HIQSO Party N1MM Logger Setup

HIQSO Party N1MM Logger Setup

1. General Information

The N1MM logger is a FREE general purpose contest logger that supports a large number of Amateur Radio contests. This is a short explanation of how to install and use the program for the Hawaii QSO Party contest. Some of the N1MM program features for automated logging are covered, they can be skipped and logging done manually.
While this manual is intended to help full installation of the N1MM logger, it does contain information useful for just operating a station, e.g. multi-operator contest stations. Sections 10 thru 13 cover just logging. Section 9 is useful for CW operators. Running a CW contest using a keyboard and mouse requires some thought and a bit of practice helps too!
The N1MM logger has a well written manual to guide user in installing and in using these more complex features. So we’ll concentrate a limited set of features for manual operation for the contest. This tutorial will get the logger program working manually, with optional steps 8 and 9 covering how to connect a specific transceiver – the Kenwood TS-480. If you’re interested in features to control your transceiver, it would be best to use the program documentation on the N1MM web site.
The logger has two components – the “Base Install” and “Latest Updates”. The “Base Install” is latest product that changes infrequently, perhaps once a year as new features are added. The current version is 10.0.0. The “Latest Updates” file is the definition of contests. Updates are frequent, as often as once a month, as new contests are added or contest rules change. The version that supports the 2011 Hawaii QSO Party is 11.06.01.To complete the program, both have to be downloaded and installed.
The N1MM logger is designed to be easy to maintain.
Updates can be installed without un-installing previous versions or rebooting.
It isn’t necessary to install each update. The “Latest Update” is a cumulative collection including all previous updates.
Older versions can be re-installed by running the older “Update”.
It is not necessary to un-install the program between versions.
The un-install program will remove all registry and DLLs.
To print all 17 sections of these instructions, click on the “Print These Instructions” on the left of the screen.
If you would prefer to follow the more general instructions for the N1MM logger, the home page is located at: http://n1mm.hamdocs.com/tiki-index.php.

2. Install “Base Install”

Installation is two-step process and both must be done before using the program. The first step is the Base Install, described below. The second step is the installation of the Latest Update covered in step 4.
Click on the link below to start the download of the “Base Install” and then select RUN button which will start installation after the download is complete.
Follow the installation program options – NEXT, NEXT and then select the boxes on the “Choose Components” window which will install only the logger program and place two shortcuts on the desktop – one to start the N1MM logger and a second to open its manual.
Click NEXT then INSTALL and at the end of installation DONE and FINISH to close the install windows.


Before continuing the install process, RESTART your PC. Afterwards continue with the Step 4 to add the “Latest Updates” to the base program.

4. Install “Latest Updates”

Click on the link below to start the download of the “Latest Updates” and then select the RUN button which will start installation after the download is complete.
Follow the installation program options – NEXT, NEXT and then select the boxes on the “Choose Components” windows which will install only the logger program and place two shortcuts on the desktop – one to start the N1MM logger and a second to open its manual.
Click NEXT then INSTALL and at the end of installation DONE and FINISH to close the install windows.

5. Station Information

The first time the logger program runs, you need to setup your station information for the contest. For Windows Vista or Win7, RIGHT click on the desktop icon for the program “N1MM Logger” and select the option “Run as administrator”. For Windows XP, just double click the icon and give the program Administrator privileges.
The program will run and display the Edit Station Information window. If that window does not appear or later you need to modify the information, the Edit Station Information window can be reopened, from the Entry window CONFIG drop down tab list by selecting CHANGE YOUR STATION DATA.
At minimum the program needs the information shown below.
Your callsign. Be sure to add the DXCC prefix to your call if you are operating outside the prefix of your assigned call. Hawaii stations must have an AH6, AH7, KH6, KH7, NH6, NH7, WH6, or WH7 prefix to indicate their location.
Enter the station licensee name.
Enter the City, State and ZIP code.
Station Latitude and Longitude are required. (The N1MM logger program convention is, West Longitudes are POSITIVE and East Longitudes are NEGATIVE). If you don’t know them exactly, good approximations can be found by going to
ZIPInfo.com and entering your US ZIP code, or
QRZ.COM/callsign, entering your callsign and clicking the DETAIL tab (Longitude sign convention is opposite that of the N1MM logger).
For US and Canadian stations the ARRL Section is important to the logger program to determine if you are operating in-state as a Hawaiian station or out-of-state. Contest rules used by the N1MM logger are different for Hawaiian, Canadian, other US and DX stations. Hawaii stations be sure your callsign is a Hawaii prefix and input your section as PAC (Pacific Section). Hawaii is in the PAC section. DX stations should put “DX” in the ARRL Section box blank.
Once all the information has been entered, click OK to close the Edit Station Information window. You may get a pop up reminder that west longitudes are positive and east longitudes are negative. If you used the QRZ.COM information directly, you may have the sign reversed. Exit the logger by clicking FILE then EXIT.

