N1MM Multi-op Contesting

·         1. Features

·         2. Information

o    2.1. Rules

o    2.2. Displaying Rules

·         3. Macro keys

·         4. Features

·         5. Where to Place the Database Files

·         6. Other Information

·         7. Example Networked-Computer Setup

o    7.1. Before the Contest

o    7.2. During the Contest

o    7.3. After the Contest

·         8. Networked-Computer Log Synchronization

·         9. Multi-Multi Distributed - Networked-Computers via the Internet

o    9.1. Configuration

o    9.2. Footswitch Support for Lockout

 

It is possible to use N1MM logger in a multi-computer networking environment, either supporting the multi-operator contest categories or for special purposes for a single operator (continuous backup, two-computer SO2R, to separate the radio control and Internet access functions into two computers, ...). For this to work you need at least two networked computers, with a maximum of 16. These computers need to have network interface cards or wireless interfaces. The networking protocol used is TCP/IP. Each computer has its own separate copy of the database; this is not a client-server shared-database configuration. Nevertheless, the network needs a so-called "Master" station. The "Master" station is the one that sets the time, connects to packet/telnet, etc. The Master station is always station number 0, in the "Edit Station Computer Names" table.

 

1. Features

 Turning Off Networked-Computer Mode

NEVER turn off the networked-computer switch during a contest. This results in contacts being logged to the wrong station while the networked-computer switch is turned off. During testing, to simulate a network failure, kill the ethernet connection.

 

CAUTION about Software Lockouts

The "Force Other Station to Stop Transmitting When I Transmit" and "Block my Tx Only if Other Stn Transmitting on Same Band&Mode (Multi-One)" menu items are software lockouts. They are subject to network latencies and cannot be guaranteed to prevent simultaneous transmitting. Because of network latencies, lost packets, network dropouts or network failures there could be short overlaps in transmissions, or even complete failure of the lockout. For protection against damage from simultaneous transmitting, and/or to be absolutely certain that contest rules forbidding simultaneous transmissions are obeyed at all times, you must use a dependable hardware lockout system. Do not depend on software lockouts to prevent equipment damage and do not expect software lockouts to give you an ironclad guarantee of compliance with contest rules!

 

2. Information

 

2.1. Rules

The following 'smart' rules for run/pass frequency are implemented.

 

2.2. Displaying Rules

Running - Show the run frequency

Not running - Show the pass frequency if non-zero, if no pass frequency then show last CQ frequency if non-zero.

 

3. Macro keys

Macro key substitution is supported by most programmable buttons in the program. For Multi-User mode there are a few specific macros which can be found on the Macros Chapter.

 

4. Features

 

5. Where to Place the Database Files

Do not share the log on a server, place it locally on the hard disk of each station.


There is no harm in using a server to aid in copying files. The mdb files are simply files. They may be moved around. It is best to close the program before moving them, as with any program writing to an open file.

 

6. Other Information

 

7. Example Networked-Computer Setup

The example below uses file sharing and Netbios lookup for computer (you can see them in the Networking environment). This is not necessary for N1MM logger to work in Networked-Computer mode. When the computers can be 'pinged' from both sides this is enough to work. All lines with a * are not necessary to work but are nice to have for other purposes like updating of files etc. This does not mean that the action mentioned should not be done. It can also be done via other media (CD / diskettes). In that case the Windows network is not used, as the N1MM network is using the TCP/IP stack only.

 

7.1. Before the Contest


NOTE: This has been copied verbatim from N1MM Classic, and is severely out of date. Do not rely on it.
Master computer


Non-master computers


All computers


Always

 

7.2. During the Contest

 

Changing Out a Computer During a Contest

The best way to swap out a computer in the middle of a contest is to simply leave the old computer in the computer names list, and add the new computer to the end of the computer names list.

The new computer should have a unique IP address - different than the old computer. Yes, you would have to change the computer names table on every computer in the network, but it is the most fail-safe method.

You should definitely NOT try changing the IP address of the new computer to the same IP address as the old computer, nor remove the old computer from the station computer names list. Doing either of those is asking for problems.

