Skimmer

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General notes for combining a Telnet DX Cluster and a few CW Skimmers.

Introduction

WinTelnetX provides a mechanism for combining spots from multiple sources. It's very flexible and not well documented. The general idea is to create individual connection sessions and then link them together with 'routes'. The routes determine how the data flows between sessions. For example, data can flow from the skimmer session to a local telnet server. Or - a 2 way session can be used to link the local telnet server with a remote cluster. Data can be transformed in the flow. For example, one session can function as a cluster user and another as a cluster node.

VE7CC is essentially a complex/gui filter for DX clusters. You connect to a cluster, choose a filter through a series of check boxes and then upload the filter to the cluster. VE7CC translates the filter check boxes into cluster commands. For example, you can reject all W/K spots since they aren't needed for ARRL DX contests. VE7CC provides a local telnet server, which allows any application to connect via IP to get the filtered spots. Note, two VE7CC sessions can be started and linked together, but the clusters used must provided the AR17 type spots. Thus - the need for WinTelnetX. The Skimmer software only provides spots in the old DX Cluster format.

N1MM connects to the local VE7CC telnet server and then sends the spots to the multi-op stations.

Software

Requirements:

  • WinTelnetX - K1TTT
  • VE7CC - Cluster filter
  • Skimmer - CW Skimmer
  • N1MM - Contest Logging Program

WinTelnetX ini file - Use this file to get started. It's the configuration file for wintelnetx, which links to both a cluster and skimmer. Edit the Cluster and Skimmer ports to match your needs. Change the hostname and mycall.

Setup

The setup goes as follows:

1) In WinTelnetX, create Network-Connect session for each telnet cluster source. (setup/Add New/Network-Connect) Use 'Cluster User'.

2) In WinTelnetX, create a session for the RX. (setup/Add New/RX Network Connect) Use Localhost, port 7305.

3) Set up the wintelnetx routing. (setup/routes). Use two way between RX and one telnet cluster. Use one-way route FROM Skimmers TO RX.

4) Connect the wintelnetx sessions.

5) Connect VE7CC to the RX wintelnetx session. (localhost port 7305)

6) Connect N1MM to VE7CC.

Check out the Notes section for more details.

Diagram

Here's a diagram of how the pieces fit together.

Wintelnetx.png

Notes

  • There should only be ONE 2-way route. When VE7CC connects to the RX window, data will flow between VE7CC and the telnet DX cluster.
  • When creating the Network-Connect session:
    • Don't add any connection scripts (prompt/response) for the DX cluster session.
    • Add prompt/response scripts for the skimmers (Usually, prompt is 'callsign:' and response is 'w7iy' or callsign)
  • When creating the RX Network Connect:
    • Add a prompt/response session -> no prompt (blank) and response = login: (VE7CC looks for the word 'login:' before it sends any data)
    • Pay attention to the port settings. Use an unused port. For example, don't use 23 or 7300. Use something like 7305.
  • The Reverse Beacon Network is at: telnet.reversebeacon.net:7000
    • Set up as a 'CT Cluster' user.
    • prompt: "login:" and the response is your callsign
    • Set the filter. reject/spot 0 not on contesthf/cw, accept/spot 1 by_state va,tn,pa,wv,md,dc
  • N1MM - connect to localhost:7300, which is the default port for VE7CC.
  • If VE7CC disconnects, the RX window will need to restart. (Note the connection status is shown on the wintelnetx session window as a C or D.) I find it easier to restart all the wintelnetx sessions, then Connect VE7CC.