Tuesday, November 29, 2011

CQWWCW and Murphy

Had a very good  start  at 80/160 Saturday early morning  at about 04:30 the counter was 500 QSO  had some very good runs.
Then had to sleep knowing I would miss  the early 10m opening  to Asia/ VK/ZL/JA.


But then Saturday after 1 QSO with a late signal of VK2IM on 10m  I could not tune the STEPPIR   and while trying this N1MM gave the "this action can not be completed because the other process is busy" MSGbox error.. brrr bad news  and these error BOX in Visual basic should not be used since it brings you in an endless error loop. I avoid these msgBoxes in programs  it is very annoying and blocking you to do any other possible actions to  fix or determine what is the problem.
The msgbox pops up as soon as you try anything to open or close in N1MM. The other annoying msgbox:  "would you like to send an error report?" popup... A question upon yes or no gives the same result. 
  
  I could not  fix it by restart  it said com2 already open  but  no programs where using com2..
USB-converter broken?  Also WSPR reported  COM2 error..
Then  replaced the USB-serial converter  and it worked again.. 


Still the Steppir would not cooperate.


Finally got it to run..   
The next problem showed up a random "send message delay"
When replying a call with enter, the T/R switched in normal quick but it took sometimes seconds before the  reply CW message was send..
Very frustrating. N1MM CWIO  dll   always worked  flawless. Better than the K1EL keyer.  Even when  CPU load is pushed to 100% when TX-ing  N1MM keyer has a fantastic timing.
That is  until now in this CQWWCW...
Switched off call look-up  fifo buffer unchecked 
Latest version download anything I could think off tried.


I have seen on the N1MM group  there was a similar delay problem caused by the cluster load  when the spots are coming from the Reverse Beacon Network there is a high amount of spots loading the PC  to much and causing delay in handling  trafic. 
I can imagine that in the CQWWCW  only the cluster spots can generate to much trafic  .
Pity I did not switch off the Telnet box to check that.
N1MM  does by it self cancel a lot of  spots due to CPU load I saw that message oft in this major contest.


Then I copied the whole N1MM logger map to my fast laptop i7
It seems better but still random delays noticed..
But the Laptop setup was much more affected by RFI..


On top of this we got a heavy storm wind and the Steppir was turning free in the rotor the rotor clamps where lost grip.  Only after the contest the wind layed down. Now I was sure this could only be Murphy's work.
It was fighting against windmills everything that worked fine for many months/years suddenly failed.
Saturday only 200 QSO  with all this troubles. I thought to quit the contest.


Brought the  beam down 2 times  cable was interrupted by turning over the 360dgs..
But Still the tuning was not possible. I had some tuning issues at 10m before but that could be fixed by just stepping to 6m and back to 10 to bring the elements back in position?


In the end the result was not that bad but could have been easily much better ..


My results





ANYONE having this random send message delay issue with N1MM?


10m was real wide open but I like to think that  my signal would drown in the EU battlefield anyway.  But on 160/80 PA-land was still a wanted multiplier... 

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