Monday, April 6, 2020

Software can bring you joy or grey hair.......


This weekend contained some QSO parties to partake in. Almost every weekend there has been a QSO party I wanted to take part as I have a personal goal to see if I can make some contacts in all the QSO parties. I am not officially enrolled in the QSO party challenge as I have no hope of placing anywhere other than close to the bottom of the pile. It is just a thing for me to do during the COVID 19 stay at home order.
This is not the message you want to see 
I have managed to make at least one successful contact in each of the QSO parties up to this point in time (I have a feeling that may end once the Hawaii QSO party happens) But this weekend I thought the streak was going to come to an end. I was having huge issues with hearing anyone in the Nebraska QSO party! BUT I then remembered reading they also accept FT8 QSO"s and not many QSO parties do. So it was off to FT8 to see what I could find. The contest software I use is N!MM+ and it does integrate with both WSJT-X or JTDX software. The issue here was I had not as yet made the integration. I found online a very nice video of a step-by-step process and as Picard would say "make it so". Before I ever venture into making program and radio changes I always back up both my PC (system restore) and my radio settings.
I followed the setting changes that needed to be made in N1MM+ and JTDX software I then did the smoke test and restarted the programs. I was greeted with an error message and the program stopped working altogether. To save the day I restored the JTDX settings and rig settings back to their previous settings. I then was able to make 2 Nebraska contacts on FT8 using the "old" settings in JTDX.  My next step was to figure out how to convert the ADIF file that JTDX gave me into a Cab file which the Nebraska QSO party needed for submission. I went online and found SP7DQR's program called ADIF2CABR program and it did the trick.
The next day it was time to tackle the JTDX integration with N1MM+ so I went back to the video and figuring the issue was I was rushing the day before. Since everything was backed up from the day before I got right down to it. Once done I tried a restart and low and behold all worked fine. I reviewed what I did and it came down to the file location of JTDX I had to enter into N1MM+ I don't believe I enter the exe file last time.
A much better message. 
There was one very odd thing that happened it had nothing to do with N1MM+ or JTDX it was my setting for my windows microphone. What clued me into this was the receive level in the JTDX program was off the scale. I open Windows microphone settings and it went from a set level of 4 to 100. It's just the magic of Windows and for whatever reason, it decides to do whatever
it wants!

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