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ERGO 4 Frequently Asked Questions

Updated on Sunday, February 06, 2005

Just Got A New PC?

I just got a new PC.  How do I set-up Ergo and keep my old data files?

  1. Download the latest version of Ergo from this web site, extract and install.
  2. Copy your old registration key from the CD into the Ergo program folder.
  3. Run Program Update to get the latest files.  Close Ergo.
  4. Copy any data folders from your old machine to the new one.  You can open them in Ergo using File - Open.
  5. Copy any of the following files from the \User folder on your old PC into the \User folder on the new PC:  Profile (*.E60) or Scan (*E.61) files.  Old time server settings in the user_timesv.txt file.  Old location information in the userlocations.E21 file.  And any configured Recordings in the RECORDER.E81 file.
  6. Run Ergo, set up your receivers, enter your location, etc. and you should have transferred all the relevant information.

Importing Data

Is there a manual for the Ergo 4 data features?

Yes, after a number of requests we have prepared a short manual.  Download.

Is there an easy way to copy and paste a large number of records from a database that Ergo cannot access?

YES!  One of our users discovered that the latest version of SnagIt! can capture almost any database in electronically-scrollable format.  (Here is the SnagIt! web page.)  This product will enable you to capture a datase into a text file.  You can then format the text file into a dBase database in Excel, which Ergo can import.  SnagIt! has the ability to copy data to a text file as you scroll the source database on-screen.  For more information, see Application Note #1Important Notice: If the source database is proprietary, you must not use this method to infringe on copyright.  We are mentioning this method only to enable you to get full value out of your personal copy of the data.)

I used Excel to create a dBase file, and when I imported it into Ergo, the fractional parts of frequencies disappeared.  What happened?

Before you save the Excel data into a dBase file, format entire the Frequency column to show decimals, using the formatting commands in Excel.  If you do not do this, Excel seems to truncate the data to integers, for some unknown reason.  Formatting the Frequency column forces proper retention of the fractional parts of frequencies in kHz.

Program Update

I tried running program update, but nothing happened.  Yet, I am sure there should be new files available.

We have had five reported issues with the update program connecting properly, but failing to download new files and providing an "Error E1 in RunUpdate".  (This is a cryptic error that simply means there was a failure during the FTP download but we do not know why.)  We have solved three of these reports, and in each case it was a problem with the user's ISP.  The ISP gave the user a new server URL for connection, and the problem disappeared.  The remaining two cases have not yet raised the issue with the ISP and have not yet been resolved.

If you have this problem, try to see if you can manually download the files from our FTP site from your Browser.  The beta update files are located at ftp://ftp.swldx.com/pub/ergo4updatebeta/ .  If you cannot download these files using your browser (select, right click and then Copy to a temporary folder on your PC) then the issue is not with Ergo but with your ISP's provision of FTP services.

We have re-written the portion of the Update program that downloads files, to enable multiple attempts to download files in the case of an FTP problem.  The program will now make five attempts before it raises an error and gives up.  If you are having FTP issues and want to download this replacement ergo4update.exe manually, click here or go to the Download page.  Rename your existing file old_ergo4update.exe, then extract the replacement from the zip file and run it.

One way to try to force an update is to delete the two registry entries which keep track of web updates.  These are: 

HKCU\Software\Creativexpress\Ergo4\Config\Last Web Update
HKCU\Software\Creativexpress\Ergo4\Config\Last Web Update Time

Installation / Removal

Any special considerations for installation or removal?

Installation is done through Installshield, which also contains an Uninstall wizard, which will remove all files that were installed.  However, when you run the program update feature, new files are installed outside of the Installshield process.  All files are installed in the folder name you select during installation.  In addition, a subfolder called "\User" is created and this is the place for storing configuration files used by Ergo after the installation.  If you need to completely remove Ergo from your PC, run the Uninstall, then delete the program folder.  Also, all Ergo registry settings are kep in HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Creativexpress.

One of our users reported problems with the ATI AIW card there is software called "Gemstar" software that provides a "TV guide" for the TV tuner from ATI All In Wonder . It evidently uses BDE for it's database, and BDE fails if you let the Ergo uninstaller remove the BDE files, so just say no.

When uninstalling, you might choose not remove the Borland Database Engine if you use other programs that rely on it.

Beta Users

What is the error log?  What is the activity log?

