[WriteLog] Redundancy in contests

Clive Whelan gw3njw at onetel.net.uk
Wed Jan 22 18:36:32 EST 2003

W0UN--John Brosnahan wrote:
> Guess I could add a KVM switch and if the
> main computer fails just dump the keyboard, video, mouse
> over to the backup system!

I have just such a set up running XP on both machines, NTFS on 
the main "office" ( for want of a better word) machine, and 
FAT32 on the dedicated radio machine. Boy was I glad I kept 
FAT32 on the radio machine, when it went South ( taking the 
network with it), and I was able to read the files and dump them 
under DOS, to a spare HDD after booting from a floppy.

But here's the rub. If the radio machine dies in the middle of 
the contest, I can flip the KVM switch and carry on logging on 
the other machine transparently, but of course I have lost RS232 
control and automatic keying etc. Sure, I could finish the 
contest on the paddle and just log on the computer, but after 40 
odd hours I'd really rather not so do! I could also crawl under 
the bench and switch some DB9/25 connectors, and conceivably 
even re-instate SO2R, but after 40 hours, well you get the 

So the question is, what scheme might one devise  to hook COM 
ports from each machine in "parallel" ( like automatic printer 
sharing), and be able to switch from one set to another without 
pain/strain? Somebody must have thought this through?

On this side, such an approach is called belt and braces. Well 
you know how it is, just when you think you've cracked it, along 
comes a swarm of killer bees!



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