Function Key Survey Results August 10, 2012

How would you describe your contesting activity?
Serious contest operator 77
Casual contest operator 75
Infrequent contest operator 6

How would you describe your knowledge of N1MM Logger?
Advanced 70
Intermediate 63
Novice 14

How many contest software programs do you use?
I always use N1MM Logger for contest logging 121
I occasionally use other programs for contest logging 31
I often use other programs for contest logging 3

I just use the default definitions that come with the new log
Always 24
Often 23
Occasionally 41
Never 70

I assign one of my saved Function Key files from previous contests
Always 47
Often 57
Occasionally 23
Never 31

I create a new Function Key .MC file from scratch
Always 13
Often 22
Occasionally 49
Never 74

I download and assign a Sample Function Key file from the website
Always 9
Often 19
Occasionally 30
Never 100

I don't change the Function Key definitions
Always 15
Often 34
Occasionally 44
Never 65

I use Notepad or another text editor in Windows to edit the .MC files
Always 9
Often 20
Occasionally 31
Never 98

I use the internal editor in N1MM Logger's Entry Window to make changes
Always 81
Often 37
Occasionally 17
Never 23

The N1MM Logger team recently made substantial changes to how Function Key definitions are stored and edited. Which of the following best describes your view of the changes?
I am unaware of the Function Key changes 43
I find the new features no better, but no worse, than the previous method 36
I preferred the previous method for import, export, and edit of Function Keys 24
I think the new features make it easier to manage and edit Function keys 55

Anything more you'd like to say on this subject?