In the Properties – Beta window, there is a check box marked "Enable Activity Log. When checked, you can open and close an Activity Log from the main program Help menu. The contents of the error log are saved in the \User folder as ERROR_LOG.TXT. Each time a new error log opens, this text file gets overwritten. You can email this Activity Log to us to help with debugging.  Just use the Send Activity Log item in the main program Help Menu, and the log will be e-mailed to us automatically.  This is a standard way of generating diagnostic information from any Ergo feature. The error log feature is available regardless of whether or not Beta mode is being used.

The new receiver driver does not appear in the Configuration window when I try to set up a new receiver.  What do I do?

Sometimes, new drivers do not get registered properly with windows.  Please report when this happens.  Often, if you run the program update again, the problem corrects itself.  However, for those occasions where a new driver needs to be registered manually, follow these steps.  (1) Turn off Ergo.  (2) Open a DOS box to the folder where Ergo 4 is installed.  (3) Type TREGSVR ergo_xxx.dll and press enter.  (4) Type TREGSVR ergo_xxx.tlb and press enter.   (Substitute the proper name of the new driver DLL and TLB files.)  Then, start Ergo 4 and the new receiver will be registered.

Where are the Ergo 4 Registry settings kept?

Ergo 4 registry settings are kept in HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Creativexpress, and this is where most settings are memorized between program uses.  Other settings are kept in (default folder) C:\Program Files\CreativeExpress\ERGO4\User in a file called ergo4.cfg.

Any time you want to completely reset these settings: (1) Turn off Ergo 4; (2) Delete the above registry key; (3) Delete the ergo4.cfg file; (4) Restart Ergo 4.

Do I need to reset any files when I download new beta receiver drivers?

Sometimes. If the files need to be reset, the beta mailing list announcement will normally say so. The easiest way to do these resets is in the Properties – Beta page, press the button called Reset. This will reset all receiver configuration files (*.USR and *.CTR in the \User folder) which will be recreated the next time that the receiver runs. Alternately, open the \User folder and just delete the specific receiver USR and CTR files.

Error Messages

I am running Windows 95.  The Help file does not work, and there is an error message saying "You need a newer version of the file: Hhctrl.ocx".

Ergo uses HTML Help, with requires Internet Explorer 4.01 or later.  You can resolve this issue by updating your version of Internet Explorer, or downloading HHUPD.EXE from Microsoft which will get HTML Help working (Windows 95 only).

The Program Update log shows an "Error 32" and some of the files did not get replaced with newer ones. What does this mean?

"Error 32" is Windows way of saying that it could not delete a file because it was in use. This should not happen. Try running the Program Update file directly, rather than running update from within Ergo.

"Specified Module Could Not Be Found" message was provided by Windows when I tried to configure a receiver. What does this mean?

Each receiver driver is a DLL file which is registered with Windows. This error message means that although a driver is registered with Windows, the DLL file cannot be found, e.g., for some reason it got deleted from your PC. The simplest way to deal with this is to run Program Update, which will replace and register any missing files.

General

Whoops!  Ergo just crashed while I was watching the spectrum display in the Audio Window. Program just disappeared.

bulletWe still have to improve the error handling capabilities in the DSP module. Whenever audio overloads, there is currently a risk of an abrupt program termination. Just reduce the input level to the sound card, as this only happens on severe overloads.

I have problems getting Ergo to work with my com port?

bulletA few of (usually laptop) users have trouble getting Ergo to work with a particular COM port. We have always managed to get these situations resolved by playing with the Serial Port Driver Default Settings (you can access these through System Settings). However, no pattern has emerged to say exactly what it is. Here is one example of some debugging work: I then decided to examine the port settings more closely. Hidden on the "advanced" page of the port settings is a checkbox labeled "Enable Auto RTS/CTS flow control". This is selected by default, and clearing this box solved the problem. E4 now recognizes and initializes the RX320. I did not think to check this earlier because the "Port Settings" tab has a list box for the flow control (which was set to NONE). Obviously the setting on the "advanced" page overrides this one. This is one to keep in mind for future troubleshooting."

Why can’t I control my memories in the receiver? Will Ergo provide scanning capability?

bulletMemory management and scanning are the next two system-wide features to be added to Ergo. The reason they were delayed, is that we want to design memory management and scanning features that work with all receivers under a common architecture. Now that we have the initial group of receivers up and running, we will circle back and get these features built.

