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The options provide for 3 or 4-digit numbers generated using calculations based on the callsign and number sent in the previous QSO. This approach means that previously logged calls or "serials sent" cannot be changed without being flagged as an error by adjudication software using the same calculations. This method of number generation was originally tested and verified in the UKEICC 80m Random Number contests in 2017 - ukeicc.com. It is independent of programming languages and independent of computer platforms.
Some contests have scoring based partly or entirely on known attributes (country and zone) of the callsign alone - to the extent that the exchange may be partly or fully redundant.
Some others, for example CWops, have fixed exchanges, perhaps Membership Number and Name. For these, call history files pre-fill the exchange, reducing the contests to call-copying events. The entire exchange is typically sent at high-speed because it's essentially redundant.
It seems pointless (to me) for contest rules to require the on-air exchange of redundant exchange elements, incuding our old "friend" 59(9). This resistance to change dates back some 35 years or more, to the days before logging software.
Pseudo-random numbers have the potential to reduce the incidence of redundant exchange elements, and to force contesters to copy something in adddition to calls. They can not be "corrected" or determined from subsequent QSOs without collusion or having sight of other logs concerned.
The RANDOM command is a new feature for all contests with serials, giving users the choice of 3 or 4-digit pseudo- random serials. A zero parameter restores sequential serials. The default when starting a new log, or loading existing logs, is sequential serials - based on the previous serial sent. A reminder that SD's SERIAL command resets sequential serials to whatever initial value you choose.
I intend to experiment with the RANDOM command in future contests with serials. I hope you will join me.
SD is free from www.ei5di.com. The relevant dedicated options are "Random Serials, 3" and "Random Serials, 4".
SD runs in console (text) mode on any version of Windows all the way back to XP, and also on Linux with wine and wineconsole.
Exchange serials - 1 point per QSO - mults are the last character of calls logged, by band - a possible 36 x 2. (A-Z and 0-9)
Support added, with mults identified as calls are typed.
All valid QSOs with, or from, the UK score 1 point. QSOs with new countries are highlighted, for information only - there are no mults.
For example: SPECIALCALL :G5GEI 15
PACC.LST (Call History) and PACC.DTA (SCP) files are supplied - they're loaded automatically at startup.
Updated Call History and SCP files are included.
Select SD's "Slow Speed Test" option. The exchange is Name and State/Province/Country-Prefix - for example PAUL EI. Mults are W/VE States/provinces and non W/VE DXCC countries by band - on 160, 80, 40 and 20m. SD loads a Names call-history file (supplied) to pre-fill many names.
The recommended CW speed is 20wpm or lower. If you go faster, SD displays your speed in red. No logs are required - simply post your points and mults (as shown in SD's Score Window) within 2 days at 3830scores.com - use the K1USN SST option.
Remember to update your keyer memories (with Shift_F1, F2 etc) as preferred.
When no locator, or an incomplete locator, is received, enter zero. The locator will be logged as ------.
Don't try to enter hyphens. SD interprets this as Minus and wipes the QSO - the normal function of Minus while logging.
Thanks EI7GY and G3SWC.
If the full 6 characters are not received, clear the field with Esc (if necessary) and enter one or more zeros or hyphens (-). The locator is then logged as ------.
SDCHECK has a new option to update DXCC.CTY and CQWW.CTY, used in most of SD's contest options, from CTY.DAT held on the website.
Now users can be sure of having up-to-date CTY files without being dependent on me to get them first.
A valid 6-character locator is required from the user.
For all locators, user errors caused by confusing the letter I with number 1, and the letter O with zero are corrected on the fly.
Similarly, the last two character must be numeric. Again, SD changes I to 1 and O to 0.
In the same way, received locators are corrected during logging and editing.
The points shown for each QSO include distance multiplication factors (if any) according to the rules. When you edit the locator on earlier QSOs, the score is not updated until the log is reloaded.
Note that distances (and points) are approximate, and mults are not tracked - this is of little significance because Cabrillo logs are independently scored by contest sponsors.
When existing logs are reloaded, mults are recognised.
The warning message is replaced by the rig's frequency when rig control is restored.
Added safeguards to ensure SD always logs on the band matching the rig's frequency, subject to permitted bands for the contest. This applies to both continuously-working rig-control and to restoration of rig-control following an interruption, regardless of any change in band in SD or on the rig while rig control was interrupted.
To enable or re-enable rig control manually, use the PORTS command. To disable rig control, set its port number to zero (again with the PORTS command). Updated .LST and .DTA (SCP) reference files.
Updated .LST and .DTA (SCP) reference files.
To ensure this feature works as expected, SD disables any other LST file. Do not use the LOAD command to load other call history files.
