.
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Re: K3: Contesters using N1MM voice keyer versus K3DVK

Buck - k4ia
The advantage of the N1MM voice keyer is that it will automatically send
the next message depending on where you are in the logging sequence.
You can also go so far as to record individual letters and it will
string them together to "say" callsigns and incremental QSO numbers.
Its a lot of work to do that trick but it can be done.

If you use the K3DVK, you have to take your hands off the keyboard to
punch a button on the front panel of the radio and your number of
available messages is much more limited.

And, the N1MM voice keyer is free.

Buck
k4ia
K3 # 101

On 9/3/2011 9:46 PM, DOUGLAS ZWIEBEL wrote:

> Hi...
>
> I am a fossil using CT on DOS.  I am now upgrading and am wondering
> about using the N1MM "DVK" option versus or in conjunction with the
> K3DVK (which I do not yet own).
>
> I suggest that you reply off-reflector; that is, directly to me, but
> clearly, "your choice."
>
> 1.  If you utilize the "DVK" in N1MM instead of the K3DVK, please
> discuss that with me
>
> 2.  If you utilize N1MM to key the K3DVK please discuss that with me.
>
> 3.  Something else?
>
> I'd like to know "why" in each case.
>
> Thanks,
> de Doug KR2Q
>
> I dislike phone, but love contesting..maybe this will help.
> ______________________________________________________________
> Elecraft mailing list
> Home: http://mailman.qth.net/mailman/listinfo/elecraft
> Help: http://mailman.qth.net/mmfaq.htm
> Post: mailto:[hidden email]
>
> This list hosted by: http://www.qsl.net
> Please help support this email list: http://www.qsl.net/donate.html
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Re: K3: Contesters using N1MM voice keyer versus K3DVK

Bill W4ZV
In reply to this post by DOUGLAS ZWIEBEL
I haven't yet tried this myself but may if 10m looks good for CQ WW SSB:

http://www.dseven.org/ar/n1mm-kdvr3

Thanks to N6ML for saving both of us a lot of work!

73,  Bill



DOUGLAS ZWIEBEL wrote
Hi...

I am a fossil using CT on DOS.  I am now upgrading and am wondering
about using the N1MM "DVK" option versus or in conjunction with the
K3DVK (which I do not yet own).

I suggest that you reply off-reflector; that is, directly to me, but
clearly, "your choice."

1.  If you utilize the "DVK" in N1MM instead of the K3DVK, please
discuss that with me

2.  If you utilize N1MM to key the K3DVK please discuss that with me.

3.  Something else?

I'd like to know "why" in each case.

Thanks,
de Doug KR2Q

I dislike phone, but love contesting..maybe this will help.
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Re: K3: Contesters using N1MM voice keyer versus K3DVK

Lu Romero - W4LT
In reply to this post by DOUGLAS ZWIEBEL
Hi Doug:

Welcome to the wild, wonderful world of logging software on Windows! As with
anything, there are good and bad things about it.  For me it has been mostly
good.

So to answer your questions:

My station is as follows:

K3-100/KRX3/P3.
Ameritron ALS600 modified for full QSK (AD5X relay board).
MFJ 998 Intellituner (when needed).
Dell GX280 P4/3gHz under Windows XP Pro SP3, N1MMLogger (latest version).
microHAM microKEYER 2 for CAT via USB; microHAM USB Codec for DVK.
microHAM "Router" software with virtual serial ports and configuration
control.
Yamaha CM500 Boom Headset (electret) (90% of the time, and growing).
OR Koss SB40 headset (Dynamic) (sometimes).
OR Heil ProSet headset with DX4. (Rarely anymore).

I do not currently own the K3DVK board.  I have found no real need for it in
my operational environment wether here or at multi's when I take my personal
radio.  

Positives with this setup are:

Unlimited storage, DVK storage is limited only by your available hard drive
space.
I can create custom DVK folders for each operator in a multi-op environment,
recalled by OPON.
I have read in the alphabet and numbers, so can do a phone contest without
uttering a word!
It comes with the software, its easy to implement, and its free.
Works mindnumbingly easily using the microKEYER's built in sound card.
No hum, no issues ever heard as the audio lines are essentially double
isolated in each device.
Requires no "macro-ized" commands to play the DVK.
I have 24 separate messages, instead of only 4, all can be easily
re-recorded on the fly.
Never ever get *any* RF into the audio chain, even at Multi's with legal
limit amps.

Negatives are few:

Not easy to record and play back off air recordings to people (but you dont
do this in a contest!).
Takes a little work to set levels between all the parts, once done, you dont
need to touch them again.
You need to have a computer and the microKEYER running and interfaced to use
DVK.
You need to buy the MK2, but it has other, added features, that add value to
the equation.

