My fldigi digimode contest macros / 2016-06-21 - Koos van den Hout

2016-06-21 8 months ago
In almost every digimode contest I improve my contest macros a little, so I decided to share them. Credit goes to FLDIGI Contest - How To for a lot of the initial inspiration and Choosing your basic macros - VA2UP RTTY Contesting which has the really minimal approach, and this helped me with finetuning.

This will be a quite long post only interesting to a very specific group!

Digimode is the name for all radio modes in which digital information is exchanged and a computer is used to encode and decode the digital information into something the radio can work with.

Digimode contesting for me includes RTTY and PSK63 contesting, there are other modes used in digimode contests.

First the general setup: I use two rows of macros because I need more than 12 when I include functions that I want to be able to access in a contest in case things need adjusting, although I don't use all 24 at the moment. And I dedicate the left half to run mode where I call CQ and answer calls and the right half to search and pounce where I search for new callers and answer them.

A perfect exchange where I call CQ goes like (what I transmit in bold):

CQ TEST de PE4KH PE4KH CQ K
YB6HAI YB6HAI

YB6HAI 599 001 001 YB6HAI de PE4KH K
PE4KH 599 309 309 309 PE4KH de YB6HAI

QSL TU
CQ TEST de PE4KH PE4KH
With greetings to my favorite digimode long-distance contact YB6HAI.

I use upper case letters for callsigns and others, lower case for readability of other words. In RTTY everything goes out in upper case but in PSK63 and other modes that can discern upper and lower case they are more readable.

A perfect exchange where I answer a CQ call goes like (what I transmit in bold):
CQ TEST de YB6HAI YB6HAI CQ

PE4KH PE4KH
PE4KH 599 310 310 310 PE4KH de YB6HAI

YB6HAI 599 002 002 002 de PE4KH TU

QSL TU
CQ TEST de YB6HAI
I differ with VA2UP in that I want to show the other side I got the callsign correct and I like to say thank you (TU) to the other participant.

In not so perfect exchanges there are two things that can go wrong: the callsign and the serial.

For the callsign this is why I have chosen to return the callsign on answering. In search and pounce mode I will check the callsign returned and send it again when it is garbled without serial: to make sure the other station has my callsign correct. Only when that bit is confirmed I give a serial number.

For the serial number this is why it is send three times: two out of three is good enough, more garbling and I will ask for it again. But if I know what serial to expect because I was waiting my turn I will use that knowledge.

On seeing a new call I right-click on it in fldigi and select 'Call' from the context menu. On seeing the serial (or other data for the exchange) I right-click on it and select 'Exchange In' from the context menu.

So, the annotated macro definitions:
// Macro # 1
/$ 0 CQ+@>|
<TX>\n
CQ TEST de <MYCALL> <MYCALL> CQ K\n
<RX>\n
<TIMER:15>
Key F1 will send CQ for run mode. At the end it will start a timer to restart itself after 15 seconds.
// Macro # 2
/$ 1 Re+Ser @>|
<TX>\n
<CALL> <MYRST> <CNTR> <CNTR> <CNTR> <CALL> de <MYCALL> K\n
<RX>
Key F2 is for answering a callsign in run mode, giving the serial number.
// Macro # 3
/$ 2 QRZ? @>|
<TX>\n
QRZ? QRZ? de <MYCALL> K\n
<RX>
Key F3 is for when I'm not sure I received the callsign correctly.
// Macro # 4
/$ 3 QSL/Lg/CQ
<TX>\n
QSL TU\n
CQ TEST de <MYCALL> <MYCALL> k\n
<RX><LOG><INCR>
And Key F4 ends the exchange, sends CQ again, writes the previous exchange to the log and increases the serial.

The next 5 macro definitions can be used both in run mode and in search and pounce mode:
// Macro # 5
/$ 4 NR? @>|
<TX>\n
NR? NR? DE <MYCALL> k\n
<RX>
Key F5 asks for the serial number again.
/$ 5 AGN @>|
<TX>\n
AGN AGN de <MYCALL> pse\n
<RX>\n
Key F6 is another way to ask for a repeat.
// Macro # 7
/$ 6 NIL @>|
<TX>\n
Sorry NIL NIL\n
<RX>
Key F7 is for NIL (Not In Log), when it's impossible to get the serial correct and I abandon the contact.
// Macro # 8
/$ 7 Incr
<INCR>

// Macro # 9
/$ 8 Decr
<DECR>
F8 and F9 increase and decrease the outgoing serial counter. Hardly ever used, but sometimes things have to be fixed.

The next set is specific for search and pounce mode:
// Macro # 10
/$ 9 Ans @>|
<TX>\n
<MYCALL> <MYCALL>\n
<RX>
Key F10 answers a CQ.
// Macro # 11
/$ 10 Nr ans @>|
<TX>\n
<CALL> <MYRST> <CNTR> <CNTR> <CNTR> de <MYCALL> TU\n
<RX>\n
Key F11 gives the signal report and the counters.
// Macro # 12
/$ 11 TU @>|
<TX>\n
QSL TU de <MYCALL>\n
<RX>\n
And the rarely used key F12 confirms the contact and says TU. Usually the other side confirms the good reception by starting to call CQ again so I don't use this one a lot. F11 and F12 do not write to the log or increase counters since it happens I need to resend serials.

That's where the second row is used:
// Macro # 21
/$ 20 Log
<LOG><INCR>
Key Shift-F9 logs and increases the serial.
// Macro # 23
/$ 22 NrNr @>|
<TX>\n
<CNTR> <CNTR> <CNTR>\n
<CNTR> <CNTR> <CNTR>\n
<RX>\n
Key Shift-F11 (below F11..) just sends the serial number again.
// Macro # 24
/$ 23 QSL NR @>|
<TX>\n
QSL (<XIN>)\n
<RX>
Key Shift-F12 confirms the received exchange.

Creating the cabrillo report

When I create the cabrillo report I select the fields 'Exchange In' (because I used that in the logging) and 'Serial Out' (since that field was filled in by the serial counter in fldigi).

Logging exchanges when a contest wants a different outgoing exchange

In some contests the logging is not the serial number but something else. In the DigiFest contest the locator (in my case JO22) is used. So the outgoing logging needs to have the 'exchange out' defined correctly, and on creating the cabrillo report I need to select fields 'Exchange In' and 'Exchange Out'. I use the following versions of the macro definitions with the 'XBEG' and 'XEND' tags to set the outgoing exchange:
// Macro # 2
/$ 1 Re+Ser @>|
<TX>\n
<CALL> <MYRST> <XBEG>JO22<XEND> JO22 <CALL> de <MYCALL> K\n
<RX>

// Macro # 11
/$ 10 Nr ans @>|
<TX>\n
<CALL> <MYRST> <XBEG>JO22<XEND> JO22 de <MYCALL> TU\n
<RX>\n
This sets the 'Exchange Out' field of each contact to the right information.

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