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Re: [CQ-Contest] TR4W Report

To: "CQ-Contest" <cq-contest@contesting.com>
Subject: Re: [CQ-Contest] TR4W Report
From: Pete Smith <n4zr@contesting.com>
Date: Sun, 02 Dec 2007 11:00:50 -0500
List-post: <mailto:cq-contest@contesting.com>
As Tom, N1MM will tell you, generating good-sounding CW from a Windows 
program is a hard problem.  About 3 years ago, Tom had solved it thoroughly 
enough that I could not tell the difference between his LPT port CW and 
W1AW.  I nevertheless welcomed the advent of the Winkey by K1EL, an 
inexpensive outboard keyer that also has a USB port for sending CW messages 
from a logging program.  There's a reason why so many logging programs now 
support Winkey - it does the job almost flawlessly, at low cost, and 
without software writers having to reinvent the wheel.

73, Pete N4ZR

At 08:13 PM 12/1/2007, steve.root@culligan4water.com wrote:
>Due to work and family commitments I wasn't able to put in much of an 
>effort into the ARRL 160 contest this year. But like Dick I was intrigued 
>by a Windows version of TR. The version of TR4W I have doesnt support 2 
>radio operatio yet but it would work well for a single band contest like 
>the 160. I managed to get a few hours in this evening and test drive this 
>program while I was at it.
>It's close, in fact very close in operation to TR. However I did notice 
>that on an intermittent basis is would send poor sounding CW. Not 
>gargbage, but the timing was goofy. I've never had TR-DOS act like this. 
>I'm using a 1.3 Ghz pentium with 1.3 G of Ram running Windows XP SP2.
>Other than the CW keying issue I had nothing to complain about.
>73 Steve K0SR
> >-----Original Message-----
> >From: Richard J. Norton [mailto:richardjnorton@gmail.com]
> >Sent: Friday, November 30, 2007 07:01 AM
> >To: 'CQ-Contest'
> >Subject: [CQ-Contest] TR4W Report
> >
> >This is not a report about operating from Gabon, but a report about a
> >Windows-based version of the TR-Log contest logging program.
> >
> >While in California, VU2PTT alerted me to the existence of the TR4W
> >program, produced by Dmitriy Gulyaev, UA4WLI. Being an old dog, and
> >not wanting to learn new tricks, I desired a contest logging program
> >that would permit me to use the efficient features of TR-Log to which
> >I have become accustomed, and also work with today's computers.
> >Essentially, TR-Log differs from other logging programs in that it
> >functions differently in the CQ mode and the S&P mode. Keystroke
> >functions are minimized for each mode, and hitting the easy-to-find
> >"enter" or "space" or "escape" key will result in the desired
> >response.
> >
> >The bottom line is that TR4W works and fulfills both requirements. I
> >was active in the CQWW CW Contest from Honduras as HQ2A, where I gave
> >TR4W a 44 hour checkout.
> >
> >The program ran on a 1.8 MHz, Windows XP, Great-Quality brand low-cost
> >laptop purchased from Fry's Electronics, a large chain computer store.
> >The computer has one parallel printer port, no serial ports, and two
> >USB ports.
> >
> >TR4W generates CW without any external boxes, and runs the
> >one-transistor keying interfaces such as the W1WEF units. You can
> >detect that the Windows XP-generated keying is not perfectly uniform
> >if you are critically listening, but when I spoke with people after
> >the contest, no one reported noticing anything during my operation.
> >Given my power-line noise environment, I never transmitted faster than
> >38 WPM, as I didn't want people answering me at higher speeds. Mostly,
> >I used 32 WPM.
> >
> >The computer keyed an Icom IC-765 through its parallel port, with a
> >single transistor interface. While testing the TR4W program in
> >California, I borrowed a USB to serial adapter, and subsequently also
> >had TR4W reading and controlling the frequency of an FT-1000D. In
> >Honduras, I borrowed HC2J's IC-765 transceiver at the last moment, and
> >had no cables to permit frequency interface during the CQWW.
> >
> >The TR4W look on the display is very similar, but not exactly the
> >same, to that of TR-Log since TR4W permits optionally including or
> >excluding support-information windows such as missing-multipliers or
> >bandmaps.
> >
> >Operationally, the programs essentially perform identically. A few
> >minor things didn't work in the 2.32 version that I used, such as the
> >quick-QSL key. But using a keying-paddle also directly connected to
> >the IC-765, I was comfortably able to accomplish the same thing. In
> >fact, in cases where I had copied two callsigns at once, I was able to
> >work the two stations in a row quite smoothly with the keyboard and
> >paddle combination.
> >
> >No packet associated features were tested or should ever be expected
> >to be tested by me.
> >
> >Once in a while, the program would cease to work. Then I would find
> >that somehow the mouse icon had slipped out of the TR4W window. Moving
> >the cursor back and clicking would get things working again. Note that
> >I look at the keyboard to type.
> >
> >I used an earlier version, TR4W 2.32 beta, that saved the log files as
> >plain text files such as done by TR-Log. Having seen many cases of
> >corrupted binary log files over the year, I am partial to
> >easy-to-correct text files. Text files also permit use of my TR-Log
> >analysis tools. I notice that the newest version of TR4W seems to save
> >log files in a binary format, but has capability for exporting of the
> >text files.
> >
> >TR4W operation was perfectly satisfactory. Last year, I carried a 486
> >DOS-based desktop overseas in checked luggage to permit use of the
> >DOS-based TR-Log program. This year, only my laptop, which comes along
> >anyway, took the overseas trip.
> >
> >TR4W, in its current beta version, is freeware. It is available at
> >http://tr4w.qrz.ru/
> >
> >Thanks to UA4WLI for producing it.
> >
> >73,
> >
> >Dick Norton, N6AA
> >_______________________________________________
> >CQ-Contest mailing list
> >CQ-Contest@contesting.com
> >http://lists.contesting.com/mailman/listinfo/cq-contest
> >
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