About Practice Mode

The CW practice simulation creates a run pileup and several pounce pileups on whatever band the radio is on. The scenario is unassisted S&P; nothing shows up in the band's activity table until you log a QSO in pounce mode. For brevity, I'll use pouncee as the noun for pounced-on stations. The run pileup has up to the maximum number of callers on frequencies near your transmit frequency. Each pounce pileup has the same number of callers, not including yourself, with randomly chosen pouncee frequencies. Which kind of pileup you hear depends on whether you are working run QSOs or pounce QSOs.

Working a Pouncee

Send BeginQSO, MyCall, or MagicPounceBegin after the pouncee ends his CQ or Ack. The caller will answer you rather than other callers most of the time. Sometimes the pouncee will send ? or nothing at all and you will need to try again. You do not hear other callers while you are transmitting (no QSK). You may hear other callers while the pouncee is answering you or somebody else. Use EndQSO, Exchange, or MagicPounceContinue to respond when the pouncee sends you his exchange. A pouncee may use similar "again" tactics to get you to repeat your exchange. Except for EndQSO, use LogQSO (return) or MagicPounceEnd to log the QSO. Your errors in copying the pouncee's call or exchange appear in the Notes field when you log the QSO.

Some pouncees do not send their own call very frequently, or perhaps not at all. Sending the query message (?) may cause these lid pouncees to send their CQ.

The list of other callers updates after each QSO that the pouncee makes. A pouncee disappears after working between 5 and 35 stations, and a new pouncee will appear on a different frequency. A pounce pileup may appear on or near your run pileup and will ignore request to go away.

If you change the radio band, pouncees will appear on the new band when they have worked their quota on the old band. Stop and re-enable Practice mode to force all pouncees to the new band.

When you have a radio connection, tuning the main receiver or a sub-receiver affects the pitch of all callers. A brick-wall bandpass filter simulation mutes caller audio when the audio frequency is different from the center frequency by more than a offset proportional to the spread value.

Practice Mode Hidden Preferences

Practice mode has many preferences that aren't accessible in the SkookumLogger user interface. If you are comfortable using a plist editor, the preference names and their roles and default values are documented here. This is an advanced topic.

The SkookumLogger preference file is ~/Library/Containers/com.k1gq.SkookumLogger/Data/Library/Preferences/com.k1gq.SkookumLogger.plist. This file contains all of the SkookumLogger preferences that you have changed from their defaults.

Preference names are case-sensitive strings. Preference value types are Boolean, String, or Number.

Notes field annotation

PracticeShowSentCallsigns (NO)

This prints the sent call sign during a specific QSO in the Notes field. This tells you what you have sent incorrectly until correct call sign is entered.

PracticeShowSpeedAmplitudePitch (NO)

This prints other information related to each QSO in Notes field.

Imperfectly matched callers

When there is no perfect match to a call after sending your exchange, these preferences affect which in the list of current callers will call again.

PracticeMaxMatchedCallsign (NO)

When enabled, the caller which has the most characters matched to the call sign field will call. Otherwise, the first one (not best match) in the callers list which includes any of characters will call. If no characters match, the (Levenshtein) shortest distance caller will call.

PracticeMaxMatchedThreshold (3)

This specifies the minimum number of characters that need to be matched when PracticeMaxMatchedCallsign is YES.

PracticeMaxMatchedAgainQueryProbability (80)

If no caller matches based on PracticeMaxMatchedThreshold, tapping the Again key will cause some callers to call again. Query Probability (%) specifies the fraction of callers who will call.

Caller Echo

These preferences affect the application of echo to run caller audio to simulate multipath. The two echo types provide scatter and long path simulation. In each type, Ratio specifies the probability of the echo, while Delay and Attenuation control the character of the simulation.

PracticeCallersEchoEnable (NO)

PracticeCallersEcho1Ratio (10)

PracticeCallersEcho1Delay (0.02)

PracticeCallersEcho1Attenuation (0.13)

PracticeCallersEcho2Ratio (5)

PracticeCallersEcho2Delay (0.07)

PracticeCallersEcho2Attenuation (0.08)

Call Again Delay

Center and spread (seconds) for callers that call again when you don't respond right away.

PracticeCallersRetransmitTimerEnable (YES)

PracticeCallersRetransmitTimerCenter (3.0)

PracticeCallersRetransmitTimerSpread (5.0)

Lid Serial Cut Numbers

These enable lid callers that send cut numbers, set the percentage of callers that are lids and the percentages of those callers that are type1 and type2 lids. Type1 lids send 'O' instead of '0'. Type two lids send 'T' instead of '0' and 'E' instead of '5'.

PracticeEnableLidCallers (YES)

PracticeLidCallersRatio (25)

PracticeLidtype1CallersRatio (50)

PracticeLidtype2CallersRatio (10)

QSY Request Respondents

Sets the percentage of callers who respond to a request to QSY (any message that contains the QSY token). Those callers will call later on the other radio.

PracticeQSYRatio (40)

Caller Speed and Amplitude Probability Distributions

PracticeUseLogNormal (NO)

The default probability distribution for caller speed is Gaussian. The log-normal distribution concentrates speeds more tightly around the center.

PracticeUseContinuousUniformDistributionForAmplitude (NO)

The default distribution for amplitude is Gaussian. The uniform distribution spreads amplitudes more evenly.

Pounce Pileups

PracticeUpperSideCW (YES)

PracticeCallBackProbability (90)

The percentage of pouncees who will answer you the first time that you call.

PracticemaximumPounceeQRG (50000)

The frequency span up from the band edge where pounce pileups will appear.

PracticePounceeAcceptableMinimumNumberOfQSO (5)

The minimum number of QSOs that a pouncee will make before changing frequency. The maximum is 35.

PracticeLidPounceeRatio (5)

Well-behaved pouncees end a QSO with TU + their call. By default, 5% will send only TU, and 2.5% will send TU + Call + TEST.

PracticeMixedRunAndPounce (NO)

When enabled, you will hear both run and pounce pileups when a pouncee shows up near your run frequency.