The Future of VHF Test

I think it's time to begin to consider the future of VHF Test. What do you want to see? The current design is bursting at the seams due to the original design. New contests have to be shoehorned in, and version 3.02 has dropped support for 8088 processors. A well-designed rewrite might allow such hardware to be used again. There may not be room for upcoming rule changes, or the distance scoring being talked about. To be quite honest, I don't know how much more code I can wedge in there: perhaps a few more lines, perhaps dozens. I just don't know! I believe the original design has served its users well for almost eight years.

If the users want it, I would consider beginning the design for a complete rewrite, but only if I get your input. I'd like VHF Test to remain a DOS-based program, from the aspects of simple and inexpensive hardware, and not having to fuss with taking Windows on the road. Some users have agreed that a minimum of an EGA display is acceptable. To show what can be done with such a display, consider the sample shown below. This was all hand-coded, so it's incomplete and may be technically inaccurate, but I think you get the idea. This example is conservative: it only uses 43 lines, so it should work with EGA video. I'd also like to see expansion of band coverage to everything from 50 MHz on up as high as you think I should go. There's a lot more room on the screen, as you can see. I'd expect in a rewrite the editor would be integerated. Indeed, in a rewrite I would like to do a random-access type organization where you could just scroll back and change an entry. This would elimate the need for an editor program!

I'm looking for your input. While our favorite VHF contesting program is full-featured and solid, there isn't too much room for growth or change, and we all know not too much time goes by without something changing in the VHF world. As with the current version, I want VHF Test to do what you need it to do!

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