2.6.18 WSJT-X Decode List Window

Introduced on January 2nd, 2019, the WSJT-X Decode List provides a bi-directional interface between WSJT-X's Band Activity Panel and N1MM+'s contest log.

1. Key Features

  • QSO initiation, auto-sequencing, and logging from within the WSJT-X program
  • Contact logging in both the WSJT-X ADIF log and the N1MM+ contest database
  • Callsign prioritization (normal, mult, double mult) based on contest contacts in the N1MM+ log
  • Dupe callsign warnings based on contest rules (bands, modes) and existing contacts in the N1MM+ log

 Experimental! Be prepared to revert to stand-alone FT8 WSJT-X contesting

As mentioned in the reflector messages, the WSJT-X Decode List and its interface between WSJT-X and N1MM+ is a rev 1.0.0 release and the ARRL RTTY Roundup 2019 its first real trial. There are undoubtedly issues with the interface that are undiscovered and subsequently untested. We advise against using the Decode List if you are attempting a serious contest effort or if you're planning even moderate contest tasks like SO2R, SO2V, dueling CQ, interleaved FT8 and RTTY operation, band-hopping Run/S&P.

2. Configuring the WSJT Decode List Window

2.1. Within N1MM+

To enable logging from WSJT-X to N1MM+, configure per the following settings on the Configurer's >Broadcast Data page:

WSJT DecodeList ConfigurerUDP
Note that for duplicate and multiplier information to be recorded and transferred correctly, the correct contest must be selected in N1MM+, and the program must be in Digital logging mode (e.g. by selecting a Digital button in the Band Panel or by typing PSK31 into the call sign box in the Entry window and pressing Enter). Note that the contest Mode category in the contest setup dialog window must contain DIGITAL. If the contest mode is RTTY, contacts in other modes (including FT8) will be assigned zero points. After changing RTTY to DIGITAL in the contest setup window to correct this, you will need to use the Tools > Rescore Current Contest menu item to rescore any FT8 QSOs that had not originally been assigned the correct score.

2.2. Within WSJT-X

Configure per the following settings on the >File >Settings page in the UDP Server and N1MM Logger + Broadcast panels:

WSJT DecodeList SettingsReporting2

You only need to check the Accept UDP Requests checkbox on the right-hand side under UDP Server (see screenshot), plus the one check box on the left under N1MM Logger+ Broadcasts. The default port numbers are fine. The “Accept UDP requests” check box (normally on port 2237) enables the passing of duplicate/multiplier information from N1MM+ to WSJT-X, while the “N1MM Logger{ Broadcasts” section (normally on port 2333) enables the passing of logged QSO information from WSJT-X to N1MM+. Both of them are needed for proper operation of the interface. If you encounter difficulties, it is possible that your anti-malware software, firewall, etc. may need to be configured to allow WSJT-X and N1MM+ to accept packets on one or the other of these ports.

2.3. Configuration for a Specific Contest

WSJT DecodeList SettingsAdvanced2

  • If used during a contest, click the checkbox adjacent to the contest that you intend to operate
    • For the ARRL RTTY Roundup - W/VE stations should insert their two character state/province abbreviation. DX stations should use the expression "DX", which will enable sequential serial number exchanges.
    • For the ARRL Field Day - Enter the exchange informatoin describing your station configuration (e.g. 1D EMA - see ARRL instructions).

3. Launching WSJT-X Decode List

Open the WSJT-X Decode List from the N1MM+ >Windows >WSJT Decode List menu choice:

WSJT DecodeList EWmenu

Opening this window will automatically initiate the UDP Server communications between WSJT-X and N1MM+ for the transfer of duplicate/worked/multiplier status from N1MM+ to WSJT-X. Once the window has been opened, do all of your operating from WSJT-X, and not from the N1MM Entry Window. In fact you can minimize (but do not close) the WSJT-X Decode List, and you can also minimize all of the N1MM+ windows temporarily if you want to to free up screen space.

 Log contacts in WSJT-X, not in N1MM+

If something (such as anti-malware software, or a configuration error in one or the other of the programs) prevents the transfer of logging information, you need to fix that. DO NOT try to bypass the automated logging by entering exchange data directly into the N1MM+ Entry window and pressing Enter to log it. Doing so will result in incorrect information being logged.

4. Using WSJT-X Decode List

WSJT DecodeList

With the WSJT-X Decode List enabled, a list of up to 30 recent callsigns will be displayed with row colors indicating each callsign's contest priority (grey for dupe or zero points, blue for workable but not a multiplier, red for new multipliers). Callsigns in the corresponding WSJT-X Band Activity panel will reflect those same contest color priorities as a background color. The only callsigns that are marked are callsigns of stations calling CQ. Callsigns of stations with QSOs in progress are not marked and do not appear in the WSJT Decode List.

To initiate a contact with a listed station, you may click on a callsign in either location (in the Logger's WSJT Decode List window, or in the WSJT-X Band Activity window). Note that if you click on an "old" callsign, i.e. one that was sending CQ during the 15-second sequence before the most recent one, WSJT-X will not start transmitting until the correct time slot for calling that station (e.g. if the other station called CQ on an "even" time slot starting at 0 seconds or 30 seconds, WSJT-X will only call that station on an "odd" time slot starting at 15 seconds or 45 seconds).

