ARRL RTTY Roundup Log 3.8 Now Available & This Contesting is Nuts!

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Hi All,

In addition to wishing you a very blessed, Merry Christmas, Happy New Year and a wonderful holiday season, Kimberly, Chris and I are excited to let you know that...

ARRL RTTY Roundup 3.8 is Now Available!

ARRL RTTY Roundup 3.8 is now on the web site and ready for download! In addition to adding support for the FT Roundup contest, ARRL RTTY Roundup 3.8 includes all the upgrades that my son Chris, KB3KCN and I are adding to all of the contest software, including:

Automatic Update
The coming versions of all our software will automatically check for new updates. When a new update is found, you will have the option of keeping your current version or updating to the latest. Choosing to update should be as easy as clicking one button! As always, upgrades will continue to be free to registered users. These next upgrades should be the last ones that will require you to manually uninstall and reinstall.

All Logging Software Signed With a Certificate Authority's Digital Certificate
The next releases of all our logging software will now be digitally signed by a Certificate Authority before release, listing the publisher as Affirmatech Inc. You will still likely see the Windows Smart Screen for while after we publish a new upgrade, but it will hopefully stop more quickly and there should be fewer false positives from Internet Protection Software programs going forward.

Automatic DX Spots Reconnect
The next releases of all our software will detect if connection with the DX Spotting Telnet host is lost. They will first try to reconnect with the same host. If the connection is unsuccessful, they will try the next host in the list. Click Settings > DX Spotting > Auto Reconnect (upper right) to enable.

CW Rig Interface Wild Cards
As you know, I previously added the ability to send rig interface commands from the CW and phone forms, by prefacing the command with RI:. Folks started enjoying this new feature, but needed a way to adjust CW strings on the fly with wild cards, to send the call you are working, serial number, etc. When you enter your rig interface command, format RI: wildcards as follows: RI: <CALL> <SERIAL> <RST>.

Toggle Between 3 Rigs
Previously, with Single Op, Two Radio in mind, you could quickly toggle between two rigs (after saving their settings on the rig interface form). Now you can cycle between 3 rigs by pressing Ctrl X from the main form!

CW and Phone Settings Now Included with Ctrl X Toggle
The phone and CW settings that you save on the respective set up forms will cycle along with the rig when you press Ctrl X. You'll find these options at the lower left when you click Settings > Transmit CW / PH.

Advanced and Technician License Class Privilege Filtering for DX Spots
Added Technician and Advanced filtering for DX spotting (General already existed).

Keyboard Tuning Shortcuts now Optional
Ability to disable keyboard tuning (requested from blind hams, who use the keyboard shortcuts used for tuning in other ways).

CW Text to Speech
One of our club members is no longer able to send CW manually (or type using a keyboard to send CW), so I added the ability to record text to send CW via speech to text. Press Crl K to record from your PC's mic input on the CW buffer form. This solution has all the limitations associated with text to speech, so it is by no means perfect, but it at least provides an option to continue to engage in CW for those who's manual dexterity otherwise precludes it.

Operator and Station Call ADIF Mapping
The Operator and Station ADIF fields can optionally be mapped to the Call value entered in setup or made blank when exporting in ADIF.

TCP Networking Port Now User Customizable
The Port for TCP Networking (most often used for Field Day and other Mult Multi events), is now user customizable (instead of being locked at 1000). Click Settings > Network to Configure.

Block Band Overlap
We've wrestled with this since our very first Field Day and it will be a great help for all multi transmitter events, but now that my son Chris, KB3KCN, who lives right next door, has become active on the air, the need to be able to block being on the same band simultaneously has personally taken on a while new level! On the rig interface form, selecting the Block Band Overlap option will keep you from jumping to the same band as another station with whom you are networked, when you click a DX Spot or enter a frequency manually from the logging software. You can still of course tune your rig manually if you choose.

Note Function Added
When you are trying to work a station, can't get through, but want to come back, with his call still in the call field, press Ctrl + H. A small form will display noting his call and frequency. You can add additional calls to the list and click on them to return to the frequency (with rig interface enabled). Remove a call from the list by right clicking, or it will be removed when you enter the contact.

Super Check Partial Wild Cards Added
Type a period (.) or question mark (?) when you are unsure of a character in the call, to display all possibilities in the Super Check Partial list (with Super Check Partial enabled).

Winkeyer - Remaining String to be Sent Displayed
Unlike the processor timed CW, which showed the entire string yet to be sent, my software previously just displayed the character as it was echoed from Winkeyer. Now, the Winkeyer display is similar to processor timed CW and includes the entire remaining buffer to be sent.