Fixed the option to enter 0 when no locator is given. This is logged as 0000, and appears as ---- in Cabrillo QSO records, as required by the rules.
For mixed-mode contests, Backspace or Delete in an empty Callsign field shows CW and SSB QSO totals by band. When mults count separately by mode, a further Backspace or Delete shows CW and SSB mult totals by band. Thanks GW4BVJ.
Restored summary of QSOs by band and mode in Cabrillo header records. Thanks GW4BVJ.
Fixed Cabrillo QSO parameters in the template file QPAQPDX.TPL - thanks G4JFS.
INORC.LST permits lookup by call or membership number. When a membership number is typed, the member's name and call are shown. Enter then places the call and membership number in the correct fields ready for logging. Thanks I7ALE.
Added separate rig-control files for TS890S and TS990S, to include their DVR playback parameters.
Updated to permit copies to the same device and folder in which SD is held (typically C:\SD), although external drives are recommended for obvious reasons.
If your log is NAME.ALL, then the audit file is NAME.AUD. These are backed up (dumped) to NAME.ALB and NAME.AUB - overwriting earlier files of the same name.
This applies in particular to the "Home" side of USA State QSO Parties where home entrants log county codes for same-state QSOs, and the state for out-of-state entrants.
The default category STD is pre-filled, and for stations logged previously, both the category and county or state or VE province are pre-filled.
For the "Home" side, SD counts but does not display DX multiplier prefixes while logging - DX (non W/VE) QSOs are logged once the category has been entered. However, all DX multiplier prefixes are shown in SDCHECK's Cabrillo log.
Type an IOTA reference in the callsign field to display the island description and its multiplier status on all bands and modes - Esc or Minus to clear.
IOTA island descriptions are shown when SD pre-fills the reference, and when island QSOs are logged.
Updated island reference files
Canadian provinces are pre-filled.
Type any Zone number in the Callsign field to see the list of corresponding countries - Minus or Esc to clear.
F1 or F2 show Zones Worked/Wanted by band.
F3 shows Zones Worked/Wanted for all bands.
This includes California, Florida, Kansas.
Updated template file to correct 40m QSO points.
Removed band reference from multiplier table header - mults count once only regardless of band.
DX QSOs have their prefix (exchange) pre-filled, and VE QSOs have the province pre-filled.
Added total of Members Worked (uniques). Non-member QSOs are ignored.
To de-assign a port, set it to zero.
The obsolete commands are WINKEYON, WINKEYOFF, WKON, WKOFF, WKINIT.
This bug applied also to several other contests. V20.14 users should upgrade immediately.
Note that the DVR command is required (once only) to enable playback from your rig's voice recorder. The REPEAT command is discontinued.
To disable repeats, set CQT to 0 - the default setting each time SD runs.
For SSB, the interval between calls includes the time for the voice message itself. If you select too short a time, the CQ recording plays continuously. For CW, the timer starts when the previous message ends.
Esc, or typing a call, stops playback and repeats.
Here's what is recommended. Use the COLOUR command to take a note of your current colour options - Enter leaves each one unchanged. Then use the RESET command to revert to SD's default colours and try them to see whether you like them.
When logging calls, SD uses colour to indicate the status of the QSO so that, generally, there's no need to look away from the logging line.
The default colour when logging calls is QSO Colour - white. If, as you type callsign characters, the call becomes a dupe, its colour changes to Dupe Colour - Black. Otherwise, if it represents a country or prefix multiplier, it changes to Multiplier Colour - light blue.
If the call has been worked on another band, there is no change in colour but you get a band analysis under the logging line - bands not needed are shown in black. Otherwise (call not logged before and not a dupe or mult), if there is a match with any call in the SCP window, the call changes to SCP Colour - light green. If you don't like this, or think it's too fussy, change SCP colour to the same value as QSO Colour.
Some colour combinations look really bad. If you get in a muddle with them, use the RESET command and try the default colours for a while before changing individual ones as preferred.
Select your preferred colours with the COLOUR (or COLOR) commands.
IOTA.LST has been updated for 2018, to include announced DXpeditions. It is loaded automatically for this contest.
Country reference file SDIOTA.CTY updated.
Alt-M toggles ESM (left-Alt only).
Alt-R or Alt-S toggles between Run & S&P modes.
Note: Alt-R does not assert RUN, and Alt-S does not assert S&P. They simply toggle the mode when ESM is enabled.
Left-Alt must be used, as Right-Alt has been a long-term alternative to Ctrl (keyboard mode) for some non-UK/US keyboards where Ctrl does not work as expected.
With rig control enabled, the rig QSYs to 14108. Decimal frequencies are supported - for example 14108.6.
Previously, SD required /M or /R suffixes to suppress dupe checking.
