Comments on API and observations from NEQP and 7QP.

Christopher Scibelli

I meant to write this message after the WPX but I never got around to writing the message until today. These comments are based on a full time effort in the New England QSO Party and a few hours in the WPX.  I'm more of a DXer than contester although I have found an affinity for state QPs the past few years but I did make about 150 Qs in the WPX to give it the workout you desired.
The API worked great.  No problems whatsoever and I did use the API to transfer my contest QSOs to my general log. The transfer was super fast.  It will be much easier to use the API than to export and import ADIF files. 
I'm a member of the DX forum on eHam and I read about DXers using contests to work new slots all the time. I imagine quite a few contest participants are actually DXers looking for new band slots. I would find those messages as to whether a country is needed, worked but not confirmed, etc., extremely helpful if they appeared when a station was first spotted but there isn't much I can do with the message after the call has been entered. It's not practical to stop and make a note during the contest that a QSO needs to be confirmed. If those QSOs which received a message were somehow "flagged" one could use the info after the contest to see what needs confirmation but my preference would be to get a heads-up when something needed is first spotted.
I needed Tunisia on 20 meters during the WPX and I knew from the various DX newsletters that 3V8SS was going to be active.  I've only used AC Log's "Watch List" once but during the WPX I sure wished the WPX program itself had a watch list.  I'm not always going to be running the general log and a contest log during a contest so adding the watch list to the contest programs would be very helpful. 
The first weekend in May is when the NEQP, Area 7QP, Indiana QP, and now the Delaware QP all hold their QSO parties.  It's become a pretty good sized event.  Those who run the contests now allow one log covering all 4 QPs. It makes things much easier to submit only one log but right now my only recourse is to use N1MM+ because I can't enter counties for the states participating in those QPs unless I run three of four different N3FJP programs at once and that's simply not feasible when one is making over 1,000 QSOs in the NEQP alone.  I hope you'll consider changing the code so those of us participating in those contests can use one program and just submit one cabrillo file.
The last item I made a note for is the use of cut numbers when sending a serial number as part of a CW exchange.  I don't believe that's possible right now but it's commonly used by CW operators.  I'd hope you could one day add that option.  A side note, and this is admittedly a very small point, is that sending a single digit in an exchange seems to throw off the rhythm of even seasoned CW contesters. This only occurs on QSOs 1 through 9 but if you ever do make any changes to the serial numbers you may want to consider allowing one the option of sending zeroes before QSOs 1 through 9. For example, 001, 009, etc.  I have had newer CW Ops ask for a repeat of the serial number.
I don't know the first thing about software so I have no idea as to whether any of these suggestions are feasible but I've spent a lot of time using your programs during the past month and those are my observations and suggestions.
Thanks for reading.  I only wish all those who produce the consumer products we commonly purchase not only solicited their customers views but actually took them seriously and implemented the best and most feasible suggestions, but that would be asking for too much.
Thanks for a terrific suite of programs.
Chris  NU1O

Join to automatically receive all group messages.