6. Restart N1MM logger

Double click on the N1MM Logger icon to restart the program. Check the Station Information by reopening the Edit Station Information window. In the CONFIG drop down tab list select “CHANGE YOUR STATION DATA”. Notice that the logger program set your “Grid Square” and “IT Zone” using the Latitude 
and Longitude data.
Correct any errors and click OK to close the window.

7. Create Contest Log

Program setup is complete. From now on you can always start the N1MM program by double clicking its icon on the desktop. After you closed the Edit Station Information window in the previous Step 5, there will be two other windows as shown below. The large window at the top is the Log window where contact information will be stored line-by-line as each contact is confirmed. Note, even though your computer has its clock in local time, this window keeps a date and time clock in UTC format in the title bar. (Outlined by a red box in the picture below).
Close this window so we can concentrate on creating the Contest Log, where contact information is stored on the HDD. Later we’ll show how easy it is to open any on the many windows the N1MM logger keeps for contesting.
The remaining window is called the Entry window used to enter contact information. More about it in following steps. The last thing we have to do to begin logging contacts is to create the log file, where contact information will be stored. Click the FILE tab of the Entry window and select the first entry “New Log in Data Base”.
Only two selections are needed to complete the log file:
Log Type, which should be “QSOPARTY”, and
State for Log Type QSOPARTY which should be “HI”
See the red boxes in the picture below for the location of these two selections. Next click “OK” to create the log for the Hawaii QSO Party.

