Loading...
 

1.3 Installing and Upgrading N1MM Logger

1. First-Time Installation Instructions


Please Note - These instructions apply both for first-time users and for experienced users of N1MM Logger Classic starting out with N1MM Logger+. Note that you can leave N1MM Logger Classic on your PC, and even continue to run it alternatively with N1MM Logger+. Just don't try to run the two simultaneously.

1.1. Installing

N1MM Logger+ has adopted the Windows convention for file locations, so you should be able to install program files in the default locations provided by the Installer: C:\Program Files for XP and 32-bit systems, and C:\Program Files (X86) for 64-bit systems. Program files will be installed in one or the other as appropriate, and all user data files will be installed elsewhere. By default the user files location will be under C:\User\[logon]\My Documents, in a folder titled N1MM Logger+. We strongly recommend accepting the default locations, and installing for a single Windows logon. If you have to have more than one, your options are here.

Here are the contents of the user data/user files folder:

Image

This folder is important, because the program looks in these sub-folders for support files that it needs - things like your stored message files, call history files, and so on. When created or modified by N1MM Logger+, files are placed in their correct folders, but if you want to move files from your N1MM Classic installation, you need to move them to the appropriate Document folder. Any .wav files used for SSB contests should be stored in the Wav folder; if you use the {OPERATOR} macro for wave files in individual operators' voices, those wave files should be stored under sub-folders within the Wav folder titled with the operator's callsign.

Be sure not to delete the four files below the folders.

During a Full Install, the installer downloads so-called "prerequisite" files from the Internet. For this reason, please be sure you are connected to the Internet when doing a Full Install. Also, make sure that other programs that might be using system components that are part of the install (such as digital mode programs) are not running when you do the Full Install.

Close
warningAvoiding Security Problems During Installation
N1MM Logger+ uses a number of .dll and .ocx files - for example, inpout32.dll is used as its interface to LPT ports, and n1mmv5wav.ocx powers the audio recording and playback functions. Various security provisions in Windows, as well as various after-market security software, can prevent the installation or registration of these files.

A few simple steps can work around these problems. First, download the Full Installer and Latest Update installers to a regular (non-temporary) directory on your hard drive. Then when you run the Full Install, right-click on the filename and select Run as Administrator. This may be necessary even if your User account has Administrator privileges.

Once you run the Full and Latest Update installers as an Administrator, the needed .dll and .ocx files should all be properly registered. If you are using the parallel (LPT) port for CW, PTT or antenna selection, you will also need to run the program itself for the first time as an Administrator, so that some internal file-shuffling can take place. This should not be necessary thereafter - just run as usual from a desktop icon or shortcut.

1.2. Windows Settings that may affect program operation


There are some default settings in Windows that can affect the way the program operates. To avoid problems, it is suggested that you change these settings. Note that these changes are in Windows, not in N1MM Logger+.

The first has to do with USB hubs (ports). The Windows default behavior for USB hubs is to shut them down to save power after a period of inactivity. Unfortunately, the only activity Windows appears to be aware of is keyboard or mouse activity. A USB port that is being used for something else, such as a USB-to-serial adapter, looks to Windows as if it is inactive, and Windows shuts that USB hub down after a few minutes. This will cause the port to stop working, and if you go into the Configurer to make changes, the program will be unable to open the port when you exit the Configurer.

The solution to this comes in two steps. The first is to open Device Manager, expand the section on Universal Serial Bus controllers, and then open each entry labelled either "Generic USB Hub" or "USB Root Hub", open its Properties dialog, select the Power Management tab, and uncheck the check box called "Allow the computer to turn off this device to save power".

The second involves Power Options on the Control Panel. You will not necessarily find all of these settings on every system, but every system running N1MM Logger+ or any other logging software should be set to minimize Windows "power saving".

Open the Control Panel and select Power Options. One of the "Plans" will be "High Performance" - select it. Then click "Change plan settings" and set "put the computer to sleep" to "never". If found, also select "Change advanced power settings" and set "Sleep | "Hibernate after" to "Never" and "Allow hybrid sleep" to "Off". In "USB Settings" set "USB selective suspend setting" to "Disabled" and under "PCI Express" set "Link State Power Management" to "Off". Also set "Wireless adapter Settings" to "Maximum Performance".

These settings should prevent the computer from going to sleep, shutting down USB ports and disabling the network interface when it is plugged in - when you want to keep background tasks running.