I can’t seem to get any audio into Ergo? What do I check?

bulletIf you have more than one sound card, make sure you know which one you are using for your radio audio. Make sure you select the right sound card and input line in the Properties – Audio tab. Sometimes other programs "take over" sound cards and prevent other programs from using them, so check and see if any other programs are using the sound card.

I can find the Properties window for the main program, but where do I find the Properties window for a receiver? What kind of controls are in Receiver Properties?

bulletThe Receiver Properties are tucked away in the Step menu in each receiver control window. Note, not all receivers have property settings, but most do. Receiver Properties give you access to receiver controls not normally used in operation, such as setting timer clocks where they are available. Also, other options such as whether you want the receiver clock synchronized with the PC, or turn the receiver off on exit – where these features are available.

The Azimuthal Equidistant Map is centered on Calgary. How do I get this map made for my location?

bulletGo to the Properties – Start Up page and make sure your location – Name, Latitude and Longitude – are entered correctly. Close Ergo. Open your USER folder and delete the AZEQ.BMP file. Then, restart Ergo and open the Map window as an Azimuthal Equidistant. A new Azimuthal Equidistant map will then be created for the current home location.  Calgary is the default home location, which should be changed the first time you use the program.

Some strange things have started happening. Can I do a fresh start without reinstalling Ergo?

bulletReinstalling should rarely be required. Sometimes information stored between program uses gets garbled. This information is stored in two places, and if you delete the existing information, Ergo simply starts from scratch the next time it runs. The first information storage is a file called ERGO4.CFG in the USER folder. The second information storage is the Registry, the key called HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Creativexpress. Just run Regedit, select this key, and delete it. Both of these deletions should be made with Ergo off.

What is the USER folder?

bulletWhen Ergo is installed, you select a folder where the program is to be stored. By default, this is Program Files\Creativexpress\Ergo4. When Ergo creates any new files itself, such as ergo4.cfg, it stores them in a \USER subfolder to keep them separate from the installed program files.

Are there any special things I need to know about using two receivers at once within Ergo?

bulletGive each a different COM port, and give each a different name when you set up the receivers. That’s about it.

How do I set the time difference to UTC?

bulletErgo relies on Windows and your PC Clock. Each Windows PC keeps track of local and UTC times, as long as you have set up Windows properly to do so.

How can I tell what version of Ergo I am running, and whether or not I have the latest version?

bulletEvery EXE and DLL file is given a version number. All other files are tracked by creation date. You can examine a program’s version number in the About box. To ensure that you have the latest files, run Program Update. To see a log of the update activity, go to the Properties – Updates tab within Ergo and press the Details button.

ERGO 3 Frequently Asked Questions

Updated on Sunday, February 06, 2005

Main Program and General Questions

Q. Do your programs run under all versions of Windows, including XP?

A. Yes.  We have tested ERGO on all platforms Windows 95, 98, ME, NT4 and 2000.  We are now testing with Windows XP Professional - see our XP page for more information.  You should make sure that you download the latest ERGO.ZIP which contains the most current Borland Database Engine (BDE Version 5.1.1) which is recommended for XP compatability.  This update was posted January 22, 2002.   (This will require a reinstallation of Ergo.)

Q. DURING INSTALLATION, I GET A MESSAGE "_DELIS Caused a General Protection Fault".  WHAT IS HAPPENING?

A. There appears to be a bug in how InstallShield (the installer program used by ERGO) works with Windows 98 Second Edition.  This failure relates to a module called "_DELIS" in the program "_ISDEL" which InstallShield uses to erase temporary files during the installation process.  This failure only seems to happen when installing under Windows 98 Second Edition, and the failure does not appear to harm normal installation, other than sometimes leaving some temporary files to clean up.   Microsoft has an item in its Knowledge Base on this failure, and suggests the workaround is to turn-off virus checking before doing the installation.  However, this does not solve the problem on our Win98SE system, and there are numerous postings on the internet suggesting that the problem is with Win98SE rather than any virus checking software.

Q. HOW DO I ... ?

A. Please note that the online help has a "How To" section which answers common questions such as how to enter frequencies, how to enter stations in the database, etc.

