Packet

New multipliers will show up on different frequencies in the Packet Spots window if allowed. The window looks like this:

Packet Spot Window

Operation

Note the conventions of the window:

The ‘M’ means that this station would be a multiplier in the ham radio contest.

An ‘x’ (not shown) means that the spot is ‘out of band’ as determined by the settings you have set up in the ‘Edit sub-bands’ program found under ‘Start|WriteLog v10|Edit sub bands.’ By clicking on the ‘In-band Only’ check box as shown in the illustration, these out-of-band ham radio contacts won’t be displayed in the packet box.

When a multiplier shows up, you need to make a choice: ignore the multiplier for many good reasons (it’s early and I’ll work that common multiplier sometime during the contest), or, change frequencies to try and work the multiplier (how many long path openings to Africa will I get during this contest to work this rare one???) and risk losing your run frequency.

If you decide that trying to work 5W1RD is worth it and you have an RS-232 controlled radio, double click on the 5W1RD call in the Packet Spots window. This will place 5W1RD in the QSO Entry window and change your radio frequency to the packet frequency provided.

If you are fortunate to have quickly worked this station and want to quickly return to your run frequency, hit the F12 function key to return to your previous frequency.

You can do this with new stations, not just multipliers. While calling CQ, it’s possible to work new stations that show up in the Packet Spots window and go back to your run frequency and continue to call CQ. It keeps your rate up in slower times.

Pressing ALT-F3 or Control-T brings up a fully editable packet spot window taking the frequency of your ham radio if RS-232 controlled, the call sign in the QSO Entry window or last log entry, split information with QSX if appropriate, and the ability to place a comment on the screen. Once completed, pressing Enter will send your packet spot on it’s way.

Packet Setup

There are two windows that need to be opened in order to effectively use packet. They are the ‘Packet Window’ which establishes the external packet connection, and, the ‘Packet Spots’ window (above) which shows only the call signs defined by the operator.

Packet Window

In order to open the packet window and establish the packet connection, go to the toolbar and click on ‘Window.’ Then place a check mark by the ‘Packet Window’ selection. This will open a new packet window. Here’s how the packet window looks:

Packet Terminal Com Setup

Using a TNC and RF to connect

To establish a connection with a TNC, select the TNC COM port. This COM port should match the settings and speed of the TNC and the settings for the COM port in the WriteLog.ini file. If they don’t, your packet connection won’t work.

Once connected, the packet cluster will prompt you for your call sign and, perhaps, a password. With the Packet Window in focus, simply start to enter your ham radio call sign. A separate quick window opens for you automatically to type in your information. When you press ‘Enter’ on the keyboard, the window closes and the information you placed in the window is sent on its way.

Using a Telnet connection

Clicking on the ‘Telnet’ selection brings up a new window that looks like this:

Packet Telnet Dialog Box

Enter the IP name or address for the telnet connection.

Once connected, a prompt will ask you for your call sign and password. With the Packet Window selected as the main window (in my case, with the title bar of the window in colors shown above vs. grayed out), simply start to enter your call sign and you will see a separate quick window open for you to type in your information. When you press ‘Enter’ on the keyboard, the window closes and the information you placed in the window is sent on its way.

Using a local server connection

If your TNC is located on a networked computer (such as in a multi-op situation), you should select ‘Local Network’ as your option. This opens the following window:

Packet Network Dialog Box

Enter the name of the networked machine that has the telnet or RF connection. The program will now go looking for the packet connection through the network.

A successful result of connecting to the local or external packet network will produce the packet terminal window, a running show of ham radio spots coming from the cluster. The window will look something like this:

Packet Terminal

Packet Spots Window

The Packet Spots Window is opened from the toolbar using the ‘Window’ selection and then checking the ‘Packet Spots’ selection from the drop down menu. The Packet Spots window looks like this:

Packet Spots Window with Drop Down Menu

Place the window where you want it on your screen. During the ham radio contest, this window provides the filtered calls from the Packet Terminal Window. The drop down menu associated with the current ‘All Bands’ selection offers all the separate bands of the contest as well as a ‘follow me’ selection. When you change the band on your ham radio, the ham radio control function automatically switches your packet selection to match your ham radio.

Checking the ‘Mult’s Only’ box will eliminate new calls available to work and narrow the focus to only new multipliers to work on the bands you have selected.

The ‘In-band Contacts’ will only show ham radio stations or multipliers that are within the band parameters you established in ‘Edit Sub-bands’ which can be found on the main program options within the Windows ‘Start|Programs|WriteLog’ location.

The ‘Auto Scroll’ function forces the most recent spots to be at the top of the screen.

Note: if you want to change the default font in this window to a Slash Zero font, you will need to edit the WriteLog.ini file. Open the file, find the [Correl] section of the file. The following entries control the font for this window, the Check Call Window, and the Net Gab Window:

FaceName=OCR-A
FontHeight=-13
FontWeight=400
FontFamily=49

To get the Slashed Zero font, change the OCR-A to “FixedSys” or add the entire line if it is not in the [Correl] section:

FaceName=FixedSys