[TRLog] Sprint notes

Tree N6TR n6tr@teleport.com
Fri, 5 Sep 1997 12:33:17 -0700 (PDT)

As those of you who have used logging software during the CW sprint
know - the is a very difficuly contest to deal with through a 
keyboard.  However, with enough practice, it does become easier.

Here are a few notes I would like to pass along.

1. While the CALLSIGN UPDATE ENABLE feature is useful for updating the
callsign from the exchange window - it can do the wrong thing if you are
in the search and pounce mode and you need to send the station's
callsign as part of the exchange. 

The callsign isn't updated until AFTER the search and pounce exchange
is sent.  This means, you will send the wrong callsign to the station
you are working.

I will see if I can improve on this - but typically, it takes some
computing time to crunch what is in the exchange window and figure
out if there is a callsign there (it depends on the exchange format
in some cases).  This would create a small delay from the time you
press RETURN to send the exchange, until it is actually sent - which
I find to be very annoying.

Another problem is if you use F2 to send the exchange.  In this case,
the information is sent without looking at the contents of the 
exchange window (you aren't trying to log the QSO yet).

This means, it is probably a good idea not to use this feature, and 
instead practice those cursor movement keys (Control-C, Control-E,
Control-S and Control-D for example) instead.  This will allow you
to zip to the call window and make corrections there.

2. When calling a station (by pressing the SPACE BAR), it is a good
idea to use the time it takes to send your call to enter the callsign
of the station (if you know it).  After you have entered it, press
Control-Z.  This is a very important feature.  Control-Z will move
your cursor to the exchange field AND fill in the initial exchange.

Hopefully, if you are calling blind, the station will conform to the
convention of sending their call before the exchange when they were
the one calling CQ.  This will allow you to enter the call, press
Control-Z and then enter any missing exchange elements.

This convention makes sense if you think about it.  If you send your
call at the end of the exchange, it is likely that someone will call
you.  This isn't a desirable thing when you are trying to copy the
exchange of the guy who answered your CQ.  Only send you call at the
end of your exchange when you are prepared to respond to someone
calling you.  This is alreay pre-programmed into the default messages
of TR and you should be doing the right thing since the CQ EXCHANGE
is different than the S&P EXCHANGE.

The hardest scenario to deal with is when the station sends their
call at the end fo the exchange.  This not only forces you to enter
all of the data (since you can't take advantage of any initial exchange
or exchange memory) AND it leaves you with a bunch of keystrokes to
make in a short period of time before you can respond.

Since the CALLSIGN UPDATE ENABLE feature is out, you need to move up 
to the CALLSIGN WINDOW, and enter the call there.  

3. Remember to put MY NAME = blah and MY STATE = blah in your logcfg.dat
file BEFORE the CONTEST statement.  This will let the program correctly
set up the various messages.  These are the actual defaults that I 
personally use (saves me from having to remember how I configure the
program for my own use).  

Remember, CQ Messages F5 through F8 are configured to send on the inactive 
radio - which really only means anything if you are using two radios.
This is also true for Exchange memories F7 and F8.  These six messages
have a Contro-A (send message on inactive radio) and a Control-B
(this is a CQ) at the start of them.  The Control-B allows you to
enter the callsign of a station answering the CQ in the call window
and the program will use the "inactive" radio for the QSO.  

Remember you can use the function keys for fills.  EXCHANGE F3 will
send the number, F4 sends the name and F5 the QTH.  If you need a
fill, the same key works (with the Alt key).  For example, Alt-F3
will ask for the number.  F1 sends the call and F2 will repeat the
exchange (without callsigns).  These are all EXCHANGE FUNCTION keys.

4.  A couple of people have had problems with the simulator.  There is
one big difference in how the simulator works since last sprint.  The
TRMASTER.DTA database is used to pull callsigns out of.  Since it is
possible for a callsign to exist in the database without a name, the
simulator continues to pull calls out of the database until it finds 
one with a name.  If you don't have any calls with names in your 
database - it might take the program a long time to find one.

I know these are very specific details, but hopefully they make some
sense and will increase your enjoyment of the contest.

If you have any other questions about using the program in the sprint,
please don't hesitate to contact me - either via e-mail or at home
tomorrow (well before the contest and not during it please!).  It is
obviously one of my favorite things to talk about.

73 Tree (aka Bert) N6TR / K7RAT

PS: If you would like to be on the BARC sprint team, let me know.
All comers accepted!!  Just get on.

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