‘Dig-Link’

 

Using VKCL<->WSJT-X Interface Software for
logging Digital Mode contest QSOs

(To be technical, this software package was renamed to Dig_Link  in April 2022 !!!)

 

Win 32 / 64 only, Windows 7 to Windows 11

 

March/April 2022

There is no direct implementation for VKCL to accept data from WSJT-X, although contact details could be done manually.  Dig-Link, Digital-Linking, my specially coded software project, can provide an automatic interface between the two packages, parsing the data sent out by WSJT-X and adding directly to the VKCL database for subsequent totaling and creation of a log file to submit.  Dig_Log is an alternative to VKCL when using Dig_Link, can create the database, displays QSOs being entered in that database, creates Cabrillo and ADIF logs, creates a backup of the files into a single ZIP.

It scores QSOs according to the current rules for the RD, JMMFD and VHF/UHF Field day rules, but since digital QSOs have already occurred before the logging action is taken, in these cases contacts that fail based on time or band rules simply have contact points set to zero in the log details.

 

Dig Link V1.000

Not necessarily the current release of the code, but should be somewhat  similar....

 

There are a few steps required in the various’ packages configuration before contacts can be logged automatically, and the PDF guide supplied within the setup software should be used to ensure correct setup.  VKCL V4.15 use is assumed.

 

Dig Log2

The Dig_Log alternative to VKCL for digital modes logging  (Apr 2022)
Contained in the Dig_Log setup packages.
Indicative layout only, changes with software revisions.

 

The following is critical use information :   

 IT IS IMPORTANT TO READ THE PDF - THINGS HAVE CHANGED WITH THE AVAILABILITY OF DIG_LOG IN THIS PACKAGE

Use VKCL to create the correct contest definition – once done,  nothing else is absolutely necessary in VKCL. Start WSJT-X or this Dig-Link software interface in any order, it's not critical.   The database can also now be created with Dig_log - read the PDF as it has the latest details.

If the VKCL database is not present the Dig-Link interface software will exit without anything other than a warning message box. You have been warned !!

The Dig_Link software pack is available for download in a Setup.Zip format only from this VK4ADC web site page (sorry, you will need to de-archive it before you can run the Setup.exe) and it should be updated from the site shortly before any contest activity to ensure the latest version is used.  

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Despite some virus warnings that may appear (eg Win32:Evo-Gen), these are actually false positives that occur
when the distributed code is compiled in Delphi.


None of the files supplied actually contain any viruses. 
 

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Setup.zip
Automated setup into C:\Dig_Link, creates desktop shortcuts for Dig_Link, Dig_Log and Dig_Link.PDF

You need to de-archive/de-zip this file to access the Setup.exe file directly.

Current version : 1.0.1.0, Setup.ZIP size :5.9MB, Setup.EXE : 7.7MB

Creates :  Dig_Link.exe : 2.4MB, Dig_Log.exe : 2.4MB,  Dig_Link.pdf : 2.2MB, sqlite3.dll : 350KB, Uninstaller 
(all file sizes are approximate)

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A Zip containing just the EXE, the PDF, and the 2 support files :  Dig_Link.ZIP 

(Normal location is C:\Dig_Link but you will need to create your own desktop shortcuts.) 

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Separate copy of the setup/use PDF :  Dig_Link.PDF

Contains reference data on configuring Dig_Link, Dig_Log, WSJT-X and VKCL.

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Note the software is FREE.  No malware, no adverts, no intentional bugs !

 

I realise that in due course there will be other contest logging software packages that will incorporate this support – but it isn’t in there yet.

Doug VK4ADC

 

Using Dig_Link :

Create your contest log using VKCL then start Dig-Link and WSJT-X, ensuring that the configuration for each has been preset as per the PDF guide.

As you work and log digital mode contacts, you should see the UDP indicator box flicker green, text will appear in various boxes, the the Database Open indicator box will flicker green briefly. 

Note that you do not need to run VKCL at, or all the time, just WSJT-X and Dig_Link.  If you do run VKCL, press the Clear button will update the All Log display and show you what has been logged.

Since digital QSOs have already happened before the logging process occurs, any QSOs that fail the band or time re-work limits will have zero points attributed, and be accompanied by a large red error indicator on the Dig_Link panel.

All digital-mode QSOs appear in VKCL with the mode set to 'DIG' regardless of whether they are FT8, FT4 or some other 'digital' mode - they are all regarded as the same mode for logging purposes..

You can exit Dig_Link and re-start it without compromising the VKCL database info, provided you don't have QSO info actively being added at the time.

When the contest activity is finished, create your log export and also an ADIF export in VKCL as you normally would.

Return to Dig_Link and use the 'Finalise data to ZIP' button.   You will see a brief black command window flash on the screen while it zips up the VKCL database plus the ADIFEXP.ADI export file, the LogToSubmit file plus a file named 'udp_log.txt'.

The zip file is named 'YourCallsign~ContestName~Dig-Link.zip' and can be found in the same folder as your active VKCL contest database. It acts as a backup as well as an intermediate file to send to me for cross-checking for scoring or logging errors.   


Emailing it is as simple as creating a new email addressed to 'contest logs @ vk4adc . com (no spaces though), subject 'Contest Log', just your callsign in the body and adding the ZIP file as an attachment. 

 

Not in a contest - and just want to trial this software :

Simply create a new data folder using Dig_Log OR VKCL and create a new contest, preferably JMMFD as it covers both HF and VHF+ bands, otherwise RD or VHF/UHF mode, just like you would for a conventional contest.

Check the configuration of WSJT-X and Dig-Link - only necessary once.  If you already use my LogView for WSJT-X software then WSJT-X is already configured for UDP port 2333.

Start operating WSJT-X in EU VHF Contest mode and watch the contacts appear in VKCL.

Why do you need EU Contest mode ??  Because this code expects a 6 character grid square and a full serial number for true contest digital mode operation.

Will it work in normal mode ?? Yep, but scoring may not happen or be haphazard..

 

 

Any anomolies should be reported to the email address above, with a full description of what happened, and preferably with the ZIP file attached.
That button 'Finalise data to ZIP' is the way to get there.


The sooner I know about issues then the sooner that 'bug' gets resolved !

 

 

 

 

 

VK4ADC