  1. A list of function key commands that pop up or can be accessed easily from the internal editor would be nice. Maybe a COMMAND LIST by right-clicking somewhere.
  2. Actually, I\'m aware of the changes, but I haven\'t tried to use them yet.
  3. Although I answered that I think the new features make it easier, editing is definitely better. I think the general approach to file handling is somewhat obtuse and not intuitive. File naming in the new method is somewhat unclear and it takes a while to get the hang of it. I have used the system only a few time since this upgrade so maybe with more tries it will be easier to work with. BTW, my approach to N1MM files is I create and name a new database for each contest and save it, the cabrillo file, score, ADIF, f macros, etc. in a folder also named for that contest. I can go back to any contest I have done with complete data and no confusion.
  4. As with all changes to an established method. It will take time to become the generally recognised method of Function Key configuration. Well done on offering alternatives.
  5. Awesome program! Tried all the others and no other program is even close - free or not. Hank WB4ROA
  6. Being able to use a notepad-like editing within the window is best. The new features are a great improvement. Thanks!
  7. best contest logger out there, keep up the good work!
  8. Best contesting software ever !!
  9. don\'t mess with success
  10. Far from an expert on this feature but love the support and features that I do use in N1MM I plan on delving more into use of Function Key edit tools soon Cheers ! KG5VK
  11. Good program !
  12. Have not had much experience changing function keys with the new features. Cj
  13. I don\'t get the time to play with N1MM so I just use the basics. When I do get time, I would like to change the Function Keys to suit my needs. Thanks for an AWESOME program.
  14. I find the whole function key setup very difficult and confusing
  15. I have to say I\'ve not properly come to grips with the new system, hence the \'no worse, no better\' answer above. I suspect when I\'m used to it I\'ll find it better
  16. I haven\'t formed a Yea/Nea opinion on this, yet. It seems to be just another way \"to do it\". I have a set of .MC files that I use in my \"FAVORITE\" contests, seldom changed. I have a directory, \"C:\\StuffToSave\\MacroFiles\" where ALL my .MC files are kept. Periodically I \"Save\" to some other media the entire \"C:\\StuffToSave\" directory so as not to loose anything important. \"C:\\StuffToSave\" includes Call History files, Log Files, Macro Files and TQSL stuff. I use N1MM to log EVERY QSO I make. I transfer all QSO\'s to DX4Win for QSLing and DXCC tracking. I\'ve been messing around with desktop type computers since the very early 80\'s, but am not a pro although I have been in working positions where I was the/a key computer person.
  17. I haven\'t opened the new versions. I only use N1MM October through April.
  18. I haven\'t tried the new system yet. I use only one log per database. When the contest comes up the next year, I first load last year\'s database. Then I create a new database, and the function keys are all set up from what I used last year. I hope this hasn\'t changed.
  19. I hope those with less \'skill\' don\'t compel the new feature to be rolled back! We\'re not Wal-Mart here! :-)
  20. I know about the change but hadn\'t yet time to follow ... as 99% I use the same keys in all contests (exchange only on expedition mode) didn\'t need to update it yet. Have to check that in next few weeks a bit deeper.
  21. I know this sounds stupid, but once you start a contest, is there any way to import or reload another functions key file? For example I started SNS last night with the wrong MC file, and wanted to change to a different one. I noticed that the Import function no longer is available for function keys. Concerning contest software, I use different programs for contests that N1MM does not support (NAQCC, SKCC, etc)
  22. I like that the new method saves changes directly in the associated file, without having to export.
  23. I like the new approach, however I\'d like to be able to leave the editor open while using N1MM logger so that I could fine tune my function key settings more easily during a contest. Often I\'m trying to run and want to make a few minor tweaks to the file, so the editor being open renders the rest of the program unusable until I\'m finished editing. It would be nice to just be able to do both simultaneously, then click save on the editor to apply the changes.
  24. I noticed there were updates to the FK editor, but they seemed minor at first glance, so I didn\'t further look into it.
  25. I ran across an issue with the new import function in 12.07.05. Rather than importing the contest function keys to the logging window, the key definitions were imported as packet cluster macros. I needed to delete all and recreate each one. I could not locate any default file of packet cluster macro definitions. Maybe I missed something. Thanks for all your great work!
  26. I should learn more about the Function Keys, but too busy.
  27. I think the new features make it easier to manage and edit Function keys
  28. I tried not to answer the first question of the group titled \"How do you make changes to the Function Key definitions?\" because of the confusing double negative (\"I always don\'t change...). But I had to enter an answer to have my survey accepted, so here\'s what I do with my .mc files: I have an .mc file for every event/every mode I work, and I store them in the main N1MM folder. Each file has slowly \"evolved\" over the years, and when I make changes, they are usually infrequent and small. I used to use the old built-in editor, which worked, but was clumsy. I supplemented that editor with Notepad occasionally (to take advantage of cut and paste). Now I use the New editor exclusively, and I would not go backwards to either the old editor or Notepad. Hat\'s off to the Team for the new editor, and thanks!!
  29. I use N1MM on a iMac running VmWare Fusion running XP. Mac function keys typically are mapped for other purposes like screen brightness, playing music, mission control and such. So I don\'t typically use function keys. I did use some function keys during CQWPX RTTY for the first time.
  30. I use N1MM only for RTTY, changing back and forth function key files for DX/chasing or contesting.
  31. I usually edit the function keys before each contest vs save them specific to each contest. It usually takes less then 2 mins to modify the existing function keys for the next contest.
  32. I work mainly domestic contests. For each new contest I merely modify the function key definitions from the previous contest. Takes very little time. I then use a set of pre-labeled cut file cards for the current contest which I insert behind each set of F keys. I finish by perhaps doing slight modifications to one or more F key definitions, e.g. timing, alternate CQ, etc.
  33. I would like to see a \"test\" button in the editor, rather than exiting the editor and testing the change manually.
  34. i would prefer to have a default set of files that was always used to create a new log but was never editable by the user in the logger... so the default files would be copied to unique file names and associated with the contest when it is created, leaving the default files untouched. you are also missing an option in the question about creating new logs, i almost always initialize the log with my own standard .mc files then let the users tweak as needed. this is now harder since i have to rename them then visit the associated files tab and select them there, before i could just import the standard file and i was done.
  35. If right clicking on a function key to bring up the mappings, is what you mean by \"using the internal editor\" to make changes, then my answer is correct. 73
