HamRacer - History of Versions

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Version history (last entry first)

Version Date of Release Changes Remark September 10th 2021 Working with ON4KST chat was improved. If the OP types a callsign, and a station with this callsign is currently logged into ON4KST, a separate tab shows up for this station. The OP has an immedidate info about his LOC, distance and sees the "compass" to rotate ANT, the info as retrieved from the chat. Clicking the button [Use] copies the info into the main window.

Do you wish to discuss this? Go here:
https://www.facebook.com/groups/546824279858050 July 25th 2021
  • When the log is loaded from the automatic storage (HamRacer was just started) or when it was loaded from a file (*.log) and then modified, then when a user does something that could lead to a data loss (starts a new contest, deletes all QSOs, ...) then the previous QSOs are stored to a hidden temporary file in the background. The file is kept for 10 days, then automatically deleted. This highly improves a chance to restore data when a less experienced user fiddles with HamRacer.
  • Minor ergonomy improvements. June 9th 2021 Minor enhancements and fixes. Tested in the VHF Field Day (3rd subregional) May 28th 2021
  • Yeasu CAT is now supported to controll your TCVR. Mind that this is the original protocol that Yeasu developed years ago. It will work with TCVRs like FT-817, FT-857, FT-897, FT-847 and similar. Because Yeasu recently changed the protocol, without renaming it and without keeping backward compability, it won't work with the recent TCVRs like FT-991.
  • Dx spots inserted into the analog scale are painted in red color in case it is a new multiplier for the contest:
Tested in CQ WPX Apr 23rd 2021 One message added to the set. Now you can define six standard messages (F1 thru F6) and six alternative messages (Shift+F1 thru Shift+F6). Apr 12th 2021 Ergonomy enhancements. Mar 29th 2021
  • The new macro {SAVE} for messages was added. If this macro is used in a message the QSO is stored automatically on the message playback. Applicable for both CW and SSB. The position of the {SAVE} macro in the string doesn't matter (be aware of redudant spaces). The QSO is stored after the playback.
    The {SAVE} macro has no effect if:
    o- the complete properties of QSO are not yet entered (callsign, exchange, ev. locator)
    o- the playback of the message was interrupted (F12, touching the paddles)
  • Instead of a local time HamRacer now uses a system time. This fixed the problem that occured during CW WPX SSB (European contesters only). The problem occured because of the time change (ordinary time to summer time, and vice versa) during the contest. Mar 19th 2021 It is possible to set a hang time for the hand CW keying.
The hang time is the period between the last dot/dash finishes and the system returns to RX. It is what keeps PTT on between words during the hand keying. Mar 15th 2021
  • HamRacer now reconnects all serial devices after the PC was resumed from the suspended mode. It is important for Spider Keyer which forgets the initialization values while being w/o power.
  • Minor enhancements and fixes.

This version also offers the new sketch for Spider Keyer: 1.37 Mar 6th 2021 HamRacer slightly changed to accomodate the new Spider Keyer version.

New version of Spider Keyer sketch (1.35), what is new:

  • If the automatic sending is interrupted by paddles the interrupting dot or dash is not transmitted.
  • More accurate manual sending while the speed potentiometer is being rotated.

Spider Keyer version 1.35 and higher won't work correctly with HamRacer versions prior to