8. Transceiver Connection

If you’d prefer to skip setting up a direct connection go to Step 9. You can still use N1MM to log all your contacts with manual input for frequency and mode!
Like most logger programs N1MM supports a COM interface to the transceiver to get the exact frequency and mode rather than have the operator input it to the program. This automation can further reduce operator tasks and errors, for example the operator forgetting to input the frequency when changing bands or modes.
For some rigs and versions of Windows this can be difficult to setup. Instructions in this section assume use of Win7 and a Kenwood TS-480. If you are using a previous version of Windows or a different transceiver the instructions may still be helpful. Actually if you choose to connect your rig and find information helpful to others, please drop us an email and we’ll incorporate suggestions into these setup instructions.
To connect a rig like the Kenwood TS-480 to most PCs running Win7 you will need a COM to USB adapter. Most current transceivers like the TS-480 use a COM port to control and/or send frequency and mode information to PC. Most new Windows PCs no longer have COM ports but their USB ports can simulate a COM port. You will need a COM to USB converter and unfortunately not all such devices provide the perfect simulation of COM ports. These instructions are for adapters that contain the FTDI chip set and driver software. The table below lists the cable and adapter used to “debug” these instructions. The links are to pages on Amazon.com and may be out of date by the time this information is needed. There are other manufacturers of equivalent products. Just Google or BING to find current information.
The TS-480 uses a male DB-9 RS-232 connector so be sure to get a 9-pin female adapter like the mini gender changer listed above. Boot up your Win7 PC and then connect the USB side of the adapter to a PC USB port. With the exception of the Win7 “Starter” version, all version of Win7 have the device drivers for the FTDI chip set so Win7 will detect the adapter and begin installation of the drivers. (If your version of Windows does not find the drivers you will asked to locate it and do a manual installation. FTDI has a list of VCP (Virtual Com Port) drivers for various operating systems athttp://www.ftdichip.com/Drivers/VCP.htm.
When the drivers have been successfully installed, Win7 will display the small window shown below. Notice the USB Serial Port line shows Win7 has assigned a COM port number to the driver. In this case it is COM8 but it can be any other port but it must be 8. N1MM cannot handle port numbers greater than 8. If Win7 assigns a port number bigger than 8, check out step 17 for help. It is important to remember this port and assign it to N1MM so the logger knows what COM port to use to communicate with the transceiver.
The N1MM COM port assigned to the transceiver must be the same one Win7 is using. However the Win7 COM port settings for baud rate, byte size, parity and any other values for the asynchronous communications are not used.You do not have to set the COM8 port values in Win7. All you need is to remember the port number.
To set the N1MM COM port parameters click on “Config” and select “Configure Ports, Mode Control, Audio,Other”.
The Configurer window opens as shown below. Locate the COM port line for the FTDI adapter. If your configuration is a little complex and you forgot to write down the COM port as was previously recommended there are instructions in Step 16 (Which COM Port?) to help you locate it.
Using the drop down list to the right of COM8 (or whatever port Windows assigned to the FTDI adapter) to selectKenwood. Click on the SET icon to set the parameters for the Kenwood-480.
The left pointing arrow in the window below are suggested setting for generic Kenwood equipment. These instructions differ! We recommend TS-480 “HANDSHAKE” settings be ignored and DTR and RTS set to ALWAYS. With TS-480 power off, N1MM will “hang” with the HANDSHAKE settings. The TS-480 works fine with DTR and RTS set to ALWAYS (shown set to ALWAYS in the red box). Set the 
parameters as shown and click OK.
The Configurer window will be updated and any changes displayed to the right of SET button on the COM8 line. (See the values shown in the red box).
Click OK in the Configurer window and N1MM will attempt to communicate with the TS-480. You should hear relay clicks if all is well.
However for the PC and transceiver to be able to “talk” to each other, N1MM and the TS-480 transceiver must be set to the same 4800 baud rate.
The TS-480 has the ability to set the baud rate. Press [MENU/ F.LOCK] and turn the MULTI control to select Menu No. 56 on the TS-480 transceiver. Use [ ∧ ] / [ ∨ ] to select the 4800 baud rate. Some transceivers may not make the change immediately. You have to “reboot” the TS-480 transceiver (turn power off and on) to have the baud rate take effect.
If you have the correct cable between the PC and the TS-480, N1MM should show the TS-480 display frequency in the N1MM Entry Window title bar (red box in the picture below). While turning the TS-480 frequency dial N1MM should track the frequency.
Reminder – Make sure the N1MM Configurator Com port and the transceiver Com port have the same baud rate.

