The Contest Computer (Cereal Ports by IR Qurious)

W3MM at W3MM at
Sun Dec 24 17:46:13 EST 1995

Seasons Greetings!  I hope that everyone enjoys their holidays.

In the last post we established that you are going to have to put
some serial ports to work.  Well every serial port is going to 
require an IRQ in our setup.  What is an IRQ?  An IRQ is an
interrupt.  Say again last transmission!  An interrupt is the suspension
of a normal programming routine of a computer to carry out a specific
                      and immediate task.  The computer then transfers
control to an
interrupt handling program which after execution, returns control
to the interrupted program.  I still don't quite get it.  Well I think
that George Cook, AA3JU, would describe an interrupt as the 
telephone ringing in the middle of the wild sex session that  takes
place after the contest at his house.  OK!  Now it is perfectly

You just hit the enter key to log a QSO.  The CPU kicks the hard
drive in the rear and tells it to write the QSO info to the disk.  At the
same time that you hit the enter key the packet TNC burped out
a DX spot and the interrupt for the serial port is screaming at the
CPU, "Hey!  Listen to me!"  After the CPU has thoroughly kicked
the hard drive's rear, it will turn it's attention to the rude interrupt
that is bothering it and say, "OK Junior, What do you have?"
The point to remember here is that the CPU cannot talk to every-
body at the same time.  The speeds that we are going to use in
our serial port setups are slow enough that the pecking order is 
not important.

The computer has 16 interrupts that are numbered from 0-15. Wow!
This is a piece of cake.  We have plenty of interrupts!   Slow
down people.  The computer won't let you have the whole cake.
The computer uses some of the interrupts to do it's internal house
keeping.  Interrupts 0-7 are called the "low" interrupts and 8-15 are
called the "high" interrupts.  I trust that everyone did their homework
and that you have the FINDIRQ utility.  

I ran the utility on a computer and I will discuss the results and
how we can apply the information so that we will be able to get
our contest setup working.
1) IRQ3, COM2, Status-in use.  The reason that you get an in-use
                                status is because you have enabled this
serial port either on your
    motherboard or on the hard drive controller card.  We do not have
    anything hooked up to this port yet.
2) IRQ4, COM1, Status-in use.  This is your serial mouse port.
3) IRQ5, Status-FREE.  Now we have a possibility for a 3rd serial
    port.  We could set this up as COM3 using IRQ5.  I prefer not to
    do this as I use the K1EA DVP on IRQ5.  You may have a sound
    card in your computer that is using IRQ5.  Also remember the
    COM4 problem in some computers.
4) IRQ7, LPT1, Status-in use.  I leave this one alone as we are going 
    to use the LPT port to key the radio.
5) IRQ2, Status-FREE.  Also look at IRQ9.  It says redirected IRQ2
    and the Status for IRQ9 is in-use.  I tend to avoid the use of IRQ2.
    I am not saying that you cannot use IRQ2.  I just do not use it.  
Well we have exhausted the low IRQ's.  Let us look at the high
IRQ's.  We find that IRQ 10, 11, 12, and 15 have a status of FREE.
Now we have some possibilities.

Now is a good time for a break in the discussion.  I will be back
and we will formulate a game plan for our setup and we will also
take care of the 4 comport card.

VY 73 de Dave  W3MM   w3mm at

>From ronklein at (Ron Klein )  Sun Dec 24 23:43:36 1995
From: ronklein at (Ron Klein ) (Ron Klein )
Date: Sun, 24 Dec 1995 15:43:36 -0800
Subject: It was the night before Christmas....
Message-ID: <199512242343.PAA27987 at>

.. and I asked my XYL, N0AJB, if I had another annual gift of the 
Pictorial Contest Calendar (1996 version) waiting for me under the tree.

She explained she had not received the annual mailing to remind her of 
the purchase this year, so the answer is "not this year, dear". 

While the 1995 version was not as complete with the contest listings as 
others, I still enjoy it. I believe CQ has been publishing it in recent 

Does anybody know if there is a source of this one this year? Or, a way 
to find out?

Thanks in advance - and Merry Christmas to all!


Ron Klein - W0OSK
ronklein at

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