HamRacer and higher will work seamlessly with any version of Spider Keyer. Feb 3rd 2021 Priorities of internal threads optimized for a better overall user experience. Fixed the "freezes".  
1.6.13.x   This version suffers from the wrong excessive CPU usage. This can result in "freezes" when a main menu is triggered, etc.
Please upgrade ASAP. If the upgrade is not possible due to the freezes download the whole installer:
and install over your existing installation.
(I fired the chief of the QA department) Jan 31st 2021 Minor fixes & enhancements CQ WW 160m CW Jan 1st 2021
  • Enhancements regarding RS(T) handling. Sent RST is fully editable now and received RST is optional (Stew Perry).
  • An uknown country (4U1A) can now be easily added to the database.
  • The new version of sketch for Spider Keyer 1.30.
    What is new in Spider Keyer 1.30 (1.31):
        o - It is possible to save configuration of the keyer into Spider Keyer EEPROM memory. When Spider Keyer starts it takes the configuration from EEPROM. This is useful when Spider Keyer runs stand-alone (not connected to PC).
        o- A new push-button (PCB ver. 3.0) can send a programmed message (CQ...). A long press does the key-down (tune ATU etc.).
Thanks to Jindra OK4RM and Karel OK1DWF for their useful hints and comments December 12th 2020 A kit to build Spider Keyer is now available. See more details. December 6th 2020 Serial devices connection: improved and fixed minor issues. Thanks to Jindra OK4RM for his useful hints and comments. November 21st 2020
  • The ON4KST chat stuff is significantly enhanced. Except the "running" list there is also a list of all the users that are currently logged into ON4KST. Double-clicking an item in either of them will create a separate tab for the callsign. This tab shows the aximuth, locator and distance. It enables to copy the callsign and the locator into the main HamRacer window.
  • New option in the contest properties - it enables to specify how to treat DUPEs (HF).
  • Fix of the occasional short "freeze" when connected to a DX Cluster.
  • Fixes in the way how Band's points are calculated.
  • Other minor fixes and enhacements
Tested in CQ WW DX Contest October 23rd 2020
  • For uploading of the sketch into Arduino Nano the two bootloaders are now supported (ATmegaBOOT @ 57600bps, Optiboot @ 115200bps). This way both the genuine Arduinos are supported as well as the older units and the cheap Chinese clones.
  • If the word debug is supplied on the command line that starts HamRacer then a special log file File log.txt will be created on your Desktop. Don't expect much useful information in it. However, if you experience any problems the author will be thankful for the file. Delete the word debug if the problem is resolved in order it doesn't slow the things.
Tested in OK-OM DX Contest October 1st 2020
  • It is possible to swap paddles for left-handed OPs. It is implemented for both WinKeyer and Spider Keyer. Mind that Spider Keyer needs upgrade (by selecting an option from the main menu of HamRacer) for this to work.
  • Selection Curtis-A/Curtis-B is now available for WinKeyer as well. September 14th 2020 Minor improvements and fixes. September 11th 2020
  • New option for Exchage to receive: Any string including spaces
    This will enable you to use HamRacer in contests where two or more items are to be logged for the exhange, such as NAQP.
  • When you select two or more QSOs in the list the sum of points and the average QSO distance is calculated only for the selected segment (VHF).
  • Configuration is automatically saved in background after each change. This yields a better user experience.
  • When logged to ON4KST and when some stations talks to you all the chat with this station appears filtered on a separate tab. The tab disappears when the station is QSOed or it can be closed manually. August 10th 2020
  • It is possible to send a SKED to another workplace (different VHF/UHF/SHF band) in a multi-operator environment.
    In the recipient's analog scale it appears as a new flag such as "432-->OK1ABC".

    Double clicking the flag does:
    o- Switches to the Search & Pounce mode (when necessary)
    o- Selects the proper mode (SSB/CW)
    o- Tunes the TCVR to the frequency that was negotiated by the sender
    o- Fills in Callsign and Locator
    o- Moves the cursor to the Exchange field
    o- Rotates ANT to the relevant azimuth (planned for future releases)