9. WinKey CW Setup

If you’d prefer to skip setting up a WinKey for CW operation go to Step 10. You can still use N1MM to log all your contacts with CW sent via your transceiver!
There is an advantage in running a CW contest from a PC since repetitive manual operations can be automated. N1MM centralizes operations to one keyboard. With N1MM there is no need for special keyers with memory or other features. To use this N1MM contest functionality from a keyboard, an interface between the PC and the transceiver key jack is needed. WinKey is one popular device used by many Amateurs that has both PC and paddle interfaces. The operator can switch from the keyboard to his familiar paddle at any time during a QSO.
There are other ways to connect a transceiver and a PC using N1MM and most of what follows applies regardless of the interface used. For the purposes of producing these instructions, WinKey was chosen. If you are interested in purchasing a WinKey kit, the link to the web site is:http://k1el.tripod.com/WKUSB.html
These instructions assume you have already connected WinKey to your PC via a USB port below COM8. The Configurerwindow below shows WinKey connected to COM2. (Reminder – the Configurer window is opened from the N1MM Configtab and selecting “Configure Ports, Mode Control, Audio, Other”.
In the COM2 line select the “CW/Other” column and then click the Set button.
Select the setting as shown in the window below. Make sure the WinKey is checked since it is not the 
N1MM default setting.
Click OK leaving the Configurer open. Select the WinKey tab in the Configurer window to change to the view shown in the next picture.
You can set WinKey options to suit your operating style.
WinKey has four keying modes controlling how it handles the paddle (or key) connected to it.
Iambic A (“slap keying”) sends repeating dots or dashes when one paddle side is being pressed.
Iambic B (“squeeze keying”) sends repeating dots or dashes but also has a squeeze mode that sends alternating dots and dashes when both paddles are squeezed together.
Ultimatic keying is similar to Iambic B, except that when the paddles are squeezed together either dots or dashes are repeated, depending which paddle was last pressed.
Semi-automatic keying send repeating dots but requires the dash paddle to be pressed once for each dash sent.
WinKey has a built in side tone but most operators prefer the transceiver’s side tone that can be heard in their headphones. Leave it unchecked if that’s how you want to operate.
While there is a WinKey “pot” to control sending, N1MM also has software controls for this. To avoid the having the hardware pot control inadvertently change the N1MM software setting while operating we suggest checking the box to “Ignore WinKey Speed Pot”.
Click OK to store the settings.
Only the Entry window remains open and in the image below it is setup for CW on 21300 kHz and the “canned” messages F1 thru F11 are setup for KH6J’s FD operation. The callsign in the first window is the start working W1AW who has just called us. The canned messages can be used to complete the contact. Before starting to operate you should practice selecting them and get a feel of their use.
Two more keys are very useful in running a pile up!
The semi-colon is equivalent to pressing F5 and F2. In this case it would send W1AW 2A PAC. When you hear a confirmation from W1AW you press the ENTER key and the contact is logged.
The apostrophe is equivalent to pressing F5 then F2 and then ENTER, completing the logging in one operation.
Running mode is another useful feature of N1MM. Click the box on the left of the Entry window, just before the word “Running”. This enables “Running mode”. Then pressing F1 or clicking the F1 icon starts transmitting a contest CQ and repeats it every 1.8 seconds. Entering a call sign suspends the CQs so logging operations can continue. Sending CQs can also be suspended by typing ALT+R. Typing ALT+R again resumes sending CQs. Unclicking the box next to “Running” disables running mode.
There are two small circular icons in the Entry window that show the status of “Running” mode. One is green and the other red. By the way the opposite of “Running” mode is “Search and Pounce” mode represented as “S&P”. The icons change depending on whether “Running” mode is enabled and sending of CQs is “running” or suspended.
Running Mode Disabled
Running Mode Enabled, but Not Running CQs
Running Mode Enabled, and Running CQs
The CW sending speed is controlled by N1MM. The Page Up and Page Down keys increase or decrease the sending speed by 2 wpm, each time they are pressed. Using a mouse with icon controls does the same thing.
You can also connect your favorite paddle to the WinKey paddle port (⅛ inch stereo phono plug) and optionally use it instead of the keyboard.
For those who agree to abandon the traditional key, CTRL+K opens a Send CW typing window and connects the PC keyboard to the WinKey. Typed characters are displayed in the window and causes them to be transmitted. PressingCTRL+K a second time closes the Send CW window and returns the PC 
keyboard to the N1MM program for logging operations.
To edit the contents of canned messages right click on any of function keys. A window with all of the messages is displayed and using the mouse cursor and keyboard individual messages can be changed.
The special symbol in the messages {exch} is the “Sent Exchange” taken from the contest log created in Step 7. We could also write 2A PAC for the ARRL FD contest. The form {exch} allows the canned messages to be used with other contests, something avid contester appreciates and {log} has the same effect as the Enter key. The symbol ! refers to the callsign currently in the first Entry window. The symbol * is our callsign, KH6J, taken from the callsign entered as the station information in Step 5.

10. Change Frequency/Band

There are four data fields in the Entry window. The first is normally used for the callsign of the station being contacted, the second the sent signal report, the third the received signal report and the last the contact exchange received.
You can also enter the frequency of your receiver in the box normally used for callsigns. In the example below, the frequency of 21.3 MHz is entered as 21300 in kHz.
You can enter the frequency as often as you want, keeping perfect records of each contact. However for the purpose of scoring the contest, any frequency within the band operated is adequate, e.g. you might enter 21300 when starting to operate 15 meter phone and later 14250 when switching to 20 meters.Press the ENTER key to change the frequency.
Afterwards the frequency entered will show in the Entry window title bar (outlined by a red box in the picture
If you have connected N1MM to your transceiver (Step 8), setting the frequency with N1MM will also cause the transceiver to change. The frequency shown in Entry window title bar will also appear on the transceiver display. If this causes a band change you may have to re-tune the transceiver and/or change antennas before continuing operating.