Here is another tip that has nothing to do with power management, and does not actually affect program operation, but may have an impact on your ability to find some of the N1MM Logger+ files. In Windows Explorer, under the Tools option, select Folder Options. Click on the View tab, and look down the list for a check box called "Hide extensions for known file types". The default for this option is checked, requiring you to identify file types by their icons alone. If you leave it at the default, you may have trouble finding files referred to either in the documentation or by people giving help instructions on the user group. If there are files with similar file names except for different extensions, you may have trouble telling which is which. Unchecking this option will make the full file names visible in Windows Explorer.

Regarding Windows time settings, you do not have to set your computer to UTC in order to get UTC times in your log, though you can of course do so. If you set your computer to your correct time zone including the correct DST setting, set the computer's time to match your local time, Windows and N1MM Logger+ between them will take care of the rest.

You can even operate straight through the daylight savings time switch in March or November (e.g. during Sweepstakes CW) and while you will see your computer's time display change by an hour at 2 am if you look closely, N1MM Logger+ will not skip a beat; it will log all of your contacts with the correct UTC time.

1.3. Beginning the Installation

These instructions are specifically for the first installation on a computer. See the section below on Installing the Latest Update for instructions on subsequent updates.

Download the Full Install from the Files area on the n1mmplus website here.

The full installer will be a file with a name in the form N1MM Logger+ FullInstaller x.yy.zzzz.exe . First, if you are running other programs that use the same system components (including digital-mode programs like 2Tone and WinWarbler), shut those programs down. Now run the full installer program. Windows will give you the standard installation prompt asking whether you want to allow the program to make changes - answer "Yes". You should then see the following welcome dialog:

Image

Click on Next. You will be asked to agree to a straightforward freeware license:

Image

Click on Next. You will be given a choice of files to install. At the time of initial release, there is only one option, but at some future date other optional components may be added, and this dialog will be where you choose the options to be installed:

Image

N1MM Logger+ requires two separate installation locations. One is for the program itself, plus support files that are never changed except by the update installer. The other location is for all files that may be written to either by the program during operation or by the user, to store user-defined preferences and support information; these include the databases, ini files, error logs, function key message files, call history files, country files, super check partial files, wav files, qso recordings, user-defined contest (UDC) files, and so on and so on.

The first location, for the program itself, defaults to C:\Program Files\N1MM Logger+ on 32-bit systems, or C:\Program Files(x86)\N1MM Logger+ on 64-bit systems. For 99% of users, this default location is suitable and should not be changed. The dialog window in which this location is specified looks like this:

Image

The second location, for user-modifiable or program-modifiable files, defaults to a location inside your My Documents folder. In Windows Vista, Windows 7 and newer systems, this is at C:\Users\[Your Windows Username]\Documents\N1MM Logger+ (in Windows XP SP3, this would be C:\Documents and Settings\[Your Windows Username]\Documents\N1MM Logger+). For a typical single-user system, this default is appropriate, and even on multiple-user systems it is suggested that you accept the default for the initial install.

Image

When you click Install, the Full Installer will

  • Install all needed files on your computer to run N1MM Logger+
  • Update your system files where needed


You will find that certain parts of the Full Installer installation routine take quite a long time. The installation program has not failed, so just let it run to completion. Subsequent updates are much faster. Once the installation has completed, you should see the following window:

Image

Close
warningDo Not Overwrite Newer System Files
When running the Full Installer your computer may report that certain system files are already installed on your system and are newer than the ones you are trying to install. If it asks if you want to replace a newer, existing file with an older file in the Full Install, select 'No'. You do not want to overwrite newer system files.


After you click on the Next button, you will see the following window:

Image

The installation process requires that the computer be rebooted in order to finalize the installation of some system files (you should be familiar with this from Windows Update and from other program installation processes). This only happens with the Full Installer, not on incremental updates. Leave the "Finish and reboot the computer" check box checked and click on Finish. You will be prompted one more time to confirm:

Image

After the computer reboots, if this is the first time N1MM Logger+ has been installed on your computer, the installer will ask you to set up an initial empty database and enter your station information into that database. If the installer asks you to browse for the folder in which user files will be placed, make sure that this is the same folder that was specified as the User Files folder earlier in the installation process:

Image

The next dialog will ask you to create a new database. You will notice that this dialog also offers the option of converting an existing N1MM Logger Classic mdb database. Because there is a possibility that an existing database may have minor problems that don't stop it from working in Classic but may cause the conversion routines to stumble, it is strongly suggested that at this point you create a new database. There is a menu option in Logger+ to convert Classic databases to Plus which you can use later, but on the initial install it is safest to ensure that you have a known-good new empty database to work from.

