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Hints & kinks


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Create a contest template for your keyboard.

Most of the ham radio contest software today allows for preprogrammed CW/RTTY messages that are sent by selecting the appropriate "F" key.  These messages can be contest exchanges, sending CQ, sending your call, etc.  Keeping track of what key sends what can be difficult.  I solved this problem by creating a template that fits over the "F" keys, and has the messages printed in text boxes above the appropriate keys.  I designed the template using Microsoft Publisher, and included guides for trimming out the holes that allow the template to fit over the keys.   I print the template on card stock because it holds it shape better, and stays in place on the keyboard better.  You can usually get three templates on one sheet, each template being for different contests.  The two photos below show the template before trimming, and trimmed and installed on the keyboard.  You can download the Microsoft Publisher file I created for one of the contest templates, and using the Microsoft Publisher Application (not included) modify it to fit your needs.

template2.jpg (76488 bytes)

template1.jpg (79475 bytes)