Q. HOW DO I INSTALL THE ILGRADIO DATABASE IN ERGO DSI?

  1. Download the ILGRadio database {you have probably done so already, ilgsimpo.dbf works well, or ilgdata.dbf} and unzip the dbf file to a temporary directory.
  2. Start DSI. In the main menu, select "Initialize Data - ILG Shortwave/AM". This will bring up a dialog box.
  3. In the top edit box, use the browse button to open a File Select dialog box and select the ilgsimpo.dbf file from ILG.
  4. In the lower edit box, choose or create an empty directory to hold your working copy of the ILG database.
  5. Press the initialize button.
  6. Sit back and wait for about a minute, as DSI creates the working copy of ILGRadio.
  7. When the Mode Table box appears, click OK. DSI has done the work of associating the Mode labels in ILG to the generic modes used by ERGO for all receivers.
  8. On the main menu of DSI, select "File - Open - ILGSIMPO". You will now see the ILGRadio database open in the program.
  9. If you select "View - Auto Open", DSI will reopen the last available database automatically when you start the program.

Q. WHERE CAN I FIND LATITUDE AND LONGITUDES FOR TRANSMITTER SITES?

A. World Radio TV Handbook is good for the more popular SWBC broadcast transmitter sites. Also, many good atlases have location information in the back. Two great web sites for international locations are:

bulletAstrodienst OnLine
bulletGEONet Names Server

Q. HOW DOES ERGO's REAL-TIME PROPAGATION UPDATE WORK?

NOTE: The propagation update using the UPDATE1.DLL has been discontinued. This service is now provided through a companion program, ERGONet, as described below.

A. As long as your computer has Intener access, ERGO and ERGO Lite will download a comprehensive solar and geomagnetic information report, and update the Solar Flux and K Index settings automatically. Access this feature through 'Help | Propagation' in the main menu.

There are four sections in Propagation Update, as follows:

  1. WWV Propagation Report. This is the same information provided over WWV each hour, i.e., Solar Flux, A-Index, K-Index and solar-terrestrial forecast. Increased K-Index and/or A-Index over 25 signify disturbed conditions.
  2. Solar-Geophysical Activity Report. Comprehensive summary of current and near-term solar and geophysical activity.
  3. Three Day Space Weather Predictions. Detailed K-Index predictions for middle and high latitudes, including probabilities for geomagnetic storms (hour-by-hour) and solar flares.
  4. 27 Day Space Weather Outlook. Table forecast of Flux, A and K Indices for the next month. Solar Flux is updated based on the 90-day average in Part 2, and K Index is updated based on the most recent Boulder K Index in Part 1. All information obtained from Space Environment Center.

The information is obtained through a companion program, ERGONet. See here for details.  If you live within range of WWV or WWVH, the Solar Flux and K Index are available at 18 minutes past each hour on WWV or 45 minutes past each hour on WWVH. Otherwise, the easiest way to get this information is over the internet.

Q. CAN I USE ERGO WITH ANY RECEIVER?

A. ERGO can be used with no receiver attached - all of the database, propagation, path evaluation, forecasting and map features work without a receiver. However, only the AR7030, R8A/B, NRD535/NRD535D and HF-1000/8711A receivers have receiver control modules.

Q. HOW DO I MANUALLY TUNE THE RECEIVER WHILE ERGO IS CONNECTED?

A. When ERGO is connected, most of the receiver controls are locked out on all supported receivers except the AR7030 where the controls remain live except during memory transfers. To manually tune the other receivers, click the "Locked" label on the Blue Display Panel in the Receiver Control Window (or use the File | Lock/Unlock menu item) to unlock the receiver controls. As you tune the receiver manually, key parameters such as frequency will be updated in ERGO (except for AR7030).

Q. WHY AREN'T ALL OF MY RECEIVER CONTROLS AVAILABLE UNDER THE ERGO RECEIVER CONTROL?

A. ERGO supports all of the receiver control functions for which the manufacturer provided access. Examples of key control functions NOT enabled digitally among the supported receivers are:

bulletVolume - only AR7030 has digital control of volume and tone
bulletSquelch, RF Gain - only AR7030 and HF-1000 provide digital control
bulletPassband - not supported on R8A/B as it is an analog control
bulletPower - only R8A/B and AR7030 allow remote turn-on/off
bulletMemory Scanning - NRD535 does not provide PC control of its built-in memory scanning, and neither does AR7030 firmware A.

Remember, the unsupported controls are available for user settings even when the receiver is "Locked".

Q. EVERYTHING WAS WORKING FINE, BUT ALL OF A SUDDEN THE PROGRAM SEEMS TO BE BEHAVING STRANGELY. WHAT CAN I DO?

A. On occasion, the Configuration Settings (saved in the *.CFG files) become corrupted, causing spurious responses. In almost all cases during beta testing, strange responses were corrected after replacing the CFG file. To replace a CFG file, just delete it: ERGO and ERGO DSI create new configuration files automatically.

