N3FJP's Field Day Contest Log 2.8

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testing N3FJP ham radio contest logging software
Robert T Neece
Robert T Neece
Posted 2009-09-22 18:30
I am having good luck with this software under Crossover Linux.  It does not seem buggy at all, and now that I have the rig interface (controlling an Elecraft K2) and cw keying working, I will try it out in the 2009 TX QSO Party.  The interfaces to the radio are the standard K2 serial port cable and a home made serial port keying interface made years ago for use with DOS and Windows logging programs.  USB to Serial adapters are being used (Prolific Technology, Inc. PL2303 Serial Port) for both connections.  There is a serial-to-usb how-to on this web site that will help to get the ports working with the application.
Robert T Neece
Robert T Neece
Posted 2009-09-27 16:04
I put N3FJP software to work in the Texas QSO Party.  It worked well overall but not perfectly.  It is definitely usable, and the problems are minor.  I operated both CW and phone, using a CW keying interface and rig control for my Elecraft K2.  The problems were intermittent and only appeared after operating for a while.  Then the software could be restarted and it would run correctly again.  Three problems were noted.  

First, and most importantly, the CW keying did not work properly all the time.  When it failed, it would still key the rig, but only the first character would be sent.  For example, F1 was programmed to send CQ TX DE KK4R, and it would just send C.

The other two problems were associated with clearing the entry fields.  Alt-C should clear the entry fields with one press, but when the problems occurred, it would take two quick presses to clear the fields.  ENTER should add the input fields to the log and clear them.  When problems occurred, ENTER would add the data to the log, but not clear the fields.  A second press of ENTER would clear the fields and bring up the warning that the QSO was a duplicate, which could be ignored.

All the problems seemed to occur simultaneously after some unknown occurred, and I suspect it was associated with something else going on in the OS.  For example, if the computer was left idle and the screen-saver came on, the software would misbehave afterward.

I did not find the problems to be a deterrent to operating and did not stop and restart the program to get rid of the problems.  It was easier to just key the radio with an external keyer and hit ENTER twice after a QSO or hit Alt-C twice to clear the entry fields.  All capabilities of the software were not tested in this effort.  Significantly, the DX spotting network was not used, and neither was a voice keyer.

I will probably continue to use N3FJP until I find a native Linux contest logger that works better.

Robert T Neece
Robert T Neece
Posted 2009-11-10 22:20
I'm holding a conversation with myself here.  Looking at the set up screen for CW keying, I notice that there are 3 choices for the timer to generate Morse code.  The first two choices are system timers that the OS might upset.  The third is a program loop, which I would normally avoid using, but next contest I will try that.

If somebody beats me to it, let me know how it goes.


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