When you click on a callsign, either in the WSJT Decode List window or in the WSJT-X Band Activity window, that call sign will also appear in the N1MM+ Entry window. This is for the purpose of doing a dupe/multiplier check; it is not part of the logging process. Do not enter the exchange into the Entry window. Simply complete the QSO in WSJT-X, up to and including the point where the QSO is logged in WSJT-X. After completing and logging a contact in WSJT-X, that contact will be logged in the WSJT-X ADIF log and the N1MM+ contest database simultaneously. At no point is there any need to type anything into any N1MM+ window; in fact, it is possible to operate in FT8 with all of the N1MM+ windows minimized to the Windows Task Bar and still have all of your FT8 QSOs recorded in the N1MM+ log. It is not necessary that the WSJT Decode List window in N1MM+ be visible; it can be minimized to the Task Bar and will still carry out its function of relaying dupe/multiplier status to WSJT-X.

When a callsign is listed in the WSJT-X DX Call field, the Decode List interface will persistently copy that callsign into the N1MM+ Entry Window callsign field (for example - the call will reappear after using <Wipe> to clear the N1MM+ Entry window). After you have completed a QSO in WSJT-X and it has been safely logged, you can use F4 in WSJT-X to clear the DX Call field while still running WSJT-X. This will clear the callsign field in the Entry window as well. If you are entering a contest that allows multiple modes, having WSJT-X put calls into the Entry window, or having it clear the Entry window, is definitely not something you want to have happen while you are using another mode. Therefore, you should always close the WSJT-X Decode List window and shut down WSJT-X before changing to a non-WSJT mode.

5. WSJT-X Decode List FAQs

5.1. Rig Control - Can both WSJT-X and N1MM+ control the radio?

The only way that both programs can control the radio is if you are using a port splitter or virtual serial port application. If you do not have some kind of port splitting program to allow two programs to control the radio simultaneously, then plan on disabling rig control from N1MM+ and allowing WSJT-X to "drive" the radio settings whenever it is active. If you want to make contacts in RTTY, you will have to close WSJT-X or disable its rig control, re-enable rig control in N1MM+, and put N1MM+ into RTTY mode. Experimentation prior to the contest is highly recommended - see also FAQ #5.7 below.

There are a number of possibilities for port splitting. If your radio is one of those that supports one of these programs, one of the Win4K3Suite/Win4YaesuSuite/Win4IcomSuite programs may do what you need. N8LP's LP-Bridge program is another possibility, although with at least one caveat — apparently, WSJT-X might only work with LP-Bridge's Virtual Serial Port #1, i.e. the leftmost virtual port in the LP-Bridge window. Yet another option may be to use the DXLab Suite's Commander program for rig control, configure WSJT-X to use Commander instead of controlling the rig directly, configure Commander's "secondary CAT port" to lead and follow the primary port and use the Kenwood protocol, then configure N1MM+ to use the Kenwood protocol for radio control and connect it to Commander's secondary CAT port via a connected virtual serial port pair (com0com). This is described in the DXLab Suite Wiki under "Interoperating with Software-Defined Radios", substituting N1MM+ for the SDR software. Note that the only rig control functions supported by Commander's secondary CAT port are frequency and mode control. CAT1ASC macros, RIT control, filter width commands and PTT via radio command from N1MM+ will not work using this method.

When using one of these methods, you may encounter problems with N1MM+ changing your radio mode from the setting required by WSJT-X for data versus the mode setting in N1MM+. Generally speaking, the radio mode you use for WSJT-X will be the same as the radio mode you would use for PSK. Therefore, if the "Mode sent to radio" is set up correctly under the Mode Control tab in the Configurer, then N1MM+ must be put into PSK mode (from the Entry window) whenever you are operating from WSJT-X. If you leave N1MM+ in RTTY mode (or CW or SSB), it may put the radio into the wrong mode (e.g. FSK or LSB for RTTY instead of USB or USB Digital for PSK/WSJT-X).

If you do share radio control using one of these methods, some of N1MM Logger+'s features may not work. The N1MM+ Development Team is unable to help with such situations, since the port splitting method used is outside our control. If you encounter problems with N1MM+ while using one of these methods, then before reporting a problem, please test to make sure you can reproduce the problem with no port splitting program active or involved. If you cannot reproduce the problem with no port splitting software in the picture, we are not likely to be able to resolve it.

5.2. No Rig Control - Does it work without rig control?

Yes. It is possible to use WSJT-X without rig control - but this requires some careful attention to detail when changing bands. You will need to change bands manually in both programs every time you change bands on the rig. Checking for duplicates and multipliers will not work correctly if the N1MM+ program is not set to the band you are operating on. Operating without rig control also means that some of WSJT-X's features, notably the "Split" or "Fake It" techniques used to keep the sound card audio in the 1500-2000 Hz "sweet spot", will not work.

