Setting up Mixw2 for RSGB DATA mode contests

Using Mixw2 in DATA contests – a guide to the basics


Why chose Mixw2, one word simplicity. There is nothing Mixw2 can do that can not be done with N1MM / Writelog and other software but what Mixw2 lacks in bells and whistles it gains in simplicity.

Other files you may find helpful:

Very useful quick start manual from NK7Z:

!!! WARNING !!!

Before you start: When you have set up Mixw2 as described below make sure you close it down correctly using the FILE menu. If you just close the window some of your settings may not be correctly saved!

You should also save the configuration file once it is setup (but not during a contest!):

  1. Set menu layout view to layout 1

2. Enter personal Data

You don’t need you Lat and Long – they are calculated automatically from your Maidenhead locator.

3. Setup the CAT control for your radio

This is the most tricky part for a lot of people and is generally caused by them not knowing the correct CAT values for their radio (eg. they have set the Baud rate on their radio to something different to the figure they have selected in Mixw2, or they are using the incorrect COM port). If Mixw2 doesn’t appear to be working then trying another programme like WSJT-X, if that works then transcribe your CAT setting from there_/

Select the TRCVR CAT/PTT Option on the Configure menu (whilst you are at it make sure Merge Macros is ticked. At this stage Disable CAT would be ticked but we will want to enable it once we have set up the CAT.

The Serial port details are found on the Details button

In the option above:

  • I am using an Icom 7300 on COM Port 5 at baud 38400 (my radio is also set to 38400 in the menu settings of the radio).
  • PTT is operated by the CAT signal
  • For RTTY and PSK I am using AFSK not FASK (I’ll leave the reasons for that for another post)
  • I have correctly set the default digital mode to USB
  • I am using my mouse wheel to tune, that’s really handy in a contest!

Make sure the CAT is now enabled by unticking as shown below:

4. Soundcard Settings

Fairly straightforward proving you know the name of your soundcard and which COM port it’s on. With the 7300 it’s saved as USB audio.

5. Setting up for contest mode

Select Contest mode from the View option on the menu bar

Add new

Make sue the start and end covers the duration of the contest

For a contest require just serial number then click on Number and serial under autograb

6. Setting up and changing modes

From the Mode option on the menu bar:


Select mode settings

Make sure Baudrate is 62.5 (for PSK63)

7. Setting up contest layout

8. The Macro Bar and my Macros

Probably the second most tricky part, and I don’t profess to be a Macros ninja! I think there are some clever things Mixw2 can do with Macros that I don’t really understand or haven’t explored enough!

I’m not a Macro ninja!

First, click the cog to the right of the macros bar to get the extended bar, this will give you 4 lines instead of the usual 1:

To change a macro button right click on it

Next a bit of Mixw2 macro taxonomy:
All macros are inside pointed brackets, eg. <TX> set to transmit and <RX> to receive. Macros can be type in by hand or selected from the drop down option (subset) on the macro edit windows as shown below (the key macros we will be using here are listed under Text or Programme macros).

Some basics:

  • <MYCALL> is your callsign
  • <CALL> is the other stations call
  • <GRABCALL> inserts the other stations call (last received in your rx window) into you Log entry focus window
  • <NRS> is your serial number to send, this should auto increment and will automatically add any leading zeros
  • <SAVEQSO> Saves the QSO to your log automatically

My macros for running mode / calling CQ

Used the extend macro view opens up 4 lines of macros, in this example I am using line 3 for my CQing/Running and the 4th bottom line for when I am S&P:

SO, Starting with line 3 and move from left to right (nut skipping AUTOCQ for now).

This first macro: Switches my radio to transmit, clears the transmit window, sends CQ TEST M0ICR CQ and the sets the radio back to receive. Normally I might sent my call 2 or 3 times though in which case I would have a string of 3 <MYCALL> remembering to but a space between them all, so it would be:


This macro grabs the call of the last (ie. latest) station decoded in the RX Window, pressing it multiple times will scroll through a buffer. By grabbing the his callsign it automatically fills the <CALL> value with his callsign.

