Issues with PA QSO Party


kb3co
 

Scott,
I have been using your contest software for a long time now and have always liked it but during the most recent PA QSO party we noticed some issues with it. I have been wanting to send this feedback for some time now but have not had a good opportunity until now.
First, we do not understand why the software evens bothers with the fully spelled out county names. All that matters throughout this contest is the three letter abbreviation - especially for CW operation. In our humble opinions using the fully spelled name at all in the logging program only introduces confusion and opportunity for errors when logging. The biggest problem arises when you use wild cards in the CW function keys. If you use the wildcard for your county the software sends the whole word - not the three letter abbreviation! Now, you may argue until the cows come home whether fully spelled names are a good idea or not but I think everyone would agree that this a bug to send them for a wildcard.
Secondly, we operate mobile. So operating and logging can be a challenge at times when road and/or traffic conditions bounce you around. Two features of your software can easily add errors and frustration to an already difficult situation. Please consider changes for these following features. First feature, the cursor - can you change the color of it to make it easier to find? There are times when you can lose track of it and it can be difficult to find again (white cursor on an almost completely white background) when you are in the heat of running a pileup. Second feature, the section and county entry boxes. As logging works now, you must make a quick decision regarding what box to enter what you just heard from the calling station. If he/she is out of state that is best for you because you can enter his/her QTH in the next box after the call sign. BUT if he/she is in PA you must tab past the section box and enter his/her info into the county box. Again, in the heat of running a pileup one does not want to make that assessment on every QSO and take the appropriate action. Many errors are made because of this extra step in the process. It would be soooo much simpler (and better) if the calling station's QTH could be entered into the same box regardless of whether he/she is in or out of state. The bad thing about making this entry error is that the software goes into "tilt" mode - not only is this startling to me but my first reaction is "what?!!!" because I am certain I entered it correctly. This is very upsetting in the middle of a pileup. And it often prompts the recitation of some very ugly words.


Best regards,
Charlie KB3CO


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