5.3. Incompatible with JTAlert - Can I run JTAlert at the same time?

No. The current versions of JTAlert and N1MM+ do not permit port sharing. You must close JTAlert for the WSJT-X Decode List to function. Furthermore, if you enable both the WSJT-X -to- N1MM+ logging interface and the JTAlert logging interface (without using the WSJT-X Decode List window in N1MM+), your contacts will be double-logged into the N1MM+ contest database.

5.4. Supported Contests - Does this only work with specific contests or can I use it with my general log?

You can use the WSJT-X Decode List with your general DX log or with one of the contests supported by WSJT-X.

For general logging, use WSJT-X in normal non-contest mode and use the DX log in N1MM+. Make sure the Mode category in the Contest Setup window for your DX log is set to SSB+CW+DIGITAL. If you leave it at the default SSB+CW, digital mode contacts made from WSJT-X may not be logged correctly, and the dupe checking will be wrong.

For contest logging, you will need to set the contest mode in WSJT-X under the Advanced tab in the Settings window. Check the check box called "Special operating activity" and then select the applicable contest and if necessary, fill in the contest exchange box. In N1MM+, open a contest log of the appropriate contest type, make sure the Mode category includes DIGITAL, and in the Entry window, put N1MM+ into Digital mode (e.g. by typing PSK31 into the call sign box and pressing Enter).

5.5. Callsign Colors - What do the callsign colors mean?

The callsign colors displayed by WSJT-X Decode List are derived from your N1MM+ settings found in the >Config >Manage Skins, Colors, and Fonts >Colors window under 3. Callsign Background Colors. By default those colors are:

  • Grey = dupe or non-workable (zero-point contact)
  • Blue = normal (new contact but not a new multiplier)
  • Red = new multiplier
  • Green = double multiplier (not applicable in contests supported by WSJT-X at this time, but may apply in future)

5.6. Serial Numbers - Will serial numbers from the two programs be in sequence?

In a word, no. If you make some contacts from N1MM+ (in RTTY, for example) and some contacts from WSJT-X (in FT8), the serial number sequences from the two programs will not be in sequence. There is no way for WSJT-X to know what serial numbers you have used in N1MM+, so it will issue its own serial numbers independently of what N1MM+ does. Don't try to edit serial numbers to make the sequence look pretty - just accept whatever the two programs generate. What matters most is that your log reflects accurately what your software actually sent.

5.7. What do I need to do to switch between RTTY and FT8?

To go from RTTY (or other modes used in N1MM+) to FT8, first change the radio's mode to the mode you use for FT8, and then (unless you have some kind of port sharing working) disable rig control in N1MM+ to allow WSJT-X to control the rig (in the Configurer, change the Port column for the rig control port to None). Now start WSJT-X. Make sure the rig's IF filtering is appropriate for FT8 (wide), and tune it to a frequency where contest FT8 QSOs are taking place (on the HF bands, the regular non-contest FT8 frequencies are not good places to try to make contest QSOs). Open the WSJT Decode List window in N1MM+. Note that while rig control is disabled in N1MM+, whenever you change bands in WSJT-X or on the radio, you also have to change bands in N1MM+ to ensure that the band in N1MM+ agrees with the band the radio is on, otherwise dupe and mult checking will be incorrect.

To go from FT8 to RTTY (or any other mode operated from N1MM+), first close the WSJT Decode List window. You may also wish to (or find it necessary to) minimize or shut down WSJT-X. If you receive a prompt from N1MM+ telling you it has detected that WSJT-X has shut down and asking whether you want to close, just answer No. If you do not have some kind of port sharing method active to allow both programs to control the rig at the same time, enable rig control in N1MM+ by setting the Port listbox for the rig control port to the port used for rig control. Make sure the rig is set to the correct mode with the appropriate filtering, and tune it to an appropriate frequency (presumably not the frequency you were using for FT8).

Note that if you leave WSJT-X running with the WSJT Decode List window active while you are trying to make RTTY contacts, WSJT-X will take control of the N1MM+ Entry window and you will be unable to log RTTY contacts. WSJT-X is persistent in sending the characters from its DX Call field into N1MM+'s Entry Window callsign field. Even if DX Call is empty (blank) it sends a blank to N1MM+ - wiping out anything you may try to enter in N1MM+. You must close the WSJT-X Decode List window and the WSJT-X program when operating from N1MM+. Conversely, you must do all of your FT8 operating from WSJT-X. Do not try to enter anything into the N1MM+ Entry window while WSJT-X is active and the WSJT-X Decode List window is open.

5.8. Why are my FT8 contacts being scored with zero points?

If your FT8 contacts are being assigned zero points in the Log and Score Summary windows, it is likely that you have selected the wrong Mode category in the N1MM+ contest setup. Use the File > Open Log in Database... menu item to open the contest setup dialog window, and change the Mode category from RTTY to DIGITAL (ARRL RTTY contest), or from SSB+CW to SSB+CW+DIGITAL (VHF contests, general DX logging).

The logging interface into N1MM+ does not refresh the contest score when you change the contest category. Use the >Tools >Rescore Current Contest menu item to rescore previously-logged QSOs, and the score should be accurate thereafter (as long as you don't change contest settings again).

Last Modification: 14 April 2019 09:58:48 EDT by VE3KI.