[WriteLog] automation support to track focus. WAS: WriteLog 12.23 no

Tom Georgens tomgeorgens15 at gmail.com
Wed Dec 13 11:39:20 EST 2017

As the user of this function I figured that I would give an example of its
use case.

I have a home brew station controller that automates nearly every aspect of
the station ranging from filters to antennas to headphones.  It interfaces
to Writelog through the K3 radio interface.  My controller software
interface looks to Writelog as a K3 radio.  I then map keyboard shortcuts
the macros that can be sent to this false K3.  That way I can control the
station entirely from the Writelog keyboard and eliminate nearly all

I also have another program that wraps around writelog that provides for
more sophisticated keyboard mapping to enable me to experiment and
customize.  Some of those functions need information from within Writelog.
Before Wayne implemented the Unique plus on 1, I would need the call as
entered and would send it to an outboard program to do this.  I wanted to
change the length of the CW messages based on the rate meter.  I switch in
matching stubs on one of my antennas based on the frequency.  The OLE
automation interface inside of Writelog was a way to get at all of that
information.  Ii proved to be very simple to use in my programs and very

Three days before the most recent CQWW SSB, I had a lightning strike his my
station and plenty of gear got damaged.  One thing was my station controller
where every IC was destroyed.  Inside this box were two W5XD multikeyer
chips, which are now obsolete and hard to find replacements.  It seemed a
good time to move away from these parts as an integral part of the station
control.  The Winkeyer was a good substitute for CW and PTT.  However, I
still needed the band information and A/B radio selection.  I did not have
LPT ports or any other physical serial ports to use, I did not want rig
specific band interfaces so I wanted a software interface instead.  The Band
information was available from polling the frequency using the OLE function,
or OTRSP.  OTRSP had an inconsistency with the PTT bits that Wayne also
lists as fixed in the latest release.  The last issue was A/B switching.
This was not discernable from the current OLE data that was made available.
Wayne now added the ability to query the transmit focus.

He added more than the ability to poll the data, but the ability to be
notified when it changes.  This is very cool, but a bit beyond my
programming skill to integrate.

Hope that helps.  The automation is not for everybody, but it is very simple
to use with Visual Basic or AutoHotKey if you are so inclined.

Many thanks to Wayne for adding this functionality.

73, Tom W2SC 8P5A

-----Original Message-----
From: WriteLog [mailto:writelog-bounces at contesting.com] On Behalf Of
support at writelog.com
Sent: Wednesday, December 13, 2017 6:51 AM
To: writelog at contesting.com
Subject: Re: [WriteLog] automation support to track focus. WAS: WriteLog
12.23 no

> Someone please watch the demo and tell Kostas and me what it is. I am 
> not computer literate enough to do the demo.
I apologize for my cryptic comments, but this feature is for those that want
to write their own programs to make WriteLog do things it does not already
do. Said another way, its like a tool to soup up your car engine.

In more detail that you probably wanted...

The new "track focus" automation support was added at the request of a
WriteLog user that has homebrewed very extensive hardware support for SO2R
operation: headphone, microphone, amplifier, and antenna switching. That
equipment required him to also write a sort of interface program that
controlled the equipment based on what radio the operator was listening to,
transmitting on, and what bands the rigs were on.

WriteLog has since very early on supported "automation interfaces"
for the purpose of doing this sort of thing. But, until 12.23, it did not
have a software interface so that a program running on the PC with WriteLog
could monitor the operator focus. WriteLog has, again for a very long time,
made the operator's focus known to external SO2R boxes, and that is how this
particular ham was making things work. But it was easier for him, and made
his program look less like an octopus with its tentacles into all the
corners of his contesting software/hardware setup, for WriteLog to provide
this information through an automation interface--one less thing for his
SO2R program to talk to.

So this new feature is a small addition on top of the automation support
that has been there for a very long time.

The github link is not so much demonstrations as I have referred to it, but
really examples that show how software can connect to WriteLog. You'll need
the Microsoft programming tools to make them do anything. Their free tools
work with WriteLog.

Wayne, W5XD

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