[na-user] Callsign Database Files

dap14@chrysler.com dap14@chrysler.com
Wed, 1 Oct 1997 11:32:57 -0400

The recent message from Matt, K7BG is probably typical of the confusion
of many NA users with regards to callsign database files, so I would
clarify the point for the benefit of all.

NA9, and early NA10 (up to 10.04, if I recall correctly) used callsign
databases with the .CAL extention.  We did this rather than using
K1EA's MASTER.DTA files because I could not figure out the format of
these files.  LTA and K8CC asked for people to submit logs so could
generate these files, but only a handful responded.  Bust city.  Later,
I wrote a program to convert K1EA's older MASTER.DAT format (a simple
ASCII list of calls) to .CAL.  With Ken's permission, we released a set
of .CAL files - WVE.CAL, DX.CALL, and ALL.CAL using data from an
up-to-date MASTER.DAT.

However, MASTER.DAT was an obsolete format so there was little or no
demand for support.  For a while, WR3G (now N3RA) was maintaining
MASTER.DTA, and other people such as K4PQL (now N4AF) were producing
specialized .DTA files such as CW-only, VHF, etc. using a program
written by K2MM.  When N6TR chose to support MASTER.DTA, it seemed like
NA should follow suit, particularly if it got LTA and I out of the
business of providing callsign databases.

Caveat Emptor: It has been my experience that callsign databases
produced with the K2MM program are dysfunctional in that the callsigns
in the database are not sorted in alphabetical order.  As a result, the
callsigns are not in alphabetical order when displayed in the CHECK
PARTIAL window.  This effects all three major programs - CT, NA, and
TRLog.  Perhaps K2MM has fixed this by now.

Beginning with NA 10.04, .DTA files are used for callsign database
checking (Super Check Partial to ex-CT users).  This has proved to be a
boon for NA users, as the .DTA files are readily available.  NA allows
the .DTA files to have ANY base filename, so that multiple different
.DTA files can reside on your computer and be selected with the
CALLDATABASE text command.

AD1C has taken over supporting the MASTER.DTA file.  He recently posted
a note to the CQ-CONTEST and 3830 reflectors asking for people to send
him logs from the 1996-97 contest season so that he can use the data to
generate a 1997 version of MASTER.DTA.  He is also kind enough to post
the most recent MASTER.DTA to the DATOM web site at
http://www.contesting.com/datom where anybody can download it (no
password required).

To summarize, NA before version 10.04 needs .CAL callsign database
files, which are only available on the LTA BBS.  NA 10.04 or later
needs .DTA formats (not MASTER.DAT).

I hope this clarifies things.



---------------------- Forwarded by David A Pruett/JTE/Chrysler on
10/01/97 11:09 AM ---------------------------

        owner-na-user @ contesting.com
        10/01/97 10:53 AM
Please respond to aa7bg@3rivers.net @ SMTP
To: na-user @ contesting.com @ SMTP
Subject: [na-user] master.dat files

I recently downloaded the master.dat files just for the heck of it. I
never used them, but thought I would "give them a go."  Well, if I
understand correctly there are 3 files. US/VE; DX; and both together.

I downloaded them all. When I type OPTIONS in the callsign field and
the DX file it works fine. When I try to use the US/VE file or the 'both
together' file they don't work at all. I tried downloading US/VE again
thinking I didn't get a good copy, but it still doesn't work!?

Anyone know what I'm missing here? I am using NA 9.something. I know
the vanity calls, etc. the old files aren't real accurate but I was just
trying them out when I discovered these vagaries.

Thanks, Matt--K7BG

Submissions:              na-user@contesting.com
Administrative requests:  na-user-REQUEST@contesting.com
WWW:                      http://www.contesting.com/datom/
Questions:                owner-na-user@contesting.com

Submissions:              na-user@contesting.com
Administrative requests:  na-user-REQUEST@contesting.com
WWW:                      http://www.contesting.com/datom/
Questions:                owner-na-user@contesting.com