Computers and the Sprint

Larry Tyree tree at
Tue Sep 14 14:24:12 EDT 1993

>> Kevin, NC6U writes...

>> 3.  I took too long from sending someone's call to punching the little
>> itty-bitty memory button side-mounted on the Bencher paddle.  After a couple
>> of hours, I finally figured this out and began to use the buttons on the keyer
>> with my left hand, but this required alot of unnecessary motion (I also tune
>> with the left hand).  Need to replace the little itty-bitty buttons with big
>> fat buttons in a better place - pure ergonomics.

> N2IC replies....

> After years of being "afraid" to use a computer in the Sprint (although I
> although I started using CT in 1987 for DX contests), I started using NA
> about 2 years ago.

> It is soooooo  easy ....

> While tuning the band with the right hand, I keep my left index finger
> poised over the F4 key (which sends my call).  When I want to dump my call
> in, it takes about 1/2 inch of movement to hit F4.

> I have the F2 key programmed with : # STEVE CO N2IC
> When my CQ is answered, I type in the call and hit INSERT, and out comes
> NC6U 123 STEVE CO N2IC  .

> I don't even program my AEA CK-2 for contests anymore.

> For Sprint running an old version of NA, I am using an old XT clone, with
> the "old style" keyboard with the function keys on the left side.  I really
> like it more than the "new style" keyboard on my 486.  The XT is plenty fast
> for this old version of NA and 350 QSO's.  I hope K8CC hasn't crippled
> NA in the newer versions so it still runs fast on an XT.

There may still be a better way, how about this?

Instead of pressing F4, you could press the SPACE BAR.  This is a lot
easier to find in a hurry and more comfortable than the F4 key (on most
keyboards that I have seen).  Also, if you decide that the station you
are calling is a dupe, you can press the SPACE BAR again and instantly
stop your call.

How do you decide if he is a dupe?  If you have to key in some characters,
you are probably taking too long.  You should be able to look at the CRT
and see a dupesheet without having to hit any keys.  This dupesheet should
show the calls by call district in alphabetical order and maybe even
color coded to make it easy to pick out the different call districts.

Using a computer should make the sprint easier to operate, after you have
become comfortable enough with the software that it doesn't get in your
way.  I actually have time to munch on some snacks or drink some water
now.  The discipline the program gives you makes things more efficient
as well.  Making sure you send you call in the right place is automatic
now.  If a dupe calls you, he is told he is a dupe automatically.  A
simulator is used to make sure you have all the steps down before the

Of course it needs to run on your old XT clone and handle 350 QSOs (or

Oh, and when a station answers your CQ, you should just type in his
call.  When the fourth character is typed in, the program starts
sending his call, and when the CW catches up to you, then it sends the
exchange.  No INSERT key, no delay.  You should also be able to change
the CW speed of different elements of the exchange.  This could be used
to send his callsign and my callsign fast.

Also, the program should know most everyone's name before you work them
once and remember their QTH on the second QSO.  If you need to override
the program, you can just grab your paddle and start sending.  The program
will sense this and stop sending the preprogrammed message and let you
send manually at the same speed.

Well, that is what I think anyway.

Tree  N6TR

More information about the CQ-Contest mailing list