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Two Radios in the NCJ Sprints

It should be noted that using TR LOG with two radios in the NCJ North American Sprints is a lot different than using it with two radios in a contest like the ARRL November Sweepstakes. In the Sweepstakes, you spend a lot of time calling endless CQs, and you use the second radio to look for new stations on other bands. You will soon wear out your Alt-D key (note - you can rig up a footswitch to activate the Alt-D feature.)

In the NCJ Sprint, you will not use the Alt-D feature. I will now try to explain how I use the program in the Sprint with two radios.

If you set up the program by typing TR NEW at the command line prompt, and selecting the SPRINT contest, you will be asked for your name and QTH. After you enter this information, the program will set up the memories exactly how I set them up for the contest. For the purposes of the examples below, it is assumed that you have followed this procedure.

You might want to look at your CQ and EX memories using the Alt-P command. Note that CQ memories F4-F8 and EX memories F7 and F8 have some funny looking characters in front of them. The first funny character is a Control-A character which will cause the message to be sent on the inactive radio. The second funny character is a Control-B character, which will identify the message as a CQ. When TR sees a message with Control-A and Control-B, it will send the message on the inactive radio and if you type in a call and hit RETURN, it will assume that the QSO is to be made on the inactive radio (which will then become the active radio.)

Scenario 1: You are the CQ station during a Sprint QSO. You have either called CQ or finished up a QSO where you get to keep the frequency. Let's say K7RAT has called you, and you respond and send him your exchange. While your exchange is being sent, you check the second radio and make sure it is on a clear frequency. While receiving the exchange from K7RAT, you can press F7 or F8 to call CQ on your second radio. This CQ will abort if you press a different function key (to give a fill or QSL the QSO with K7RAT.) If someone answers your CQ (let's say it was N6TR) - simply enter the call of the station and the program will switch radios automatically. If this happens, you should find a clear frequency with the other radio (the band you finished up the previous QSO on) so you can call another CQ when receiving the exchange from N6TR. If you can get an answer to each CQ, you can jump back and forth between bands forever. However, it never works that way in real life.

Scenario 2: If the CQ goes unanswered, you can call another by pressing F7 or F8 again (note that you are now sending CQ memories, but they are programmed the same as the EX ones.) You can keep calling CQ as long as you want (pressing F7 or F8 for each one) and tune the other band for someone new to call. If you find someone, just press the SPACE BAR and the CQ will abort and your call will be dumped on the proper band.

If you decide to switch which band you are calling CQ on, use the Alt-R command. Note that the dupesheet will always be on the band where you need it - on the active radio's band.

Typical applications of this process are to call "free" CQs on 20 meters when receiving the second exchange on 40, and to continue calling CQ until you find a new station on 40 to pounce. The same process can be used near the end of the contest on 80/40.

The CQ memory F4 is useful if someone answers your CQ with a question mark. F5 can be used for a quick CQ. If you are receiving an exchange from someone sending slow, or making lots of mistakes, you can press F7 or F8 again to make the message longer. If a CQ is in progress when you hit RETURN to finish your QSO, the CQ will abort and the dit-dit will be sent. If someone answers your CQ, just enter the call and press RETURN.

I hope this helps. If you have any questions, please send me a note.

Tree Tyree N6TR

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Last updated: 26 January 2006