B. Scott Andersen
bsandersen at mac.com
Sun Mar 13 08:48:28 EST 2005
Fellow MacLogger DX users:
I have been lurking on the list for some time and thought this might
be the right time to jump in. I have been quietly working on an
add-on for MacLogger DX called CabConverter that allows MLDX using
contesters to generate appropriate Cabrillo files.
I am announcing this effort with this message.
CabConverter is a stand-alone program and accepts an ADIF file
generated by MLDX as input and generates a Cabrillo file. Users
must supply information within CabConverter's GUI for things
like, name, call, email address, etc. These general things are
retained as preferences. Additionally, users will need to specify
the contest, operating category, additional category overlay
(tri-bander, rookie, etc.), along with power category and other
things for a particular contest.
Once you've done that, there's little left to do but select
the ADIF file holding your QSOs, give them a quick look within
the log browsing window, and generate your Cabrillo file for
There are a couple of things to note:
1. There is no such thing as a Cabrillo file standard. There
are several file formats with different information captured
in different columns. Each contest is a little different.
Certainly, the scoring is different for each contest which
leads us to point 2.
2. The assertion that "Scoring is pretty easy to do" (seen recently)
has not matched my experience. Scoring is tedious and different
for each contest. Take the upcoming CQ WPX contest as an
example. The value of a QSO depends on the country you're in,
the country they're in, the continent you're on, the continent
their on, and the band. Take it from me, there is a lot of
typing to get a program to understand all that... especially
when you're given nothing more than a call sign of variable forms
such as AB1BL, AB1BL/4, AB1BL/J4, J4/AB1BL, and AB1BL/MM for
AB1BL at home, in Georgia, in Aruba, also in Aruba, and
marine mobile respectively. I've not even gotten to the point
of talking about multipliers!
3. In order for CabConverter to work, the proper contest-specific
information needs to be captured in some set form within each
logged QSO entry. So, CabConverter users will need to see what
CabConverter will need _before_ the contest begins.
4. Contests will be added one-at-a-time for a while. Corresponding
PC programs that support 50 or 100 or 200 contest forms most
likely didn't start that way on day-one. They probably grew
one or two at a time, also.
Now, the important bits:
* How much will it cost?
I'm not sure yet.
* When can I try it?
I'm planning on having a very early snapshot version available
this week so people can get used to it. I'm finishing off the
logic to support the CQ WPX SSB contest now. Other recent
contests are also supported (in case you've not submitted your
Cabrillo file for those yet).
* What contests will it support?
I do not have a concrete list yet but most of the HF contests
supported by the ARRL and CQ folks will be included plus the
other contests that I happen to be interested in such as
New England QSO party, etc. I'll try to have a version of
CabConverter done that supports a particular contest at least
a week before that contest begins.
* Who can use it?
The software will assume that you are in the continental US.
For Canadian, Alaskan, and Hawaiian comrades, I can only give
you my sincerest apology. Scoring in particular and the
expected exchange is often different for "DX" stations and I'm
currently concentrating on getting the software working for
one class of user (CONUS).
I have had one very helpful and productive beta tester thus
far but could use a couple more. Volunteers may contact me
Finally, this is a background effort for me. I'm a ham. I
also have a job (a fairly demanding one, by the way!).
Don Argo has spoiled all of us with his world-class support,
and nearly dizzying ability to crank out high-quality
software quickly and repeatedly. Let me say this for the
record: I'm not Don. :-)
That said, I believe that you'll find CabConverter makes
contesting more fun. It has for me.
-- Scott (NE1RD)
B. Scott Andersen | "Magic is real, unless declared integer."
bsandersen at mac.com | -- The collected sayings of Wiz Zumwalt
Acton, Massachusetts | Ham: NE1RD, QRP ARCI#11588, FP#-910
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