RES file wrapup and solution

Jay O'Brien - W6GO
Fri, 8 Dec 1995 22:40:59 -0800 (PST)

  Thanks to all for your comments about the RES file format used in 
CT.  I can't believe all the logging programs have so many devoted 
followers!  Most of the responses suggested that I use the logging 
program they love, as it already does what I was asking for.  I am 
happy that you are all pleased with your programs.  When I published 
the GOLIST in disk format, I worked with most of the programmers of 
your programs when they built in support for my database.  They are 
great folks who put their customers first.

  Also thanks to those of you who shared your utilities for 
extracting data from the BIN files.  

  I have concluded, based on your inputs and my experimental 
verification, that the RES file is not a "common denominator" 
between contests.  All the information is there, but things change 
from contest to contest.  Also, some of the data is not clearly 
defined, but could be determined experimentally.  I have concluded 
that there is not a format which will provide ALL of the data from 
ALL of the contests in a consistent manner.  Further, there is no 
guarantee that RES files will be the same in the future.  

   Given that, I conclude that I already have the "common denominator", 
but it only contains what is needed to print a QSL, which covers my 
original reason for posting my query.  That's also enough to build a 
logging database.  It doesn't contain exact frequencies from your 
radio or some of the data received, like sweepstakes Check and 
Section, but if you should need that information for a specific QSO 
you can always look at the RES file for that contest and pull out 
the data.

   When I was "premptively QSLing", I used K1EA's QSL Utility 
Program which is supplied with CT.  It is a great program, in that 
it reads the BIN file and spits out a file which prints labels for 
QSLs, sorted by country.  It also creates a MASTER.QSL file.  When 
you process the next contest, MASTER.QSL is consulted and if you 
have already sent a QSL to a callsign for a particular band for a 
previous contest, it doesn't make another label.  

   At my request some years ago, K1EA added a -w6go switch to his 
QSL program which places the QSL label file (.LAB) information into 
a "flat ASCII" database instead of the format which will directly 
print labels.  I then imported the data into a Paradox database and 
compared it with my QSL Manager list database, so I could delete 
those QSLs that went to a manager.  I was only premptively QSLing to 
stations who were likely to send me cards via the bureau, so this 
was a logical step for me, as I had the manager database on hand.  
Then, from Paradox, I created the labels and sent the cards to the 
outgoing bureau.  It worked great for me at the time.

   I will continue to use the switch K1EA put in for me (Thanks, 
Kenny!) and use CT's QSL program.  I don't really need all that 
other information anyway.  However, I will now run the QSL program 
without a MASTER.QSL file present, so that all QSOs will have 
records placed into the file I will then import into my QSL database 
in Paradox.  I will now respond to cards received via the bureau, 
rather than send QSLs first, and the Paradox database will provide 
quick access to all QSOs.

   CT's QSL program is described in the CT Manual, under utility 
programs.  Run the QSL program once to see the label format (LAB 
file), then run it again with the -w6go switch and you will see the 
ASCII format. Unfortunately, it uses the (old) CQWW.CTY file to look 
up countries, not CTY.DAT.  Maybe that will be a CT version 10 

   To wrap up, I already had the answer to my question before I 
asked it!  For those of you who asked me to share my findings, the  
format of the LAB file made with the -w6go switch is as follows: 
QSO per line, and TAB characters are used as field separators.

   73, Jay

Administrative requests: