[ct-user] Date Rollover Problem and Solution

Bob Fabry--N6EK fabry@surf.com
Thu, 08 Aug 1996 23:33:38 +0100

On the AL7EL/KH9 DXpedition, we had a problem where the date did not
rollover at midnight.  The XR0Y expedition also had this problem, but
intermittently.  Since CT does not display the date, one may not discover
the problem until after the expedition is over.  What a mess it makes of the

You can test for this problem by going into CT and using SETDATE to look at
the date but not change it, using SETTIME to set the time to 23:59:55,
waiting for "midnight" to pass, and then using SETDATE to look at the date
again and see if it rolled over to the next day.

I was able to isolate the problem to an interaction with the PCMCIA drivers
because when I deleted the PCMCIA driver lines from the CONFIG.SYS file, the
date rollover problem disappeared.  (Unfortunately, we use a PCMCIA card to
provide a second serial port, so this is not a permanent solution.)

I was using a Compaq Contura 400C laptop, so I called Compaq tech support.
It turns out this is a well-known problem on their Contura 400C, Contura
410C and LTE Elite computers.  It occurs whenever the computer is powered up
at midnight.  It has been fixed on the newer Compaq laptops.  It may or may
not be a problem on other brands of laptops of the same vintage (one to two
years old.)

The fix for the Compaq computers is very simple and requires editing the
CONFIG.SYS file to move the line that says:


to just before the PCMCIA driver lines instead of after them.

I wrote a little program to fix the garbled logs caused by the date rollover
problem.  If anybody has a log with this problem and needs the dates fixed,
send me mail and I'll send you the information you need.  (The easiest way
to detect a garbled log is to use B2R and then look at the dates in the RES

We discovered the bad date the hard way on Wake...  Don, WB2DND, took one of
the logging computers down to predict orbits for the satellites we wanted to
work, and the predictions didn't result in QSO's.  Eventually we discovered
the date in the computer was wrong, but there was a lot of frustration first!

73, Bob, N6EK

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