Changing Frequency

Commander Online Help Contents

 

Using Commander, you can change your transceiver's frequency by

If you have configured Commander to support automatic switching between multiple transceivers, then the above actions may trigger a switch from one transceiver to another when a new amateur band frequency is specified.

If you have configured one or more frequency-dependent device, the settings for these devices will be continuously updated as a function of frequency. The panels displaying these settings reside on the right side of Commander's Main window, along with the secondary VFO,  Filter, and PTT panels. This part of the Main window  is shared with the Memory Bank panel. If the Memory Bank panel is visible, click the Filters & Devices button and the device panels will appear. You can select one control of one frequency-dependent device whose integer value will be placed on pins 2-9 of a specified parallel port. This can be used to control an antenna switch, for example.

The primary VFO panel on Commander's Main window displays the frequency last reported by your radio, unless a transverter is active; if you have configured Commander to support one or more transverters on the 6m, 4m, 2m, 70cm, 33cm, or 23cm bands, your transceiver will automatically be set to drive the transverter to the frequency specified by Commander's VFO. The primary VFO panel's caption indicates whether the radio is displaying VFO A, VFO B, the Main VFO, or the Sub VFO. For most Elecraft, Kenwood, TenTec, and Yaesu radios, this VFO identification will always be accurate; for Icom and TenTec Omni radios, however, the VFO identification will only be correct if VFO selection is accomplished via the controls on Commander's Main window, rather than via controls on the radio's front panel. You can define up to eight sub-bands per band. You can specify the font colors to be used to display the primary VFO frequency when it lies within a defined sub-band, and when it does not lie within a defined sub-band; you can also specify the background color used to display frequencies in the primary VFO panel.

Commander also displays a secondary VFO panel whose caption indicates whether its contents are those of VFO A, VFO B, the Main VFO, or the Sub VFO; the panel's caption and its contents will only be valid for Icom and TenTec Omni radios if VFO selection and modification is accomplished via Commander, rather than via the radio's front panel. If the secondary VFO panel is not visible, click the Filters & Devices button as described above.

Changing frequency via the primary VFO panel

Control Keys Change
  10 Hz.
Shift 100 Hz.
Ctrl 1 KHz.
Alt 10 KHz.
Ctrl + Alt 100 KHz.

If you click and hold these buttons, they will autorepeat at a rate governed by the VFO Autorepeat Rate slider.

Control Keys Change
  1 KHz.
Shift 5 KHz.
Ctrl 10 KHz.
Alt 50 KHz.
Ctrl + Alt 100 KHz.

If you click and hold these buttons, they will autorepeat at a rate governed by the VFO Autorepeat Rate slider.

Button Keyboard Function
A SHIFT-F1 selects VFO A 
B SHIFT-F2 selects VFO B
A = B SHIFT-F3 sets VFO B to VFO A's frequency
A X B SHIFT-F4 simultaneously sets VFO A to VFO B's frequency and VFO B to VFO A's frequency (available if provide A/B and TF-SET buttons is not enabled)
Main SHIFT-F1 selects the Main VFO
Sub SHIFT-F2 selects the Sub-receiver VFO
M = S SHIFT-F3 sets the Sub VFO to the Main receiver VFO's frequency
M X S SHIFT-F4 simultaneously sets the Main VFO to the Sub-receiver VFO's frequency and the Sub-receiver VFO to the Main VFO's frequency
XFC  F1 momentarily exchanges the A and B (or Main and Sub-receiver) VFOs (available if provide A/B and TF-SET buttons is not enabled)
A / B SHIFT-F4 swaps VFO roles (available if provide A/B and TF-SET buttons is enabled)
TF-S F1 momentarily swaps VFO roles (available if provide A/B and TF-SET buttons is enabled, and radio is in split mode)
Split box selects split frequency operation (if using an Icom or TenTec Omni VI transceiver, see the note below)
  • selects VFO B or Sub-receiver VFO on entry

  • selects VFO A or Main VFO on exit

Dual receive box selects dual receive or dual watch operation
  • selects VFO B or Sub-receiver VFO on entry

  • selects VFO A or Main VFO on exit

Dual track box when enabled, automatically updates the Sub-receiver VFO frequency to match the Main VFO frequency; this option is available if the Dual receive box is checked and the transceiver is 
  • an Icom IC-7610, IC-7800, IC-7850, or IC-7851

  • an Elecraft K3 with subreceiver installed

  • a Yaesu FT-1000D

  • a Yaesu FTDX-5000

  • a Yaesu FTDX-9000 with the PEP firmware installed

Sat Mode box  

sets or clears Satellite Mode when controlling an Icom IC-910H or IC-9100

  • if Satellite Mode is cleared, Commander
    • displays the VFO A and VFO B frequencies
    • clears Split, and selects VFO A
  •  if Satellite Mode is set, Commander
    • displays the MAIN and SUB frequencies
    • sets Split, and disables the Split box

