[na-user] SO2R & Big Plus Key

k8cc k8cc <k8cc@mediaone.net>
Tue, 07 Nov 2000 10:35:30 -0500


There are several points I'd like to make concerning the point you raise:

First, one of the things NA users tell me they appreciate is that the 
software is designed such that "a key is a key" - i.e., you press a key and 
get a specific program function, regardless of some current program mode 
that may or may not be intuitive to everyone.  For example, this is the 
opposite of the way TRLog is designed, with function keys that change 
definition as the program changes its "mode" on its own, depending on what 
it "thinks" you're doing.  The one exception to this seems to be the 
"Sprint Mode Logic" for sending Sprint exchanges (your call first or last) 
which users for the most part think is pretty cool, once they've set it up 

The "big plus key" (i.e., the BPK) is the "Log and QRZ key".  CT invented 
it and we followed the convention.

Second, your observation about pressing the BPK throwing you back to the 
first radio is certainly correct.  However, I would offer that pressing the 
BPK, or the return key for that matter, prior to receiving confirmation of 
your exchange is bad practice.  If, for some reason the other station 
cannot receive your exchange and says "SRI NO QSO" you now have a bogus QSO 
in the log.  I've done this, but now have trained myself not to log the QSO 
until the on-the-air activity to complete it is done.

As a somewhat related item to this, N6RT has offered the suggestion that in 
the Sprint, after logging an SO2R QSO, most often you want to *stay* on 
that radio to work (hopefully) the caller that will tailend.  Obviously, 
this is a feature that only pertains to the Sprint, so an upcoming release 
will have a program option called STAY ON ALTERNATE RADIO AFTER QSO that 
the user can enable.

Third, you make the point that you occasionally need to send "something" on 
the main radio to "hold
the callers" there.  This point was raised earlier this year by W6NL, which 
is why F4 now sends your call on the main radio.  F1 and F4 now apply to 
the main radio while making an SO2R QSO, which I think gives enough 
capability in this situation.



At 12:47 AM 11/7/00 -0600, R.S.Hradilek wrote:

>We all know that the Plus Key finishes off a contact when we are
>running. It is the equivalent of pressing RETURN (to post the
>contact to the log) followed by F3 (the QRZ message).
>SO2R contacts are implicitly Search and Pounce. There is no TU
>QRZ on the other station's run frequency and thus, the big plus key
>is not useful. Furthermore, when you are in 2nd radio mode
>pressing it is a mistake, because it posts the QSO and QRZ's. I
>pressed it accidentally during several 2nd radio contacts, since I
>usually use the INS key to send the station's call and SS
>exchange on the 2nd radio. (This mistake switches you back to the
>main radio, leaving the guy on your 2nd radio waiting for his
>exchange. You can up arrow back to the contact and try to send it,
>but it will go out on the wrong radio. You have to flip radios and
>send the exchange on your paddle. It's possible that I am the only
>one who has been in this loop.)
>I think there is a better use for the Big Plus when the software is in
>2nd radio mode. In this mode, the function keys and paddle are
>normally all dedicated to the 2nd radio contact. You cannot send
>anything on your run frequency without messing up the 2nd radio
>There are times when stations call you after you have jumped to
>the 2nd radio. If you have the feature enabled which restarts the CQ
>on your run freq every time you finish sending on the 2nd radio, it is
>very likely somebody will answer your CQ before you are finished
>with the long SS exchange. You CQ in their face uncontrollably.
>Been there?
>The answer is in the Big Plus key. In 2nd radio contact mode, it
>could send a didahdididit or QRX on the run frequency; letting
>callers know you are aware of them, but QRV. It should also
>suspend the repeat CQ'ing (if enabled) until the 2nd radio contact is
>completed or aborted.
>I think this functionality would smooth out a common wrinkle in
>SO2R operation, though I also believe that the 2-radio integration in
>NA is the best of all the contest software programs.
>Roy -- AD5Q

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