MMTTY Plug-in Page 3

The RTTY Control Panel & Rttyrite MMTTY Settings


The RTTY Control Panel

The RTTY control panel is divided into five areas – pulldown menus, control button area, profile panel, XY scope, and FFT & waterfall displays.

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The RTTY Control Panel above shows all available viewable options.  However, you can make radical changes to how the control panel is viewed.  If you are familiar with MMTTY, you already know the XY Scope can be made large, as shown above, or smaller.  This option is changed in the View(V) pulldown menu on the RTTY Control Panel itself.  You also have the option to turn the XY Scope off if you choose.  You can also remove all other viewable areas except the FFT & waterfall displays.

If the control panel does not appear as shown or you want to make changes, go to the TU type pulldown menu in the Rttyrite window and select the first option – TNC Setup.

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When you select TNC Setup in the Rttyrite window, the Rttyrite MMTTY Settings screen will appear.  This is a very important screen with some valuable options.

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In the upper left hand corner are the View Settings.  These settings control which parts of the control panel are viewed as previously discussed.  Below View Settings is a button that takes you to the MMTTY Settings screen (discussed on Page 4). In the upper right hand corner are the Profile Panel Settings.  The Profile Panel Settings are only available if you have Show Profile Panel enabled in View Setting.  Below the Profile Panel Settings is an Options checkbox that allows you to enable a feature that turns AFC automatically off when there are letters in the Call field of the WriteLog entry window.

The “RTTY Control is always on top” checkbox in View Settings enables the control panel to always be the top window if for some reason it overlaps another window.  However, this option behaves differently depending on which Windows operating system is being used.


The Profile Panel

The Profile Panel is unique to the MMTTY Plug-in for WriteLog.  It is used to change profiles on-the-fly.  The Profile Panel is located at the bottom of the RTTY Control Panel and consists of ten buttons labeled P1-CQ, P1-S&P, P2-CQ, P2-S&P, P3-CQ, P3-S&P, P4-CQ, P4-S&P, P8-CQ, and P8-S&P.  CQ buttons are used when calling CQ and running a frequency.  S&P buttons are used when in the search & pounce mode of operation.

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P1, P2, P3, P4 and P8 stand for profile #1, profile #2, profile #3, etc.  The reason they are numbered 1, 2, 3, 4 and 8 are because those are the profiles that come standard with MMTTY.  Profiles are best described in the MMTTY help files.  A profile is simply a set of parameters which have been defined to receive RTTY signals with different characteristics.  For example, profile #1 is for standard RTTY signals.  This profile will be used nearly all the time.  Profile #2 is for fluttered signals.  Profile #3 is for fluttered signals using an FIR (Finite Impulse Response) filter.  Profile #4 is for multi-path signals.  Profile #8 is for 23hz RTTY (23hz RTTY is a narrow band mode and rarely seen on the Amateur bands).

MMTTY allows users to change parameters and define profiles as needed.  However, the profiles P1 through P4 are adequate for RTTY contesting.  Profile P8 for 23hz RTTY is not needed and can be removed if desired.  Profiles are defined, added & deleted from the Profiles(S) pulldown menu of the RTTY Control Panel.

The behaviors of the CQ and S&P buttons for each profile are defined in the Rttyrite MMTTY Settings screen under Profile Panel Settings.  Before further discussion on this subject, be aware of three no-no’s on RTTY – never use NET when CQ’ing, never use AFC when S&P and never activate NET and AFC at the same time.  NET is only available when transmitting RTTY with AFSK.  NET allows the transmit audio RTTY tones from the sound card to change to match the frequency of the received tones.  AFC (automatic frequency control) is available regardless of how you are transmitting.  AFC is used while receiving.  When activated, AFC allows MMTTY to “track” onto a signal.  Therefore if a signal is slightly off frequency, MMTTY will adjust its receive frequency in order to match the RTTY tones being received.

As nice as the Profile Panel seems, it’s not that great of a feature.  The main problem with using the Profile Panel is that nowhere does it show which profile is being used at any given time.  If you set the CQ mode to activate AFC in the Profile Panel Settings, you can tell whether or not you are in the CQ mode by looking at the AFC button on the RTTY Control Panel.  If the AFC button is pushed in, then you know you are in a CQ mode.  Also, the Profile Panel operation is sluggish.  When a profile button is activated, it takes a couple of seconds for the profile to change.  And if a button is selected while transmitting, the RTTY Control Panel has been known to lock up.

Since most RTTY contest QSO’s are made with the Standard profile active, it makes better sense to use the AFC and HAM buttons on the RTTY Control Panel instead of the Profile Panel.  Pressing and depressing the AFC and HAM buttons on-the-fly does not show the same undesired characteristics of the Profile Panel.  The AFC and HAM buttons react immediately and can be changed while transmitting with no harmful effects.  With that said, it may be wise not to use the Profile Panel when first starting to use and learn the MMTTY Plug-in for WriteLog.


The Options Checkbox

The Options checkbox in the Rttyrite MMTTY Settings screen allows the opportunity to turn AFC off when there are letters in the CALL field of WriteLog’s entry window.  This can be useful at times but not recommended.   To show how it is used, take for example, station A is CQ’ing and is answered by station B who is transmitting off frequency.  If station A has AFC turned on and has the Options checkbox checked, as soon as station A captures the station B callsign (or partial callsign) in the entry window, AFC will automatically be turned off.  When this happens, MMTTY will stay locked on the same frequency it initially “tracked” onto during the entire QSO until the contact is logged.  This way, MMTTY does not have to “track” back to the signal when it’s time to receive station B’s report.  Once the contact is logged, MMTTY returns the receive Mark frequency to 2175 hz.

Although this appears to be a nice feature, it’s not needed.  MMTTY is fast enough to track onto nearly any signal within the passband quickly enough not to lose copy on exchanges.  Also, one disadvantage to have this feature active would be in the station answering the CQ would come back on a frequency different from the one he was on when he made the initial call.  If this happens, copy would be lost because MMTTY would be “stuck” on the original transmit frequency of the calling station.