When logging a station already worked on the current band & mode, SD displays previous counties worked but does not pre-fill a county.
The QSO will be a dupe when there is a match on call, county, mode and band.
This feature is controlled by the QSOPARTY parameter in relevant templates.
On reloading, if the most-recent QSO logged had this suffix, the next serial was reset to 1. Fixed, thanks G3KZR.
For example, here are my stats for ARRL DX CW 2018 - K3 barefoot on 20m to a 3-el yagi at 30 feet. The calculations are accurate, because SD records QSO times to the second.
The stats are stored in Records 3, 4 & 5 of the .ALL file, following the Name and Address fields, and are included in Cabrillo logs under the tag X-BEST-RATES.
Please ensure SCP is enabled (with the SCP command) to benefit from BERU.DTA.
This is all possible because, although it is a Windows program, SD runs in terminal or console mode with no requirement for graphics support. In addition, SD was designed to be fast and efficient on the original, very slow PCs - and has remained fast and efficient ever since. All SD's features are supported on Linux, including rig-control and WinKey.
Some competence in Linux is needed to configure ports for rig-control and WinKey. Help is available via the sd-user mailing list.
Windows console programs running under Wineconsole are restricted to a display of 25 rows and 80 columns, whereas SD's native resolution is 27 rows by 82 columns. SD accommodates this difference with the BORDER command. The BORDER value is set to one or zero on Windows PCs, but must be zero for all other platforms.
A reminder that it can be quicker to retrieve a wanted call from the window rather than typing it in full, especially when there are few partial calls displayed.
Use Up or Down-Arrow to access the window, and the arrow keys to navigate to the wanted call. Enter transfers a highlighted call to the logging line.
When there is a single call in the window, Up or Down- Arrow (nothing else) transfers the call to the logging line. If you've not tried this, you're missing out!
Dupe checking was not affected, but it helps to know immediately if the call you're typing has the potential to be a dupe.
When SCP is in effect, and there are many matches (for example, DL), the display reverts temporarily to Check Partial - showing matches from the log only.
In the Getting Started section of SD's manual, the standard settings for SD's Windows Size is Width 82, and Height 27. With EXPAND enabled, the Height should be set to 36, and the Font Size reduced to make SD's expanded window fit your screen.
If you haven't a clue about what all this means, try the EXPAND command to see for yourself - and read "Getting Started" in the manual.
ps - it seems to have worked - see the non-UK Unassisted results at RSGB 1.8MHz
It is flagged by appending /X to a callsign in the log. When the log is reloaded, these QSOs are ignored for scoring or multiplier purposes.
Now, if SD.KEY is not found, SD looks for any file with its name starting with SD.KEY and treats this as the key file.
A reminder of how the Band/Mult analysis works: The bands 10 to 80m (for IARU HF) are shown beneath the callsign. Any bands needed as mults are highlighted. In addition, if the station has been worked on other bands, they appear as black, including the current band - they can't be mults on bands already worked. You know instantly, while typing calls, whether you need that station on another band (or mode) for a mult.
For Non-UK entrants, the UK prefix multiplier summary has been corrected and is updated as prefixes are typed. You see instantly whether that station/prefix would be a mult on another band or mode. This feature also applies to all other contests with prefix mults, including Oceania, All Asian, CQMM, Asia Pacific Sprint, SA Sprint and OKOM (home side). It does not apply to CQ WPX, where prefix mults count once only.
Updated IARU.REF file supplied. It is used to pre- fill the IARU HQ Society initials, corresponding to the country indicated by the callsign, when you type any alphabetic character (one is enough) in the zone field. This is useful when HQ stations, not already in IARU.LST, are worked.
Caps Lock: Restored the Caps Lock indicator ^ - shown to the left of the callsign field on the logging line.
SDX supports DXpedition and Special Event logging on the 10 bands from 160-6m.
To see how it works, load any contest log with SD and observe what happens when you use Up Arrow to access QSOs.
For a callsign match on any pre-loaded .LST file, the name is pre-filled.
When the .ALL file gets corrupted, it can be recreated from the audit (.AUD) file but, obviously, it's better to prevent this happening. In any case, SD lets you edit band and mode directly with F1/F2/F3.
If you really must edit the .ALL file directly, take a copy of the file before you start, and use Notepad. This is a text editor and, unlike word processor programs like Word or WordPad, it does not add hidden characters to your QSO records.
Now, at startup, you are advised if any record/QSO has the wrong length, and SD displays its line number in the .ALL file together with the contents of the record - for the user to fix. This way, no subsequent QSOs will be affected.
SDX comes with a corresponding SDXCHECK program for creating Cabrillo or ADIF logs, and is intended to be installed in its own folder (SDX).
Thanks to EI8BP for help in getting started.
SD is written in
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