Note: Some Icom transceiver models label their VFOs A and B; other Icom transceiver models label their VFOs Main and Sub. When the primary transceiver is a TenTec Omni VI or an Icom transceiver with A and B VFOs, Commander assumes that when Split is enabled, VFO A specifies the receive frequency and that VFO B specifies the transmit frequency. When the primary transceiver is an Icom transceiver with Main and Sub VFOs, Commander assumes that when Split is enabled, the Main VFO specifies the receive frequency and that the Sub VFO specifies the transmit frequency.

 

Changing frequency via the secondary VFO panel

Modifying the frequency display contents and striking the Enter key will set radio's secondary VFO to the specified frequency. You can specify the font color and background color used to display frequencies in the secondary VFO panel.

Clicking the 1, 2, 5, or 10 quick split button will select split frequency operation, and set the transmit frequency to the receive frequency plus 1 kHz, 2 kHz, 5 kHz, or 10 kHz respectively. Depressing the CTRL key while left-clicking one of these buttons, or right-clicking one of these buttons will select split frequency operation, and set the transmit frequency to the receive frequency minus 1 kHz, 2 kHz, 5 kHz, or 10 kHz respectively. Depressing the SHIFT key while left-clicking one of these buttons will select split frequency operation, and increase the transmit frequency by 1 kHz, 2 kHz, 5 kHz, or 10 kHz respectively. Depressing the SHIFT and CTRL keys while left-clicking one of these buttons, or depressing the SHIFT key while right-clicking one of these buttons will select split frequency operation, and decrease the transmit frequency by 1 kHz, 2 kHz, 5 kHz, or 10 kHz respectively.

Changing frequency via mouse wheel

If you have a wheeled mouse, you can QSY your transceiver clicking in Commander's Main VFO panel and then rotating the mouse's wheel.

When you first rotate the wheel after clicking in Commander's Main VFO panel , a cyan-colored horizontal bar will appear over the right-most digit in the primary VFO panel's frequency display; this indicates the rotating the mouse wheel will adjust the transceiver frequency in units of 10 Hz. Clicking the mouse on any other digit position in the primary VFO panel's frequency will shift the cyan horizontal bar to that digit position, indicating that subsequent mouse wheel rotation will adjust the transceiver frequency in the units of that digit position.

Clicking in the secondary VFO panel will provide similar mouse wheel control of the secondary VFO's frequency -- except on the the following transceivers, which do not provide the CAT control of their secondary VFO to necessary to implement this capability:

If inadvertent mousewheel rotation is problematic, check the Ignore Mousewheel box and Commander will no longer QSY your transceiver when you rotate the mouse's wheel.

Note: if the minimum adjustment you can achieve by rotating the mouse wheel is larger than one unit, check to see if you are running the most recent driver for your wheeled mouse.

 

Changing frequency via the keyboard

Control Keys Change
  10 Hz.
Shift 100 Hz.
Ctrl 1 KHz.
Alt 10 KHz.
Ctrl + Alt 100 KHz.

 

 

Changing frequency via the Bandspread window

Clicking the Main window's Bandspread button displays Commander's Bandspread window, which provides a vertical slide rule dial showing range of frequencies around your radio's current frequency, and optionally a Band panel containing an array of buttons corresponding to the 160m through 2m amateur bands.

The Range panel determines the range of frequencies depicted on the slide rule dial. You can vary this range from 1 kHz to 500 kHz in seven steps; your radio's current frequency will always appear centered in the dial unless one of the current band's edges is visible, in which case the current frequency indicator will move toward the band edge.

You can resize the Bandspread window both vertically and horizontally. The Band panel will appear when the Bandspread window is sufficiently wide. As you reduce the width of the Bandspread window, the number of options available in the Range panel will decrease.

The current frequency indicator in the slide rule dial can be configured to distinguish between in-band and out-of-band frequencies.

Clicking on the dial will QSY your radio's primary VFO to the associated frequency. Double-clicking the dial will QSY your radio to the associated frequency and then reduce the range by one step, unless the range is already 1 kHz. Depressing the Alt button while clicking on the dial will set your radio's secondary VFO to the associated frequency. Any click or double-click in the dial will terminate scanning. Allowing the mouse cursor to hover over the dial will produce a small popup showing the associated frequency to which your radio would be QSY'd if you were to click or double-click.

You can also QSY via the PageUp and PageDown keys.

