CQ/X is a GPS-enabled logging program developed for use by mobile operators in state and regional QSO parties. It can, of course, also be used by fixed station operators both inside and outside of the state or region but the features that differentiate it from other contest logging programs are those that benefit the mobile operator.  These advantages are best described by considering the three phases of QSO party operation:
  • Pre-contest Planning
  • Contest Operation
  • Post-contest Reporting

Pre-contest Planning

During the pre-contest planning phase the operator performs route planning using CQ/X and a mapping program such as Microsoft Streets & Trips or, if an internet connection is available, Google Maps:
  1. CQ/X presents an outline map of the state and a list of counties from which a preliminary sequence of counties can be easily selected. As each county is selected the list presented for the possible next counties are only those counties that are adjacent to the most recently selected county. 
  2. Once a preliminary sequence of counties has been specified a sequence of polygon models of the selected counties is exported for importing into the  mapping program 
  3. A detailed road-by-road route development is prepared in the mapping program. 
  4. Once the route is developed a text file sequential list of county line crossing points is developed using any of three possible methods: using the location tool in Streets & Trips, using the county overlays on the  County Overlays, page, or using the County Line Locator tool in CQ/X to analyze a Google Map and automatically locate the county line crossing points. 
  5. The list of county line crossing points is then imported into CQ/X and once validated by CQ/X will form the basis of calculations of the distance and time to the next county once the trip is underway. 
  6. Following validation CQ/X provides a means of connecting and uploading this information to the County Hunter websites
  7. Also following validation CQ/X provides a means of using the county line crossing file to create a KML file for Google Maps. Placing this file on a webserver allows distribution of the route on the internet using Google Maps and, if it is planned to use APRS, a network link for including real-time APRS information on the map is inserted. See the Route Plans page for an example.

Contest Operation

Once it is time to begin the contest and CQ/X is receiving data from the GPS the program provides the following GPS-enabled functions updated on a default ten second period:
  • Automatic detection of the current county
  • Modifying all of the messages that are county dependent
  • Calculation of the distance and time to the next county line
  • Calculation of the distance to any waypoints that the user has defined
  • Calculation of the accumulated time in each county
  • Calculation of progress against any goal of a specified number of QSOs in each county and a recommendation on whether to speed up, slow down, or stop in order to reach the goal.
  • If desired, logging of the latitude and longitude at which each QSO was completed. This is useful in preparing any GPS-enabled QSLs. See the QSL Gallery for examples.
  • Pass through of GPS data to a mapping program for real-time tracking of location

Post-contest Reporting

Following completion of the contest the program provides a means of performing the following activities
  • Preparing statistical results including time in each county
  • Ten-minute hourly rate at each county crossing
  • Connection to 3830 for posting results
  • Preparation of logs in either Cabrillo or ADIF format
  • Preparation of summary sheets in those contests requiring them
  • Preparation of GPS-enabled QSLs when requested.

Other Features

CQ/X also includes a number of other capabilities that are not dependent on the use of a GPS. These include:
  • Ability to configure all function keys and their combinations with Alt, Ctrl,  and Shift keys to minimize use of the mouse
  • Ability to emulate many of the keys used by the logging program NA
  • Ability to enter QSO information in any order in a single field 
  • Ability to sequence through the QSO using only the Enter key
  • Ability to define your own help information and link it into the help menu including information on speed trap areas, reservation emails for Saturday evening lodging, etc
  • Ability to efficiently operate on county lines  
Some of the above features are described in more detail and with selected screen shots on the Features page. All of the features are described in detail in the on-line help file which can be accessed both from the CQXClient.pdf link on the Documentation page and from the Help menu once the program is downloaded and installed.
Copyright: C.W. Sanders, NO5W
Last Updated: 20-April-2011