Image

Choose the "Create new N1MM Logger+ database" option and click on OK. You will be presented with a new file dialog in which you can specify the name of the new database; the default file name is ham.s3db . You can change the "ham" to something else, but do not change the filename extension. Do not delete any of the three files that were placed there by the Installer; the program needs these files in addition to the new database you are creating.

Image

Finally, the program will present you with the Edit Station Information dialog:

Image

Fill in the information in this dialog. At an absolute minimum, you will need to fill in the Call box and the ARRL Section box.

The Call box contains the station callsign that will be used for all contest logs in this database; this is the callsign that is output in every QSO line in exported Cabrillo files. It is also the callsign that is inserted into function key messages using the {MYCALL} and * macros.

The ARRL Section box contains the ARRL/RAC section for stations in the US, US possessions and Canada; all other stations must fill in this box with the letters DX . This box is used in many contests, not just ARRL contests, so even if you don't plan to enter any ARRL contests you should fill it in.

If you want the program to display correct beam headings to stations you work, you should also fill in the Grid Square box with the correct grid square for the location you are operating from. Doing so will automatically fill in your Latitude and Longitude; alternatively you can fill in the Lat and Long and the program will compute your Grid Square.

The name and address boxes are output in the header of Cabrillo files, so it is recommended that these be filled in as well. Note that this is your mailing address, not necessarily the address from which you operate.

The Club box denotes the club towards which your scores will be counted in club competitions in those contests that support this.

Once your station information has been entered and stored in the database, the initial installation process is complete.

1.3.1. Installing the Latest Update

After you have completed the initial install, you should go back to the n1mmplus web site and find the update file for the latest version you find there. The updated version installer will have a file name in the form N1MM Logger+ Update x.yy.zzzz.exe . If the version number zzzz is different from (higher than) the version number of the full (or your most recent) install, you should download this file, start it, and follow its simple steps (essentially the same as the first few steps of the full install process) to get fully up to date. The update will take a much shorter time to install than the full install did.

Note that updates are cumulative; you do not need to install all of the updates you find on the web site, just the latest one. During the initial beta testing phase, new update installers will be uploaded frequently (probably daily, at least initially). Always make sure you have the latest update installed before reporting bugs or problems.

There may also be new full installer versions uploaded frequently during beta testing. If there is a new full installer with a newer version number than the one you originally installed, but the first part of the version number (the x.yy part) is the same as before, you do NOT need to download or run this newer full installer. Just download the update with the new version number and run it. The only time you need to run a new full installer after the first time is when the first part of the version number (x.yy) changes.

Close
noteA Note on N1MM Logger+ Version Numbers
The version number for N1MM Logger+ releases contains three components x.yy.zzzz (as in 0.18.3241). The first component, x, denotes major program revisions or status changes (e.g. "production" vs. "beta") and is not expected to change often. The second component, yy, denotes a major update level. When you are doing updates, the "yy" in the update installer must agree with the "yy" in the already-installed version. If yy has been changed, you will have to go through the Full Installation process again with a new Full Installer before you can install updates with the new yy version number. The third number, zzzz, is the minor update number. This number may change as often as several times in a single day as members of the development team make changes. There will not be a new update installer created every time this number changes, so don't be surprised if the numbers on consecutive updates differ by more than 1. Changes at this level are always cumulative, i.e. you don't need to worry about intermediate updates, just download and install the latest update (highest minor update number) over the existing program, as long as the major update level is the same.

1.4. Using the Program the First Time

1.4.1. Edit Station Information

The first thing to do after starting the program is to enter your station information if you have not already done so. This dialog will open automatically with your first launch of N1MM Logger+. For subsequent changes, select Change Your Station Data from the Config menu in the Entry window.

Your Station Data dialog will be similar to this one. Note: a "dialog" is simply a window in which you can enter information. The term is often used interchangeably with "window".

Image

The information in this dialog is self-explanatory, but it is very important that it be accurate. The ARRL Section is used to distinguish between in-state and out-of-state status for QSO parties, and between W/VE and DX in a number of ARRL contests. CQ and ITU zones are essential for some contests. Your full mailing address is inserted in the Cabrillo file header, and tells contest organizers where to send your certificate. In order for the program to calculate accurate beam headings, you will need to put your longitude and latitude into the appropriate textboxes; you can do this simply by entering your grid square into the grid square box.

