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 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.

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-7800, a 

  • an Elecraft K3 with subreceiver installed

  • a Yaesu FT-1000D

  • a Yaesu FTDX-5000

  • a Yaesu FTDX-9000 with the PEP firmware installed

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. 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.

Viewing and Selecting DX Spots

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. Spotted callsigns that are known to participate in the ARRL's Logbook of the World (LotW) and spotted callsigns that are Authenticity Guaranteed members of eQSL.cc are highlighted with the background color specified in SpotCollector. 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.

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.

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.