Q. WILL ERGO WORK ON A MACINTOSH COMPUTER?

A. Well, it was not designed to run on a Mac, but apparantly, it can be done, and fairly easily.  We received this information from a user in July 2001.

I am a Mac user and am running Ergo on PC emulation software. Also I had not seen the Mac info in the FAQ section on your website when I first tried the demo. Even if I had, I still would have had a problem getting things to work. My comment about that now is that it is outdated, but the new information is better.

SoftWindows is no longer available having been discontinued at the end of last year. However, Virtual PC is available and version 4.0 works fine with Ergo on a Mac. The other thing is that Keyspan makes a USB to serial adapter which works directly on a Mac (or PC) without having to do the custom modification discussed on your website for the Mac Twin Serial Adapter (which uses Mac's rs422 wiring on Din connectors).

The Keyspan "High Speed Serial Adapter" (p/n: USA-19W) is a USB to DB9 serial connector, wired in the most common rs232 fashion, so it works with either Mac or PC (although Keyspan recommends that you use only the Mac driver when running Virtual PC on a Mac, and not installing the Windows driver at all). With R8B, you can then just use a straight through wired m/f DB9 rs232 cable.

The only problem I've noticed in using this setup is that ERGO hangs up sometimes if the R8B is already turned on when Ergo is launched (if it's off, Ergo turns it on automatically).

And, from another user, received in January 2002:

Good news! I replaced my KeySpan USB-to-Mac serial adapter with
the new KeySpan High-Speed DB9 USB Serial Adapter, and now
Ergo4 successfully connects to the R8B under VirtualPC on the
Mac.

Although the KeySpan High-Speed Serial Adapter comes with drivers
for both the Mac and Windows, I found that it really isn't
necessary to load the Windows drivers; all that is required is
to tell VirtualPC to use the Keyspan adapter for COM1 (or
COM2), and set Ergo to use that port. Also, make sure that
in the VirtualPC COM port settings, "Non-modem device" is
checked.

This adapter also works fine with Ergo3. As a matter of fact,
since the adapter is totally standard RS232, I imagine it will
work with any of the receivers supported by Ergo.

This information replaced that provided in January, 2001, which is now outdated, but retained below for background information.

Hi, just thought you'd like to know that I just got ERGO running
on my Mac PowerBook, and controlling my Drake R8B.

I normally use two laptops, one a Mac PowerBook, the other
a Dell Inspiron, but often I don't like to lug both back home.
So I decided to try to get ERGO running on the PowerBook.
Here's how it works:

First, I installed FWB's SoftWindows, which is a really good
PC emulator, whose speed is quite acceptable for processor-light
tasks. Out of one of the Mac's USB ports, I have a Keyspan
USB-to-serial adapter.

The trickiest part was building a custom cable, since the Mac's
RS-422 spec is different from RS-232C. I used the following
pin assignments (I won't go into a discussion of them here):

Mac DIN-8 RS-232C
========= =======
1            6
-----------------
2            8
-----------------
3            3
-----------------
4 and 8      5
-----------------
5            2
-----------------
6 and 7     none
-----------------
shield     9(GND)
-----------------

Following FWB's recommendation, instead of constructing a special
serial cable to go directly from the R8B to the Mac, I made up
an "adapter" cable, which plugs into the female end of a standard
PC RS232C serial cable. I purchased from MacWarehouse a Male-to-Female DIN8 serial EXTENSION cable (don't just get a modem cable, since some of the wires are missing). I chopped off the female end of this cable, and replaced it with a male DB9, using the pin assignments specified.

Anyway, hope that information helps if you want to try ERGO on a Mac!

RECEIVER MODULE - AOR AR7030

Q. IF I MAKE MANUAL CHANGES ON THE AR7030 RECEIVER, THESE ARE NOT REFLECTED IN THE ERGO FRONT PANEL. HOW DO I GET THOSE CHANGES MADE?

A. Press Control-U or File | Update on the Main Window menu. Unlike many other receivers with RS232 interfaces, the AR7030 does not send messages when its controls are changed. Rather, a program has to poll the receiver to get changes.

RECEIVER MODULE - DRAKE R8A R8B

Q. I NOTICE A SLIGHT DELAY BETWEEN WHEN I ISSUE A COMMAND IN THE RECEIVER CONTROL WINDOW, AND WHEN THE DRAKE RECEIVER REACTS. CAN I GET RID OF THIS DELAY?