    For this it is necessary that all PCs with running HamRacers are connected to the same LAN segment.
  • Export to EDI (VHF) revised. It now suits better the multi-operator logs.
Tested in IARU VHF Contest. July 10th 2020 Added Remote Beacon Network suppport. When connected to a DX Cluster of the AR-Cluster type (see http://www.dxcluster.info/telnet/index.php for more details) you can easily watch you own spots in a separate window. Tested in Alpe Adria Contest Jun 9th 2020 Minor fixes and enhancements mainly in GUI. Tested in WPX contest
Tested in 3rd Subregional (OK1KEO) May 11th 2020
  • Implemented automated system for upgrading of the installation.
  • Minor fixes and enhancements
Tested in 2nd VHF Subregional Contest April 24th 2020 It is now possible to connect to OK4KST Chat. It is also possible to let DX Spots sent through OK4KST insert into the Analog Scale.
the "corona" version
April 13th 2020
  • It is possible to connect to a DX Cluster (telnet protocol) now. When connected, a large analog scale pops up. Flags (DX Spots) are showed in the scale as they arrive from the DX Cluster. Single click on the flag tunes TCVR to the frequency. Double click tunes to the frequency, switches from CQ to Search and Pounce and copies the callsign.
  • Options reorganized to be more easy to navigate.
Tested in OK-OM DX SSB Contest. February 26th 2020 Annoying unreliabilty when using WinKeyer seems to be fixed now. February 19th 2020 Added evaluation of "VKV Provozní Aktiv" contest. To display the results (for the web http://ok1kpa.com/pa/vysledky.htm)select Postprocess -> Extras -> Evaluate Czech Activity Contest from the main menu. December 2nd
The helping text for kids is now editable. Just right-click on the yellow panel on the right and select Edit. The changes are saved to *.ini file for next start. November 29th
o- The new version of Spider Keyer sketch. Ver. 1.18 fixes the problem caused by sending white spaces only.
o- When a device creating a virtual COM port is attached to the computer while HamRacer is already running, HamRacer offers to use the device. This seems to be the far simplest way how to connect a device.
o- Minor fixes and enhancements.
Tested in CQ WW DX Contest November 4th
o- Possibility to control the transceiver through Icom CI-V protocol. At the moment it enables to do full synchronization regarding the band and mode. More features to come soon. Tested with IC-736 and IC-275.
o- Bunch of fixes and minor enhancements.
Tested in Marcony Memorial Contest (144 MHz) October 21th
A minor bugfix in the output EDI format. October 18th
A new graph (pie chart) to compare CW vs. SSB, CQ vs. S&P, etc
The wizard connecting COM device enhanced.
The fast searching in QSO (by just typing charactes). September 4th
German language supported now.
The mode "for kids". All the advanced features are hidden. Instead of them a large panel show up. This panel helps the operator-beginner to make an SSB QSO. It shows the exchanges that the OP is to say. July 18th
  • HamRacer can speak two languages now. The main language (always English) and the 2nd language (your choice). It currently supports Czech as the second language but it can be easily configured to speak any other language, too. The language is selected automatically in dependency of what callsign input.
  • It is possible to control PTT with CapsLock key on the keyboard. Convenient for manual CW sending or for SSB with a headset.
  • Enhancements in Synergy (e.g. you can prohibit the connected HamRacer to delete or modify QSOs in your log).
Tested in 3rd Subrergional VHF/UHF/SHF Contest (Field Day). May 16th,
A new menu option: New As...
Minor fixes and enhancements. May 14th,
Specifying of multipliers enhanced.
A new version of the sketch for Spider Keyer: 1.17 - a bug fix - a smoother transition from automatic sending to manual sendiing.
Tested in OK1WC memorial contest. Apr 12th,
A new wizard Adjust Audio Levels.. will help you to set correctly all levels for the synthesized voice keyer.
A new version of the sketch for Spider Keyer: 1.16
Tested in OK-OM DX Contest SSB Apr 8th,
This version finally implements a feature required by many:
CW keying and PTT control through DTR and RTS signals on RS232 (COM port, virtual COM port).
Even that the prefered way of interfacing is
Spider Keyer, the DTR/RTS approach can still be a good choice for some.
A new version of the sketch for Spider Keyer: 1.15
Thanks go to Tom KB9ENS for his professional tests and comments. Mar 27th,
Improved DUPEs handling.
The New Contest wizard can be now used to modify the properties of the current contest, too.
The location of configuration files and sample logs has changed. The change will be mainly appreciated by those who log into the Windows as Users and not as Administrators.
Thanks go to Jindra OK4RM for discussion on system folders in Windows Mar 4th,
Enhanced Synergy.
It is possible to set low and high cw speed limit for Spider Keyer.
It is possible to limit cw speed when sending by hand.
It is possible to "preview" cw macros in macros editing dialog.
Enhanced Spider Keyer, ver. 1.10
Tested in 1. Subregional (VHF) Feb 6th,
It is possible to specify points per QSO in the New Contest wizard.
It is possible to display graphs for either points per hour, or QSOs per hour.
The main window shows now also sum of points, sum of multipliers, count of dupes and total score for HF contests.
The main help file enhanced - new chapter Using USB->COM Converter, Options - Spider Keyer. Jan 24th,
The main help file updated.
A new help file for Spider Keyer - how to make it, step by step.
Tested in CQ 160M CW Contest Jan 17th,
HamRacer can upload the sketch directly to Arduino Nano. Therefore the user doesn't have to install Arduino IDE, etc. All he needs to create Spider Keyer is to attach a new Arduino Nano unit to USB port and select an option from the main menu. Dec 17th, 2018 Unified and simplified approach to all serial devices. There is a user-friendly wizard to connect what you need.
HamRacer can make use of
Spider Keyer. Spider Keyer is an Arduino Nano based CW keyer that replaces WinKeyer 3.
  • It is cheaper than WinKeyer 3
  • The source code is published. Anyone can modify it to meet his needs
  • Using the same HW, new features can now be implemented, such as ANT rotator control, switching beverage ANTs, etc
Tested in ARRL 160m CW Contest,
incl. Spider Keyer Sep 19th, 2018 Both graphs and the map enhanced. For example, hovering the mouse above the map will pop up a label showing the callsign. Clicking the label will select the relevant QSO in the log. And, vice versa, selecting a QSO in the log will cause the label showing the callsign to pop up in the map.
New item in the main menu: File | Load Recent...
New feature: Find in All Logs
Synergy new feature: when two HamRacers are interconnected, it is also possible to send a text message from one OP to the other OP.
New macro CALLQ.
The licensing has changed.
Used in
OK-OM DX CW Contest not released Fixed the compass. It showed incorrect colors when JO32 was input for a locator. Used in Alpe Adria VHF contest. Jul 20th, 2018 Implemented import of EDI format. Enhanced and fixed chars (Points per Hour, Average QSO Length). Jun 29th, 2018 It is possible to define multipliers in the new contest wizard. Operator is advised when he is going to make a QSO with a new multiplier. May 21th, 2018 Minor fixes and enhancements. May 9th, 2018 Minor fixes and enhancements. Tested in RuDX contest. Apr 27th, 2018 It is now possible to let HamRacer to manipulate the master volume control in Windows Volume Mixer. Thanks to this you won't have to set the levels each time again. HamRacer can have full control of the output volume level.
Help file enhanced (synergy, setting audio levels).
Selectable VHF/UHF bands.
Other minor enhancements. Apr 17th, 2018 It is now possible to specify COM port for WinKeyer. It enables to use micro KEYER II. My thanks fly to Hans PA3ACA. Apr 10th, 2018 Possibility to override COM port for WinKeyer (for usage of microKeyer II).
Synergy enhancements. Apr 5th, 2018 Better COM port handling (WinKeyer) on older PC.
It is now possible to run more instances of HamRacer simultaneously.
Multiple selection is now possible of log entries. Copy and paste implemented.
Logic of the registration window improved.
It is possible to interconnect two instances of HamRacer over LAN or Internet. While connected all the changes in log are synchronized with the other HamRacer. Feb 27th, 2018 Pre-filling of CQ and ITU zones.
Speed optimization for extremely slow (old) computers.
Tested in CQ WW 160M SSB. Feb 1st, 2018 Distinguishing a USB->COM converter by its HW signature. Fix in licensing. Jan 25th, 2018 Minor fixes and enhacements. New Search function. Used in CQ WW 160m CW. Jan 12th, 2018 Implemented the possibility to control PTT through DTR/RTS signals on a (virtual) COM port. Jan 2nd, 2018 Minor fixes and enhancements. Jan 1st, 2018 Fixed "stack overflow" problem when connected WinKeyer. Tested in Stew Perry contest. Dec 22th, 2017 First version released to beta testers.  

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