Wednesday, July 27, 2016

Setting up the KX3 with QSOrder, N1MM, Yamaha CM500 Headset and a Foot Pedal

Fall is going to be a busy time for ham radio operating so I decided to get out the KX3, dust it off and install QSOrder on the laptop to get it working, as I'm going to be using it for some NPOTA and state QSO contesting in the coming months.

I actually followed my own instructions from my blog post found below for QSOrder : but instead of choosing one of the Flex DAX sound card channels, I choose the internal sound card of the PC.

I ran QSOrder and it kept throwing up an error.  Plus when executing a qsorder.exe -q to list the sound cards, it would put weird spaces between the numerated index of the sound cards.  I ended up removing the Flex software thinking it was something with the virtual sound cards, but that was a bust.  Same thing, plus the program would lag around 5 seconds before displaying anything.  I had an extra USB sound card in my goodie bin, so I installed that, plugged in my 1/8 cable, and sure enough, the program ran great.  No issues.  For some reason QSOrder did not like my internal sound card in the laptop, so if you can't you internal sound card working, switch to a USB external sound card.

Another thing you want to look out for is the recording input level of your signal.  On your rig, pick a strong signal and put your head phones on like you were going to start recording to bring the signal up to a comfortable level.  Now choose a signal around S9 up to +20 over.  Adjust your head phones level accordingly.  Look at the properties of the sound card and adjust the input level of the mic to around 30 to 40%.  Dial around on the band to ensure the input level of the mic never goes above 60% on the real time meter.

Now test your input signal by recording some audio in QSOrder.  Launch N1MM and create a fake contest and input a call.  Hit enter to log the call and see what the record gain is for that contact after it saves it.  Your gain should be around 7 to 20db, as this makes a nice recording with some good audio.  If it's lower than that, boost your microphone input level.  If it's higher, bring your level down on the PC, not the headphones.

For those of you wanting to see how I setup my KX3 with a N1MM, a laptop, QSOrder, Yamaha CM500 headset and foot pedal, a wiring diagram is below outlining it.

Feel free to drop a comment if you have any questions about this setup.

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