Also make sure that you enter your call as the station call sign, as this will be the call sign that appears in every QSO line in your Cabrillo files. Don't leave any example entries that may be in these fields at start-up.

Many of the textboxes in this dialog are used when creating contests or during contests.

  • ARRL Section and State textboxes are used in some contests and QSO parties to determine if you are in or outside a state or province. Non-US/VE stations should enter "DX" here.
  • Latitude and Longitude are used to calculate the distance and bearing to another station/country (for HF contests)
  • For VHF contests (those with VHF in the contest name) the Grid Square textbox (4 or 6 digit) in the Station dialog is used to determine bearings, rather than latitude and longitude.
  • Contents of the Latitude and Longitude textboxes update when the Grid Square textbox is changed and vice versa.
  • Club normally has to be spelled out completely in order for it to be accepted by contest organizers in contests with a club competition, so for example enter Yankee Clipper Contest Club rather than YCCC.


2. Adding Users

This seemingly innocuous title actually addresses an area in which there are fairly significant changes from N1MM Logger Classic, in particular because of the adoption of Windows user file storage standards, described above. Because user files are linked to the log-on username currently in use, User A's files - not just databases, but all the types of files stored in the My Documents folder - will not be seen when User B logs onto the computer under a different Windows user name, or by using the Windows "Switch User" command. There are a number of ways of dealing with this:

  • Use one Windows logon identity for all operators, and use the OPON (Ctrl+O) function to identify the operator for any given operation. This way all of the user files will be shared, except for the .wav files used for stored phone messages, which will follow the operator's callsign. Operators can set up individual Window layouts with the Tools > Save Window Positions and Restore Window Positions functions. If desired, operators can also set up their own databases and switch manually from the File menu. This is the method that will be most familiar to users of N1MM Logger Classic.

  • Use individual Windows logon identities for each operator. When the new operator runs N1MM Logger+ for the first time, it will create a new user files area for the Logger in that user's My Documents folder. During the process, it will ask the user to create a new database and enter the station data. Once this has been done, each operator is free to edit anything in their personal user files area to suit. However, the new operator will not have access to any of the databases created by other operators under separate logons. In effect, each user will have their own independent copy of the Logger, except that all of them will always have the same version of the program.

  • Use a shared document folder for user files for all logon identities. This method can be combined with the previous one. You can do this by creating a copy of the initial user file area in the first user's Documents folder in a publicly-accessible location. In Windows 7, 8 and 8.1, the logical location to do this would be C:\Users\Public\Documents\N1MMLogger+. In Windows XP, it would be C:\Documents and Settings\All Users\N1MMLogger+. Once this user file area has been created, all users on that computer will have access to it. Each user can then set up a second desktop icon for the program that uses a command-line option to allow the program to use a user file area that is different from the initial user-specific area. With a setup like this, users can choose either to use their own individual file areas or to use the shared user file area simply by choosing which desktop icon to run the program from. This is described in more detail in the Digging Deeper part of the manual.


3. Subsequent Installation of the Latest Update of the Software

Close
tipUpdate philosophy
Many of us are used to always being "one version behind" in the software we use, in order to avoid bugs that may have been introduced in the latest version. But because N1MM Logger+ is updated frequently, the opposite is true. You are always encouraged to use the latest version — in general, bug reports and feature requests should only be made after checking to make sure the latest version does not already include the bug fix or feature that you want, and also after checking the user group to see whether the request has already been made by someone else (please refrain from "me too" posts and requests).

When it is started, the Logger checks the web site for new versions. If a new version has been released since the last time the program was run, the program will offer to download and install the newer version. It is not necessary to accept the offer, although it is recommended that you do so. This check will only be done once per new version, i.e. if you do not accept the offer to download and install a new version, you will not be informed again about that version. The next offer to update will be displayed only after an even newer version has been made available.

An e-mail will also be sent out periodically to announce new versions (updates) of the program to the Yahoo reflector members. If you wish to do an update manually, download only the Latest Update installer. Use the link contained in the announcement e-mail to the Yahoo group, or open this web page and select the update you want. If you have not updated for a while, you do not need to install any of the intermediate versions - just go right to the latest. The only exception might be updates that are marked as "Experimental" or otherwise explicitly marked as not for general use. These are very rare.