Commander remembers the last 5 frequencies you visited on each band, and the mode in use for each such visit; this information is stored in a Band Stack associated with each band. If you QSY the radio, and then let it remain on a frequency for longer than the dwell time setting, the new frequency and mode will be saved on the appropriate Band Stack. The Bandspread window's Band panel contains a button for each band between 160m and 33cm. Clicking a band button sets the radio's frequency to the most recent frequency used on that band, sets its mode to the mode in use at that time, and clears Split; the Band Stack is then advanced, so that clicking the same band button a second time sets the frequency/mode to the next-most-recent frequency/mode used on that band. Using this mechanism, you can QSY to the most recent 5 frequencies. The Band panels in the Bandspread and Spectrum-Waterfall windows share the same Band Stack for each band.

Executing the Band command in a User-defined Sequence is equivalent to clicking the Bandspread window's Band button for the band it specifies.  If a User-defined Sequence after Band Change is specified, that sequence will be executed after any button in the Band panel is clicked.

The memory used to provide the slide rule dial and Band Stack are freed when the Bandspread window is closed.

 

Changing frequency via the Spectrum-Waterfall window

If Commander is controlling an Icom IC-7300, IC-7610, IC-7850, and IC-7851 using a direct USB connection with the Primary CAT Port configured for 115,200 baud, checking the Spectrum-Waterfall window box on Configuration window's Bandspread tab will display Commander's Spectrum-Waterfall window. Depressing the CTRL while while clicking the Main window's Bandspread button will enable and display the Spectrum-Waterfall window.

 The Spectrum-Waterfall window provides a Control Section positioned above four information-bearing sections:



In the Control Section,

In the Spectrum Section, Commander displays spectrum data from the radio for the current range. You can adjust the reference level and gain via sliders in the Control Section. If not split, clicking in this section will set the transceiver frequency to the designated frequency; ALT-clicking will enable split and set the transceiver's transmit frequency to the designated frequency. If split, clicking in this section will set the transceiver's receive frequency to the designated frequency; ALT-clicking will set the transceiver's transmit frequency to the designated frequency. Allowing the mouse cursor to hover for a few seconds over a location in this section will display an explanatory popup with the frequency associated with the location. You can adjust the color used to display the spectrum data and the background color via the Spectrum-Waterfall Configuration window's Colors panel.

In the DX Callsign Section, Commander displays active DX stations received from SpotCollector, if running. Between 4 and 32 rows of callsigns can be displayed, as specified in the DX Rows panel; the appearance of a + symbol in this section means that more DX stations could be displayed if the number of rows were increased. Increasing or decreasing the number of rows will increase or decrease the vertical height of the Spectrum-Waterfall window so that the heights of all other sections are unchanged. Settings governing the acquisition, display, management, and handling of active DX stations are shared with the Bandspread window, and provided on the DX Spots panel on the Configuration window's Bandspread tab. Commander's behavior when you click on or hover above a callsign displayed in the DX Callsign Section is described below. If not split and the mouse cursor not above a callsign, clicking in the DX Callsign Section will set the transceiver frequency to the designated frequency; ALT-clicking will enable split and set the transceiver's transmit frequency to the designated frequency. If split and the mouse cursor not above a callsign, clicking in this section will set the transceiver's receive frequency to the designated frequency; ALT-clicking will set the transceiver's transmit frequency to the designated frequency. Allowing the mouse cursor to hover for a few seconds over a location without a callsign will display an explanatory popup with the frequency associated with the location.

In the Frequency Axis Section, Commander displays a horizontal slide rule with frequencies rendered in the specified font color. If not split, clicking in this section will set the transceiver frequency to the designated frequency; ALT-clicking will enable split and set the transceiver's transmit frequency to the designated frequency. If split, clicking in this section will set the transceiver's receive frequency to the designated frequency; ALT-clicking will set the transceiver's transmit frequency to the designated frequency. Allowing the mouse cursor to hover for a few seconds over a location in this section will display an explanatory popup with the frequency associated with the location.

In the Waterfall Section, Commander displays a historical record of the spectrum data, with the most recent signals at top, and the oldest signals at the bottom. You can increase or decrease the height of the Waterfall section by increasing or decreasing the height of the Spectrum-Waterfall window; doing so will leave the heights of all other sections unchanged. If not split, clicking in this section will set the transceiver frequency to the designated frequency; ALT-clicking will enable split and set the transceiver's transmit frequency to the designated frequency. If split, clicking in this section will set the transceiver's receive frequency to the designated frequency; ALT-clicking will set the transceiver's transmit frequency to the designated frequency. Allowing the mouse cursor to hover for a few seconds over a location in this section will display an explanatory popup with the frequency associated with the location. You can select the range of colors used to indicate Waterfall signal strength via the Spectrum-Waterfall Configuration window's Colors panel.