I record directly through the microKEYER into the computer, using the MK2's
sound card (the same sound card that will be used to *play back* the audio).
I have set the level from the microKEYER mic input to the computer sound
card via the hardware adjust in the MK and the sofware adjust in the MK
soundcard.  Once set, you dont mess with them again.  Then, I set the output
levels on the MK software and the radio input, once these are set, you dont
need to mess with them again.

I have found that I sound exactly the same with the "canned" recordings vs a
live microphone.  Rarely do I hear a difference... Well, honestly, I hear it
after, for instance, 20hrs worth of working Sweepstakes in my fresh DVK vs
my not so fresh live mic sound! :).  

I also have a microKEYER "original" on my second radio, a TS570.  For that
one, I use a $4 USB sound card on the end of a USB cable with two short 8
inch stereo cables to feed the audio into the MK. It works perfectly as
well, and can even reuse the MK2 recordings for SO2R. This is now the
standard sound card at NQ4I's station, where I multi-op. I will be
obsoleting this sound card when I install a u2R SO2R controller, then the
MK2 will feed audio to both radios as selected by the SO2R controller and
the N1MM software.

The key to making this work is recording through the MK2's sound card with
the *SAME* mic youre going to use on the air.  DONT be tempted to "mess"
with the recorded audio in a editing package, other than trimming the heads
and tails of the messages, as needed.  Dont add EQ, compression and what
have you via the audio editing software. Simply record clean, unprocessed,
flat mic audio into the computer, and let the RADIO PROCESSOR and EQ take
care of the rest.  This way, the mic audio will match the "canned" audio
exactly. It wont sound so great listening to it out of the computer, but
remember that you wont be playing it on your local speakers, you will be
playing it through the K3's processor and EQ to air.  

This setup has worked flawlessly for me for over 2 years, and I am very
pleased.

I have toyed with the idea of purchasing the K3DVK, solely for the purpose
of recording folks off air and playing their audio back.  Its much easier to
do it this way.  However, this also colors the recording with your radio's
EQ and processor settings.  And not getting it means I can spend that money
on other stuff that I need... :)  Nothig against the K3DVK, but I cant
justify having it here for just that reason alone.  

I do this in a "offline" way now... I have a Zoom H2 audio recorder that I
can record line out with.  I simply record the QSO on the Zoom H2, then
email it to the requesting party as a MP3 file.  This way, I think, is more
realistic, as they get to hear themselves as I received them here, without
atmospherics and without coloring their audio with my EQ and Processor
settings.

This works very well for me, but of course, your milage may vary.

Regards and 73

Lu Romero - W4LT
K3 # 3192/P3 # 1301


============================

Message: 21
Date: Sat, 3 Sep 2011 21:46:03 -0400
From: DOUGLAS ZWIEBEL <[hidden email]>
Subject: [Elecraft] K3: Contesters using N1MM voice keyer versus K3DVK
To: Elecraft Reflector <[hidden email]>

Message-ID:
<CA+u=Ds00Wee9G4JFdyCbcLCnm2Dz-0oDLLjoZyDizvWqn=[hidden email]>
Content-Type: text/plain; charset=ISO-8859-1

Hi...
I am a fossil using CT on DOS.? I am now upgrading and am wondering
about using the N1MM "DVK" option versus or in conjunction with the
K3DVK (which I do not yet own).
I suggest that you reply off-reflector; that is, directly to me, but
clearly, "your choice."

1.? If you utilize the "DVK" in N1MM instead of the K3DVK, please
discuss that with me

2.? If you utilize N1MM to key the K3DVK please discuss that with me.

3.? Something else?

I'd like to know "why" in each case.

Thanks,

de Doug KR2Q


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Re: K3: Contesters using N1MM voice keyer versus K3DVK

k6dgw
In reply to this post by Buck - k4ia
On 9/3/2011 6:55 PM, Buck k4ia wrote:
> The advantage of the N1MM voice keyer is that it will automatically send
> the next message depending on where you are in the logging sequence.
> You can also go so far as to record individual letters and it will
> string them together to "say" callsigns and incremental QSO numbers.
> Its a lot of work to do that trick but it can be done.

Yes, a LOT of work and it doesn't sound all that good.
>
> If you use the K3DVK, you have to take your hands off the keyboard to
> punch a button on the front panel of the radio and your number of
> available messages is much more limited.

