Wednesday, 20 May 2015

N1MM Logger Plus for Field Day - Part 1

N1MM is the world's most popular logging program. Best of all it's free. For YRARC's Field Day Operation in 2015, it will be the recommended logger.

Also recommended is that you get the program installed on your computer well before the day and learn to operate the basic functions.

So let's begin. To download the code, first go to the N1MM Logger-Plus site. Under the Files button you can download the Full Install. Under the home button, check out the Features link to see what the program does (it does a lot!). At the bottom of the main page there's a link to the features of the new Plus version.

Under Support, there's a link to instructional videos. These are useful, but apply to the older N1MM Logger (no Plus) version. It's close, but there are differences. In the download and install video for instance, Larry K1UT mentions downloading update files. This isn't necessary (unless you're installing off-line), as N1MM Logger Plus will download updates automatically (after you give it permission). There are other sections of the video that are obsolete and possibly misleading. Other videos on operations will give you some good hints on how to get the most out of the program but you should try them out before depending on them for field day.

Speaking of updates - I recommend that you run N1MM while connected to the Internet a day or two before Field Day starts to make sure you have the latest updates installed. It will be harder to do at the site.

Installation is actually quite straightforward. Just run the downloaded program and follow the prompts. Once it is installed, reboot your computer and run the program. It may prompt you to update it which you should do first, then fill in the station information. If you don't plan to try N1MM on the air before Field Day, you can use VE3YRA as the station call and use the coordinates for Al's Tack Shop (44.019138, -79.309132).

One of the best features of N1MM is it's ability to connect all the computers in the station together, so that everyone sees everyone else's log. This means that duplicates can be avoided when two station operate on the same band, but also that the log is replicated on every computer, so that if a hard drive crashes the log isn't lost. We will be setting that up later.

Next instalment will cover interfacing N1MM to your transceiver. This will really demonstrate the power of the program to improve your QSO rate. Recording of common vocal phrases (like CQ CQ Field Day, Victor Echo Three Yankee Romeo Alpha Field Day) is preferable to saying it five thousand times in the course of the contest. I have also found that by compressing the recorded message it cuts through better than using the microphone.

73 'til next time.
Chris VE3NRT

P.S. I know there's experienced N1MM users out there so feel free to chime in with your own suggestions.

1 comment:

  1. Another advantage of networked operation I should mention is that N1MM remembers the exchange information. So if, say, we work a station on 40m CW which responds 5A WNY, as soon as the station's call is entered subsequently by any other station the exchange is automatically filled in by N1MM. No need to type it in again.