Sunday, November 4, 2012

TR4W in the UKRAINIANDX contest

In order to find some solution to the logging problems
I plugged a faster i7  W7 Laptop to the wireless keyboard and the 22" TFT above my radio operating position.
17 CW QSO's in the Ukrainian contest went fine.
N1MM was fast responding  no delays  in T/R confirm messages.
While just having entered  W9EWZ. QSO nr. 18 The frequency display/band ruler went crazy again and whiped out W9EWZ from the input field..

the msgbox  stops the polling  click on retry starts it again.
Why not just continue polling and showing an Offline sign without the need of manual resetting ?

arrgg


This time even the reset interface did not recover the CAT connection
I am having a rs232 break out monitor to watch the data over the CAT connection  still the K3 was sending data strings to the PC  in response to the N1MM polling  the K3 does not send data without being asked for by a command.
But the data to N1MM seems  to be  scrambled  since  very odd frequencies are displayed like on the picture above.

Breakout monitor.  
used pins by CAT ( connected over 9-25p adapter)  
  2:TXD 
  3:RXD    = TXD of the K3  here data active   
 7: SGN
 4: RTS =PTT T/R      TX=+ 12V      red led
 20: DTR = keying      Carrier on = +V  red led 

38400,N,8,1  com1 USB-serial PL.    N1MM V12.10.3

 





I decided to try TR4W  again now in CW mode   in the contest.
After setting up TR4W for the UkrainianDxC   and importing  the ADI from N1MM  I was running again.
But very soon it became clear TR4W does not have the fine features N1MM has.  Completing  typing or changing a call-sign while already sending the not completed call like in N1MM does not work in TR4W. That alone makes it almost unusable for me since the QSO crashes   when typing during sending.
The feature that you do not have to complete entering a call before starting to send the reply is very use full since it gives more time to complete call-signs without loosing turnaround time.
Even a slow typist is still faster then  35wpm code. 
SwappinRunning to S&P mode  easy and automatic in N1MM  needs to be done manual with shift-tab  and tab  in TR4W.
The  ESM  sends your call in S&P  but  TR4W sends  a fixed F1 message "DE PA0O"  the F1 message can not be edited..
Speeding up the wpm parts of the macro text   <<<<>>>>  in a CW-macro is not possible?  

Then I went back to N1MM   needed to import the TR4W ADI  again .  But as found before the frequency  28.0400   in the output ADI is having the wrong decimal position 2.80400 
But not only that.  It uses different  field tag names for the received report  and the contest type and others. This might be a general problem between different loggers using not necessary standard tag names in the adi file type.
N1MM does not understand the used field names of TR4W and vice versa.
Without editing the ADI it is not possible to import the QSO's in a new empty contest type UkrainianDx.
I managed to fix that and after re-scoring  it looked okay.

Then N1MM  was running again back on my Notebook D420
a little slower sometimes in responding while confirming a QSO.
Strange enough  the rest of the time  it lost the CAT connection  only once .. Besides a bit lazy response it worked fine again.
I finished with about 360 contacts.

Propagation was not as good as the days before but good activity.


My conclusion  the actual version of TR4W is not ready and can not replace the excellent functionality of N1MM.
I think its CAT connection and keying over the serial port is better and stable compared to N1MM .
Due to use primary the Windows API calls for its functions it is fast and the executable is kept small.
I experienced  no response delay in the short runs I had.
I can not imagine that TR4W  is used by contesters without problems.Possible that's why I have not met another TR4W user yet.
 
 
    
  
    

  

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