[na-user] W9XT card and NA SSB problem

dap14@chrysler.com dap14@chrysler.com
Wed, 24 Jun 1998 11:18:02 -0400

Dan, W8CAR wrote about having trouble running NA with a W9XT contest card.
He said that the utility program W9XT provides with the card would work OK.
K8CC has three W9XT cards that work OK so I don't think NA is the problem.
However, there are some tricks with regards to LPT port addressing that
might be the culprit.  Although I'll probably bore a few people with this,
here is the explanation.

There are three possible addresses for LPT ports: 3BC, 378 and 278 (these
are hexidecimal numbers). When the computer boots up, it searches these
addresses in the order shown.  The first port it finds (if any) becomes
LPT1, the second (if any) becomes LPT2, and the third (if any) becomes

When you buy a printer port on some sort of an expansion card or on the
computer motherboard, the default addresses are usually LPT1=378 and
LPT2=278.  These are also the addresses used by the W9XT card.  However,
some cards can be set so that LPT1=3BC.  The original IBM monochrome video
card which had a built-in printer port was this way, as are most of the
Hercules monochrome video cards and clones.

This is where things get confusing.  Keep in mind what was said earlier,
that the computer searches for ports in a particular order. If you have a
3BC printer port, it will be LPT1 no matter what other cards are set for.
Therefore, a W9XT card set for LPT1 (which is address 378) will be LPT2 to
the computer's BIOS.  If the W9XT card is set for LPT2 (278) it will
*STILL* be LPT2 to the computer.   Arrrggghhh!

Needless to say, if two ports are set to the same address, its not likely
anything will work right.

To get back to W8CAR's case, I suspect that the W9XT software identifies
ports by specific addresses (i.e. LPT1=378, LPT2=278) while NA is using the
BIOS port numbering.  You can determine what ports the computer thinks is
there by checking the BIOS information screen that appears during bootup.

FYI, the main logging computer at K8CC is chock full of LPT ports.  I have
one LPT card set for 3BC which is LPT1 which has the printer because most
programs default to LPT1.  The second LPT card is set for 378 and drives a
Datom Two-Radio Switch box (CONFIG selection = LPT2).  The W9XT card is set
as LPT2, which is 278, but in this computer is LPT3 so the W9XT port
selection in NA is LPT3.

I hope this is not too confusing and this will allow Dan to get his card


Dave Pruett/K8CC
DATOM Engineering

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