N1MM+ – DXLab integration for DXers

As a casual contester, I have N1MM+ setup and optimized for contesting. But I find that I also like using N1MM+ and its hardware setup for non-contesting operations as well. Unfortunately, N1MM+ lacks many of the necessary non-contesting features found in general purpose logging programs.

For the past few years the developers at DXLab and N1MM+ have collaborated to support a logging interface between N1MM+ and the DXLab DXKeeper. The auxiliary program, called N1MM-DXKeeper Gateway, inserts records into the DXLab DXKeeper database after they have been logged in N1MM+. This gateway works well and allows me to take advantage of the feature-rich software suite provided by DXLab.

During last CQ WW SSB contest, I had a few teenagers in my shack to get on the air. We kept looking up countries we worked on an online map to find out which contact was the farthest, whether we could find any photos about the remote stations, and other interesting information.  This is when I got the idea for improving the existing N1MM-DXKeeper Gateway. Wouldn’t it be very helpful and educational if all the information we could get about a call automatically pops up during the QSO?  I also think this would be a very effective feature to show on a FieldDay GOTA station.

A few emails with the programmer of DXLab, David, AA6YQ and the plan was made to get this in both DXLab and N1MM+.

There is now a new version of the gateway that provides this functionality of looking up a callsign (in addition to the previous function of logging QSOs). It can be found here.

In N1MM+, of version 7336 or later,  this feature can be enabled in the Configurer dialog.

N1MM+ configuration

With the new gateway launched as part of DXLab’s launcher (or by any other means), the highlighted pieces of information are all automatically looked up and populated as soon as the user hits the SPACEBAR or TAB key in the N1MM+’s entry window.  The most amazing feature to demo to others (think: new hams!) is the “Fly to selected location” feature in DXView/Google Earth.

New gateway
automatically looked up information

As a side note, this feature is built generally into N1MM+ via UDP packets. Other logging programs are welcome to integrate this as well.

There should not be a noticeable impact on performance to enable this as the implementation is not blocking the program flow (parallel threads). If you do see performance issues, it is possible that this is caused by your virus scanner. Make sure you exclude the program and user directories of N1MM+, N1MMDXKeeperGateway and DxLab (CWSkimmer, RBN Aggregator, etc.) from your virus scanner. I have experienced serious performance issues before I did this. I believe the patterns of DX cluster and UDP data traffic from ham programs look very suspicious to these scanners.

I want to thank David, AA6YQ, and Larry, K8UT, for their help in designing and testing this feature.