[na-user] COUNTRY.DAT

dap14@chrysler.com dap14@chrysler.com
Fri, 16 Oct 1998 11:03:41 -0400

There have been questions about COUNTRY.DAT here on the reflector.  Some

Many years ago, COUNTRY.DAT was originally an evolution from K1EA's country
file formats.  Back then, CT had separate files for CQ and DXCC, each of
which had to be updated separately.  With NA we made it one file (which
only has to be edited once), then gave NAU the task of removing non-DXCC
countries, sorting the entries (to improve file loading speed) and creating
the separate DXCC and CQ country table files.  At the same time, we added
latitude and longitude data (this was before CT incorporated this) and
added an asterisk flag to denote countries with QSL bureaus so the NAQSL
could identify and generate bureau cards.

Jim Reisert, AD1C had been maintaining the country files for CT and
graciously agreed to do so for NA as well.  He maintains one big master
file, and then has specialized programs which break the data down into
CT/TR and NA formats.

I've asked Jim whether it would be of any benefit if NA would change to the
CT/TR format.  His reply was that since the breakdown programs are done and
working, there would be little benefit.  My conclusion was that since the
NA format files are readily available on the DATOM web site, it did not
matter much except to folks who use CT and/or TR in addition to NA.  At the
same time, we would have to give up the "bureau QSLing" feature in NAU.

Ron, WD4AHZ has been communicating with me concerning CQM contest support.
CQM uses a different multiplier involving combinations of countries and
Russian districts (if I recall correctly).  Ron took the time to
cut-and-paste together the correct file for CQM, but what happens the next
time the country info changes?  From my view it looks like CQM could be
another candidate for automated slicing and dicing the country data into a
separate file.

Anyways, AD1C has told me the NA-format country files will be out soon, if
not by now.  These will get posted to the NA web site as soon as they are
available and an announcement will be posted to the reflector.


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