When the transceiver is not operating split, Commander displays a single vertical frequency marker in the DX Callsign and Frequency Axis sections, its color is set to that specified for the Receive Freq Marker. When operating split, two vertical frequency markers are displayed in the DX Callsign and Frequency Axis sections, one designating the transceiver's receive frequency and the other designating the transceiver's transmit frequency. The colors of these frequency markers are specified on the Spectrum-Waterfall Configuration window's Colors panel.

Scrolling a wheeled mouse while the Spectrum-Waterfall window is active will QSY the transceiver as a function of the transceiver's current mode and the mousewheel motion settings.

When the range is Fixed and you change bands - by using the transceiver's front panel, by double-clicking on the entry for an active DX station in SpotCollector, by clicking a Band button in the Bandspread or Spectrum-Waterfall window, or by selecting one of Commander's memories,
When the range is Fixed, the Mode AutoTrack option is enabled, and you change the transceiver's mode, Commander will set the range to the sub-band associated with the transceiver's mode.

When the range is Fixed, the Frequency AutoTrack option is enabled, and you QSY out of the current range but still within the current band, Commander will automatically slide the range up or down so that the transceiver's frequency (receive frequency if split) will be visible in the new range.

Viewing and Selecting DX Spots

If SpotCollector (version 2.7.4 or later) is running and Commander's Bandspread window or Spectrum-Waterfall window is open, then SpotCollector will automatically send to Commander spots of active DX stations operating on the transceiver's current band that meet SpotCollector's current filter criteria (with the exception that wildcard characters in the Call and DXCC filters are not handled). Commander displays each active DX station on the Bandspread window's slide rule dial and in the Spectrum-Waterfall window unless the active DX station's age exceeds the specified lifetime.

The size of the font used to display active DX stations in the Bandspread window can be specified as a function of its slide rule dial range, making it possible to use larger font sizes with smaller ranges. The size of the font used to display active DX stations in the Spectrum-Waterfall window can be independently specified as a function of its range.

Active DX station callsigns are color-coded based on settings in the Font Colors panel on the Spot Database Display tab of SpotCollector's Configuration window; callsigns known to participate in the ARRL's Logbook of the World (LotW) and/or hold Authenticity Guaranteed membership in eQSL.cc are highlighted as specified in the Background Colors tab on the Spot Database Display tab of SpotCollector's Configuration window.

In the Bandspread window active DX station callsigns that are close together in frequency are separated horizontally to form a list of up to 8 spots. For busy frequencies and a long lifetime, it may be necessary to expand the Bandspread window horizontally to see all of the spots; alternatively, zooming in to a smaller dial range may separate the spots, or a smaller spot font size can be specified. The appearance of a + at the right of a callsign means that additional callsigns have been spotted on or near the frequency.

In the Spectrum-Waterfall window, active DX station callsigns that are close together in frequency are separated vertically in up to 32 rows.  For busy frequencies and a long lifetime, it may be necessary to expand the Spectrum-Waterfall window horizontally to see all of the spots; alternatively, zooming in to a smaller dial range may separate the spots, or a smaller spot font size can be specified. The appearance of a + below a callsign means that additional callsigns have been spotted on or near the frequency; you can increase or decrease the number of rows displayed via the DX Rows panel on Spectrum-Waterfall window.

When the radio QSYs from one band to another with the Bandspread and/or Spectrum-Waterfall windows open, Commande clears the active DX station callsigns from the Bandspread window and Spectrum-Waterfall window, and SpotCollector sends Commander each Spot Database entry on the new band that meet its current filter criteria (subject to the above-mentioned wildcard character limitation). Thus Commander always displays that subset of SpotCollector's filtered Spot Database entries that are operating in the range of frequencies shown on the Bandspread window and on the Spectrum-Waterfall window

Commander displays a rectangular indicator in the lower-left corner of the Bandspread window, and in the upper-right corner of the Spectrum-Waterfall window. The color of the rectangle in the Bandspread window indicates the maximum degree of need for any active DX station received by SpotCollector but not visible on the Bandspread window's slide rule dial. Similarly, the color of the rectangle in the Spectrum-Waterfall window indicates the maximum degree of need for any active DX stations received by SpotCollector but not visible on the Waterfall-Spectrum window.

Clicking the SpotCollector button on the Bandspread window or on the Spectrum Waterfall window activates SpotCollector's Main window, if SpotCollector is running.

The memory used to maintain and display active DX spots is freed when the Bandspread window and Spectrum-Waterfall windows are both closed.