Alternatively I could type the other guys call manually into the log entry (the bottom of the calls listed in the log entry window), like this:

When the other station has replied, I send him the contest exchange (my Exch Macro) as follows (Assuming he is M1ABC and I have grabbed or entered his callsign correctly and that he is my serial 001):

M1ABC 599 001 001

Note: Often the other stations callsign is also sent at the end of the contest exchange, ie: M1ABC 599 001 001 M1ABC

Which of course would be:

<TX><CALL> 599 <NRS> <NRS> <CALL><RX>

Of course we always send 599 in HF contests(!) but if I wanted to be totally correct I would replace 599 with <RSTS> which would send him the RST I manually enter.

The final basic Macro of the end of a QSO when I am CQing is follows. This macro will: Clear the TX window and switch the radio to transmit and send:


(the TU means thank you!)

and then save the QSO in my log, and switch back to receive:

My Macros for S&P

Send my callsign twice (I also have another macro that sends it 4 times for really marginal QSO). Note: It’s useful to have grabbed the other station’s callsign first (or to have manually entered it into the log)

… and finally, sending the other station the QSO details. Assuming he is M1ABC and serial 001 this would send (after switching the radio to TX):

M1ABC 599 001 001 001 (some folks send the serial number just twice)

and then save the QSO before switching to receive. Note: this is a different exchange Macro to the one I use when calling CQ as the <SAVEQSO> part is in the 73 macro in CQ mode!

Again, as in the earlier macro, it’s quite common to also add the other station’s callsign at the end of this QSO string:

M1ABC 599 001 001 001 M1ABC

And, again, if you want to be a purist you would replace the 599 with <RSTS>

A few other macros I find helpful to have in the bar:

<TX> To switch the radio to TX and keep it into transmit (useful if I want to send a manual string of text off the keyboard.

<RX> To switch back to receive again!

<TX>NR? NR? NR? <RX> If I want the other station to repeat his serial to me

<TX> QRZ? QRZ?<RX> To ask the other station to repeat his call … some folks use: <TX> AGN? AGN?<RX> as a more general request for repeats

Auto CQing and Macros

Setting up for AutoCQing:

Select Auto CQ from the Options Menu

Enter the text you want to AutoCQ:

…. which will send my callsign twice in a repeating CQ call


To set the delay between AutoCQ:

Note: Grabbing a call or hitting Escape will turn the AutoCQ off, to restart it again hit your AutoCQ macro

QSO Rate Meter

Editing the Logbook

The spectacles allow you to search the logfile, display a QSO and view the whole log:

From this view you can first highlight and then save all the logs to a Cabrillo or ADIF file (not the by default the files are unhelpfully saved to the Appdata/Roaming folder in your Windows user folder!

Double clicking on a row in that whole log view lets you also edit the QSO:

You can also edit the last QSO by using the file icon (you can also just change the details in the log window if you’d rather)

Deletes the QSO highlighted in the log (it asks first)

Save the latest QSO if you’re not using a <SAVEQSO> Macro

Menu layout config:


My radio isn’t connecting – Did you set up the CAT with the correct values (also in the Details tab) and did you make sure disable CAT is unticked?

I can’t see the CAT window with frequency –

I can see lots of PSK traces but I am not decoding anything – Are you in PSK31 or PSK63?

I can see lots of RTTY traces but I am not decoding anything – Are you inverted? Is the shift and baud rate setup correctly in Mixw2? (Most contests will be 45.45 baud (and 170Hz shift), but the BARTG75 contest in Baud 75, that’s caught me out a couple of times!)

Things I haven’t included in this basic guide (yet)

  • Adjusting the RX/TX and logging windows sizes
  • Statistics
  • Mode focused macros
  • Setting up the cluster
  • The bandscope and identification of dupes (callsigns worked show up in red, not worked in green)
  • Domains and special multipliers (setting them up in the contest configuration)
  • … and a load of other stuff!

By the way, this is what my screen layout like:

If you want to get into RTTY and other modes of contesting from LF to Microwave, come and join the Drowned Rats Radio Group. We are always looking for new members. Check us out at

Working Japan on HF

QRA Locator Squares Confirmed

Japan QRA Locs cfm - eQSL/LOTW/Paper

Japanese squares confirmed and worked

Japan Awards

The following site by VK5PAS gives really useful information on the Japan (JARL) awards available.