A. Different versions of the Drake receiver require different spacing or pacing between the commands issues to the receiver. On the Receiver Control Window, Config | Performance page, you will find a parameter called "Command Delay Setting". By default, this is set at "2" and the range is "1" to "3". On the R8B and some R8A's, you can reduce this delay setting to "1" and improve speed/performance. On some R8A's, your receiver will miss some commands, and you may need to increase the delay to "3". Experiment.

Q. MY R8A SEEMS TO BEHAVE ERRATICALLY, MISSING SOME COMMANDS FROM ERGO.

A. On occasion, the Configuration Settings (saved in the *.CFG files) become corrupted, causing spurious responses. In almost all cases during beta testing, strange responses were corrected after replacing the CFG file. To replace a CFG file, just delete it: ERGO and ERGO DSI create new configuration files automatically.

RECEIVER MODULE - JRC NRD535 NRD535D

Q. HOW DO I CREATE VARIABLE FILTERS?

A. The NRD535D provides continuously variable bandwidths from 500-5500 kHz. When you are in the WIDE or INTER filter position, you can continuously adjust the bandwidth. In addition, on the Config | Filters page of the Receiver Control Window, you can create a filter of any size within this range, and use it as a regular fixed filter. For example I have a 4.0 kHz filter set up for regular listening.

DATA SUPPORT INTERFACE - ERGO DSI

Q. DSI STARTED CRASHING AFTER I INSTALLED OTHER SOFTWARE.  WHY?

A. During late 2000, several users reported DSI started crashing.  DSI relies on the Borland Database Engine (BDE).  In both cases, another program which uses BDE (JVCOMM) had recently been installed.  A conflict may be caused when other programs use a newer version of BDE and do not do a full installation of that version.   JVCOMM modified their installation program to do a full BDE installation, and both programs now work just fine together.

Q. I HAVE SOME DATABASES I HAVE CREATED IN DBASE? CAN I USE THEM WITH ERGO?

A. ERGO DSI (as of February 19th) contains a comprehensive custom database capability. As long as you can structure a dBase or Paradox table to the following requirements, you can get the full functionality of ERGO integrated with this database. (The following information is taken from the DSI Help File. See the Custom Database Addendum at the end of this FAQ.)

GENERAL TECHNICAL

Q. HOW DO I CONNECT THE RECEIVER TO MY COMPUTER?

bulletNRD535 - Use a Null Modem cable, or regular serial M/F cable with a Null Modem Adaptor.
bulletR8A/B - Use a normal serial M/F cable. Remember, the receiver end is 9 pin.
bulletHF-1000 - I needed to use a null modem cable, but one beta tester said he used a normal serial cable with his set.
bulletAR7030 - No popular serial cables work with the AR7030 due to the use of a DIN connector at the receiver end. The manufacturer sells a custom cable, part number 7030PC, which can be ordered from AOR or their distributors.

Q. HOW DO I MAKE MY OWN CABLE FOR THE AR7030?

It is fairly easy if you are used to soldering. The hardest part is that the pins on the DIN connector are quite small. See page 11 of the AR7030 manual for connection details.

Here is what you need. To connect to the receiver, you need a 5-Pin (240 degree) DIN Plug. The 5-Pin DIN plug now available from Radio Shack (274-003) is NOT the right one. The Radio Shack plug is a 180 degree plug, while the one you want is the 240 degree plug, which is also referred to as 5-Pin "B". I have found this plug to be available from a number of manufacturers at several industrial electronics suppliers. Remember, you want the 5-Pin DIN B Plug which has the connectors spread out over 240 degrees of its surface, NOT 180 degrees.

To connect to the computer serial port, you need either a 9-pin or 25-pin D connector (female) RS232. The Radio Shack catalog numbers are as follows:

bullet9 pin female 276-1428 (crimp) 276-1538 (solder)
bullet25 pin female 276-1430 (crimp) 276-1548 (solder)

To keep things simple, I suggest making a short (2 or 3 foot) cable with the above connectors, then use a professionally-made shielded cable to complete the connection to the receiver. You will need to brace the connectors in a vice or something to do the soldering. I used originally used unshielded telephone hookup wire, but 3 conductor shielded cable is better.

