1.8.2 During the Contest
1. Making Contest QSOs
Make sure you have your CW or SSB or digital function key definitions set up the way you want, set up as outlined in Before the Contest.
Now let's begin. There are several ways to make and log a contest QSO with N1MM Logger+, depending on how much you want to automate the process. The details are the same for either phone or CW. The 4 main ways you can use the stored messages are listed here in ascending order of speed and convenience.
1. One key at a time - press a function key when you want to send the associated message. Use the <Space> bar to move your cursor. When you have everything filled in, press <Enter>, and the QSO will be logged. Done this way, a typical Run (CQ) QSO would look like this:
- F1 (CQ)
- Station answers - copy call in callsign box
- Say his callsign (phone) or press F5 to send it (CW)
- Press F2 to send the exchange (either a stored voice message or CW)
- Press <Space> to move the cursor to the exchange field
- Type in the received exchange
- Press F3 to send your acknowledgment
- Press <Enter> to log the QSO
2. Semi-CT Style - CT was the DOS logging program that pretty much started all this. It used the following convention to save keystrokes:
Enter the callsign of the station calling you. Press the <Ins> key to send his call and your exchange (CW), or speak his call and then press <Ins>. Once you have copied his exchange, press F3 (TU) and <Enter> to Log. If you are calling other stations (Search and Pounce, or S&P), you would first press F4 to send your call, and when the station responds follow the sequence as above.
3. Early N1MM style - Enter the callsign of the station calling you. Press the <;> key to send his call and your exchange. Copy his exchange and press the <'> (right next to <;> on US keyboards). The program sends the F3 (TU) message and logs the QSO. In S&P, you would hit F4 first, then <;>, and then <'>.
This saves some keystrokes, but there's an easier way. A couple of decades ago, N6TR developed the idea of making TR Log "modal." By that, he meant that the program would behave differently depending on whether you were in Run or S&P mode. Making this distinction let him massively simplify and shorten the sequence of keystrokes required to complete a QSO.
4. Enter Sends Messages - N1MM Logger has now evolved N6TR's invention into what is called Enter Sends Messages, or ESM for short. You'll find a full explanation of this mode in this section.
In short, ESM enables you to enter a callsign and then step through the remaining steps in logging a QSO, simply by hitting the Enter key. The program anticipates what you'll want to do next, moves the cursor, and highlights what canned message will be sent if you press Enter the next time. Note that if you wish, you can still press individual function keys at any time, to send a repeat or otherwise bypass ESM.
Once you've used ESM, we think you'll never go back to the old way again.
2. Bugs Encountered During a Contest
When a bug was missed during testing and comes out during the contest please report it on the reflector right after the contest or, during the contest if it is a show stopper. Tom and the developers participate in many contests but they also read the mail during contests and can suggest work-arounds or sometimes bring out a new version. In addition, there are many other hams available there who can help.
Rather than writing down problems during the contest, try the following:
- Use Alt+N to write a Note that will be attached as a comment to the QSO
- At the end of the contest, use the menu option >View >Notes to see all the notes you have made during the contest