Well ... not really so.  The K3DVR has a number of advantages, the
largest by far is that when you play your messages recorded with your
microphone, they sound *exactly* like you're live, down to whatever
background noise you have in your shack.  Level, compression, and TX EQ
are identical to your mic audio.  A large number of recorded CQ's and
exchanges in SSB contests are more or less unintelligible.  Usually way
over driven, way too much compression, and restricted audio spectrum.
Such is not the case with the K3DVR.

You don't have to take your hands off the keyboard if you are using N1MM
or any logger that allows you to send CAT commands to the radio.  Check
out Iain's tutorial at [www.dseven.org/ar/n1mm-kdvr3].  Basically, you
just program a K3 command that emulates tapping one of the "M" buttons.

A very minor problem, which goes away once you realize it, is that the
logger doesn't know when the voice message is finished.  It just sends
the command and thinks it is done.  In most SSB contests, I've found the
only useful message is my CQ.  The one exception is ARRL Sweepstakes,
where I record the "Uniform Kilo Six Delta Golf Whisky five three Sierra
Victor."  I step on the footswitch, say "hiscall NUMBER xxxx," hit the
F-key which sends the exchange and VOX keys the radio.  I can release
the footswitch whenever.

73,

Fred K6DGW
- Northern California Contest Club
- CU in the 2011 Cal QSO Party 1-2 Oct 2011
- www.cqp.org
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Re: K3: Contesters using N1MM voice keyer versus K3DVK

Jim Brown-10
In reply to this post by Buck - k4ia
On 9/3/2011 6:55 PM, Buck k4ia wrote:
> If you use the K3DVK, you have to take your hands off the keyboard to
> punch a button on the front panel of the radio and your number of
> available messages is much more limited.

No, you can program N1MM to send macros that will activate the K3DVK.
That's the good news. The bad news is that if you accidentally tap your
mic or hit it with breathe noise it will halt the playback from the
K3DVK.  This is a train wreck if you, like most of us, want to slurp
coffee or munch on something while the DVK is calling CQ.  Last I heard,
Elecraft considers this a "feature" rather than a bug. For me, it's a
great reason to NOT buy the K3DVK.

> And, the N1MM voice keyer is free.

Yes.  One potential issue is that you may run into some erratic playback
with a slow hard drive or slow computer.

73, Jim K9YC
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Re: K3: Contesters using N1MM voice keyer versus K3DVK

Jim Brown-10
In reply to this post by Lu Romero - W4LT
On 9/4/2011 10:39 AM, Luis V. Romero wrote:
> You need to have a computer and the microKEYER running and interfaced to use
> DVK.
> You need to buy the MK2, but it has other, added features, that add value to
> the equation.

An MK2 box or equivalent is NOT required for high quality playback free
of hum and buzz. My tutorial on Ham Interfacing shows how simple bonding
and properly wired cables do everything needed.

73, Jim Brown K9YC
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Re: K3: Contesters using N1MM voice keyer versus K3DVK

Iain MacDonnell - N6ML-2
In reply to this post by Jim Brown-10
On Sun, Sep 4, 2011 at 6:00 PM, Jim Brown <[hidden email]> wrote:

> On 9/3/2011 6:55 PM, Buck k4ia wrote:
>> If you use the K3DVK, you have to take your hands off the keyboard to
>> punch a button on the front panel of the radio and your number of
>> available messages is much more limited.
>
> No, you can program N1MM to send macros that will activate the K3DVK.
> That's the good news. The bad news is that if you accidentally tap your
> mic or hit it with breathe noise it will halt the playback from the
> K3DVK.  This is a train wreck if you, like most of us, want to slurp
> coffee or munch on something while the DVK is calling CQ.  Last I heard,
> Elecraft considers this a "feature" rather than a bug. For me, it's a
> great reason to NOT buy the K3DVK.

.... and it's only an issue if you use VOX, which not everyone does...

    ~iain / N6ML
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Re: K3: Contesters using N1MM voice keyer versus K3DVK

Andy Faber
In reply to this post by k6dgw
Fred,
  I agree regarding the K3 messages, which I enjoy using, mainly because you
can easily rerecord them and they sound the same as speaking into the radio
normally.  In my software, CQPWIN, I can actuate them from the function
buttons.  This works well because I have the software calibrate the length
of each message, so it can do repeats properly, and also insert a variable
delay, which I found necessary to notch out the small dead time I usually
seem to put into the message due to button pushing when they are recorded.
With those two additions, using the K3s messages is completely transparent.
  73, andy ae6y

--------------------------------------------------
From: "Fred Jensen" <[hidden email]>
Sent: Sunday, September 04, 2011 10:54 AM
To: <[hidden email]>
Subject: Re: [Elecraft] K3: Contesters using N1MM voice keyer versus K3DVK

