Commander Online Help Contents
Using Commander, you can change your transceiver's frequency by
selecting a memory
scanning memories in the current memory bank
actions in the Bandspread window
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 two 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.
Modifying the frequency display contents and striking the Enter key will radio's primary VFO to the specified frequency; modifying the frequency display contents and striking the Esc key will set the frequency display contents to the radio's current frequency.
The ▲ and ▼ buttons to the
left of the frequency display will shift your radio up or down one band. If
the Ham Bands box is checked, these buttons sequence among the ham
bands and among 1 MHz segments of ham bands wider than 1 Mhz; depressing the
CTRL key while clicking these buttons will sequence among the ham bands
independent of band width. If
the Ham Bands box is
not checked, these buttons shift up or down 1 MHz. If
you click and hold these buttons, they will autorepeat at a rate governed by
the VFO Autorepeat
Rate slider. If a User-defined
Sequence after Band Change is specified, that sequence will be executed
after either of these buttons are clicked.
The ▲ and ▼ buttons to the right of the frequency display will increase or decrease your radio's frequency as shown in the following table:
|Ctrl + Alt||100 KHz.|
If you click and hold these buttons, they will autorepeat at a rate governed by the VFO Autorepeat Rate slider.
|Ctrl + Alt||100 KHz.|
If you click and hold these buttons, they will autorepeat at a rate governed by the VFO Autorepeat Rate slider.
Depending upon your radio's capabilities, one or more of the following buttons and checkboxes may appear in the VFO panel:
|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 frequency operation (if using an Icom or TenTec Omni VI
transceiver, see the note below)
|Dual receive box||selects
dual receive or dual watch operation
|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
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.
The transceiver command buffer overflow message indicates that one or more directives from Commander to your radio have been discarded. This occurs when large frequency changes are attempted by holding down auto-repeating keys or buttons, exceeding the radio's ability to keep up. Recovery in this situation is automatic -- simply click the ok button, wait for your radio to catch up, and continue.
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.
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:
all Icom models except the IC-7100, IC-7300, IC-7600, IC-7700, IC-7800, IC-7850, IC-7851
the TenTec Omni V.9 and Omni VI
the Yaesu FT-747, FT-757, FT-757GXII, FT-817, FT-857, FT-857D, FT-897, and FT-1000D,
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.
After clicking on the primary VFO's frequency display or the Bandspread window, you can increase or decrease your radio's frequency by striking the PageUp or PageDown keys respectively:
|Ctrl + Alt||100 KHz.|
After clicking on the VFO panel's frequency display, you can select its contents by striking the Insert or CTRL-A key; any digits subsequently entered will replace the frequency display's contents; strike the Enter key to change your radio's frequency to that shown in the VFO.
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. 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.
If SpotCollector (version 2.7.4 or later) is running and Commander's Bandspread window is open, then SpotCollector will automatically send to Commander spots of 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 DX spot on the Bandspread window's slide rule dial unless its age exceeds the specified lifetime. The size of the font used to display DX spots can be specified as a function of the slide rule dial range, making it possible to use larger font sizes with smaller ranges. Active 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. DX Spots 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.
allowing the mouse cursor to hover over a DX spot displays a small popup window showing the spot's callsign, transmit frequency, QSX (listening) frequency if operating split, mode, UTC time last spotted, LotW participation, areas from which the station was spotted, and spot notes
clicking on a DX spot will
if the station is operating simplex
if the station is operating split and the set Xcvr split option is enabled
if WinWarbler is running
if the station is operating PSK31, PSK63, or RTTY, direct WinWarbler to the specified mode and optimal frequency;
if the station is operating split, the set Xcvr split option determines whether QSX frequency is conveyed to WinWarbler; if not, WinWarbler will not direct Commander to configure the radio for split frequency operations
direct DXKeeper (if running) to
initialize its Capture window with the DX spot's callsign, frequency, mode, and gridsquare (if available)
filter its Log Page Display to show all previous QSOs with the DX spot's callsign or DXCC entity, as specified by the Log Filter setting
direct DXView to perform a lookup of the DX spot callsign
if the CTRL key was depressed while clicking on the DX spot, rotate the antenna to the short path bearing to the spotted station
if the ALT key was depressed while clicking on the DX spot, rotate the antenna to the long path bearing to the spotted station
double-clicking a spotted callsign performs all of the operations described above under single-clicking, and then reduces the slide rule dial range by one step, unless the range is already 1 kHz.
When the radio QSYs from one band to another with the Bandspread window open, Commander clears the DX spots from the slide rule dial, 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's slide rule dial
Commander displays a rectangular indicator in the lower-left corner of the Bandspread window. This rectangle's color indicates the maximum degree of need for any DX spot received by SpotCollector but not visible on the Bandspread window's slide rule dial.
allowing the mouse cursor to hover over this indicator displays a small popup window showing the most recent and needed unseen spot's callsign, frequency, mode, and time of arrival
clicking the indicator resets its color to that corresponding with unneeded
double-clicking the indicator sets the radio's frequency and mode to that of the most recent and needed unseen spot, and terminates scanning.
Clicking the SpotCollector button activates SpotCollector's Main window, if SpotCollector is running.
The memory used to maintain and display DX Spots are freed when the Bandspread window is closed.