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Re: [NA-User] Slow F4 and INS type ahead

To: Dan Zeitlin <>
Subject: Re: [NA-User] Slow F4 and INS type ahead
From: "Jim White, K4OJ" <>
Date: Mon, 12 Jan 2004 11:29:18 -0500
List-post: <>
As far as the Yaesu CAT light, there are several approaches to fixing that problem one local found - both are from the same manufacturer.

I have seen both part number 33 and part number 88 used to fix this problem. Correctly trimmed and fitted they do a great job of fixing the CAT light problem.

Manufacturer for both is Scotch, aka 3M.

Personally I think that the Yaesu rigs should have to changes in their polling scheme to become more contester friendly - do it faster and more frequently. Why 4800 baud, this is really slow - this is slowest thing in the shack next to this old farte...

And why poll so infrequently? If this slows down the computer when it happens I have never "felt" it - why not do it more often? When you tune the band and it ain't packed you tune pretty fast... if you overshoot the bottom of the band and the rig polls at that moment then you get an "out of band" message...

Enough Yaesu bashing...

Heah Dave you know how many years I have been using NA - for the first time EVER in a contest it locked up on me this past weekend. I do not know if I hit a couple keys simultaneously or what but for the first time it froze on me. I rebooted the computer and all was fine and jolly - lost about a minute and a half.

Thanks for NA - I wonder how many tens of thousands of QSOs I have logged on it!


Jim, K4OJ

Dan Zeitlin wrote:

Thanks for the fast response Dave.
I understand.  I will install SMARTDRV.  I should have
thought of that (or read the manual) myself.
WRT the CAT light, I could live with the faster blink.
 Perhaps the next time you are modifying code, you can
think about a command line switch to increase the
blink rate.

--- "David A. Pruett" <> wrote:

At 02:47 PM 1/11/04 -0800, Dan Zeitlin wrote:

I noticed a disturbing NA behaviour this weekend

that someone may be able

to shed light on. I run CT more often than NA, so

it is possible that

this condition existed in the past without notice,

but I don't think so.

The first two problems below only occur when I have

Autocheck enabled,

independent of which callsign database is used. I

tired them all from SS

through All.

1. There is a significant delay (>1 sec) from when

I hit F4 my call is

sent. I think this condition got worse as the QSO

count increased. I

only made about 650 Q's.

At the K8CC multi-op station, we used to have a room
full of 486 computers, from 486DLC-40s, 486DX2-66s and even some
486DX4-100s, all running DOS 6.22. We did a number of multi-ops where we put
several thousand QSOs in the logs. While the response time does slow down a
little with a very large log, we had no complaints from our ops.

The secret is having disk cache software enabled. Disk cache is a software program with a big blob of memory which buffers the
hard disk so that data stays in memory (which is very fast) and does not
have to be retrieved from the drive (which is not so fast).

DOS 6.22 comes with a disk cache called SMARTDRV. It can be implemented by adding the following line to your AUTOEXEC.BAT file:

C:\DOS\smartdrv.exe /x

This assumes your DOS files are in a subdirectory
called DOS.

SMARTDRV needs to have enough memory to hold your
log, plus the MASTER.DTA file so it's not swapping the contents in and out as
you CheckPartial, then log a QSO, CheckPartial, log a QSO, etc. With 256MB
of memory as you describe, just enable SMARTDRV and you should be in
good shape..

All of this is covered in the NA manual in Section 6
under "Callsign Database Checking", so you can find this same info

2. When RUNning, if I hit INSERT with an

incomplete call and fill in the

remainder on the fly, always staying ahead of NA's

actual sending of the

call, the "on the fly" part of the call is not

sent. I noticed this right

away, early in the contest.

This is related to #1 above. The master call
database checking updates with each keystroke and has to finish the previous
key before reacting to the INSERT. Implement the suggestions given to fix
the checking speed and this problem will disappear.

3. The update rate of the CAT interface is a bit

slower than I would like

for updating the bandmap. This one appears

independent of Autocheck.

The update rate on Yaesu radios is every three
seconds while others are every one second. Yaesu radios is deliberately set
slower because of the @#%&@%#&% blinking "CAT System" lamp. When I got my
FT-1000D in 1995, I found that the slower update rate bothered me a
whole lot less than having "CAT System" blink in your face every second.

Dave Pruett, K8CC DATOM Engineering

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===== Dan Zeitlin Annapolis, Maryland

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