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Internet Questions

Why is my Telnet connection lost?

Telnet connections depend on a continuous connection between two computers. One of the important design elements of the Internet is that reliability is enhanced by dynamic routing. If the route taken by a data stream is broken for any reason, the net finds another way to go. However, once a Telnet connection is broken, the ball game is over.

One strategy to improve reliability is to use a Telnet site that is as close as possible to your location. The fewer the hops to get to the Telnet site, the more reliable the connection.

Other factors that can cause connection to be dropped are your ISP or Telnet site disconnecting you because of inactivity. It is rare for a Telnet site to have an activity time out.

If you are experiencing drop outs, CommCat provides a KeepAlive option. See the Telnet Help topic for more information.

Why don't I see spots in the DX Spot Manager?

Make sure your firewall is not blocking CommCat from interacting with the Internet. All spots arrive in the DX Spot Manager Inbox where they can be copied or moved to other folders.  You can see the current folder in the DX Spot Manager caption bar.  Change the current folder by opening the Sidebar and selecting the folder view.

CommCat Windows

Spectrum Analyzer

What is the best way to use the Spectrum Analyzer window?

The Spectrum Analyzer is designed to help with CW pileups. As the receiver IF bandwidth is narrowed, the Spectrum Analyzer becomes less useful, even for CW pileups. For example, the Kenwood 870 has a maximum CW bandwidth of 1000 Hz, which greatly diminishes the effectiveness of the Spectrum Analyzer.

The Spectrum Analyzer controls allow you to easily listen to the DX frequency or the pileup frequency. While listening to the pileup frequency it is easy to spot a station working the DX, click that signal, and thereby tune the rig to the "last worked" frequency in an instant.

The Spectrum Analyzer really shines with rigs having a wider bandwidth. With the 2.6 KHz bandwidth of the FT1000mp, I can often see both the DX and the pileup in the same view.

A secondary purpose of the Spectrum Analyzer is to feed the DX Tracker. If you double-click the frequency of the station working the DX, you add one more point to a DX Tracker graph that can begin to show a pattern to the DX station's operating habits. That can help you second guess where he/she will listen next.

DX Spot Manager

Why aren't the number of spots in each folder updated on the folder list?

You must have at least one rule activated for CommCat to count spots.

Why are so many spots kept in the Spot List?

CommCat periodically flushes the spot list to remove "stale" spots. The length of time spots are kept in the spot list can be changed in the File, Settings, Spots window. Typically it is only useful to maintain spots for one or two hours. If you wish to track specific spots longer than an hour or so, there are many rule strategies that can be used. For example, to keep a spot indefinitely, you can make it "sticky".

What is the easiest way to delete a single spot from the spot list?

Select the spot, then press the Delete key. You can also drag the spot to the Deleted folder in the Spot Folder list.

I have 11 rules defined which slows down the program.

Each new spot must be tested against every rule, so 11 rules will take roughly 11 times longer to process than one.

Any rule using the Worked/Confirmed rule will take even longer since your entire log must be checked. Spots that have a time out rule will also add more than their share, since they are tested until the elapsed time you have assigned expires.

The bottom line is that you pay the biggest time penalty for spots that must be checked against the log, and for spots that have an elapsed time assigned.

It is possible that there is a problem with one of the rules or some combination of several rules, that needs to be addressed. Experiment by turning on and off rules using their check boxes to see if there are one or more that seem to be adding more than their share of processing time.

You may also be able to combine rules to speed up the process. You can have several conditions and several actions for each rule. You may also not need all rules all the time. For example, you may have some rules that you only use in contests. You can turn off rules that aren't needed at the present time. You can also set up Rules in Profiles, which makes it easy to turn on or off groups of rules depending on the current need. You may wish to have separate Profiles for night and day, or Profiles for different contests.

Depending on your system speed, you may find that 11 rules is just too many.

How do I stop a long string of voice announcements?

Click the Stop button on the DX Spot Manager toolbar or press Escape.


Why don't my satellite contacts appear in the Satellite DXCC statistics?

CommCat determines that a contact was made through a satellite when the satellite name is included in the log. Be sure to add the satellite name as you log any contacts you wish to be included in the Satellite DXCC totals.

Why do my DXCC totals differ from what they should be?

There are a number of reasons why this may happen, and CommCat provides tools to help you determine the exact cause and make any necessary corrections. If you have imported data from another program, be sure to use the Import Editor window to analyze any potential problem CommCat has found. The DXCC Entity Grid is another excellent tool for analyzing your data and making corrections. CommCat uses the ADIF DXCC numbering system to identify entities. If an incorrect number is used, CommCat's totals will be incorrect. Use the Entity Grid window (File, Maintenance, Entities, Entity Grid) to determine the number associated with any entity.

Check the QSL status for a contact that is not being counted. The QSL Received status must be set to Y to be considered for a DXCC Award.

The DXCC number in the log for any contact must be correctly identified. If a contact is not appearing in DXCC totals, open the Edit QSO window for the contact that is not being counted, and check the DXCC number. Click DXCC Num in the Edit QSO toolbar to see the complete DXCC number list for all prefixes.

If the mode for a contact is not recognized as CW, PHONE, or RTTY by CommCat, it will not be counted in the DXCC totals. See the Modes section of the Settings Help topic for information on how to assign modes so they will be counted. In that window you can add the award name (CW, PHONE, or RTTY) to any mode.

DXCC Awards require that the band be specified. If the band is unknown ("UNK"), the contact will not be counted for DXCC purposes. Using the Advanced Log, change UNK to the correct band.

The DXCC Award window can be used to help isolate the cause of a problem. Open the DXCC Award window from the Award, DXCC menu. Click Get Confirmed in the View menu. A new column appears listing the total number of confirmed contacts for each entity. Click any cell, then the down arrow, to see a list of all contacts. Select any contact in the list to add it to the Award submission list. If the call does not appear in the list (or the list for the missing entity is 0), one of the problems described above is probably the reason.

Rig Control

CommCat stops communicating with my rig.

There are several things to try to determine the cause of the problem.

Rig communications can be more reliable when the Baud rate is 9600 or below. If your radio supports multiple Baud rates, try going to a lower speed.

CommCat monitors the rig connection to notify you when it appears the radio has become disconnected. To turn off this monitor, check the option No Rig Timeout on the File, Settings, Program, Startup window.

CommCat has a Test mode that can be turned on from the File, Settings, Program, Startup window. When Test Mode is on, CommCat logs all communications between the program and your radio in a file named rclog.txt. This file, located in the CommCat\Controls folder, is overwritten each time you start CommCat, so the information contained in the log is always fresh. This file can be analyzed using a text editor to see if any problems are noted.


The Live indicator at the bottom on my main CommCat window stays red.

CommCat checks the status of your CommCatLive account when it starts. If the indicator does not turn green, your account may not have been set up or your account has expired. Check with CommCat support.

The CommCatLive status panels on my web site do not seem to change.

Your browser may be storing previous versions of the panels, called "caching." Open your browser and go to your home page. Right-click over each panel and select Settings. The Adobe Flash Player Settings window opens. Click the Folder tab. Change the Local Storage slder to 0 which is all the way to the left. Check the option Never Ask Again. Do this for all four panels.