Added Shortcut List Summary
As many of you know, our software has always been designed to be easy and intuitive to use, right out of the box, without overwhelming new users with a myriad of options and settings. As a result, many of the cool, useful, higher level features our software offers are accessed by either investigating all the menu options or keyboard shortcuts. In addition, as our feature set continues to grow, the shortcut list is becoming extensive! To help us all quickly find the many valuable features you'll want to use as you become familiar with N3FJP Software, you can view the shortcut summary from the help menu, or pressing Ctrl O.

Lord willing, Chris and I are doing our best to have the rest of the software ready for a mass release by early January, that will include all of these features, so please consider ARRL RTTY 3.8 a sneak peak for what's next to come with all the programs.

As always, upgrades are free to registered users. You'll find ARRL RTTY 3.8 here.

And the upgrade steps (which will be even easier for future releases) here.


This contesting is nuts. Why do we do it?

This next bit isn't software specific. If you are only looking for information on N3FJP Software you need read no further, but I received such a positive response when I shared the following with my local club, I wanted pass these thoughts along here as well...

The reasons for the tremendous fun of contesting aren't always evident and they are too important to miss, especially for new folks just entering the hobby. What draws us to spend major contest weekends happily glued to our radios?

Following CQ World Wide CW 2020, one of our club's excellent, experienced contesters, having just made over 1,000 Qs, wrote on our virtual clubhouse text chat group, tongue in cheek: This contesting is nuts! Why do we do it?

Spent from the weekend, I couldn't help but laugh out loud, but the question stayed with me. This contesting IS nuts. It's hard work, takes education, effort, dedication, experimentation, knowledge, ingenuity, planning and serious time in the chair. Why DO we do it?

It turns out that, at least for me, there are lots of great reasons! Here are a few off the top of my head. I'll bet that you can add to this list...

- It is thrilling to to communicate to every state, section and the 4 corners of the Earth with nothing but a piece of metal in our yards, from the comfort of our homes and families.

- It is joyful to share a quick connection, however brief, with all the other stations that have become familiar on contest weekends.

- It is thrilling to watch the bands rise and fall like the tide over the course of the contest weekend, anticipating what may open next.

- It is thrilling to watch our individual and club's collective QSO rates soar when the bands come alive, on our club's real time leader board.

- It is thrilling to simultaneously, whole heartedly cheer our NEMARCS brothers and sisters on, while doing our very best to leave them in the dust!

- It is thrilling to recognize the very real accomplishments of our scores, individually and collectively, with our club total. We know full well what goes into building a successful station and putting in a successful contest effort!

- It is joyful to exchange quick banter on our virtual clubhouse text chat group during propagation lulls, as well as share needed multipliers, mentor new folks and encourage everyone to do their best.

- It is thrilling to see our club rankings in print and moving up the list when the final results are released!

- It is thrilling to watch our club's scoreboard participant numbers grow, seeing new guys jump in for the first times, knowing the fun that awaits them!

- It is thrilling to get that certificate in the mail, after you have placed well enough to earn one!

- It is fascinating to learn the strengths and weaknesses of our stations, that are so quickly revealed on contest weekends.

- It is thrilling, after the contest is over, to improve our stations, our antennas and our operating skills, to see what we can do better next time. In fact, the grand contest never ends. We are always looking for that edge and helping each other find theirs!

- It is thrilling to befriend such a fine group of folks, with whom to share this amazing adventure!

This is really, really fun stuff!


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And in response to the questions we always receive when we neglect to include the following in our e-mail announcements...


Package Upgrade Information...

If you have registered one or more individual programs and would like to upgrade to N3FJP's Software Package or N3FJP's Software Package and CD for full use of all our Amateur Radio software, we would be glad to apply the amount that you have registered so far as a credit towards that purchase. Please send us an e-mail directly and we'll let you know your balance.

N3FJP's Software Package includes more than one hundred programs for contesting, net management, general logging and other Amateur Radio related applications. In addition to full use of all these programs, registered package customers are also entitled to receive free passwords for any new software that is added to the package and free upgrades to existing programs. You'll find all the details on the Register Now page at www.n3fjp.com.


Donations are Gratefully Accepted!

And in response to the often asked question for which Kimberly and I are very grateful...

"I know your upgrades are free, but I also realize how much time and effort coding these enhancements and new programs take and that your pricing policy doesn't fully reflect that. Can I send you something to show my appreciation for your continued efforts?"

Yes, thanks so much, your continued support in any amount is very welcome and deeply appreciated! You can use this page:

http://www.n3fjp.com/donations.html

or send your contribution by mail, payable to Affirmatech Inc., to:

G. Scott Davis
118 Glenwood Road
Bel Air, MD 21014-5533

Thank you so much for your continued support!


Thanks!

As always, thanks for your kind words, support, linking to our web site and spreading the word about our software. Kimberly and I really appreciate it!

73, Scott
N3FJP
http://www.n3fjp.com

Serving the Amateur Radio community with contesting and general logging software since 1997.

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