Last night, my little project was to get VKCL working for the upcoming Trans Tasman contest on 160m phone and 160/80m CW and digital. The last time I used VKCL was during the John Moyle Field Day contest. On that day, I started using a then current v3, but this crashed upon entering my first QSO. Upon a bit of frantic testing, I was able to use a late v2 of the program to complete the logging of the contest. I had to manually adjust the scores later in accordance with the 2012 rules.
The Trans Tasman has changed this year, with 4 previous contest days being merged into 2. The 80m phone contest remained separate, but all the other 3 were combined into one contest, which is taking place tomorrow night (Saturday 21st of July). I would need a new version of VKCL for this.
Upon installing the latest version, I noticed that it immediately wanted to pick up my John Moyle Field day log and it was not happy. If I pressed the config button, the configuration screen would come up, but completely empty. Pressing the “X” close button would close this, but shortly afterwards, the program would crash through an unhandled exception. What to do? Firstly, I was running VKCL under Wine 1.2 on Ubuntu, so I upgraded Wine to 1.4 to see if that would make any difference. No it didn’t. Next, I got a Windows XP laptop and tried it there. No difference. So it is not a Linux or Wine thing, it doesn’t work under Windows XP either.
I thought that this was getting a little ridiculous, surely the software must be more robust than this. I thought that perhaps the author, Mike VK3AVV had not thought to test this program installed over the top of a v2 VKCL, so I needed a way for the program not to see the John Moyle log.
Under the C:\VKCL3 file (/home/<username>/.wine/drive_c/VKCL3 when using Wine) there is a file VKCL3.ini. In this text file, there are two dbPath entries, under [Select] and [Config] respectively. If these entries are edited to point to a directory that has no pre-existing log file, then everything seems to work fine. Care needs to be taken to maintain the double backslash “\\” as the directory names. Changing this to a single backslash will not work. This is because the text is being fed into a computer language that uses backslash as an escape character (The C language does this). Once these two dbPath are changed, then VKCL3 can be run and a new log created wherever you desire by using the configuration screens in the program.
Also, the QSO crash bug seems to have been fixed. Hopefully no surprises tomorrow night.
Regards 73, Wayne