 

7.3. After the Contest

 

8. Networked-Computer Log Synchronization

Log synchronization is something you should run very infrequently. Each station has its own copy of the log, so syncing them is only necessary to keep track of mults. They will get out of sync when one of the stations goes off line. Generally, you should only need to resync the last hour, if you were disconnected for less time than that. If a new station comes on line, then one of the stations should email him their database, and he can resync the log when he gets it, for the few minutes he missed. Where it would take a long time is when a station was off for many hours, and you want to preserve any contacts that may be in his log, but not in the others.

 

9. Multi-Multi Distributed - Networked-Computers via the Internet

It is possible to set up N1MM Logger to allow some or all of the other stations outside your LAN to communicate over the internet. Possible uses for this feature are: Headquarters (HQ) stations in the IARU contest, the CQWW "Extreme" category, and distributed special event stations.

 

9.1. Configuration

There are some caveats when trying this. You need more than basic computer knowledge for this. You need to know about IP-addresses, firewalls, routers, port settings, NAT etc.

You need to know your computer (external) IP-address. When directly connected to the internet, this can be obtained using the program ipconfig. The command 'ipconfig' should be entered in a command (cmd) window to see the output. When your computer is in a LAN your connection to the internet will probably be made via a router. All computers will use internal IP-addresses; the router uses the external IP-address. This link will give your (external) ip-address: http://www.whatsmyip.org/

When a Networked-Computer connection is not working, check the external IP-addresses. It is strongly recommended that static external IP addresses be used. When DHCP is used to obtain the external IP address from the Internet Service Provider (ISP), the external IP address can change at random and unexpected times. You should not depend on Dynamic DNS (dyndns.org) and similar services to provide the correct IP address to other computers in the extended network. Often, the domain name-to-IP address mapping is stored in your local computer or router, and may not be updated by Dynamic DNS.

The router should be set up to route incoming UDP and TCP traffic to your local PC IP address. This is done using a router feature that is typically called Network Address Translation (NAT), Port Forwarding or Port Redirection.

The incoming port will be 12070 + Station Nr (0-15). 12070 is used for the first PC in the list, 12071 for the second etc.

You must also configure your computer and router Firewall(s) to allow port 12070 + Station Nr (0-15) to be passed for incoming UDP and TCP traffic.

>Config >Edit Station Computer Names

The latencies when we tested were in the 100 mSec range.

 

IP Addresses

The list of IP addresses needs to be different on each machine. Make sure the remote machine has its external IP address, and the local machine(s) has its internal address


Example at PA1M

0:N1MM 64.252.138.65
1:N1MM-2 64.252.138.65
2:PA1M 192.168.1.11

Configure router and firewall to pass and forward UDP and TCP port 12072 to 192.168.1.11

Example at N1MM

0:N1MM 192.168.0.1
1:N1MM-2 192.168.0.2
2:PA1M 63.133.11.55

Configure router and firewall to pass and forward UDP and TCP port 12070 to 192.168.0.1.
Configure router and firewall to pass and forward UDP and TCP port 12071 to 192.168.0.2.

 

9.2. Footswitch Support for Lockout

Footswitch lockout support has been added for multiple distributed stations.
In the IARU contest a headquarters station is allowed to use multiple stations located within one IARU zone, but the rule of one signal per band/mode is still in effect. So there could be 2 (one running station and another looking for multiplier) or more stations on the same band and same mode and they should keep only one TX signal on this band at any time. Now you can hook up a footswitch to the LPT port 15 (the LPT port must be enabled even if it is not being used for other purposes. There is no special check box to turn the footswitch feature on/off). If the station is not in multi-multi operator category the footswitch will directly control PTT just like Alt+T. If it is a multi-multi station (connected to other stations on LAN or via the Internet in Multi User mode) it will prevent two stations on the network from both transmitting on the same band/mode combination.

This is a software lockout only, and is subject to network latencies. As such, it should be considered a backup. Multiple stations on the same band/mode should always coordinate operations (with the help of message passing over the network from the Info window), and not depend on software lockout to ensure compliance with contest rules.

 

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