11. Change Mode

The mode being used is also entered in callsign box.
The Hawaii QSO Party contest scores separately for contacts made in different modes:
CW – enter CW
Phone – enter SSB
Digital – enter PSK or RTTY
Press the Enter key to change the mode being used.
Afterwards the mode will show in the Entry window title bar (outlined by a red box in the picture below). CW and RTTY will appear as entered. SSB will be changed to either LSB or USB, depending on the convention of the HF band being operated. PSK will always show as USB because that is the dominate modulation used on all HF bands. (The Hawaii QSO Party rules allow only PSK31 operation).
If you have connected N1MM to your transceiver (Step 8), setting the mode with N1MM will also cause the transceiver to change mode. The mode shown in Entry window title bar will also appear on the transceiver display. This may cause improper operation, e.g. operating USB in the CW portion of the band. You may have to change frequency before continuing operating.

12. Logging Contacts

The Entry window is really the only one required to run the contest. Other windows are available and we’ll cover some of those in later steps. But if all you want is to have a computer record for submission of your log for contest credit, this window will meet your needs.
For multi-operator contests, N1MM will keep track of who was operating, something valuable if there are questions about a log entry at a later time. Before operating each operator should use the CTRL+O to open 
an input window to enter his callsign.
You can make the window small so other applications can share the screen. Just put the cursor on the right or bottom edges of the window, hold it down and the side will move with cursor motion. The font size can be changed by clicking the View tab and selecting the Font Size option at the bottom of the list. Be careful to choose a font size that allows the longest callsign in the entry window. Remember you can lengthen the entry fields by pulling the Entry window to the right.
In the pictures below there are three minimum sized Entry windows showing steps to enter contact information. The windows have been resized so only the logging entries are visible; the function keys F1 thru F12 are hidden below the bottom of the window. The first step in logging a contact is to input the callsign of the station being worked. In the window below, the callsign typed is AH6OZ. You have two choices to complete typing the callsign,
Input a space: Two 59 reports are filled in and the cursor moves to the Exch field ready to input the exchange.
Press the Tab key: Two 59 reports are filled in and the cursor moves to the Snt field ready to input a report different from “59”
Regardless of the way the callsign input ends (space or tab) the displayed window will be the same. Only the cursor position for the next input is different.
After inputting the callsign (AH6OZ) the QTH information for the station being worked is displayed in the status bar: Prefix – Country, Zone, Continent. (See text in the red box.)
Next enter the Exch. In the example below the HIQSO Party QTHID (HON) is input. Note the callsign 
turns red indicating a new QTHID multiplier.
Before pressing the ENTER key to record the contact to HDD you have the option of adding a note to the contact. PressCtrl+N to open a Note window. The note can be any text – nickname of the operator, a 
promise to QSL, etc.
Click OK to add the note to the contact or CANCEL (or press ESC) if you decide not to record it.
If Exch is invalid the ENTER key will not work. Instead you’ll see the status line of the Entry window 
updated with an error message.
Make corrections and try the ENTER key again. If you decide that you can’t fix the contact info and want to move on and fix it later, Crtl+Alt+ENTER will override error checking and store the erroneous QSO information after giving you an opportunity to add a note. Clicking OK or CANCEL (or pressing ESC) with the Note window open in this case will store the note, record the invalid QSO information and clear the Entry window.
It is now saved. Baring a catastrophic computer failure during the contest, your log is safe.
After saving the contact to the log, the Entry window is cleared, ready for the next contact. The status bar is updated with contest statistics – in the picture below, 9/3 means the log has 9 contacts with 3 multipliers (QTHIDs) and the 108 is the total points score thus far. (See the information inside the red box).

13. Duplicate Contacts

Working a station a second time on the same band in the same mode is not counted as a new contact. (In a different mode on the same band or on different bands is OK). These are duplicate contacts or DUPS for short. The N1MM logger detects DUPs as soon as the callsign is entered. A big red Dupe! appears on the 
right of the Entry window.
If you press the Tab key once all the information from the previous contact copied into the contact fields. Then pressing ENTER will record the duplicate contact in your log, but it will not be counted in your score.
In many situations it is easier to just record the contact a second time and move on to the next contact, e.g. a weak station that is difficult to hear. It may be that this is DUP for you but not for the other station. Trying to sort out the situation takes time away from working other stations. It really is easier to complete the duplicate contact and let the logger program sort out scoring.
If both stations quickly agree this is DUP you can clear the Entry window with CTRL+W (WIPE) without entering it into the log.