> On 9/3/2011 6:55 PM, Buck k4ia wrote:
>> The advantage of the N1MM voice keyer is that it will automatically send
>> the next message depending on where you are in the logging sequence.
>> You can also go so far as to record individual letters and it will
>> string them together to "say" callsigns and incremental QSO numbers.
>> Its a lot of work to do that trick but it can be done.
>
> Yes, a LOT of work and it doesn't sound all that good.
>>
>> If you use the K3DVK, you have to take your hands off the keyboard to
>> punch a button on the front panel of the radio and your number of
>> available messages is much more limited.
>
> Well ... not really so.  The K3DVR has a number of advantages, the
> largest by far is that when you play your messages recorded with your
> microphone, they sound *exactly* like you're live, down to whatever
> background noise you have in your shack.  Level, compression, and TX EQ
> are identical to your mic audio.  A large number of recorded CQ's and
> exchanges in SSB contests are more or less unintelligible.  Usually way
> over driven, way too much compression, and restricted audio spectrum.
> Such is not the case with the K3DVR.
>
> You don't have to take your hands off the keyboard if you are using N1MM
> or any logger that allows you to send CAT commands to the radio.  Check
> out Iain's tutorial at [www.dseven.org/ar/n1mm-kdvr3].  Basically, you
> just program a K3 command that emulates tapping one of the "M" buttons.
>
> A very minor problem, which goes away once you realize it, is that the
> logger doesn't know when the voice message is finished.  It just sends
> the command and thinks it is done.  In most SSB contests, I've found the
> only useful message is my CQ.  The one exception is ARRL Sweepstakes,
> where I record the "Uniform Kilo Six Delta Golf Whisky five three Sierra
> Victor."  I step on the footswitch, say "hiscall NUMBER xxxx," hit the
> F-key which sends the exchange and VOX keys the radio.  I can release
> the footswitch whenever.
>
> 73,
>
> Fred K6DGW
> - Northern California Contest Club
> - CU in the 2011 Cal QSO Party 1-2 Oct 2011
> - www.cqp.org
> ______________________________________________________________
> Elecraft mailing list
> Home: http://mailman.qth.net/mailman/listinfo/elecraft
> Help: http://mailman.qth.net/mmfaq.htm
> Post: mailto:[hidden email]
>
> This list hosted by: http://www.qsl.net
> Please help support this email list: http://www.qsl.net/donate.html 

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Re: K3: Contesters using N1MM voice keyer versus K3DVK

Torsten Clay
In reply to this post by k6dgw
k6dgw wrote
Well ... not really so.  The K3DVR has a number of advantages, the
largest by far is that when you play your messages recorded with your
microphone, they sound *exactly* like you're live, down to whatever
background noise you have in your shack.  Level, compression, and TX EQ
are identical to your mic audio.  A large number of recorded CQ's and
exchanges in SSB contests are more or less unintelligible.  Usually way
over driven, way too much compression, and restricted audio spectrum.
Such is not the case with the K3DVR.
The same can be true when using N1MM and a soundcard: set it up so that the mic
runs into the COMPUTER audio input. Because the audio is running in the same path
(through the computer) for both recorded messages and live mic use it sounds
EXACTLY the same for both.

I don't operate SSB contests that much but I just use N1MM and a soundcard because it
is cheaper than buying the K3DVR. I use a simple (1 transistor) homebrew mic preamp
between the microphone (Heil dynamic headset) and the computer audio in. Audio
out from the computer goes straight to the back of the K3.

Tor
N4OGW
 
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Re: K3: Contesters using N1MM voice keyer versus K3DVK

Jim Brown-10
On 9/4/2011 5:36 PM, Torsten Clay wrote:
> I use a simple (1 transistor) homebrew mic preamp
> between the microphone (Heil dynamic headset) and the computer audio in.
> Audio out from the computer goes straight to the back of the K3.

I can't think of a reason why that should be required unless the laptop
doesn't have a preamp on the mic input.

As you have noted, it's possible to use the computer sound card with
N1MM (and with some other logging software) to route a mic plugged into
the sound card to two radios.  I've done that, and it works.  However, a
much better solution is a hardware SO2R box, like the one put together
by a team at the Yankee Clipper Contest Club in New England.  It's a
kit, and they have done at least three group purchases of the parts to
build them. I got in on the second group, and am VERY pleased with it.  
Dennis, W1UE, is the guy to talk to. As I recall, I paid about $200 and
built it in something like 4-6 hours.

73, Jim K9YC
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