Should contest rules allow and act upon 599K QRM reports?

Sunday, 21 March 2010


I have downloaded WriteLog and am currently playing in the RDXC contest. I've racked up 300 QSOs in the last 2.5hrs or so with some pile ups and some blank spells. My usual contest software is WinTest so I guess I'm starting the learning curve a fresh, straight in at the deep end.

First of all I couldn't adjust the CW speed and had to resort to Google mid contest as the help file was blank on this subject. I found a post on a contest website explaining it : go into 'setup->ports' (obvious eh?) and adjust a matrix of speeds to your preference, then use page up and dwn keys to shift between these values (what was wrong with Alt V?).

Then I logged a Q without an exchange and couldn't find for the life of me how to get back in the Q and edit it. Again the manual was no help and google again saved the day with someone else asking the same question : using the mouse click on the offending QSO then click again on the offending field and an edit QSO box opens at that field for you (WinTest you just up arrow into the log and tab across and edit it...simple).

I was using the software to assert PTT and CW through a serial port to a MicroHam DK and then on to the rig. This worked fine with WinTest but out the 300Qs maybe 4Qs came out garbled causing me to reach for the key. I closed all other program down and the CW decoder to ease the pressure on the CPU but it still did it occassionaly.

I noticed that if you press enter before you complete the call field you get less time to complete than with WinTest. I found that even although I had completed the call before it was sent, the last letter was missed leading to unnecessary repeats from the other station.

The CW decoder is a great idea and works well. I preffer not to use the RTTYRite one and instead use the standard decoder (that said I didn't look at it at all during the 300Qs). The standard decoder is docked but RTTYRite opens in a separate window which you can't dock. The same goes for the bandmaps, they float on the desktop meaning you have to shrink down WriteLog to see them. WinTest doesn't have a CW decoder but at least the bandmaps are docked.

So far I can't see a way to send a spot on the bandmap straight to the B VFO :-(.

I only have V3 of WinTest so didn't have ESM capability, so it was nice to find that WriteLog does....finally something positive!

Anyway it all sounds negative, but mostly I just have to get used to a new way of doing things. At this early stage I think V3 WinTest is superior, but it has it's quirks too.

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