Here is another idea from Justin Rattner justin@co.intel.com... "Just a note for your FAQ sheet: I built my own 9 foot cable by taking a stock 9-pin serial cable, removing the male end, and replacing it with the 5-pin, 240 deg male DIN connector. Radio Shack and the local Fry's only had the 180 deg model. Found the 240 version at a local components distributor. At little sleuthing around, but now I have a slick, color-matched cable between my Sony notebook and the AR7030+. Since the commercial cable is 9-conductor shielded, I had to use the 'meter to figure out what color wire attached to which pin. Again, a little work, but only one connector to solder instead of two. And, absolutely no noise increase on the 7030 when attached to the notebook."

Q. HOW IMPORTANT ARE THE MINIMUM SYSTEM REQUIREMENTS?

A. ERGO 3 requires a Pentium to run properly, as well as Windows 95 or NT. It has not been tested on a 486, but it should run on a fast 486. The program will work with ordinary VGA (640 by 480) video, but you are quite limited in the amount of information you can display at one time. In my view, a minimum reasonable system is a Pentium with 1024 by 768 video (this is the resolution ERGO was designed for), and 64Mb of RAM.   (With Windows 98SE performance is sluggish with less memory.)

Q. WHEN I RAN ERGO FOR THE FIRST TIME, MOST OF THE CONTROLS CAME UP GARBLED. THE CONTROLS WERE VISIBLE, BUT THERE WAS TRASH, TOO.

A. You need to make sure that your version of COMCTL32.DLL (part of Windows) is at least version 4.7 (Check this by right-clicking on the DLL and opening the Properties | Version page). You can obtain an updated COMCTL32.DLL from Microsoft at no charge from their web page. Make sure that you have a current COMCTL32.DLL in your \Windows\System folder.

Q. WHEN I CONNECTED AN UNSHIELDED CABLE TO THE RADIO, THE NOISE LEVEL INCREASED SUBSTANTIALLY. ANY REMEDIES?

A. Low-level RF interference can enter any receiver through (a) poor shielding of the receiver, (b) poor bypassing of receiver input connectors, (c) poor bypassing of the power supply. All of the supported receivers appear to be well shielded and bypassed and, over the past year, I have not had any problems with interference from the computer. I get a bit of hash on the active antenna, but the 100' dipole and vertical antennas are clean. Here are some tips.

bulletAlways use shielded cables.
bulletNot all computers are created equal. Some are poorly shielded and emit interference. Monitors and keyboards also emit interference; you can sometimes solve your problem simply by replacing the keyboard. Look for a sticker which tells you the equipment meets FCC Part 15 Class B standards; Class A devices are not meant for home use and can be noisy. I also have found MPRII monitors to be quieter at radio frequencies.
bulletIn general, if you have a reasonably well shielded PC and peripherals, and use shielded cable (coax) to your antenna, you will NOT experience any significant interference using computer control. I have used five different computers controlling four different receivers (including the AR7030) and never had any problems that could not be managed.

If you DO have some interference, here are some suggestions:

bulletUse an RF Suppressing Filtered AC Power Distribution Box for the computer and its peripherals. These filters should bypass RF to ground.
bulletUse quality shielded cables for the serial, parallel, monitor, etc. Use a quality shielded cable for connection between receiver and computer.
bulletDefinitely use COAX for antenna connections in and around the shack.
bulletMake sure the receiver is grounded.
bulletUse ferrite cores (available from Radio Shack and elsewhere) on your cables to attenuate stray RF from the PC or peripherals.
bulletPlug the computer/peripherals a into different AC circuit (different phase) than is used for the receiver.

There are many sources of RF Interference in the typical home other than PC's. These include motors in treadmills, dimmer pots, halogen lights, MIDI keyboards, older televisions, the neighbor's power tools - all of which cause me more problems than any computer equipment. I find the JPS ANC-4 Noise Cancellation unit to be extremely effective in eliminating these other sources of noise, when I have used it with an external antenna near the noise source. I am told it also does a good job eliminating computer hash, but I have never needed to use it for that purpose.

Q. SETTING THE TIME

A. ERGO assumes that your computer is set to your LOCAL time. It should read all the time zone information it needs from your operating system, and then display both local and Universal time. In the event that you want to override your system settings, or if for some mysterious reason ERGO cannot properly read the system settings, provision is made for entering time zone information manually on the Properties|Startup screen. Transition between daylight and standard time is handled by the operating system. Use ERGO Net to make sure your PC clock is accurate.