The Latest Update installer contains the latest .exes and other necessary files. Run this installer and it will quickly overwrite any old versions in the program directory.

Note that it is usually not necessary to run a new Full Installer. The only time this is necessary is when the major version number (the x.yy part of the x.yy.zzzz version number) changes. If the only change in version numbers is in the minor version number (the zzzz part), simply runnning the latest Update installer is all you need to do to upgrade to the latest version.

If you attempt to run an update installer whose major revision number is different from the previously-installed version on your computer (e.g. if the installed version number on your computer is 0.18.zzzz and the version number of the new update installer is 0.19.zzzz), you will see a message similar to the following:

Image

If you see this message, download the latest Full installer and install it. You do not need to uninstall the previous version; the new full installer will overwrite any old versions that need to be updated. After the full installer has run, you will be asked to restart your computer in order to complete the process of updating system files; this only happens with the full installer, not with normal updates using the latest Update installer. After the full install has completed and your computer has been restarted, you may proceed to install the latest update if its minor revision number is different from the minor revision number of the full installer you just ran.

4. Moving N1MM Logger+ to a New Computer

The easiest and best approach is simply to run the Full Installer and Latest Update to install the program on the new computer. Now copy your My Documents\N1MM Logger+ folder and subfolders from the old machine to the same location on the new one. Overwrite any "starter" versions of files and folders that are already there.

We recommend deleting or renaming your old N1MMLogger.ini file, so that the program will create a new one. You can try it, but you will probably find that your old .ini file won't work properly, because port numbers, port addresses, sound card numbers and other hardware-related items in the .ini file will probably be different on the new machine. It is a lot easier to make those changes in the Configurer than using Notepad and editing the old.ini file.

5. Moving Data from an N1MM Logger Classic Installation to N1MM Logger+

As mentioned above, N1MM Logger+ stores all user-created data, including databases, Function key message files, .wav files, Call History files, and User Defined Contest files in the N1MM Logger+ Documents folder. You will need to copy each type of file to the appropriate folder from wherever you were storing them in N1MM Logger Classic.

Since N1MM Logger+ uses an entirely different database scheme, there is an option on the File menu in the Entry window to import and convert databases for use with N1MM Logger+. Click on Convert N1MM database to N1MM Logger+, select your old database, and a converted version will be placed in the right folder, ready for use. This only applies to databases, though - configuration information that was stored in N1MM Logger.ini cannot be converted automatically. You will have to configure these items using the N1MM Logger+ Configurer. Some other supporting files, such as function key message (.mc) files, User Defined Contest (.udc) files, Call History files, etc. will work directly; you can simply copy them from our N1MM Logger Classic program folder and copy them into the appropriate subfolder in the N1MM Logger+ user files area.

Close
warningConverting Old N1MM Logger Classic Databases
There have been various changes to the N1MM Logger Classic database structure over the years. N1MM Logger Classic contained code to update its databases automatically if an older database was opened with a newer version of the code. This automatic upgrading code was not incorporated in the database conversion routines in N1MM Logger+. The only database format supported in the conversion routines is that used in N1MM Logger Classic version 14.0.0 (and newer). Therefore, if you wish to convert a database that was created in an older version of N1MM Logger Classic and that has never been opened by a program version 14.0.0 or newer, you need to perform the conversion in two steps: 1. Open the database in N1MM Logger Classic version 14.0.0 or newer and then close N1MM Logger Classic (this will automatically update the database structure); and 2. Use the N1MM Logger+ File menu option mentioned above to convert the updated database to the .s3db format used by N1MM Logger+.

6. Uninstalling the Program

If you are thinking of uninstalling and reinstalling the program in order to fix a problem you have encountered, you should know that this is rarely the solution. The majority of problems encountered by users are configuration problems that are not resolved by uninstalling and reinstalling. If the problem is a configuration problem, uninstalling and reinstalling in the same location will not fix it. Instead, try looking at the Troubleshooting section, where you will find suggestions for other, less drastic methods.

However ... if you really want to uninstall N1MM Logger+ entirely, including any registry entries, the best way is to navigate to the program directory and find the program cleverly titled Uninstall.exe. with the N1MM Logger+ icon. Run the uninstaller and follow any prompts you see. Note that this will not remove your user files area. If you want to remove all traces of the program, you will need to remove this folder as well.


Last Modification: 22 October 2014 06:06:05 EDT by n4zr.