[NA-User] More Detail on WPX Issues

Robert Pack (NX5M) nx5m at txcyber.com
Sun May 28 23:53:51 EDT 2006

Just to recap............
This weekend I had all the computers connected in a LOOP network for a multi-multi operation in the WPX CW contest.  
The first problem was the 20m station computer locking up when the spacebar was pressed and the call was a dupe.  The computer totally locked up.  Thought it might be a keyboard issue and it was just coincidence that it locked up at that exact moment.  K8BB suggested turn off the "Beep on Dupe Callsign" in ALERTS control panel.  At first I thought that might have solved the problem but it ended up happening again.  But once the system cratered we had no choice but to shut the computer down and restart it.
The other issue was on the 10m station where the computer would sometimes default to 160SSB (note that all radios are interfaced with the computer/software).  Here again we would have to restart the computer.
I made the decision to go back to 10.60 and see how things would work there.  That changed nothing so I am sure it is not a 10.61 issue.
It has been suggested that rf may have been a problem.  If there was any stray rf in the shack it was not detected in any of the equipment.  But it could indeed have something to do with the problems.
This was the first time to use the newly installed LOOP network hub.  The hub is in a metal case so it is shielded very well.  The cables may be the problem as I am afraid they are not shielded.  I did this hub install over the last few days and just used whatever cables I had around the shack.
The system was tested a week ago when I had 3 other ops here and we were logging practice qsos so fast that the rate meter was pegged at 999 for 15 minutes.  We could not make the system fail.  Of course we never logged any dupes either so I do not know what to think about the dupe issue I mentioned above.
IF there was RF involved........why would the computer lock up every time a dupe call was entered and after the spacebar was pressed......CRASH.  I'd also like to mention that it also locked up a few times when a GAB message was sent across the network......right at the instant the gab message was displayed......CRASH.
Of course at the end of the contest none of the computers were showing the same numbers (expected).
When the logs were merged I found that something was seriously wrong.  
I am going to skip all the stuff I did in between the final solution but what I found was that there was a qso on the first line of the logging screen.....above where our first actual qso was logged.
It looked like this:
   nr    band     time    call     rst    nr    mult
   0      40cw   .....              599           /////
QSO number zero, no time shown, no call and no number shown.  How did this line end up in the log?
It corrupted the whole log until I finally figured out a way to remove it.  Going back into NA I was able to enter a call in the blank space and then use the utility function (NAU/Remove a QSO) to get it out.  Once that was done I was able to merge the qdf files from each computer to come up with what I think is a valid qdf file that seems to be as close to accurate as I can expect.

So what do you guys think?  It is hard to resolve what one cannot see.

Bob NX5M

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