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Overview of CQ/X Features

CQ/X is a GPS-enabled logging program developed for use by mobile operators in state and regional QSO parties. It can, of course, be used in mobile operation without a GPS and also by fixed station operators both inside and outside of the target state or region but the features that differentiate it from other contest logging programs are those that benefit the mobile operator when utilizing a GPS.  These advantages are best described by considering the three phases of QSO party mobile 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, if a GPS is to be used,  mapping programs such as Microsoft Streets & Trips and Google Maps provide additional tools that can be integrated into the route planning: 
  1. A detailed road-by-road route development is prepared in the mapping program. 
  2. Once the route is developed a text file sequential list of county line crossing points is developed using the County Line Locator tool in CQ/X to analyze the output from a Google Map and automatically locate the county line crossing points. 
  3. Once the list of county line crossing points is validated by CQ/X they will form the basis of calculations of the distance and time to the next county once the trip is underway.
  4. A Timing Analysis can be performed of a proposed trip to estimate whether there is adequate time based on average driving speed, desired minimum time in each county, number of miles between refueling, amount of time required for refueling and lunch/dinner breaks, etc. 
  5. Once the trip is finalized CQ/X provides a means of connecting and uploading this information to the County Hunter websites
  6. CQ/X also 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 examples.
  7. If the user supplies a list of waypoints the Waypoint Tracker provided by CQ/X will update distance and time to next waypoints on each cycle of the GPS and can provide this information to the driver over a wireless connection to an Android phone or tablet to implement a small display for the driver. Typically this display shows distance and estimated time to the next highway change or other user-defined waypoints.

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
  • Modification of 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 
  • Supplying driver information to an Android phone or tablet via the CQX-Driver interface
  • 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.
  • Logging of the latitude and longitude at which each QSO was started. This is useful in preparing GPS-Enabled QSLs (see the QSL Gallery for examples) and/or for publishing the Log on a Map.
  • 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.
  • Web publication of the Log on a Map

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 assign most tasks to 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 various pages of this site. 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 installed.