I am presently working on the following awards:

AJD – Worked all (10) Japan Districts / Call areas.
WAJA – Worked all Japan prefectures (47 of them!)
Click here for a useful map of districts and prefectures:
Details of these and other Japan awards are at the pdf leaflet hosted on the ARRL site here. For more details look-up the JARL Awards site here.
I am going to use this blog to keep track of progress on AJD and WAJA. Note that presently the JARL does not accept LOTW verification but it does accept EQSL cards (if they are printed out).

Japan Districts / Call Area confirmed on eQSL

Call AreaName40m30m20m17m15m10m
7Tohoku 東北JN7DOSJR7HRO
9Hokuriku 北陸JA9KROJA9NFO

Japan Prefectures confirmed on eQSL

NoPrefectureAreaCall40m 30m20m17m15m10m
01Hokkaidō 北海道Hokkaidō8JH8OCVJH8JYVJA8IZP
02Aomori 青森県Tōhoku7JH7BKNJA7OUV
03Iwate 岩手県Tōhoku7JN7DOSJO7KMB
04Akita 秋田県Tōhoku7JE7GXQJP7TAW
05Yamagata 山形県Tōhoku7JR7RHO
06Miyagi 宮城県Tōhoku7JA7QVI
07Fukushima 福島県Tōhoku7JH7DFZ
08Niigata 新潟県Chūbu0JH0INEJR0QKRJH0INP
09Nagano 長野県Chūbu0JA0IRMJA0MRW
11Kanagawa 神奈川県Kantō1JJ1QUVJA1BOP
12Chiba 千葉県Kantō1JL1OZIJS1MRA
13Saitama 埼玉県Kantō1JM1XCWJR1EMO
14Ibaraki 茨城県Kantō1JN1BMXJH1EIG
15Tochigi 栃木県Kantō1JG1ITH
16Gunma 群馬県Kantō1JQ1CIV
17Yamanashi 山梨県Chūbu1JA1UXCJG1ERW
18Shizuoka 静岡県Chūbu2JA2GTZJR2ATZJR2PZXJE2UFF
19Gifu 岐阜県Chūbu2JA2HYDJH2NMF
20Aichi 愛知県Chūbu2JH2FXKJR2UBS
21Mie 三重県Kansai2JH2RMU
22Kyoto 京都府Kansai3JF3AHIJA3EGY
23Shiga 滋賀県Kansai3
24Nara 奈良県Kansai3JS3TCQJA3UCO
25Osaka 大阪府Kansai3JF3VAXJO3TAPJI3CWI
26Wakayama 和歌山県Kansai3JG3TRB
27Hyōgo 兵庫県Kansai3JA3KAWJR3IIR
28Toyama 富山県Chūbu9JA9KROJA9NFO
29Fukui 福井県Chūbu9JA9FKW
30Ishikawa 石川県Chūbu9JA9CWJ
31Okayama 岡山県Chūgoku4JA4FKXJA4JKOJH4UTP
32Shimane 島根県Chūgoku4JL4CVGJI4POR
33Yamaguchi 山口県Chūgoku4JH4ALY
34Tottori 鳥取県Chūgoku4
35Hiroshima 広島県Chūgoku4JL4ENSJG4QFGJH4HMG
36Kagawa 香川県Shikoku5JA5BDZ
37Tokushima 徳島県Shikoku5JA5CEX
38Ehime 愛媛県Shikoku5JA5JFBJA5BENJH5MXB
39Kōchi 高知県Shikoku5JA5JGYJA5TX
40Fukuoka 福岡県Kyūshū6JE6HJTJA6JEWJE6JAS
41Saga 佐賀県Kyūshū6JA6MWW
42Nagasaki 長崎県Kyūshū6
43Kumamoto 熊本県Kyūshū6JR6FRV
44Ōita 大分県Kyūshū6JA6VQA
45Miyazaki 宮崎県Kyūshū6
46Kagoshima 鹿児島県Kyūshū6JA6IUQ (*)
47Okinawa 沖縄県Kyūshū6
* indicates paper QSL only

Falkland Islands on 30m and 60m

Always a pleasure to work the Falkland Islands on any band. This was my first QSO to the islands on 30m (FT4). A nice digital QSO with Donald Betts in Port Stanley on Christmas Day 2020. Over 12,000Km using 100W and a DX Commander Lite vertical. All my previous QSO’s to the Falklands have been with VP8LP (60m, 20m and 17m).

60m digital QSO with VP8LP: