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Re: [N1MM] Pre-Field Day networking question

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  • Jim Brown
    Me too. N1MM networking is pretty well behaved, but throwing rocks at it can cause issues that can take hours to fix. I strongly recommend setting up and
    Message 1 of 13 , May 8 9:07 AM
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      Me too. N1MM networking is pretty well behaved, but throwing rocks at it can cause issues that can take hours to fix. I strongly recommend setting up and testing N1MM with the network in advance with the specific computers and networking hardware that you plan to use, with one or two spares, but certainly not more than that.


      I've done both wired and wireless networking, and your decision to use wired networking is a good one with the circumstances you describe. You should, however, be prepared to kill the strong birdies that wired Ethernet networking hardware produces. See http://k9yc.com/RFI-Ham.pdf for detailed advice.


      Another major "gotcha" with computers outside is that daylight can easily render a screen invisible. My ten year old Thinkpads work just fine INSIDE, but even in the shade of a fairly dark tent you want a much newer, brighter one (or a bright monitor) in daylight. 

      73, Jim K9YC


      ________________________________
      From: Dave Greig <daven3buo@...>
      To: N1MMLogger@yahoogroups.com
      Sent: Wednesday, May 8, 2013 7:49 AM
      Subject: Re: [N1MM] Pre-Field Day networking question


      I agree with Tom,
      We set the Entry Window with 72 point fonts and have the Info, the check
      and the score windows open. We do not use the band map because we will not
      be using the cluster. For configuration I configure station one first and
      then copy the configuration to each computer. We leave all computers
      running during field day operation so there is no issue with disconnects.


      [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
    • Michael Adams
      [Y]ou will have issues every time a station connects or disconnects from the network is the feedback I was looking for; thanks. I shall make my bring your
      Message 2 of 13 , May 8 10:00 AM
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        "[Y]ou will have issues every time a station connects or disconnects from
        the network" is the feedback I was looking for; thanks. I shall make my
        "bring your computers to the tech meeting" message extra firm, then.

        Re "what purpose is there in networking all the stations": Any station
        might be used on any band or mode, depending on operator interest, where
        other stations are operating/which antennas are being used, and depending
        on band conditions. Our logging must be able to support that kind of
        flexibility. That's what networked logging gets us While matters would
        be much simpler if the had formal plans about which stations would be used
        on which bands/modes, structured so that we didn't need to share log data
        between stations....that ain't going to happen. Given the combinations of
        5HF bands, CW vs PH vs RY, the availability and capability of various
        operators, and our use of 3 primary HF stations

        In our club, the job of the FD committee isn't to say "here's what we're
        going to do"; it's to ask "what does the club want to do / how can we make
        this happen?"


        Re ethernet birdies and sun glare: Thanks for the reminders. Been there
        and done that. We've been at our current site, and have doing networked
        logging with a different program for a few years now. We're simply
        looking at changing loggers. (Although I'll mention to our chair that
        it'd be nice if we could find something less tacky than the bright orange
        tarps we use to obstruct the view of sunset....)



        --
        *Michael D. Adams* (N1EN)
        Poquonock, Connecticut | mda@...


        On Wed, May 8, 2013 at 10:41 AM, N1MM <tfwagner@...> wrote:

        > **
        >
        >
        > The program is designed to expect all the stations to be connected. I
        > don't recommend that you do what you are proposing.
        >
        > N2IC has spent a lot of time improving the program's handling of missing
        > stations, and you might get away with it. That being said, you will
        > have issues every time a station connects or disconnects from the network.
        >
        > At a minimum, all the stations will have to resync the new station
        > coming on board. This may cause performance issues during that period.
        >
        > What purpose is there in networking all the stations? Unless you have
        > more than one station operating on a band/mode, you aren't going to get
        > much benefit as I see it.
        >
        > Bear in mind who is going to be operating. Do you really need the
        > distraction of extra features that aren't really required?
        >
        > Set up the stations with minimal windows, and the Entry window font set
        > really big for the old timers. Maybe Entry, Log, one Bandmap, Check. I
        > think that's all you need.
        >
        > 73,
        > Tom - N1MM
        >
        >
        > On 5/8/2013 10:32 AM, Michael Adams wrote:
        > > Folks, I appreciate the feedback so far. However, it looks like I've been
        > > guilty of my recurring sin: having my question be lost in the setup.
        > >
        > > My real question is: Is there a particular reason why I might not want to
        > > define a station list of 16 computers, defined strictly by IP address
        > > (192.168.1.100-115), if some of those designated machines might not be
        > > present on the network. Or, put another way, if I put
        > > 192.168.1.104-192.168.1.115 in the station list "just in case", will the
        > > logger on other machines have issues because they can't find .104 - .115?
        > > (I assume from the documentation and brief experimentation that I'll have
        > > issues for a few minutes after each computer starts up as it attempts to
        > > poll the missing machines. But after that...?) Or, to keep the program
        > > happy, must I go from computer to computer and edit the station list as
        > > computers are added or removed from the network?
        > >
        > >
        > > Re why we would bother with a network if we're just logging, and not
        > taking
        > > advantage of some of the logger's networked features -- well, I have
        > three
        > > reasons in mind.
        > >
        > > First: Dupe-checking. As conditions and operators change, the club
        > > expects to have the ability to shift band/mode assignments among our
        > > stations. To make that possible without much encumbrance, each station
        > > ought to have access to the entire log.
        > >
        > > Second: Baby steps. I don't want to overwhelm some of our less
        > > computer-proficient members. Changing logging programs will potentially
        > be
        > > a big deal for the club. Two or three of our members are already
        > > comfortable using the logger. Another 2 or 3 could probably dive in
        > > without issues. However, for the remaining dozen-or-so operators, I risk
        > > overwhelming them by introducing too much of the program too quickly.
        > >
        > > If I can get enough of them over the hurdle that having one's computer
        > talk
        > > to one's radio isn't *that* complicated and is pretty handy for logging,
        > I
        > > will have scored a major victory.
        > >
        > > This year's logging goal is to get our members comfortable logging
        > contacts
        > > in a still-supported program that doesn't require going QRT and
        > > reconfiguring if a critical computer fails (as happened last year). If I
        > > can get that to happen, then perhaps next year we can dig a bit below the
        > > surface.
        > >
        > > Third: We get a lot of non-ham visitors at our site -- that's part of
        > what
        > > we like about our venue. One of the questions we regularly get asked is
        > > "Where have you talked to so far?". I'm drooling over the idea of having
        > > Mult Chaser running on a computer on our public information/propaganda
        > > table, to help illustrate an answer, without having to interrupt an
        > > operator for show and tell.
        > >
        > > Re wireless networks: I love the idea, but experience has shown that we
        > > should stick with a wired network. We'll be on a ridge 700 feet above
        > > several affluent suburbs of Hartford. Last year, I believe I was able to
        > > see about 150 WiFi networks (a surprisingly high percentage of which were
        > > secured) from our site, without using any special equipment. The year we
        > > tried a wireless network, there were issues in securing the network, and
        > > running an unsecured network attracted a ridiculous number of connection
        > > attempts from the valley below.
        > >
        > > Given the low level of average computer savvy in our group...ethernet is
        > > best.
        > >
        > > I am tempted to get a couple of dishes and rig a bridge back to one
        > > member's home, located below our site, so that we can have non-cellular
        > > internet access, but that's running pretty far afield of the question
        > that
        > > started this thread.
        > >
        >
        >
        >


        [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
      • ve3dvy
        I agree with setting up all computers some time before FD I have already done this I created network settings for up to 7 computers. but only have five
        Message 3 of 13 , May 9 5:33 AM
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          I agree with setting up all computers some time before FD I have already done this I created network settings for up to 7 computers. but only have five running. some window XP some windows 7. I tried and tried to screw it up unplugged computers at random simulated a total power failure, yanked cables from the Ethernet switch (we wont be using a router just a switch)

          it sometimes took a few minutes for things to get back to normal and all to reconnect just be patient. it will happen. there were no desasters except when I turned networking off on one machine to see what would happen. those entries were logged on that machine only and could not be edited synced so DON'T DISABLE NETWORKING! other than that minor issue there were no disasters. it didn't seem to mind that there were more possible stations than actually connected.

          we will encourage users to sign in some will like the ability to see who is doing what on the other stations so we will keep the Info window open. and maybe the log window.

          This is our first kick at N1MM as well. Have the members not used to n1mm watch the field day video that is available on the N1mm site. also we will have a live demo at the meeting and onsite before FD starts and some time for ops to make practice false logs before the start. then when start time comes we will just use wipelog on each station to clear everything. just be sure no stations are missed. or the practice entries can come back to haunt if they are synced.


          One thing I strongly suggest is if you can use dedicated computers. in the passed I found that members don't like changing network settings etc plus you run the risk of mixed versions and that is not a good thing. if a new computer joins part way through be sure to take a copy of the MDB file from another computer that is properly synced and use it on the new computer that will avoid major re sync and headaches.






          --- In N1MMLogger@yahoogroups.com, Jim Brown <jwbro@...> wrote:
          >
          > Me too. N1MM networking is pretty well behaved, but throwing rocks at it can cause issues that can take hours to fix. I strongly recommend setting up and testing N1MM with the network in advance with the specific computers and networking hardware that you plan to use, with one or two spares, but certainly not more than that.
          >
          >
          > I've done both wired and wireless networking, and your decision to use wired networking is a good one with the circumstances you describe. You should, however, be prepared to kill the strong birdies that wired Ethernet networking hardware produces. See http://k9yc.com/RFI-Ham.pdf for detailed advice.
          >
          >
          > Another major "gotcha" with computers outside is that daylight can easily render a screen invisible. My ten year old Thinkpads work just fine INSIDE, but even in the shade of a fairly dark tent you want a much newer, brighter one (or a bright monitor) in daylight. 
          >
          > 73, Jim K9YC
          >
          >
          > ________________________________
          > From: Dave Greig <daven3buo@...>
          > To: N1MMLogger@yahoogroups.com
          > Sent: Wednesday, May 8, 2013 7:49 AM
          > Subject: Re: [N1MM] Pre-Field Day networking question
          >
          >
          > I agree with Tom,
          > We set the Entry Window with 72 point fonts and have the Info, the check
          > and the score windows open. We do not use the band map because we will not
          > be using the cluster. For configuration I configure station one first and
          > then copy the configuration to each computer. We leave all computers
          > running during field day operation so there is no issue with disconnects.
          >
          >
          > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
          >
        • John Bednar
          VE3DVY, When the stations are looking for the missing computers there could be some program delays on the active stations until the balls turn blue. I d test
          Message 4 of 13 , May 10 2:38 AM
          • 0 Attachment
            VE3DVY,

            When the stations are looking for the missing computers there could be some
            program delays on the active stations until the balls turn blue. I'd test
            that.

            You can right click on the unconnected station ball in the Info window and
            tell the program not to try to connect. I suspect that it is reset if the
            program is restarted.

            John, K3CT


            -----Original Message-----
            From: N1MMLogger@yahoogroups.com [mailto:N1MMLogger@yahoogroups.com] On
            Behalf Of ve3dvy
            Sent: Thursday, May 09, 2013 8:33 AM
            To: N1MMLogger@yahoogroups.com
            Subject: Re: [N1MM] Pre-Field Day networking question


            I agree with setting up all computers some time before FD I have already
            done this I created network settings for up to 7 computers. but only
            have five running. some window XP some windows 7. I tried and tried to
            screw it up unplugged computers at random simulated a total power
            failure, yanked cables from the Ethernet switch (we wont be using a router
            just a switch)

            it sometimes took a few minutes for things to get back to normal and all to
            reconnect just be patient. it will happen. there were no desasters except
            when I turned networking off on one machine to see what would happen. those
            entries were logged on that machine only and could not be edited synced so
            DON'T DISABLE NETWORKING! other than that minor issue there were no
            disasters. it didn't seem to mind that there were more possible stations
            than actually connected.

            we will encourage users to sign in some will like the ability to see who
            is doing what on the other stations so we will keep the Info window open.
            and maybe the log window.

            This is our first kick at N1MM as well. Have the members not used to n1mm
            watch the field day video that is available on the N1mm site. also we will
            have a live demo at the meeting and onsite before FD starts and some time
            for ops to make practice false logs before the start. then when start time
            comes we will just use wipelog on each station to clear everything. just
            be sure no stations are missed. or the practice entries can come back to
            haunt if they are synced.


            One thing I strongly suggest is if you can use dedicated computers. in the
            passed I found that members don't like changing network settings etc plus
            you run the risk of mixed versions and that is not a good thing. if a
            new computer joins part way through be sure to take a copy of the MDB file
            from another computer that is properly synced and use it on the new computer
            that will avoid major re sync and headaches.






            --- In N1MMLogger@yahoogroups.com, Jim Brown <jwbro@...> wrote:
            >
            > Me too. N1MM networking is pretty well behaved, but throwing rocks at it
            can cause issues that can take hours to fix. I strongly recommend setting up
            and testing N1MM with the network in advance with the specific computers and
            networking hardware that you plan to use, with one or two spares, but
            certainly not more than that.
            >
            >
            > I've done both wired and wireless networking, and your decision to use
            wired networking is a good one with the circumstances you describe. You
            should, however, be prepared to kill the strong birdies that wired Ethernet
            networking hardware produces. See http://k9yc.com/RFI-Ham.pdf for detailed
            advice.
            >
            >
            > Another major "gotcha" with computers outside is that daylight can
            > easily render a screen invisible. My ten year old Thinkpads work just fine
            INSIDE, but even in the shade of a fairly dark tent you want a much newer,
            brighter one (or a bright monitor) in daylight.
            >
            > 73, Jim K9YC
            >
            >
            > ________________________________
            > From: Dave Greig <daven3buo@...>
            > To: N1MMLogger@yahoogroups.com
            > Sent: Wednesday, May 8, 2013 7:49 AM
            > Subject: Re: [N1MM] Pre-Field Day networking question
            >
            >
            > I agree with Tom,
            > We set the Entry Window with 72 point fonts and have the Info, the
            > check and the score windows open. We do not use the band map because
            > we will not be using the cluster. For configuration I configure
            > station one first and then copy the configuration to each computer. We
            > leave all computers running during field day operation so there is no
            issue with disconnects.
            >
            >
            > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
            >




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