  36. It took me a while to figure out the original N1MM method to create, modify, save and file CW Fn key files, as I suspect all N1MM users did. But once that was figured out, it seemed to me (a 66 yr old) too much fiddling to change the method for creating, modifying and saving these files. As a result I have not downloaded a new version of N1MM since the Fn key changes were initiated. I guess my conclusion would have been \"If it works, don\'t fix it.\" This largely relfects the amount of time and effort I have put in to mastering the process of creating, modifying then saving my CW Fn key files. No one wants to re-learn something fairly complicated when they have invested time in mastering it in the first place. I don\'t say this as a techno-Luddite, just a guy who doesn\'t have, or want to spend a lot of time relearning something that works. And please, these candid comments are made with grateful respect for the team that upgrades the N1MM software features. Cheers, and 73, Larry N6NC
  37. It\'s important to associate function key files with a particular contest when that contest log is first created. When you open a new contest it should be mandatory to assign a VALID MC file on the main screen (not associated files screen) who\'s default name is preset, but can be overridden. I often forget to assign the correct MC file and end up with no organization to my MC files. N1MM Logger should maintain some organization here I think.
  38. keep up the great job your doing on N1MM. It replaced NA and CT from years ago, you remember Dos days of hair pulling.....
  39. Make all entries in capitol letters no lower case.
  40. Maybe I am just used to the old way. The new method is ok by me.
  41. Most of the time, I import FK from the previous contest, edit with the new features and export the changes for the next year.
  42. Mostly I edit \'my\' existing .mc files to suit a new contest then save it for next time. I try to follow the best practice for macro etiquette that has been advocated in the RTTY online group.
  43. n1mm is the best
  44. N1MM Logger is the best!
  45. NAQP CW will actually be my first test with the new function key management interface, so my stated preference to the last question is not informed by use in a contest. I am traditionally slow to update to the latest version, preferring the stability of older, tried and true versions. In particular, I was in no hurry to update and try to learn the new interface in a contest I cared about. I will only be operating part time in the NAQP so have decided to bite the bullet. At first glance, I\'m not sure I see any advantages to the new interface. I will know better in another 48 hours. Is it better? Or just different? I\'m glad you are doing the survey. Would the survey have been more helpful had it been done before making the change? In any event, thanks to the N1MM team for creating a great package.
  46. Never had a problem n1mm, always my fault if something didn\'t work. Thanks for A great free program.
  47. No!
  48. Please keep up your good work. Thanks!
  49. PLS ignore the answer to the above question because I haven\'t worked a \'full-bore\' RTTY contest using the \'new functions\' yet. But I \'tune-macros-on-the-fly\' during a contest to optimize q-rate, and minimize RPT? or AGN. This can simply be caused by day into night band conditions OR the way others are sending their exchanges.
  50. Re contest programs — I primarily use N1MM. I have used MixW for digital contests in the past and may do so in the future (but exporting logs to N1MM for cabrillo generation), since I like MixW\'s ability to automatically parse received data and attempt to populate exchange information. Re macro file usage — I\'m new enough that I don\'t have stable \"files from past contests\" to draw upon. Currently when setting up a contest, I grab the mc files from the most recent similar contest and adapt it as needed. I do major pre-test edits of mc files in a text editor, and use the internal editor to make in-test tweaks. (And that internal editor feature is a godsend for that reason. Thank-you!) I do have a macro \"wish list\" which will follow via email.
  51. Re: Function key practices - Found it difficult to choose selections that match what I do. I have a customized mc file for every contest I enter. So, the \"default\" is my customized mc file, which I always use. I\'d never had any issues with the original method of editing / managing mc files.
  52. Thank you for a great program. I would not contest if N1MM went away.
  53. Thank you to the whole team that provides us with such a great program! I feel that it\'s up to me to learn how to use it but I do LOVE the fact that there is so much help available.
  54. Thanks for a good Job
  55. Thanks for making the logger for us all to use.
  56. Thanks for your on-going work with the program. I appreciate it.
  57. Thanks guys for providing support for a great piece of software. It works the way I like it.
  58. Thanks, Tom K0YR
  59. The \"don\'t\" in the question \"I don\'t change the Function Key definitions\" threw me a curve ball. I answered \"Never\" since I always change them!
  60. The new editor does make the concept of run vs s&p much easier to comprehend for the new user. It is much easier to follow. I mainly do digital contests,(rtty) and use K8UT\'s .mc files. Keep up the good work Larry.
  61. The new features force you to associate .mc files with a contest. At first I disliked this very much but I got used to it and now prefer it.
  62. The new system is fine and easy to use. Thanks.
  63. The per-contest function key file association was a huge improvement. Thanks!
  64. The process sounds and looks better though I encounter problems. As a blind user, I find some of the functions inaccessible to my screen reading software. The \"Save\" and other buttons don\'t seem to act like other buttons. This should perform like the regular Windows \"Save As\" action, but it doesn\'t seem to. I think the resultant file should automatically mimic the name of the database into which its being stored, for example, if editing a file from within a database called IOTA, I\'d expect IOTA to be in the filename. This time, because I had problems, the default file got screwed up and I seem to have lost my default messages. I\'ll have to play with this further. I know this code underwent several experimental versions, but I had to finish off some urgent paid work, which took priority and therefore couldn\'t play with this at the time. Many thanks for your attention.
  65. This is my first attempt at using any logging software.
  66. This new method has driven me crazy. I missed the WPX Rtty and had to use MMTTY engine and submit a check log. For years I have only had to retrieve a previous contest set of fKey files. Now if I import or change anything I get error messages out the kazoo to the point that makes N1MM unusable. ...In config, please allow those of us who want to, to be able to use our own SAVED function key files. 73, Art
  67. Well, everything is quite well done as to take it easy also during contest, much better than before. IMHO i would like to have displayed the messages in the new editor window as fixed font like CONSOLAS. Just to have a visual check on lines length and data discrepancies. ... from and old VT100 and UNIX farth 73 and TU de iw1ayd Salvo
  68. While I prefered the old method, I\'m sure I will get used to the new one. I appreciate the efforts to improve N1MM.
  69. With voice messages, I can change each key\'s message individually. Would be nice to be able to do that with CW messages - hold CTRL, F1 to change just that message.
  70. Would be useful if I could get a quick list of the macros for the mode being used as a reminder. May be accessed via right click menu?

Last Modification: 11 August 2012 07:27:19 EDT by K8UT.