Contest Software Overview

The major HF contest season is upon us, and I wanted to take a few moments to do a quick review of different contest logging software available to users of OS X. Whether you are a serious or casual contester, or someone who is just getting started with contesting, there is a logger that can meet your specific needs.

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Fldigi v3.22.00 released

On 15 October, the Fldigi development team led by W1HKJ, released version 3.22.0 of Fldigi. Fldigi v3.22 incorporates all of the fixes, additions, tweaks, and modifications made throughout the 84 previous versions of Fldigi v3.21.00 - v3.21.83 and is thus built upon a very solid foundation. Furthermore, the latest version of Fldigi includes several new additions, including:

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Mac Ham Radio on Facebook - Now open for business

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As part of the updates and changes coming over the next few months, I have started a Facebook page for Mac Ham Radio. It can be found at https://www.facebook.com/machamradio. This is part of an effort to further expand the reach and knowledge of Amateur Radio on the world's best operating system, OS X. While I know not everyone likes Facebook, I hope to be able to reach more people by including it in our toolkit. MacHamRadio.com will remain as the primary source of generated content, with Facebook serving only as another medium to reach fellow hams.

Feel free to check it out, "Like" the page, and share with your friends and fellow radio amateurs.

 

Station Snapshot - PP5/HB9CJX

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This edition of Station Snapshot comes to us from Brazil and the station of Marco (PP5/HB9CJX). Like a previous Station Snapshot subject, DC7VS, Marco is a long-time Apple user. He writes "I am a proud member of ARRL, DARC D22, USKA and HSC. I have been using Apple products for more then 20 years together with different ham hardware. For the last three years, I have been living in Porto Uniāo - Santa Catarina - Brasil. I am very active on PSK31, JT65 and CW." According to Marco's website, he is a fan of RUMlog for regular logging and RUMped for contest logging and has developed several contest plugins for RUMped as well.

Marco also shared a very nice picture of his shack:

Continuing on, Marco wrote that he "loves to be in touch with my friends from DARC D22 (social media), the first virtual OV in Germany! and requested that you visit his website at www.hb9cjx.com for more information about his station and his hobby.

Thank you, Marco, for sharing the details of your station and for checking in from Brazil!

If you’re reading this and are interested in having your station profiled as a Station Snapshot, send a brief description of your station, hardware and software in use, along with any interesting tidbits of information to mhrstation@gmail.com.  We will profile one station every week or two and you will be able to share your hobby with other MacHamRadio users around the world.

 

Autumn - A season of change

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With autumn in the northern hemisphere comes a season of change; the weather changes from warm to cool, the forests change from verdant green to multi-hued shades of yellow, red, and brown, and the radio amateur prepares for the quiet season of winter DX. Along with the change in seasons, MacHamRadio will be undergoing some changes over the next few months. The plan is to transition to a new web platform that will allow us to provide a more dyanamic and exciting site with better support for mobile users, tighter integration with social media such as Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, and Instagram, and more overall enhancements to the MacHamRadio experience. The goal of this effort is threefold:

- to deliver a top-flight experience to our current readers
- to continue to provide the best possible coverage of Mac (and iOS) amateur radio products available on the web
- to grow our audience and reach even more while sharing the Ham Radio on Mac experience with everyone.

During the transition, it is our intention to keep the website up and running as much as possible, but there may be periods where the site could be down, possibly even for a one or two days. We will endeavor to keep any outages to a minimum and we will try to advise everyone when we know the site will be offline. Throughout the next several months, we thank you for your patience and we look forward to sharing the new MacHamRadio experience with everyone as soon as possible.

 

Easy Envelopes - Useful envelope printing utility

Besides the "big" applications we all use for our hobby, like logbook or digital mode software, OS X and the supporting ecosystem is full of useful utility apps that make work, and our hobby, easier. If you're like me and you print a lot of envelopes, whether for QSL cards or just everyday mail, you may want to take a look at this handy utility. From the folks at Ambrosia Software, EasyEnvelopes is a "one-trick" application that started life as a Dashboard app. It has since moved to the Mac App Store and has added more features along the way, long-ago becoming an essential part of my hobby workflow.

Simply put, EasyEnvelopes makes printing envelopes, well -- easy! The software supports all standard sizes of envelopes and the user can also custom design and save different envelope sizes to match what they may have on hand. For example, I use #10 envelopes for most of my personal mail, but use C6 and A2 envelope sizes for QSL cards. EasyEnvelopes supports all of these and more. EasyEnvelopes supports integration with the system's Contacts app, allowing you to enter mailing addresses simply by typing and selecting the desire recipient's name in the search line. Of course, you can also manually enter an address or cut and paste (from QRZ) an address from the web. All fonts are user-selctable and full spellcheck is automatically on. You can have multiple return address (one for domestic and one for overseas mail, one for personal and one for the hobby, etc), and can print those return addresses on the front or the back of the envelope. You can do bulk printing of envelopes as well (great after a contest!). EasyEnvelopes will even print USPS barcodes above the address to allow more accurate delivery.

Available in the Mac App Store, EasyEnvelopes sells for $9.99. That may seem like a lot of money to some, but if you do a lot of envelope printing, this application will easily pay for itself in the amount of time it saves. I've used EasyEnvelopes for around 6 years now and find it to be a wonderful application.

For more information about EasyEnvelopes, visit Ambrosia Software at: http://www.ambrosiasw.com/utilities/easyenvelopes-mac/