Re: Winter field day TCP network questions


Lawrence (VA3IQ)
 

The Saskatoon Amateur Radio Club/Meewasin Amateur Radio Society have run N3FJP FD logging wirelessly for the past two years without problems.  We typical operate 4A.  This past year we had a Raspberry Pi web server serving up a page of our total score.  All using IP transport.

 Our secret sauce is  Broadband Hamnet http://www.broadband-hamnet.org/

Don’t use  802.11 WiFi — go wireless ham mesh.  It and Scott’s software works together so well.

De VA5LD/VE3LGD

Lawrence


On Mon, Jan 29, 2018 at 12:45 PM Scott & Kimberly Davis SNKDavis@... [N3FJP_Software_Users] <N3FJP_Software_Users@...> wrote:
 

Hi Jay,


Thanks for your e-mail.  I'm sorry that you ran into some trouble.  The networking code for both ARRL FD and WFD is identical (as it is with all my software).  

I suspect that being wireless added a great deal of overhead, since it is typically encrypted.  If you had a marginal signal, that would also cause delays and RF getting back into the system could cause all sorts of chaos.  I have heard over and over from folks struggling with wireless who switched to wired connections and then had excellent results.  That said, lots of wireless folks have no problems at all.

I have some responses inserted:

1. What should the polling time be set to for each client coming back to the master log?
I changed them all from 60 to different values (20, 25, 40) thinking this could help avoid calls to the server all the same time.

**  Polling rate is not relevant for TCP networking.  It only affects file share.  If you are using the TCP networking option, leave it at 60.

2. When folks run big networked logging systems (4+ stations) are you having them connect to a dedicated machine that JUST runs the log?  Or are you using the master log server as a client to log contacts as well. DO you just have a laptop sitting someone off by itself with the master log?


**  We've only had two or three PCs at our Field Days but we  log from the server.  That said, for a big network, let the server focus on distributing the data in TCP mode.  It is less critical (less demand on the server) if you go with File Share.


3. Is there a way to keep the NETWORK window from popping up when you get a "chat" message from one of the clients.  The message is displayed in the blue box on the main screen, but the "auto popup" of the network bandplan/chat window is annoying and problematic, as it adds steps to close it again to finish logging, then open it back up.   I would like to just see the message in the blue box.. and have the choice of opening the network window to reply, not auto launching that window up and blocking my logging window.


**  This has fallen squarely in the can't please everyone category.  I hear you and understand completely.  On the other hand, folks are worried in the heat of the contest that their messages will be missed without a pop up.

Thanks again for your thoughts!


73, Scott
N3FJP
 
Serving the Amateur Radio community with contesting and general logging software since 1997.
 
1 Peter 3 vs 15: Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect...
 
 



-----Original Message-----
From: Jay whereisjay@... [N3FJP_Software_Users] <N3FJP_Software_Users@...>
To: N3fjp User Group <N3FJP_Software_Users@...>
Sent: Mon, Jan 29, 2018 12:05 pm
Subject: [N3FJP_Software_Users] Winter field day TCP network questions

 
Hey all,
I am unpacking from a great WFD experience, however, we did have some issues, and they revolved around the networking of the N3FJP software.

We ran a 4O station, so we have 3 clients connecting to the master log.
All clients were Win 7 laptops, with a wireless connection.
The server was a Win 7 laptop that I also was using to log my contacts, wireless connection to our wireless router.
All networked via wireless TCP.


I have run this way in the past with two clients (3O last WFD and 3A for summer Field Day) without issue.

This year, several of the clients were getting network delays where their log entries were not posting to the server and when they did post, I could see double or triples of the QSO were showing up in the master log.

I was even seeing "the server is taking a long time to process this log" (or the similar message that is displayed) and I was logging directly on the "server" laptop that was sharing the log file via TCP.

A lot of "standby, retrieving log via TCP" messages and general slowness was reported from all of the clients.

Now.. through self diagnostics, it looks like this was happening when I was running PSK31 on 80m (again, using the same laptop as the master log that others were connecting to via TCP) and running the NY7G Digital  Engine software on the same laptop.

When I moved to 40m, a majority of the slowness and errors went away, but were still there intermittently.  

SO, I think I was getting 80M RF into the laptop which could have been compounding the issue. (This is the first time in years of using this software that I was on 80m PSK)

However, as far as optimizing the network for the future a couple of questions.

1. What should the polling time be set to for each client coming back to the master log?
I changed them all from 60 to different values (20, 25, 40) thinking this could help avoid calls to the server all the same time.

2. When folks run big networked logging systems (4+ stations) are you having them connect to a dedicated machine that JUST runs the log?  Or are you using the master log server as a client to log contacts as well. DO you just have a laptop sitting someone off by itself with the master log?


3. Is there a way to keep the NETWORK window from popping up when you get a "chat" message from one of the clients.  The message is displayed in the blue box on the main screen, but the "auto popup" of the network bandplan/chat window is annoying and problematic, as it adds steps to close it again to finish logging, then open it back up.   I would like to just see the message in the blue box.. and have the choice of opening the network window to reply, not auto launching that window up and blocking my logging window.

Next year we are going to go bigger, and I want to keep my IT hat OFF, and the contesting hat ON during the event.

We love the software, just want to figure out these issues and get it rock solid and good to go.

Thanks all for any assistance,

- Jay N1RWY

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