[NA-User] Feedback from IARU

Jim George n3bb at mindspring.com
Mon Jul 14 17:47:05 EDT 2003

K5PI and I used NA 10.58 in the recent IARU.  We were a LP M/S and 
networked two 486DX PCs together with a null modem.  There were several 
weird things that occurred, and some could be due to RFI.  However I will 
pose them to this knowledgeable group and see if I  can learn something 
from it.

1. We were limited by the ten minute rule (band and mode) and one operator 
would tune a different band, or the other mode on the same band, and 
populate the bandmap so that he had a lot of fresh stations to call when 
the ten minutes were up.  We finally figured out that we could set the 
changes in the "bandmaptime" by "Comtrol Enter" however we never could find 
any reference to that command in the manual, and were frustrated for an 
hour or so until K5PI figured it out.  The manual should include this info 
in the "Set Bandmap Time" portion of the manual.

2. There does not seem to be any way to delete stations populated in the 
bandmap other than to let them time out.  The "delete" function works fine 
for packet spots (we didn't use packet" as I recall, and I wonder why one 
cannot delete stations on the bandmap the same way.

3. Due to FRI or some cosmic reason, there were one or two times when the 
QSO data for station working a contact was corrupted and didn't transfer to 
the other PC properly.  The call or 599 or exchange was erroneous.  It 
would not update properly.  One of these corrupted the *time* and then four 
or five QSOs later, all the subsequent QSOs (250 in total) had the wrong 
time as well, all on the "second PC," not the originating PC, which had the 
correct data in it.  I had to sit down and alter every one with the "time 
edit" capability.  I suppose we should have noticed this in real time, but 
we didn't.

4. Each PC ommitted one QSO which was included in the other PC.  I ran the 
"merge qdf files" capability in NAU after the contest, after I had manually 
corrected the times.  The "timesynch" command didn't bring the times 
together: I suppose they were too far off.  The "merge qdf" utility seemed 
to be working, but there were approximately 150 QSOs additional in the 
merged log, all noted as "dupe" as they were already in the main body.  So 
I can't seem to get the QDF to merge into one clean file with the 
additional one QSO!  It's a zone 7, and a one pointer, so no big deal, but 
I don't understand why the merge capability is working this way.

5. K5PI had a large bandmap populated one time, and the bandmap disappeared 
completely.  He never could get it back.  Weird!

6. Thanks to Dave for expanding the field for the exchange to sic 
characters, as we had PJ2HQ using VERONA, and NA accepted it fine.

7. I still would like to see a "start transmitting after X characters" 
capability.  I am not a fast typist and would like the radio to begin 
transmitting after I enter the first three characters of the call when I'm 
running stations.

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