ADDENDUM: ERGO DSI CUSTOM DATABASE FORMAT

ERGO DSI can initialize (import) any customized database which meets the criteria described below. The database is opened in the read only mode. As with the other databases supported ERGO DSI, a working copy of the database is created in a separate directory.

Format

Any dBase (*.dbf) or Paradox (*db) table with a maximum of 20 fields, structured as described below. The fields may be in any order. When the database is initialized, you have the choice of marking each field as "Included" and/or "Visible". The fields FREQ and STATION must always be included. Some fields can be included but not displayed, such as LATITUDE and LONGITUDE.

Required Fields

The table must have the following two fields.

FREQ A numeric field containing a frequency in kilohertz. The display parameters must be set in the table, such as 7:1 or 7:2. The FREQ field in each record must contain a value, or the custom table will be rejected.

STATION A text field containing a station name of up to 36 alphanumeric [C36]. If the STATION field does not contain a record, it will become "NA", as each record must have a value in the STATION field.

Restricted Field

UNIQUE The table must not have a field named UNIQUE. If it does contain such a field, it will be ignored. (ERGO DSI uses a field named UNIQUE to assign a unique number to each record in the database for indexing purposes.)

Reserved Fields The table may optionally have any of the following fields, which will be used for control and/or filtering/sorting purposes. These fields should not be used for any purpose other than described below.

COUNTRY [C24] The name of a country, which may be used for filtering and sorting.

GROUP [C10] The name of a group of stations to which the record belongs, which may be used for filtering and sorting.

LOCATION [C24] The name of the transmitter location, which may be used for filtering and sorting.

LANGUAGE [C16] The language of transmission, which may be used for filtering and sorting.

MODE [C10] The MODE field should contain user-defined text to describe receiver modes, i.e., modulation. You will then assign one of the generic ERGO reception modes to each of the text descriptors. The 11 generic ERGO reception modes are AM, AMS, AMSU, AMSL, USB, LSB, ISB, CW, FAX, DATA, and FM. The custom table may contain up to 20 different text descriptors.

REMARKS [C128] If a general REMARKS field is used, the contents will be transferred into the DA3 Notes field when the record is exported.

AUTOGAIN [Integer] A number between -20 and +20 will be used for transmitting antenna gain in propagation evaluation.

POWER [Integer] A number representing transmitting power, in watts. So, a 250 kW transmitter is 250000 watts.

AZIMUTH [Integer] A direction from 0-360 describing the beam of the transmit signal. (Not currently used by ERGO.)

TARGET [C24] Place names or descriptors for the broadcast’s target audience, which may be used for filtering and sorting.

START [C5] A text field describing the start time of a scheduled broadcast, which may be used for filtering and sorting. The allowed formats for the START field (which is a text field) is "HHMM", "HH.MM" or "HH.MM" where HH is an hour from 00-23 and MM are minutes from 00-59.

END [C5] A text field describing the end time of a scheduled broadcast, which may be used for filtering and sorting. The allowed formats for the END field (which is a text field) is "HHMM", "HH.MM" or "HH.MM" where HH is an hour from 00-23 and MM are minutes from 00-59.

LATITUDE [C7] A text field describing the latitude of a transmitting location, which will be used for path and propagation evaluation by ERGO. The allowed formats for LATITUDE are "DD MMA", "DD.MMA", "DD.MM" or "DDA", where: DD are degrees from 0-90, MM are minutes from 0-60, A is either "N" or "S" for north or south latitude, - is a negative sign for south latitude. A "+" is not required for North latitude but may be used.

LONGITUDE [C7] A text field describing the longitude of a transmitting location, which will be used for path and propagation evaluation by ERGO. The allowed formats for LONGITUDE are "DDD MMA", "DDD.MMA", "DDD.MM" or "DDDA", where: DDD are degrees from 0-90 (leading zeros not required), MM are minutes from 0-60, A is either "W" or "E" for West or North longitude- is a negative sign for West Longitude. A "+" is not required for West longitude but may be used.

Other Fields

Any other numeric or text fields may be included, such that the total number of fields in the database does not exceed 20. Any fields beyond 20 are ignored. Field Names must be 20 characters or less.

Indexing

If a START field is present, the primary index will be "FREQ;START;STATION;UNIQUE",otherwise the primary index will be "FREQ;STATION;UNIQUE".

If both START and END fields are present, the time indexing features will be in effect, i.e., currently active records will be shown in red.

{end of Addendum on Custom Database Format}

Your comments and suggestions are welcome to info@swldx.com

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