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[Trlog] Feature request for confirming exchange components to limit padd

Subject: [Trlog] Feature request for confirming exchange components to limit paddle use
From: "Mike Heideman" <>
Date: Wed, 15 Oct 2003 19:09:31 +0000
List-post: <>
One of the features of TR that isn't documented in the manual as far as I can tell is that the first few Alt-F# characters on CW are automatically set up in Exchange mode to query for the default exchange components sent by the corresponding F-key. For example, Alt-F1 sends "UR CALL?", Alt-F2 sends "AGN?" for the full exchange, Alt-F3 asks for the first component of the exchange, e.g., "NR?" for many contests, etc. This feature depends on the EXCHANGE RECEIVED that is either set by the CONTEST statement or separately in the config file. Typing Alt-P E Alt-F1 will show what is set up for the current contest.

These built-in queries are useful and intuitive, but I often find that after asking for a repeat I will have received something, such as a number, of which I'm not fully confident. At this point I want to ask the other station to confirm the number since he's probably hearing me better than I'm hearing him. So, for example, I send "1338?" with the paddle. For myself and for other operators I've observed the sent component will frequently be garbled and missent, forcing an extra repeat. Using F10 and the keyboard is also commonly error-prone.

It would be extremely useful to enable key mappings to ask these questions. This is already done for the callsign in Alt-F10 with Ctrl-U available as the corrected callsign. My proposal is to provide corresponding default key mappings, such as Ctrl-F3 for F3 confirmation, Ctrl-F4 for F4 confirmation, etc., and provide positional variables for the exchange components. The same logic that deciphers the exchange for logging could also figure out the components for this purpose, assuming that missing components are all at the end of the exchange.

There are only a few unused characters available for positional variables. I tried out the control characters in tables 3, 4, and 5 of the manual. I notice that Ctrl-D does 3 separate things; ending a Ctrl-C sequence, space between chained messages, and a 13% shorter dah than normal. Experimentation shows that it does not produce the 13% shorter dah. The "-" in the bottom row of Table 4 of the manual should be "CTRL--". Ctrl-[ (same as ESC key) causes an infinitely long, uninterruptible dah if it's put into a message without the following @.

I was hoping that Ctrl-1, Ctrl-2, etc. were available but I had forgotten that there are only 32 ASCII control characters. Bracketing a single digit with Ctrl-C and Ctrl-D might also work so that in SS, for instance, "NR <Ctrl-C>1<Ctrl-D>?" could confirm a received number.

For all of you that never make paddle mistakes I apologize for the bandwidth. This idea came to me after a weekend of using WriteLog in CQP with the paddle connected to an external keyer. Every time I needed to send something with the paddle it was at a different speed than the computer, causing an initial stream of gibberish. TR with PADDLE PORT doesn't have the speed discrepancy but I make enough mistakes that I'd rather the computer send these messages than me.

-Mike, N7MH

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