14. Other Features

This short tutorial is intended for new contesters and specifically targeted for use with the Hawaii QSO Party. The N1MM logger is an extremely powerful program with many more features than are documented here. It has amazing flexibility and adaptability that allows its use with just about any Amateur Radio contest conducted worldwide. You are encouraged to read the well written general manual and learn about the many features that can help you enjoy contesting.
Each contact recorded using the Entry window is stored in a log file. The Log windows can be displayed by selecting theWINDOW tab then LOG. It is possible to edit (make corrections) by double clicking on a line which will copy the information to the Entry window. You can make changes (for example, correct the callsign) and press ENTER to write the corrected information back to the log.
As explained in Step 10 the logger keeps track of Hawaii QSO Party QTHID multipliers in the status bar of the Entrywindow. It also has a MULTIPLIERS window that can be opened using the WINDOW tab then selectingMULTIPLERS.
The logger keeps track of QTHIDs, DXCC countries, Zones, US states, the US District of Columbia, Canadian provinces and territories worked. The Multipliers window can be re-sized to show this information in four separate frames, selected by clicking one of the four check-boxes in the left of the status box – Country, ZN, Sect or Other.
The OTHER tab displays the QTHID multipliers for the Hawaii QSO Party. The picture below shows how QTHIDs are shown. There are six boxes for each QTHID – 160, 80, 40, 20, 15, and 10 meters for a total possible 66 multipliers (eleven QTHIDs on 6 bands). If the QTHID has been worked on the band the box is colored pink. The picture shows that Honolulu (HON), Kauai (KAU) and Molokai (MOL) were worked on 40 meters.
These setup instructions just scratch the surface of N1MM capabilities. N1MM is a full featured program that can be configured to control your antenna rotator, log into packetcluster nodes, etc. . . . The program web site with more details is located at, http://n1mm.hamdocs.com/tiki-index.php

15. Send Log for Awards

To check any notes created during the contest, in the Entry window VIEW Tab, select NOTES to open the 
Notes window.
Below is a sample of a Note window. The information can be used to edit the Log window and make any necessary corrections before converting it to Cabrillo format and sending it to the awards committee. With the SAVE button you have the option of convert the notes in the window to text and saving it in a file whose default name will be your callsign with a file extension of TXT.
To convert the N1MM logger file to Cabrillo format (a standard text format) click File, then Generate Cabrillo File. Follow the menus, selecting a folder to save the file whose default name will be your callsign with a file extension of LOG.
To submit your contest log, just send an email to awards@karc.net with the LOG file attached.

16. Which COM Port?

Forgot which cable is assigned to which Win7 COM port? Read on!
To find which COM port your FDTI adapter cable is connected, first make sure it is plugged into its USB slot on your PC. Open the device manager by clicking on the Win7 START button, typing “dev” into the Search window and clicking the iconDevice Manager.
To open the COM ports list click the little triangle ▷ left of the line “Ports (COM & LPT)”.
Remember all the port numbers currently connected. Write them down?Unplug the FDTI cable. The COM port for the one that disappears from the list is it! Write it down and continue where you left off.

17. COM Port > 8?

If you Win7 assigns a port bigger than 8 to your device you have a problem. N1MM cannot handle ports above 8, so you will have to reassign the port number. Hopefully if you already have experience with a Win7 PC with a lot of port devices, you already know how to do this. But here’s what to do if you’re not 100% sure.
You probably got a Win7 install window like the one below.
COM9 or bigger won’t work. You can use the Win7 Device Manager to change the port number. First open the device manager by clicking on the Win7 START button, typing “dev” into the Search window and 
clicking the icon Device Manager.
Open the COM ports list by clicking the little triangle ▷ left of the line “Ports (COM & LPT)”.
Double click COM9 and select the Port Settings tab.
Click the Advanced icon
Click the COM Port Number drop down selection box and select a different port below Com8 (COM2 in this case) and click OK. Close all open windows and continue where you left off.